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Colorado Estate Planning and Probate Attorney | Will I Be on the Hook for a Loved One’s Debt?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2020 | Probate |

Debt is a pretty normal part of life in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, and across Colorado. Whether it be in the form of a mortgage, car loan, or credit card account, most people carry some sort of debt. So, it’s a reasonable to wonder who is responsible for paying the debt after a loved one passes away.

Arvada and Wheat Ridge Creditors and Paying Off Debts after Death

Unfortunately, debts do not die with the debtor. But, this does not mean that the creditor can come after family members to clear the debt. When a person dies, the probate process ensues and any creditor can file a claim against the estate. This means that before any assets are divided out to the heirs, the debts will be paid. So, while loved ones are not liable for the debts, their inheritance may be reduced or even used in it’s entirety to pay off the debts, depending on the size of the estate and the amount of debt.

Responsibility for Joint Debts After Death in Jefferson County

There are a few exceptions to the rule when it comes to the debt of a deceased person. If a family member of loved one co-signed on the loan or debt, then the creditors can come after the co-signer. So, if you and your spouse co-signed on a home loan and you pass away before the loan is paid off, then your spouse is still responsible for the remaining amount. Or, if you co-sign your son’s car loan and he dies still owing on the car, you are still responsible for the debt. This also applies to joint debts with a spouse. If you have a joint credit card account, your spouse will still be on the hook for the debt.

If your loved one has passed away and you have questions about what happens next, contact the experienced attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm for a free initial phone consultation.

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