If my father just died and his estate may not be solvent, who has to take responsibility for the estate if we decide to walk away and not open probate?

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If my father just died and his estate may not be solvent, who has to take responsibility for the estate if we decide to walk away and not open probate?

Asked on October 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The heirs of a deceased person do not have to open an estate.  If your father's debts exceed his assets, then it probably serves you to do just as you said - walk away.  If his creditors want to pursue his assets, they can open an estate.  If a creditor does this, the family will have priority to serve as administrator/personal representative of the estate.  You can waive your right to serve and have nothing to do with it.

I am sorry for your loss and hope this information helps.


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