Proud Neighbors In Cincinnati

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Will creditors go after my loved ones for my debts when I die?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2023 | Estate Planning & Elder Law |

As much as possible, we want our debts to be minimal, if not nonexistent. However, certain circumstances in our lives force us to avail of loans, whether to pay for college tuition or cover medical expenses. Fortunately, it is a burden that your loved ones do not have to face even if you are no longer with them.

Making sure the estate pays for your debts

Under the law, a deceased person’s heirs are not personally liable for the latter’s debts and liabilities. It is the estate that shall cover the decedent’s debts. But to ensure that it is indeed your estate that pays for your liabilities, you can also consider the following additional steps:

  • Set aside savings that could cover your debts in case something happens to you.
  • In the case of bank account savings, avoid assigning rights of survivorship to another individual unless you trust that they will pay for your debts using your money.
  • When purchasing life insurance with payment of debts as your main priority, you can make your estate the beneficiary.
  • Inform your surviving spouse and children that they do not have an obligation to pay your debts because creditors might mislead them into thinking they are personally liable.

These are a few things to consider if you worry about how to clear your debts once you are gone.

Consider end of life planning

End of life planning is a way for individuals to express their wishes in case something happens to them. This process can cover issues such as funeral and burial arrangements, the list of your assets and even your will. This can also be a great way to express your plans to cover debts using your estate assets. With this type of planning, your wishes and preferences are made clear to your heirs and estate administrator.

Instead of worrying about the inevitable, one can prepare for it through estate planning. It is best to understand the available arrangements and consider the circumstances surrounding your life to determine which one best suits your case.


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