What can we do if my son was the beneficiary when his grandmother died and his credit score has been affected has a result?

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What can we do if my son was the beneficiary when his grandmother died and his credit score has been affected has a result?

He paid all her funeral expenses. Creditors were notified of her death. She had 1 credit card and 1 loan for an A/C unit. He never received any request for payment from anyone since. He was not on either debt. He has a great job and credit score of 750. Yesterday his world was rocked when the real estate agent called and said he had a death claim on his credit report for $6100 because he was beneficiary. He contacted the credit bureau and they said it could not be disputed. He was never notified or aware this was even taking place or given the opportunity to address it before something like this could happen. His score is now 550. There was no probate she had nothing.

Asked on March 30, 2014 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A beneficiary is not responsible for the decedent's credit card debt, and would only be ressponsible for debt attached to specific items of property (like an air conditioner) AFTER the property was distributed to him and only IF he agreed to take it--he could have refused to accept any property with a loan or  debt attched to it. (You can't be forced to inherit, and may turn down inheritences.) The estate--not the beneficiaries--is the entity which should have been responsible for the credit card debt and for the loan for the A/C unit (if your son did not accept said unit, therefore accepting the loan).  Your son may be able to get these items removed from his credit and may even be entitled to some amount of compensation for the incorrect reporting of them against him, but doing so will be difficult; your son is advised to speak with an attorney in detail about his situation.


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