Who Is Responsible for the Debt of a Deceased Person?

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When you pass, you may be worried about leaving your loved ones to inherit your outstanding debts. However, understanding what happens to the debt of a deceased person is essential to protecting yourself and your family after death. Luckily, a Nassau County estate planning lawyer can help you get your assets sorted to provide peace of mind.

What Are the Priorities for the Debt of a Deceased Person?

Before you can understand the ins and outs of how the debt of a deceased person works, you’ll need to understand the order in which debts are handled after a person passes away. Generally, New York requires that the first expense to be covered is funeral expenses and outstanding estate expenses.

Once those expenses are taken care of, you will then need to pay federal, state, and other contractual debts. This ensures that the person’s estate is protected, and the first priority is laying them to rest according to their wishes.

What Is the Probate Process?

It’s essential to understand what goes on during the probate process. After a person passes, their last will must be authenticated. In order to do this, the court will need to locate and value all of the assets of the deceased.

Once the court has determined the validity of the will, they will determine the value of the assets based on the date the deceased passed. This is known as date of death values, which ensures the assets are appraised and valued correctly.

Next, the creditors must be notified upon the death of a debtor. Creditors only have a certain amount of time to file a claim against the deceased’s estate, which is seven months in New York. Finally, the executor will need to file taxes for the person who has passed, usually within nine months after they have passed.

Once these steps are complete, you can petition the court to distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries in the will. However, some states require the executor to complete an account of the probate process to ensure there are no discrepancies.

How Do I Choose My Executor?

As previously mentioned, ensuring you have a competent executor to oversee the probate process is essential. You want to ensure the person selected to execute your will is responsible, in good financial standing, and will not cause unnecessary drama during the process.

If you don’t have anyone you trust to carry out the probate process, you can hire an attorney or accountant to oversee the process. Friends or family members selected to execute a will are paid a commission out of your estate, while professionals often charge additional fees for their services.

Navigating the estate planning process can be stressful. Obtaining the guidance of an attorney can help provide peace of mind that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Contact our firm today because it’s never too early to start planning your future.

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