Trusts & Estates Law/Trust and debts


My 92 year old mother set our house up in a Revocable Trust many years ago with my sister and I as the beneficiaries. She has a home equity line on the home of approximately $19,999 with her bank. In addition, she has a Visa account with them. She lives pretty much pension check to pension check. Who is responsible for the Visa account after she passes? I'm sure the equity line will have to be paid. Her home is paid off. She also has a line of credit with the same bank. In total, the line of credit and the Visa total about 13,000. Are we responsible for those? Can they touch the trust to repay those? Thanks!


The responsibility for the debt remains with your mother and her estate. Her assets (including the home) will be used to pay off the outstanding debt (including all credit lines and VISA charges). There may be other debts those also will need to be paid off BEFORE there is a determination if there is anything left to pass to the heirs.

The home is not yours yet.

The trust does not protect any assets. The trust does not reduce any taxes.

The trust avoids probate, and provides in case she can no longer manager her own affairs.

Hope that clears things up. It may not be what you wanted to hear, but your mother will have to pay for all of her debts before she can pass anything on to you.

Richard Fritzler  

Trusts & Estates Law

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Richard Fritzler


Comparing the advantages and requirements of traditional estate practices, and unconventional methods? Are Trusts a viable asset protection vehicle? Is there an alternative to buying life insurance to reduce the impact of the estate tax. Is the elimination of the estate tax during the next decade good for everyone? I can review the benefits and misinformation that exists.


I have been in the business of assisting business owners in reducing their taxes and liability for over 17 years. We specialize in developing plans that eliminate the estate tax, not find a way to prepay it. Most small businesses do not survive the death of the principal. We want small businesses to not only survive, but flourish.

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