Who is responsible for paying debt owed by parent who dies.

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Who is responsible for paying debt owed by parent who dies.

Upon the death of a parent and there is no surviving spouse, who is responsible for the payment of debt owed by that parent? That parent has very few assets and little money in the bank. They also have very little life insurance.

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When a person dies with more debt than assets, some of the debt simply won't get paid;  the person's children are not liable.  However, it would be wise for the personal representative of the estate (administrator or, if there was a will, the executor) to talk to a wills and probate lawyer, in the state where the parent's last home was located, about how to distribute what assets there are among the creditors.  This area of the law does have slight differences, from one state to the next.  One place to find an attorney who can help you with this is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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