Dealing with parent's debt during probate may cause confusion

The death of a parent can have a major impact on surviving children of any age. While emotional struggles can impact those of any age, adult children may also have other responsibilities to attend to when it comes to closing their parents' estates. While working through the Texas probate process, they may find themselves concerned over their parents' remaining debts.

Dealing with the debt of another person can be complex. Some creditors looking for their money may not make the most honest statements in regard to those outstanding balances. Because they often just want to receive what is owed to them, they may try to convince children of the deceased that they are responsible for paying those remaining debts or have some moral obligation to do so. However that is typically not the case.

Generally, surviving children do not have any personal obligation to pay a deceased parent's debt. Certainly, those debts need to be addressed during probate, but estate funds are used to cover as much of the debt as possible. Unless a child co-signed a loan or other form of credit with the parent, it is unlikely that he or she will need to use personal funds to pay off outstanding balances.

Of course, during times of grief and confusing legal proceedings, it can be difficult to discern the right courses of action. If Texas residents are working to put their loved one's estate through probate and wonder how to contend with outstanding debts, they may want to gain assistance. Experienced attorneys could help parties ensure that they understand the appropriate ways to address legal issues relating to closing estates.

Source: ABC News, "When your parents die broke", Liz Weston, March 5, 2018

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