If my sister got life insurance for my mother is she responsible for all her debts?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Nov 15, 2011

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Insurance Question from Casselberry, FL

Asked on 11/15/2011

If my sister got life insurance for my mother is she responsible for all her debts? NULL

Answer given on November 16, 2011


The short answer to this is “no”.  Just because there was a life policy taken out on a person does not make the beneficiary of that life policy responsible for the debts of the deceased.  Some people take out a life policy and will give the beneficiary of that policy instruction to use the death benefit to clear up any debts that are left.  However, after the person is decease, it is still up to the discretion of the beneficiary as to what they truly do with that money.  That is why it is so important to choose a beneficiary that is honest and will carry out your wishes.  Once funeral expenses are paid, there could be medical bills associated with a death or payment to maintain such as rent or mortgage until these items can be resolved.  But the mere fact of having a life insurance policy does not make you responsible for these items or any debt.     


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