Q: If there is no will, does a house itself go to next of kin according to intestate laws or sold to pay creditors?
My father passed away with no will and his assets would likely go to me as next of kin. Would I automatically receive the house itself or would it be sold so that the credit card bills could be paid? Leaving me only with what was left over? He had no cash in his estate. Or could the administrator negotiate with the credit card companies first? Note that this is an out of state property for him and he lived in NYC.
I am sorry to hear of you loss.
It is ALWAYS a good idea to try to negotiate a debt like Credit Cards down, but ultimately you will only inherit the NET value of the estate, whatever that might be. If YOU pay off the credit card debts, you could preserve the house, but there are lots of complicated decisions to make before you decide to do that.
Bottom line, you inherit the NET estate. If there are creditors they are paid first. If the debts are larger than the assets, the creditors will not be able to come after YOU to be made whole, but you won't inherit anything either.
I'd urge you to consult with a NY attorney (where the estate will be probated) to make sure you do this right, and for help in negotiating with creditors.
-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.
I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice
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