Is an executor and/or beneficiary responsible for debts of the estate?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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Is an executor and/or beneficiary responsible for debts of the estate?

Father is quite ill. He owes $120,000 on his house which it is probably not worth. I am in the Will which means I inherit this mess. He has no other assets. When he dies am I going to be responsible for paying anything? I am only listed in his Will as the executor and am not listed on the title of the home.

Asked on August 26, 2011 Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a beneficiary is not responsible for any debts of the estate. Specifically, children do not inherit a parent's debt. That having been said, while as executor you also bear no liability for estate debt, you will need to notify the creditor of this and administer the estate accordingly. If there are no assets of the estate, then the debt extinguishes as a matter of law since there is nothing to collect against. 


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