Spokane, WA asked in Estate Planning for Washington

Q: Hi there, my dad recently passed away and he has no estate but has debt. If i inherit his car, can they come after it?

No other assets, but a bunch of personal loan debt. The car was owned free and clear and all the creditors have been notified of his death. I plan on doing an affidavit or inheritance soon, but I dont wNt to get sued by the creditors for the vehicle. Can they come after it to force me to liquidate it?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Keith Armstrong
Keith Armstrong
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Spanaway, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Hi, Spokane heir. If your father did not have a Will, you may inherit the car, but under Washington law, all of the debts of your father's estate and all of the assets (owned and controlled by him) are available to pay creditors. All of the creditors must have a chance to get paid from the estate assets. After legitimate debts are paid, accounting and legal expenses, then what is left over can go go heirs (spouse, kids, parents, etc.) If there is not enough money in the estate to pay creditors, then assets must be sold to pay creditors. Creditors can come after the car if they are not paid from other sources. You have to give a 4-month notice to creditors, whether probating or not. For a small estate (no real estate, no land, under $100k) you may get the auto transferred to you, but bills have to be paid first, or creditors have a right to come after any asset owned by your father. You should find an experienced probate attorney to help with this tricky area. You could be in the clear with a little help and advice.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.