Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Texas

Father's debt after death

My father recently passed away and left what he had, which wasn't much, to me and my brother. My father did have some unpaid balances on a few credit cards which may total $6,000 all together. I wanted to know if we don't probate the will, is there any way the creditors can collect from us? Since his estate would probably not cover the debt, should we just let the debt go into collections and would the creditors eventually just write it off?

Asked on 8/03/07, 9:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Keith Engelke Law Office of S. Keith Engelke

Re: Father's debt after death

Under the law, the creditors can only collect from the estate (unless someone else signed for the card). If you not probate the will it is possible that one of the creditors will apply to administer the estate, as creditors are eligible to do so. When an estate is insolvent, expenses of the decedent are paid in priorty. Some such as funeral expenses,costs of administration, and attorneys fees, are at the top. Unsecured claims such as credit card debt are at the bottom. Finally, there are some notices you can send out. Creditors who fail to respond in time can lose their claim. Suggest you consult an attorney about probating the will. Otherwise the creditor may do it for you. In no event are you responsible for paying your dad's debts.

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Answered on 8/04/07, 11:09 am

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