My mother passed 4 years ago her sister wants to collect money she said my mother borrowed in 2008. Does my father have to pay it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My mother passed 4 years ago her sister wants to collect money she said my mother borrowed in 2008. Does my father have to pay it?

My aunt wants my dad to repay the
money. She has a note my mother
signed stating she would pay back.
My aunt is very involved in our
family but we didn’t know about
this until 3 days ago

Asked on April 15, 2019 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, your father does not have to pay. The debt was your mother's debt only, unless you father signed the promissory note, too: one spouse's debt does not automatically become the other spouses.
IF your mother's estate, or the money and assets she left behind, has not gone through probate yet (completed probate), you aunt can sue the estate (if it's not even in probate; she can put in a claim to probate court if it is currently in probate): if there is enough money or assets in the estate to pay her, she can possibly get the money from the estate, but your father does not have to pay out from her personal money or assets. If the estate has been probated, it's too late for your aunt--she lost her chance.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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