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Dealing with the debts of a deceased loved one

If a person you love has recently died, it is likely to be a stressful and sad time for you. Unfortunately, in addition to grieving your loss, you will also have to deal with the administrative aspects of dealing with their estate.

Almost everyone has unpaid bills when they pass away, and some people also leave behind loans and mortgages that have not been settled. While relatively uncommon, a minority of people have more debts than they do assets at the time of their death. The following is an overview of what you need to know when dealing with the debts of a deceased loved one.

Do the debts of a deceased person need to be paid?

When a person dies with assets, whether these assets are furniture, a home or funds in a bank account, these need to be liquidated and used to pay outstanding debts before beneficiaries have access to the estate. However, if a deceased person's estate does not have enough assets to pay off the debts, these outstanding debts will typically go unpaid.

Will I be obligated to pay for the outstanding debts?

If you are not the spouse of the deceased person, you will almost certainly not be obligated to pay the outstanding debts. Even if you are the spouse, your legal obligation to pay debts in your late spouse's name is still limited.

If you are going through the process of settling the estate of a loved one, you should first understand how estates are administrated in Ohio. The sooner you take action, the sooner estate beneficiaries will have access to their inheritance.

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