Are the children of a deceased parent responsible for paying past due balances with the utility company?

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Are the children of a deceased parent responsible for paying past due balances with the utility company?

The utility company states that because my mother was on a reduced senior citizen plan in addition to an estimated equal payment plan that the past-due balance is my responsibility. There is less than $1,000 in my mother’s checking account so the estate is basically insolvent. She did not leave a Will nor did she have any assets no property no car, etc. I have set up an estate account with my mother’s bank and have received blank checks.

Asked on February 7, 2012 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Generally speaking, your mother's estate is responsible for the utility bill, not you individually. If her estate is insolvent then that is another story.  Does she have other bills that need to be paid? Then you need to send out notices to creditors advising them about this all.  It can get very overwhelming and confusing.  I would suggest that you look at your state bar association's website for some guides. Some have them.  And possibly see if they have a free or "pro bono" department to help you.  Good luck.


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