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What happens to debt when I die?

| Jul 29, 2018 | Estate And Probate Litigation |

If you are thinking about creating a will or a trust or maybe updating your existing estate plan in Washington State, you may initially be focused on what should happen to your assets. Certainly, outlining your wishes for who will receive what from your estate is an important and very personal part of such a plan but it is only one component. Thinking about the debt you have and what will happen to that should also be on your list. 

As explained by NerdWallet, most debts held by a person are expected to be repaid after death before any assets are distributed to heirs. This does not mean necessarily that your heirs will have to repay your debts but they may end up with less than you or they planned on depending on how much debt needs to be satisfied.

There are some times however, when a surviving spouse or other person might be responsible for a debt of yours after you die. One of these times is when a debt is in your name and the name o another person whether they co-signed on a loan or the original debt was joint such as with a mortgage. Also, because Washington is a community property state, your spouse may well be required to repay other debts.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Washington State some idea of how their debts will be addressed after they die so they can use this knowledge to create an estate plan that is best for their situation.