What to do if my brother died with a Will naming me as executor and he had no assets but plenty of debt?

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What to do if my brother died with a Will naming me as executor and he had no assets but plenty of debt?

Does this need to go through probate since there are no assets to divide? The IRS (one of his creditors) told me to fill out a form to be appointed fiduciary but the wording in the instructions is ambiguous as to whether or not I would be held personally responsible. There’s really nothing very complicated about this situation no assets to divide no assets to pay back creditors so I”m hoping that probate is not necessary. I already know family is not liable for this debt. The only purpose of the will was to name myself as representative to manage things.

Asked on February 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The estate is insolvent.  In this case, though, I would consult with a attorney and sign nothing at all until you do.  You can actually choose to do nothing in this case.  Just because there is a Will it does not men that you have to probate it. You could renounce as executor and just let the chips fall as they may.  Please get help.  Good luck. 


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