What will happen if a parent dies leaving 50,000 in credit card and medical bills and has no assets? 25 Answers as of October 03, 2014

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Durkin Law, P.C.
Durkin Law, P.C. | Roger Durkin
If the parent has a spouse, it is likely the spouse who will handle the estate. If the debt is solely the decedent, and there is not will, you should get an appointment as an administrator/personal representative. There is a statute that governs how debts and expenses of the estate are to be paid starting with the administrative expenses, the funeral expenses, last medical costs, the credit cards are at the bottom... if there are no assets with which to pay then the estate is insolvent.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 10/3/2014
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, the estate will be insolvent, and the bills will go unpaid because there are no estate assets to pay the decedent's bills.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 10/3/2014
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
If the estate is insolvent (no money) you would just have to let the creditors know that by sending them an inventory submitted to the courts.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/2/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
The parent's creditors will receive nothing. The parent's spouse is generally liable on medical bills. Children are not liable on a parent's debt (unless a child agree's in writing to take on those debts - like if they do the paperwork when a parent goes into a hospital or nursing home).
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/2/2014
Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
The credit card companies and medical care providers are out of luck (unless there was a co-signore that guaranteed payment).
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/2/2014
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    If the bills were incurred by the parent alone and no one else guaranteed their payment, the creditors must look to the assets of the parent's estate to pursue any claim for reimbursement. If there are no assets in the parent's name at the time of death, then the creditors will be unable to collect the debts owed.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/2/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    The creditors of a decedent can only collect their debt from the assets of the decedent. If the parent has no assets the credit card company and medical services providers will have a bade debt. Children do not have to pay the debt accumulated from the parents provided they did not voluntarily accept that obligation by accepting responsibility as an inducement for the services or guaranty the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Generally if the bills were incurred ONLY by the parent all that parents assets should be sold and used to pay the bills.. any excess debt simply goes away.. nobody owes it. HOWEVER If the bills were incurred on behalf of someone else.. or there is any other authorized user or guarantor on the accounts ... then the creditor may be able to go after that person (or persons) .. SO be VERY careful not to sign a monetary promise or a personal guarantee if you take a parent to the hospital.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    A lot of companies will be sad. You are not responsible for the parent's debts unless you are a signer on the credit cards.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Nothing, as there is nothing to pay the creditors with, and don't let the creditors try to impress upon you to pay the bills, as the bills are not yours, and you have no obligation to pay them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The executor or administrator of the estate needs to send out notice of the debtors death and give the creditor 120 days to file a claim. If there are no assets, the debts go unpaid.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If there truly are no assets of any kind, the creditors will have to eat the loss. However, they and the executor of the estate will look for anything that the decedent might have had or did have any claim to during his or her life, including assets held jointly with a spouse, business partner, etc.. And if the decedent attempted to hide or transfer valuable assets during his or her life to avoid paying creditors, such as transferring real estate or farm machinery or financial accounts, a court may be convinced to transfer those assets back to the estate. Also, repayment of debts supersedes any bequests in a will so the heirs will receive nothing from the estate. But they won't be liable for the debts either unless they agreed in writing to be responsible for them, such as co-signing a loan.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Those creditors for medical bills might possibly pursue the decedent's spouse, as medical bills may be "debts of the family" which are chargeable to either spouse. The credit card companies can only look to decedent's assets, and if decedent had no assets, then the credit cards will not be paid.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    The bills will go unpaid. They are his debts, not yours.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    The bills won't get paid. The creditor's can only come after assets of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Likely nothing. In Washington, if s/he owned a home and the total estate is worth $100,000 you would need to probate the estate. Because the estate is insolvent, a petition is filed with the court to have the estate declared as such. The creditors can testify at the hearing, but generally do not. It would be worth while to talk to a probate attorney to make sure there will be no surprises.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    The credit card companies and medical providers will not get paid. They will write off these debts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    The Law Office of Kimberly D. Moss
    The Law Office of Kimberly D. Moss | Kimberly Moss
    The debt of a deceased person becomes a part of that person's estate. If your parent had a will, it may not make sense to submit the will to probate if he or she left no assets to repay creditors. If your parent did not have a will, it may be a good idea to contact creditors to alert them that your parent has passed away. Some creditors will likely forgive the debt. However, if there are no assets to repay the debts of a deceased person, you are not obligated to pay those debts on his or her behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    The debt becomes the liability of the estate and it there are no assets is uncollectable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Since only the estate is liable for the debts, the creditors should drop their claims once they are sure there are no assets. The heirs are not liable for the debts. You should contact all the debtors to find out what proof they need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    Since there are no assets, there is no probate estate. The creditors remain unpaid.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas | C. Terrell Thomas Jr.
    In general terms, the creditors often end up with nothing. There are technically claims that can be made against a surviving spouse in such situations, but such claims are not often made against the surviving spouse. With that being said, I would find it very unusual to see someone owing substantial medical bills at death and that person not having already qualified for Medicaid (assuming "no assets" per your inquiry). Thus, this could be seen as a red flag to creditors to dive deeper into the decedent's asset history to see if improper gifts were made by the decedent to avoid paying the creditors.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    The creditors would have to be informed that there are no assets available for payment of the bills. Eventually they will just write off the debts. The decedent's heirs are not personally responsible for the debts.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Home Town Law, P.A.
    Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
    You are not personally responsible for the debt of your deceased parent unless you guaranteed the debt or are a co-signer or some of the credit cards were held jointly with you. It would serve your interests to consult with a probate attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/1/2014
    Zitzmann Law, LLC
    Zitzmann Law, LLC | James Zitzmann
    You are only personally responsible up to the value of the property that you would receive in the succession proceeding.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/1/2014
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