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By Jim Miller
Savvy Senior 

Can I Inherit My Parent's Debt?

 


Dear Savvy Senior,

What happens to a person’s debt after they die? My mother has taken on a lot of medical and credit card over the past few years and I’m worried that my brother and I will be responsible for it when she dies. What can you tell me?

Worried Daughter

Dear Worried,

In most cases when a person with debt dies, it’s their estate, not their kids, that is legally responsible. Here’s how it works.

When your mom dies, her estate—which consists of the stuff she owns while she’s alive (home, car, cash, etc.)—will be responsible for paying her debts. If she doesn’t have enough cash to pay her debts, you’ll have to sell her assets and pay off her creditors with the...



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