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The Library

Bills & Debt

Browse our expert advice
Can I inherit my loved one’s debt?

Once a probate court sorts out creditors’ claims, they cannot come after your own money to satisfy any unpaid debts. However, there are some exceptions that could mean you’re on the hook for paying back at least some of what your loved one owed.. 

Know your rights: Unsecured debts and illegal collection

If your loved one left debts behind, these will be paid out of their estate, not your pocket. But that may not stop creditors from trying to intimidate you into paying. Learn how to defend yourself against these illegal deceptive practices.

Paying a loved one’s bills

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing you may want to think about is bills. Luckily, not all charges need to be tackled at once. Prioritizing bills and taking care of yourself in the process will help you through this task.

No matter how large or small their estate, most people leave behind several kinds of debt when they pass away, from their mortgage to their taxes to their credit cards. We’ll help you understand which bills need to be paid immediately, which can wait, and how they will all be settled in the end.

No matter what you’re dealing with, we have the knowledge you need right now.

Managing Accounts
Managing Accounts
Identity Theft Prevention
Identity Theft Prevention
Immediate Arrangements
Immediate Arrangements

Loss is hard. Its vocabulary shouldn’t be.

We speak the specialized language of estates and funerals, so you don’t have to.


The person appointed by the court to handle the estate of someone who dies without a will.

The duties of an administrator are similar to those of an executor, but as there is no will to execute, he or she is named administrator and distributes assets according to a procedure dictated by state law.


The sum total of someone’s net worth, including all assets. From a legal standpoint, an estate is not simply everything the person owns, but the value of all of these assets minus any debts or other liabilities. Estates are calculated differently depending on their purpose.
For example, the taxable estate may include assets that are not in the probate estate.


A service held to commemorate someone’s life. Memorials are generally considered distinct from funerals in that they are held without the body present and are not focused on the burial, although services where the urn with the loved one’s ashes is present are also called memorials. Traditionally, a funeral is a more formal service while memorials are often more unstructured.

To see the full glossary