Death is not something that a lot of people like to think about – but it is an eventuality that everyone has to go through. If you would like to protect your loved ones, it is a must to take legal preparations in case something unfortunate happens. Here, we will take a look at the top three facts that you need to know about what happens to a person’s debt after death:
Quick fact # 1: Several things may happen to a person’s debt after death.
Particularly for those who serve as one of the main providers or the sole provider for a family, estate planning and probate is something needs to be accomplished. Let’s say that you live in Bryan, Texas and you would like to know what happens to a person’s debt in the event of death.
There are actually several possibilities. If there is a nominated manager of the estate which is typically indicated in a last will and testament, he or she will act as the executor or personal representative. If no one was nominated as executor or if there is no last will and testament, it will be a probate court who will assign a person for the position. The personal representative would then be responsible for paying back any leftover debt, although the funds to be used will come from the estate and property of the deceased.
Quick fact # 2: The executor is not personally responsible for the debt.
Although an executor is in charge of implementing the estate planning and probate in behalf of the deceased, he or she is not personally responsible for the debt. The only thing that the executor needs to do is determine how much the deceased owed, who gets repaid, and who does not get paid in case the total cost of the estate and assets is not enough to pay all debts in full. Instead of being held personally responsible for paying the debts, the only role that the executor has is to coordinate who gets repaid with the money coming from the estate of the deceased.
Quick fact # 3: With some exceptions, the family is not responsible for a person’s debt.
If an executor is not held personally responsible for the debt of the deceased, how about the immediate family? With some exceptions, even the immediate family cannot be held responsible for a deceased person’s debts. The only time that the rule does not apply is if the debt was incurred jointly. If there are credit card debts under a dead husband’s name, for example, the bills will be paid through the estate. The wife will not be responsible for paying the debts off – unless the credit card is under the name of both husband and wife.