Q: Mother died, Court judgment was for debt against my mother that is more than her estate is worth. Are we responsible?
I am the executor of the estate, What are my responsibilities. I live in
I am the executor of the estate, what are my responsibilities?
A: Your mother's estate is probably answerable for her debts, but her heirs are not personally liable for those debts (unless they obligated themselves by co-signing a contract or note or something similar). The inheritances of your mother's heirs would be reduced by the payments of her debts from her money and property, but if your mother's property is insufficient to pay her debts, those debts would just go unpaid. A major caveat, however, regards mortgages or liens on real or personal property. For example, if there is a mortgage on your mother's house, that debt would have to be paid or the house surrendered. The heirs would not have to pay that debt from their own pockets unless your mother's estate can't pay it and they want to keep the house. Then they would have to satisfy the mortgage. If, on the other hand, they don't want to pay the mortgage, they can let the house go and they would not be further obligated. Talk to an experienced probate lawyer in your state for specifics after reviewing your information and documents. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.
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