No will, no estate

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No will, no estate

My mother just passed without a will but she does not own a home or a car. She
has very little left in a bank account. Is there anything that must be done
with any bills that she has left?

Asked on April 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No. The heirs, such as children (like yourself) of the deceased are NOT responsible in any way for the deceased'd final bills: you don't have to pay them, and you don't even legally have to spend any time or effort on dealing with them--they are not your bills. That said, to avoid repeated phone calls, letters, etc. from creditors, it is often a good idea to send a photocopy of the death certificate to any creditors who contact you, along with letting them know that the estate is "insolvent"--no money and no assets. Most creditors will give it up then, rather than continuing to waste everyone's time. I did this when my own father passed away insolvent, and most of his creditors ceased trying to contact me.


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