Derby, KS asked in Estate Planning for Kansas

Q: I’m in Kansas and am the beneficiary of my deceased parents ( now irrevocable) trust. My mom had a credit card.

Do I legally have to pay it when I did not creat the debt

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1 Lawyer Answer
Scott C. Stockwell
Scott C. Stockwell
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrence, KS
  • Licensed in Kansas

A: In Kansas, creditors have six months from the date of death, or, if an estate is opened within six months of the date of death, four months from the date of first publication, to file a claim in the probate estate. If an interested party has not petitioned to open the estate, the creditor has standing to file a petition to open the estate (again, within six months of the date of death) and assert the claim.

If a decedent has a personal debt and had assets in a revocable living trust at the time she or he passed, the probate court may order such assets to be included in the probate estate if the assets in the probate estate are insufficient to pay the obligations. For that reason, trustees of a revocable living trust often wait until six months from the date of death to make significant distributions of assets to beneficiaries.

If the credit card were an obligation of the trust rather than the trustee's or grantor's personal obligation, the trusts's liability would not lapse because of the passing of the grantor.

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