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Answered 2006-12-29 23:51:40

If the life insurance policy has a named beneficiary creditors are not entitled to any portion nor is the beneficiary legally obligated to pay any of the deceased's debts. Family members are not responsible for the repayment of the debts of the deceased unless they were a joint account holder. The exception in some cases and relating to specific debts, a surviving spouse may be held accountable for the deceased spouse's debts regardless of how the account was held if the couple resided in a community property state at the time of death. Macky ... I don't mean to keep on stepping on your answers, which are most certainly well informed and wise....this is just to add or perhaps clarify. the questioner should understand that When someone dies, they have an estate. It may not have much, if anything in it, but legally, their final affairs must be resolved and accounted for. There is a probate, essentially the making and resolving of the estate, even if verry small/easy/basic required to do this (in most all States). If there is an insurance policy with a specific beneficiary, it will not become part of the estate. It goes to the beneficiary outside of the probate/estate. If there is no named beneficiary, or the beneficiary is the estate (which is the case in a very large number of insurance policys), the money would go there and would be distributed according to the needs of the estate and the laws of the State. Which would mean the debts of the decedent would have to be paid by it.

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