do i have to pay my deceased brother’s debts?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

do i have to pay my deceased brother’s debts?

my brother died suddenly and the only real property is tenants in common with my mother(deceased) and myself for family home. do i have to sell the house and pay his debts as he was on ssa and there is only small amount of cash.

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Are you talking about whether you need to save yourself or his estate?

First, my condolences to you and your family.

California estates law and property law is kind of funny here.  So, you own 1/3, your brother owned 1/3 and your mom owned 1/3 of the house.  Correct? If you are tenants in common, you don't own the whole, you only own a portion. So, your mom predeceased both you and your brother -- are you two the only children from her? If so, then each of you gets half of her 1/3, unless by will or trust she indicated otherwise.  So, upon mother's death, you have your 1/3 plus half of her 1/3; same for your brother.

Now, does your brother have any children? A wife? Did he have a will or trust? Assuming none, you are the only living closest heir, so you get his 1/3.  Now, that being said, this is all in a theorhetical world.

If his estate goes through probate and he has creditors, and there isn't enough by selling other assets, you have to think about other methods of payment.

Your best step right now, contact a probate attorney in California and check his or her disciplinary record at www.calbar.ca.gov under attorney search.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption