Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR DEBT AT DEATH?

Everyone reads about the huge transfer of wealth occurring from one generation to the next, however, it is estimated that 73% of decedents have outstanding debt at their death. According to Credit.com, the decedents carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt, and $12,875, without. Approximately 68% had credit card balances, 37% was mortgage debt, 25% had auto loans (25%), 12% had personal loans, and 6% had student loans. Fortunately, the “[d]ebt belongs to the deceased person or that person’s estate.” Only if the decedents estate has sufficient assets to cover their debts will their creditors be paid. Family members are not personally responsible for the unpaid debt. It is important to discuss with your probate attorney what assets will be exempt from creditor claims upon a decedent’s death.