Is it possible to inherit someone’s debts after they die?

14th JULY 2022

Debts are not inherited unless they are held jointly with another person. If your loved one held a debt in their sole name, you will not be expected to pay this off with your own money following their death. However, if you held a joint debt with your loved one - such as a joint mortgage or a joint credit card - it will be transferred to you.

This article will explain the difference between sole debts and joint debts, and how they might affect your inheritance.

For free initial advice call our will advisors or request a callback and we will contact you.

Joint Debts

A joint debt is any debt that is held in more than one name. For example, a joint mortgage or a shared credit card.

If you held a joint debt with someone who has passed away, the full debt will be transferred to your name and will become a sole debt owned by you. This is the only situation where a debt can be inherited.

If you held a joint mortgage and you are struggling to meet the payments, it is sometimes possible to negotiate the repayments.

Sole Debts

If the deceased held a debt in their sole name, it will be paid off with funds from their estate following their death. The debt will never be inherited and you will not be expected to pay it with your own money.

If the deceased did not have enough funds remaining in their estate at the time of their death to pay the debt, assets will need to be sold. This includes valuables, vehicles, and even property.

If all assets are sold and the estate still does not contain enough funds to pay all debts, they will be repaid in order of priority. The first expense will always be funeral and administration expenses, so you don’t need to worry about paying for these with your own money.

Any debts that cannot be paid may need to be written off.

Therefore, you will never inherit a debt from a loved one, but if the debts are too large, you may not inherit any assets either.

For free initial advice call our will advisors or request a callback and we will contact you.

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