Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

In FL who is responsible for outstanding debt of a deceased family member who left no will?

Asked on 9/26/14, 5:49 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

The decedent's estate.

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Answered on 9/26/14, 5:51 am
Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

The decedent or his Estate, unless someone else has a contractual obligation to pay it as well. If no Estate is formed, the debt wont likely get paid. If there were assets owned by the decedent, the debtor can file the Estate without a will and claim those assets.

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Answered on 9/26/14, 6:03 am
Dawn Marie Bates-Buchanan Bates-Buchanan & Savitsky Law Group, P.A.

Only the deceased or anyone else that was actually contracted to be responsible for the debt (i.e. Wife is still responsible for joint credit card debt if only husband died). Otherwise if the debt is only in the deceased persons name, then only the deceased is responsible. But even without a will, the deceased persons assets may have to be probated to pay that debt.

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Answered on 9/26/14, 6:06 am

Assuming there is no one who signed a promissory note to pay the debt other than the deceased, then the debt is paid through the probate process from the estate's funds. Even if there is no will, probate can be done. Florida Law states the order by which debt is paid. For instance, attorney and personal representative compensation as well as funeral expenses are paid before medical expenses and credit card debt.

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Answered on 9/27/14, 7:57 am

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