Are a beneficiary’s creditors able to attach their inheritance?

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Are a beneficiary’s creditors able to attach their inheritance?

My husband is executor of his grandmother’s estate. He & his brother were surviving heirs. Brother now deceased. Upon obtaining the abstract, many liens and judgments in brother’s name have been attached to the property. Is my husband or his grandmother’s estate responsible for those debts? His brother had zero money or assets.

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Sharon Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In NY, the beneficiaries inherit real propoerty as of the date of death if it were left to them as a specific bequest under a will.  I gather from your question that you are in the process of selling the propoerty and a titile company is insisting that judgments of your brother in law be cleared.  To avoid this problem, certain steps must be taken in the estate proceeding to make the propoerty saleable and most profitable to your husband.  I would consult a lawyer.  You can't do this yourself.  I would be happy to speak with you if you wish.

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