Are children responsible for parents debts after death? 16 Answers as of June 23, 2013

Are children responsible for their parents debts following death? If children think everything is all cleared and all pertinent bills payed and everyone informed of deaths and 6 months later another bill arrives are children responsible?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
The Estate needs to pay the liabilities.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/21/2011
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
To clarify it is the dead parent's estate that is responsible for paying the debt not the children personally. Therefore before any money can be taken by the children, the debts that the parent owed are still owed. The creditors have 1 year to file a claim against the estate for the money that is owed to them. Notice should be given to the creditors of the death and then you will need to wait until the 1 year notice period pass to see if they file a claim.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/19/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
Children are not responsible, but the estate of the deceased is responsible to pay any outstanding debts.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/19/2011
Linda C. Garrett Law
Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
No, children are not legally responsible for the debts of their children; nor are parents responsible for the debts of their adult children. One exception: if the child (or parent) co-signed on the debt. In bankruptcy (or death [probate]) the creditor can after the co-signer. By the way, this is a probate question, not a bankruptcy question.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2011
D T Pham Associates, PLLC
D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
No. Was probate proceeding filed for parents?
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/23/2013
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
    Only to the extent of the estate or if they are on the contract. When someone dies their estate is to pay the debts. If the person who died had no assets and had debts, the debts can not be collected from the children unless they are also obligated on the debt itself.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    If the children inherited proerty or money from the parent's estate, they may be liable since none of the property should have been distributed to the children unless all the debts were paid. If property was held in trust and the children were the beneficiary of the trust, or if the children were named on property as joint tenants, then that ptoperty should be safe. There is a 2 year statute of limitatins for creditors to make claims on estates.Children are not responsible for parent's debts if payment is sought out of the children's seperate funds that were never part of the parent's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    Maybe. It depends on what type of creditor it is (secured vs. Unsecured) and what claim the creditor may have had on the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/23/2013
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Generally the answer is no, but if assets were distributed without a probate estate, then they can be responsible if there would have been assets available to pay a creditor.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    The Estate is not responsible for most debts that are not property liens.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Although your question is unclear in its wording, I believe you are asking what happens if an executor improperly distributes assets to heirs before all creditors are paid. That is a major problem. The executor may get sued personally, and so could the heirs. An attorney is needed - IMMEDIATELY - to determine if creditors were properly notified and if the executor violated his fiduciary duties. Presumably the executor did not make the mistake of a pro se probate, so he/she should start by calling the estate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    It depends whether or not a probate was initiated and whether or not the children received any property from the parents. If a probate was initiated then creditors have 4 months from the first date notice of the probate was first publilshed in the newspaper to file claims, and any claim not filed within that time is barred. If a child receives property and there is no probate, then the property (but not the child's other assets) is subject to the claims of creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    Children may have to pay parents debts out of the proceeds of a parent's estate, but they do not have to pay out of their own pockets, generally. However, spouse may be jointly liable. Thanks for tuning in.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    To the extent they received money from the estate which could have been used to pay claims, yes. That is one reason to do a probate as the probate laws require the creditors to make claims in a certain period. If not, then they are barred from then on and the estate can be distributed. Without a probate, heirs are at risk that the inheritance can be claimed by creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You cannot inherit debts. The estate is responsible for the debt. Therefore, the children are not responsible for the parent's bills unless they received a distribution of property from the parent's estate. If the bills were filed within the applicable time frame, the estate may be responsible and the children could be responsible to the extent that they received a distribution of property that should have been used to pay creditors. A consultation with an experienced probate attorney would be the best way to determine if the creditors have any valid claims.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2011
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