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September 2017 Archives

Who Pays When Parents Die With Debt?

Some people worry that if their parent dies with debt, that they will be responsible for paying it off. In most cases, this is not true. In the probate process, when a person dies, their assets become part of the estate, and it's the value of the estate that pays for any debt the person who has died still owes. Whatever is left after the debts are paid then gets distributed to designated beneficiaries. In situations where debt exceeds the value of the estate, children may not end up inheriting anything. But unless children are joint owners of the debt, it's the estate that will pay, and not the children themselves.

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