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If your parents die broke, are you liable for their debts?

| Mar 5, 2019 | Estate And Probate Litigation |

It is never easy to watch your parents age, but for many residents of Washington, this is an unavoidable reality they must face at some point or another. While losing a parent can prove immensely difficult simply because of the emotions involved with the loss, you may find that you face additional hurdles after a parent dies if you are also in charge of managing that parent’s estate.

You may, depending on circumstances, have particular concerns about what might happen once your parent dies if that parent still carried a considerable amount of debt when he or she passed, but NerdWallet reports that such fears might be unwarranted. So, what, exactly, should you expect in the event that one or both of your parents die without enough assets to cover their debts?

The good news is, unless your situation meets some very distinct and specialized circumstances, you are probably not going to find yourself on the hook financially for your deceased parent’s debts. There are, however, several important exceptions.

Say you co-signed on a credit card for your now-deceased parent, and he or she never paid off the balance. If not enough remains in your deceased parent’s estate to cover the debt, you may have to pay for it, since you initially took on the debt together. The same holds true for any other types of debts you accrued alongside this parent. Otherwise, though, you are more than likely not responsible for your parent’s debt – but that does not mean his or her creditors might try to tell you otherwise.

This copy about what happens when your parents die broke is meant for educational purposes and is not a replacement for legal advice.