Do I Have to Pay the Debts of My Parents?

Do I Have to Pay My Parents’ Debts?

Skilled McKinney Probate Attorneys

At Willingham Law Firm, PC, we are commonly contacted by clients who wonder if they will be responsible for paying their parent’s debts. The answer is generally no, as we do not pass debts on to children of the deceased in the United States. However, there are some situations in which you may be liable for the debts of your parent, often through contract law or failure to follow proper laws.

Due to the complexity and high stakes of probate, it’s always a good idea to retain an experienced McKinney probate attorney who can guide you through the process. At Willingham Law Firm, PC, our skilled team has an in-depth understanding of probate and estate planning, giving us the ability to provide knowledgeable counsel from a point of experience.

You shouldn’t be liable for your parents’ debts. Call our firm today for your free case evaluation.

Improper Action as Executor

One situation where you can become liable for the debts of your parent is to fail to notify creditors when acting as your parent’s executor. Executors rarely have experience with probate, which can put them in a tough position. Oftentimes, they don’t understand that they are required to pay creditors first, before they pay beneficiaries. If an executor fails to pay the debts of his or her parent and cannot recover the property from the other beneficiaries, then he may have to repay the creditors out of his own pocket. This situation is very unfortunate because it is easily avoidable by simply notifying creditors and following proper probate law procedures.

Common Debts

Another way you can become liable for the debts of your parent is to have a common debt. This situation happened to a client of our firm, who had decided to co-sign on a mortgage with her father. When her father passed, the mortgage became her full responsibility. The loan officer for the bank had told her that the only reason she was needed on the mortgage was for credit purposes, but this was not true. As the only living person on the mortgage, she was forced to pay off the debt.

Guaranteed Debts

The most common way to become liable for the debt of your parent is to sign a guarantee. Hospitals and nursing homes will sometimes require you to guarantee a payment in order for them to treat your parent. Many times these guarantees are not lawful, but the hospital or nursing home will use them as leverage to try to get paid. If you are planning on putting your parent into a nursing facility or hospital, then consult with an attorney before signing any type of guarantee.

For guidance through the probate process, call Willingham Law Firm today at (214) 499-9647.

EVERY CASE DESERVES CARE & ATTENTION

Read Recent Reviews from Our Clients
  • “He explored many options with us and explained and answered all of our questions. We would recommend him and the law firm to anyon ...”

    - Jeanne Meek
  • “My attorney took good care of me and got my Estate Plan in order quickly and thoroughly. The ladies that assisted in getting ...”

    - Celeste McNeil
  • “Taylor and his team are amazingly professional.”

    - Gail Hillman

Meet Our experienced Legal Team

Dedicated to Accomplishing Your Goals 
  • Taylor Willingham
  • Mark Auten
  • Carla Alston
  • Cindy Galvan
  • Kellianne Beechly
  • Samantha Gremminger
  • Amanda Schultz
  • Taylor Willingham Taylor Willingham

    Attorney

    McKinney Estate Planning Attorney Taylor Willingham is an experienced estate planning and probate attorney located in ...
    Taylor  Willingham Photo
  • Mark Auten Mark Auten

    Attorney

    Skilled Probate & Estate Planning Attorney Mark Auten is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas and an integral member of ...
    Mark  Auten Photo
  • Carla Alston Carla Alston

    Attorney

    Compassionate Probate Lawyer in McKinney Carla Alston is an attorney who strongly cares for her clients and their family. ...
    Carla  Alston Photo
  • Cindy Galvan Cindy Galvan

    Attorney

    Estate Planning & Probate in McKinney Cindy earned her law degree while maintaining a balance between law school and work. ...
    Cindy  Galvan Photo
  • Kellianne Beechly Kellianne Beechly

    Office Manager

    Office Manager at the Willingham Law Firm Kellianne Beechly is the Office Manager for The Willingham Law Firm, PC. Kellianne ...
    Kellianne  Beechly Photo
  • Samantha Gremminger Samantha Gremminger

    Elder Law Coordinator

    Elder Law Coordinator/Assistant Office Manager Samantha Gremminger is the Elder Law Coordinator and the Assistant Office ...
    Samantha  Gremminger Photo
  • Amanda Schultz Amanda Schultz

    Receptionist

    Receptionist at The Willingham Law Firm, PC Amanda Schultz is the receptionist for The Willingham Law Firm, PC. Her function ...
    Amanda  Schultz Photo

Contact the Willingham Law Firm, PC 

Preserve Your Legacy Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.