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Trusts & Estates Law/creditors of deceased parent

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Question
I live in California.my mother passed away with no will set up.but I am the only heir.
am I responsible for paying her creditors?

she has $2000 savings,$2000 401K,an a car.
she's $4500 in debt to credit cards.
I paid $2700 for funeral costs.

once I collect $ do I have to pay creditors?
if I have to pay them.do I keep funeral cost.an pay whats left?

         thanks,Martin

Answer
If I explain it technically, I think you will understand it.

You aren't required to pay her debts.

She/her estate IS required to pay her debts.

Her bank account, her savings, her 401k, and all of her personal property, must pay off her outstanding bills first.

If there is anything left after she settles her debts, that is then what she can pass on to her heirs.

You have taken on the roll of executor of her estate. All of your actions must be for her estate in this matter.

You paying her funeral costs is not part of her estate expenses.

You might check all financial institutions to see if any provided a life insurance policy. They are very common, for $5000 or so.  

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Richard Fritzler

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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.

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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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