After a person dies, one of the things that has to happen is for their debts to be repaid. While some people will die without any major debts, the majority of people will have at least some, whether they’re small credit cards or student loans.
The good news for relatives is that they are generally not responsible for the debts of the deceased, even if creditors try to convince them that they are. To be certain, though, it’s important to remember that debts can be complex and may belong to more than one person. If the debt was shared between you and the deceased, for example, then you may still be responsible for paying it.
Even if you do not own any part of the debt, you could still be responsible for it if you’re benefiting from that debt in some way. For example, if there was a loan taken out in your parent’s name for your schooling, then there could be the argument that it’s actually your debt. However, your attorney will work to protect you from that debt if it was not in your name.
Ohio is not a community property state, so if your spouse dies and has debts in their name, you won’t necessarily be responsible for them. However, if creditors are calling and asserting that you are responsible for the debt that was in your spouse’s name, it’s worth reaching out to your attorney to learn more about when you are and are not responsible for the debts belonging to your spouse’s estate.
Debts can be complex. If you’re not sure where you stand when your loved one passes away, reach out to your attorney for assistance.