Once your parent has passed, you are generally not responsible for their debt. The estate of the decedent (person who died) is responsible for paying all final expenses and covering any debt. Usually, the Executor, or Personal Representative, handles the debt and distribution parts of an estate.
What if I am the Executor, then am I responsible for their debts?
Again, in most cases, the answer is no. The assets used to cover debts will come from the estate, not your personal finances.
When accounts are liquidated or property is sold, the Executor uses those funds to pay valid creditor claims against the estate and handle any other post-death estate expenses. If there isn’t enough money in the estate to cover the debt, it usually goes unpaid.
The only time a debt would pass to another person is if they were a joint owner of the debt originally.
Even if a debt collector tries to collect a debt from you, you are not legally responsible for paying someone else’s debts. Only debts that are legally filed and properly presented to the Court will be considered for repayment.
There are some exceptions and nuances to post-death debt collection.
Give us a call and we can walk you through all of the steps you must take to ensure a proper plan is in place to protect you and your loved ones.