If my late mother’s house is in foreclosure, are her beneficiaries responsible for any possible debt?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my late mother’s house is in foreclosure, are her beneficiaries responsible for any possible debt?

After my father died my mother allowed her home to go into foreclosure. She

has died recently and the home is still in a foreclosure status. There are no assets in my mother’s estate.

Asked on March 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Beneficiaries are not liable for debts of an estate. The estate is responsible for paying off creditors of the deceased. If there are not enough assets to cover all debts, then they will extinguish as a matter of law. In other words, they will be written off. Bear in mind, to the extent that there are any assets in the estate, they must go to first pay off creditor claims; they cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries until all debts have been paid.

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.

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