Who Pays the Bills of a Deceased Person
Let’s say, hypothetically, that a member of your family has passed away. Who then pays the bills for this family member?
Generally, this family member’s estate is responsible for such payments. The Executor of the Will is charged with the tasks of collecting the decedent’s property, paying all bills, settling and closing accounts, and enacting the Will. The people named as beneficiaries in the will then receive whatever funds and property remain, according to the specifications outlined in the will. We are Cincinnati probate lawyers by trade, and often assist with such proceedings.
If no Will is in place, the court appoints someone – most often the next of kin – to be the administrator of the estate.
If the estate does not have enough money to cover the expenses, debts, and bills, then the Executor (or Administrator) may ask the court to declare the estate to be insolvent. This is comparable to bankruptcy, in which the debts are greater than the assets. Creditors have six months after the date of death to make the Executor aware of any debts and file the appropriate claim with the Court and Executor.
At that point, the court can determine the order in which the estate pays debts to creditors. This order is based on the “class,” or type, of creditor, and the amount due in each situation. Certain classes of debts are considered priorities and are paid first; the remaining funds are then paid according to the next level of priority.
We can help you. If you would like the assistance of a probate attorney in Cincinnati who is familiar with these processes, we invite you to contact us. You can use our online contact form, or call us at 513-891-7087. Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller is at your service.