My mom is preparing a living trust. She wants to give me the house and be the Successor Trustee. My question is, when she passes away am I responsible to pay her credit card debt/bills she has?
4 Answers from Attorneys
As the Successor Trustee you step into your mom's shoes upon her passing. Your responsibility will be to identify all the assets, get them all together, create an accounting of the assets, accumulate all the debits and expenses, pay all expenses and receive and account for all income. It will be your job to invest all funds properly, sell assets that are appropriate or necessary. After the "administrative" period has completed, then you will, as Trustee, render an accounting, distribute the assets to those entitled to them pursuant to the written trust document.
Mr. Rimer is correct. You, as the successor trustee, are responsible for determining the validity of your mother's debts and obligations. You are then responsible for paying all appropriate debts from the trust and estate assets. You are not personally responsible for payment of these debts, however. If the obligations are greater than the available assets to pay for them, you can also negotiate with the credit card companies (or any other creditors) for a payment amount.