Will you have to handle your loved one’s debts during probate?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2019 | Blog

As the executor of your loved one’s estate, you know that you have a lot of work ahead of you. At times, you may feel stressed and overwhelmed, and that is not unusual for individuals in your position. Still, you can help yourself handle probate as best as possible by finding answers to any questions you may have.

In particular, you may wonder what will happen with your loved one’s remaining debts during the probate process. You will need to address them and other financial matters during this time, so ensuring that you do so correctly is vital.

Tips for handling debt

When handling another person’s debt liabilities, it is important that you know what you are dealing with. Therefore, you may want to start the process by listing all of the decedent’s debts so that you will know what you will face. Some common debts include the following:

  • Credit card bills
  • Taxes
  • Auto loans
  • Storage fees
  • Mortgages
  • Property taxes
  • Condominium fees
  • Utility bills
  • Cellphone bills
  • Lines of credit
  • Loans against life insurance policies or retirement accounts

Of course, you should keep in mind that your loved one may have had specific expenses not listed here, so going over every aspect of his or her life is a necessary step.

How do you pay the bills?

During probate, debts have an order of priority. If you pay certain bills too soon, you could end up financially liable for handling debts of a higher priority if there are not enough estate funds to cover them. If you pay the remaining debts in the correct order, you should not have to pay for anything yourself.

If there is a mortgage to handle, it is important that the payments continue if plans exist to keep the home. If someone is set to inherit the property, that person can usually take on the mortgage loan in order to keep up with the payments him- or herself. Federal laws prevent having to pay a mortgage in full after a person’s death.

How can you avoid mistakes?

Mistakes are not uncommon during probate, especially because you are handling someone else’s personal affairs. Fortunately, you can have professional help throughout the process to help you avoid mistakes as much as possible. Reaching out to an experienced Nevada probate attorney may be in your best interests and the best interests of the estate.