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Whose debt is it anyway? Can you be held responsible for your parents’ debt?

A question during the probate process evolves around what happens to debt after your parents die.  Are the children responsible for their parents’ debt? In most cases, you are not personally responsible for your parents’ debt when they die. However, lets dive deeper and there are some important items to consider.


Whether your parents have an estate plan or not, if they die with debt in their names, there is a legal process that should be followed. When a person passes away, their debts become the responsibility of their estate. The estate can be described as the collection of the person’s assets and liabilities. Your parents’ individual debts, such as credit cards, loans, and medical bills, typically die with them. The debt does not pass on to you, their estate becomes responsible for settling these debts.

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Lauren Jackson
Posted - 07/08/2024 | Illinois