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When your parents die broke

Saying goodbye to your parents is one of the hardest things you may ever do, and no one wants to worry about juggling paperwork and tying up loose ends when they are going through such an emotionally taxing time. On top of planning a New York burial and helping your family heal after your shared loss, you may also have concerns about whether your parents left considerable debt behind, and if so, whether you might be responsible for it. At the law offices of Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C., we are well-versed in the answers to these and related questions, and we have helped many clients navigate the many steps that often follow losing a parent.

Per U.S. News and World Report, almost half of today’s seniors die with less than $10,000 in assets, leaving an entire generation uncertain of what happens to their parents’ mortgages, credit card debts and other financial obligations. There is some good news for you if your parents pass on without any money left, however – in many cases, you will not be on the hook for such debts.

Instead, these debts become the property of your parents’ estates. Unless you co-signed on the debts or applied for credit together when you created them, your parents’ creditors typically cannot come after you.

That does not mean some creditors are not going to try to get what they can from you, however. Debt collectors may tell you that you have an obligation to take care of outstanding bills in your parents’ absence, but remember how they make their money and take their words with a grain of salt. Learn more about the probate process on our web page.

 

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