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Debt Responsibility

Questions relating to the responsibilities for debts left by an individual that has died.

500 Questions

What to do if an estate is left with more debt than assets?

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Asked by Wiki User

If an estate is left with more debt than assets, it's important to handle the situation carefully and methodically. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. **Assess the Situation**: Begin by thoroughly reviewing the deceased's financial records to understand the extent of the debt and the assets in the estate.

  2. **Notify Creditors**: Inform creditors of the death and provide them with the necessary documentation, such as a death certificate. This allows them to file claims against the estate for any outstanding debts.

  3. **Prioritize Debts**: Not all debts are treated equally. Some may have higher priority than others. For example, secured debts like mortgages or car loans typically take precedence over unsecured debts like credit card debt. Taxes and funeral expenses may also have priority.

  4. **Liquidate Assets**: Sell any assets in the estate that are not exempt from creditors' claims. This could include real estate, vehicles, valuable personal property, etc. The proceeds from these sales can be used to pay off debts.

  5. **Negotiate with Creditors**: In some cases, creditors may be willing to negotiate a settlement for less than the full amount owed. It's worth reaching out to creditors to discuss potential payment arrangements or settlements.

  6. **Consider Probate Laws**: The process for handling estates with more debt than assets can vary depending on local probate laws. It may be helpful to consult with a probate attorney who is familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction.

  7. **Seek Legal and Financial Advice**: Dealing with a significant amount of debt in an estate can be complex. It's advisable to seek professional guidance from a lawyer or financial advisor who can provide personalized advice based on the specific circumstances of the estate.

  8. **Communicate with Beneficiaries**: Keep beneficiaries informed throughout the process, especially if there may not be enough assets left in the estate to distribute any inheritance. Transparency can help manage expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

  9. **Consider Bankruptcy**: In extreme cases where the debt far outweighs the assets and there's no feasible way to pay off creditors, filing for bankruptcy for the estate might be an option. This should be done with the guidance of a bankruptcy attorney.

  10. **Finalize the Estate**: Once all debts have been addressed to the best of your ability, and any remaining assets have been distributed or liquidated according to the law, you can close the estate.

Dealing with an estate with more debt than assets can be overwhelming, but by taking systematic steps and seeking professional assistance, you can navigate the process effectively.

How is mental competency determined?

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Asked by Wiki User

Mental competency is typically determined by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, through evaluations and assessments that examine a person's cognitive functioning, understanding of their circumstances, and ability to make informed decisions. The evaluation may include interviews, psychological testing, and observations to assess the individual's mental capacity and ability to participate in legal proceedings or make important decisions. Ultimately, a determination of mental competency is made based on the professional's assessment of the person's mental abilities and functioning.

Is debtors could not be imprisoned under English laws true or false?

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Asked by Wiki User

True. Debtors could not be imprisoned under English laws since 1869 when the Debtors Act was passed, abolishing imprisonment for debt. However, there are exceptional cases where debtors can still be imprisoned if they fail to comply with court orders relating to their debts.

Can you be sued for your husbands debt from before you were married?

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Asked by Wiki User

In general, you are not responsible for your spouse's debts that were incurred before you were married. However, there may be exceptions depending on the laws in your state and if you live in a community property state where joint assets could be at risk. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional for specific guidance on your situation.

Are step children responsible for debts of their deceased parent in Florida if they are named in the will?

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Asked by Wiki User

Step children are generally not responsible for the debts of their deceased parent in Florida unless they have co-signed or guaranteed the debts. Being named in the will does not automatically make them responsible for the debts. It is important to consult with a probate attorney for specific advice on this matter.

Can an executor of an estate be sued for contents of deceased house when he is trying to settle debts?

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Asked by Wiki User

Yes, an executor can be sued for the contents of a deceased person's house if there are concerns about how the estate is being managed or if debts are not being settled properly. It is important for the executor to act in accordance with their fiduciary duties and follow the legal requirements for handling the estate to avoid being sued.

Can common law spouse's remove things from the estate if their is no will and surviving children from a previous union?

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Asked by Wiki User

In general, common law spouses do not have statutory inheritance rights, so they may not be able to remove assets from the estate without a will. If there is no will, the estate would typically pass to the surviving children from a previous union. The laws regarding intestate succession vary by jurisdiction, so it's best to consult with a probate attorney for guidance specific to the situation.

Does everything a person owns is considered as part of the residue of an estate?

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Asked by Wiki User

Not necessarily. An estate's residue typically includes assets remaining after debts and specific bequests are settled. It may include real estate, cash, investments, and personal property, but personal items like clothing or jewelry may not be considered part of the residue if they are specifically bequeathed to someone.

Can a will override an older revocable trust?

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Asked by Wiki User

Yes, a will can override an older revocable trust by designating different beneficiaries or assets not included in the trust. However, it's advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that there are no conflicts or inconsistencies between the will and trust documents.

What is the difference between statement of claim and writ of summons?

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Asked by Wiki User

A statement of claim is a document that outlines the details of a legal claim or lawsuit, including the facts and legal basis for the claim. A writ of summons is a formal document issued by a court to notify a defendant of a lawsuit and require them to appear in court. Essentially, the statement of claim provides the details of the case, while the writ of summons is the formal notification to the defendant.

Can a landlord sue an estate after someone dies?

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Asked by Wiki User

In most cases the debts of the deceased are the responsibility of the estate. If the landlord has a valid claim, they can bring suit to collect. Consult a probate attorney in your jurisdiction for help.

If a grandmother only handwrote her wishes not notorized or witnessed and no Will was done can the handwritten document be considered legal?

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Asked by Bambithumper

In general, handwritten wishes without notarization or witnesses may not be considered legally binding as a will. The legality of such documents often depends on the laws of the specific jurisdiction. It's recommended to consult with a legal professional to understand the requirements for a valid will in your area.

Can a husband and wife be sued for medical bills if the husband is on social security but the wife works?

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Asked by Wiki User

Yes, both spouses can be held liable for medical bills incurred during the marriage even if only one spouse incurred the bills. In community property states, debts incurred during the marriage are typically considered joint debts, regardless of income sources. It's recommended to consult with a legal professional for personalized advice based on the specific circumstances.

What are the probate procedures in Florida?

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Asked by Wiki User

In Florida, probate procedures typically involve submitting the will to the court, notifying beneficiaries, paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. The process can be supervised or unsupervised depending on the circumstances. It's advisable to consult with an attorney for guidance through the probate process in Florida.

Is an executor of a will in Queensland a Trustee?

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Asked by Wiki User

Yes, an executor of a will in Queensland is also considered a trustee. The executor's role includes managing the deceased's estate and distributing assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will, which involves acting in a fiduciary capacity similar to that of a trustee.

Is a witness necessary to make a affidavit legal?

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Asked by Wiki User

Yes, a witness is typically required for an affidavit to be considered legal. The witness must observe the signing of the affidavit by the affiant and sign the document themselves to attest to the proper execution of the affidavit.

Are the assets in a living trust protected from lawsuits?

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Asked by Wiki User

Assets held in a living trust may offer some protection from lawsuits, but it depends on the specific circumstances and the laws in your jurisdiction. Generally, assets in a trust are protected from probate and may be more difficult for creditors to access, but they are not completely shielded from lawsuits or creditors. It's important to consult with a legal professional to understand how a living trust may affect your personal situation.

Can you commit perjury to the court clerk?

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Asked by Wiki User

No, it is illegal to commit perjury by providing false information while under oath to the court clerk or any other legal authority. Perjury is considered a serious offense and can result in legal consequences. It is important to always provide truthful and accurate information when dealing with the legal system.

What is a voluntary judgment?

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Asked by Wiki User

A voluntary judgment is a court ruling or decision that is agreed upon by the parties involved in a legal case. It is usually reached through negotiation or settlement and does not result from a trial or formal legal proceedings. Both parties consent to the terms of the judgment.

Is inheritance money and property safe from legal judgments in the state of Louisiana?

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Asked by Wiki User

In Louisiana, inheritance money and property are generally protected from most types of legal judgments or creditors. However, there are exceptions, such as if the inheritance is commingled with marital assets or used to purchase joint property with a spouse. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional for specific advice on how to protect inheritance assets.

Can an individual be held legally responsible for debts that occured when they were a minor?

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Asked by Wiki User

In general, minors are not legally responsible for debts they incurred while under the age of majority. However, once they reach the age of majority, they may be held responsible for those debts if they affirm or continue to make payments on them.

What is the law in Florida regarding credit cards after death of the card holder?

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Asked by Wiki User

In Florida, the executor or personal representative of the deceased's estate is responsible for notifying credit card companies of the cardholder's death. The estate is generally responsible for paying off any outstanding credit card debt using the deceased person's assets. Family members are not typically personally liable for the deceased person's credit card debt.

Who is responsible for church debt?

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Asked by Wiki User

The responsibility for church debt typically lies with the church leadership, such as the board of trustees or elders. They are accountable for managing the finances and making decisions related to borrowing money or accumulating debt on behalf of the church. Members of the congregation may also play a role in addressing or supporting the repayment of church debt through donations or fundraisers.

Are adult children responsible for paying foreclosure debts of deceased parents?

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Asked by Wiki User

In most cases, adult children are not personally responsible for paying the foreclosure debts of their deceased parents. Debts of the deceased are typically settled using the assets within their estate before any inheritance is distributed to beneficiaries. However, it is advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand the specific obligations in your jurisdiction.

Are children responsible for parents nursing home debt in NY?

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Asked by Wiki User

In New York, children are not automatically responsible for their parents' nursing home debt. However, under certain circumstances, such as if they have signed a contract agreeing to be financially responsible for the debt, or if they have transferred their parents' assets to avoid paying for care, they may be held liable. It is recommended to seek legal advice in such situations.