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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55444
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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Am I required to pay unsecured debts incurred by my Parent

Customer Question

Am I required to pay unsecured debts incurred by my Parent while she was alive. She passed away in 2014?
Thank you,
Phillip Tumminia
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
No, you have no liability for these debts of your parent. If the probate assets in her estate were not sufficient to pay her debts, then the unsecured creditors must simply write them off as bad debts. They cannot pursue family members of the decedent for those debts. And, it's important to remember that only probate assets of the decedent are subject to these debts. Assets that are not probate assets are: i) joint accounts which vest automatically in the surviving joint owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship or as tenancy by the entirety, which property vests automatically in the surviving owner; and iii) assets with named beneficiaries, such as retirement plans and life insurance policies. None of these are probate assets and thus are not subject to the claims of the unsecured creditors of the decedent. The exception to the foregoing is that some states have specific statutes with regard to medical and nursing home bills of the decedent.
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