If my name is on the decedent’s account, should I pay the bills?

Posted On : June 25, 2010   By : RobG

No. All estate debts should be considered after the creditors file their claims. If there isn’t enough money in the estate to pay claims in full they will need to be pro-rated. Although you may legally continue to operate an account as a joint owner, those funds typically are not probate assets. So, you may not need to use those funds to pay estate debts. If relatives believe the decedent intended that they share in those funds, they may be able to successfully pursue a constructive trust argument. The prudent approach is to consult with an experienced attorney before doing anything.

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Posted in Probate FAQ