Debts Can't Be Inherited

Laura is 36 and hasn't had a relationship with her mother since she was nine years old. If her mother passes away and the funeral expenses can't be paid, will that fall on Laura and her sisters?

QUESTION: Laura in Ohio is 36 and hasn’t had a relationship with her mother since she was nine years old. If her mother passes away and the funeral expenses can’t be paid, will that fall on Laura and her sisters?

ANSWER: Not legally. If you chose to pay it, it would fall on you. Debts cannot be inherited. She could have $50,000 in credit card debt, she dies, and she doesn’t own anything, then the credit card companies are going to get nothing. There won’t be a funeral if nobody is willing to pay for it. You’re not liable for anyone’s debts unless you sign for them.

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