It is a common misconception that all debts in the name of a decedent must be paid. While this is true for some debts, it is not necessarily the case for all of them. Unless a family member was a signatory co-borrower or guarantor of the debt, there is no obligation on the part of any family member to pay the decedent’s debts.
Do not be intimidated into making payments on a debt owed by your loved one’s estate! The attorneys at the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, P.A., have in-depth knowledge of Florida probate law and will protect you from being pressured or harassed by creditors. From our office in Pompano Beach, we serve clients through the surrounding areas, including Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Lighthouse Point.
What Debts Must Be Paid By An Estate?
At the beginning of the probate process, a decedent’s creditors will be notified of his or her death. At that point, the creditors are given a certain amount of time — generally three months — to file a claim seeking payment. If they do not file a claim within that time frame, they forfeit their right to seek payment.
Because the debt an estate owes is dependent on which creditors file claims, it is often best to wait to make payments on debts until those claims are filed. If a creditor never files a claim, or fails to file within the allotted time, the estate will not be responsible for paying that debt.
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Before you start paying bills on behalf of your loved one, it is very important to speak with an experienced lawyer. Our advice is always tailored to your specific situation. Send us an email or call our office at 954-773-8983 or toll-free at 888-392-5781. Your first consultation is complimentary.