What to do if my husband’s sister died and left a great deal of debt but very little in funds?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2012

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What to do if my husband’s sister died and left a great deal of debt but very little in funds?

Is it worth my time to become the administrator to settle this? Will we be responsible for her tax returns at the end of the year?

Asked on November 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, you may wish to do nothing about your sister-in-law's estate.  You and your husband have no obligation to incur the expense of an estate just to close out or satisfy her debts.  If one or more of her creditors wishes to claim against her estate, they can open the estate and incur the expense.

You and your husband are not responsible for anything related to his sister, even her tax returns.

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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