When a Loved One Dies and Leaves You with Debt in Florida

Posted on Jan 25, 2012
If your loved one has accumulated a significant amount of debt, understand that it will not automatically go away upon his or her death. There are a number of things that may happen to debt. The following questions have been answered by a Wall Street Journal article
  • Who pays what? If it was a joint credit card account, for example, the survivor will be responsible for making the payment. If the account is only in the deceased person's name, you may be off the hook legally. How the person died does not affect who is responsible.
  • What tactics will debt collectors use? If you have a will, a debt collector could go to probate court and file a claim. However, assets going to relatives are typically off-limits.
  • What if the deceased didn't have a will? Debt collectors will try to persuade someone who isn't obligated to pay.
  • What do lenders do for protection? Risky borrowers are generally charged higher interest rates.
  • How is a mortgage affected? The house could be repossessed if only the deceased signed the mortgage. If the survivor is also a borrower, then he or she will be responsible for paying. 
To ensure that you have a solid estate plan, you should schedule a consultation with a Fort Myers probate attorney.

Help from a Fort Myers Probate Attorney is Just a Phone Call Away

Fort Myers probate attorney Matthew A. Linde understands firsthand the importance of careful estate planning and the complexities of financial legal matters, such as probate, tax litigation and guardianship. For help with your probate concerns, contact our Fort Myers office to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a professional who can answer your questions – 239-939-7100 or 844-764-5492.