What happens if you parents owe money when they die

We recently had a client call our office asking a question we hear all the time… “What happens if my father dies owing more money than he has in assets? Will I be personal responsible for paying his debts if I am his Executor?

You will not be personally liable for your father’s debts when he dies. You may however, be taking on a difficult estate where you will be required to negotiate with creditors and possibly even place the estate into bankruptcy to deal with everything. In addition, you will be expected to deal reasonably with the estate’s assets. What this means is that you should not be having an expensive $20,000.00 funeral, when your father only has $50,000 in property and owes $60,000.00 on his credit cards.

It can be very difficult to know the exact financial state of someone’s affairs when you are called in to plan a funeral. For this reason, it is important to talk to the person who has appointed you Executor in their Will and get an idea of where their assets and debts are located. This conversation can make sure that they leave solutions and not problems upon their death.

If your loved ones have listed you as Executor in their Will and you are concerned about what duties you will have to take on upon their death, contact our office for a free copy of our Excellent Executors Handbook. Please email lorena@estateconnection.com or call us at 780 458 8228. We are here to help!

Written by Lorena Smalley