“Information Bits from the Boss: Samantha provides brief answers to clients frequently asked questions”
What if I’m an executor of an estate where there aren’t enough funds to pay the debt of the decedent?
It’s always an important job to be named as executor. You want to make sure you are appointing someone who is financially responsible and who you do trust to distribute your assets according to what you stated in your will. However, sometimes I get questions from the executor that they may not want to serve if they feel like there might be more debt then there are assets in the estate because they are afraid that they would be financially responsible. The good news: As long as you administer the estate properly, the person who is financially responsible for any debt would be the decedent and the decedent’s estate. As long as the executor who is appointed didn’t co-sign any of the loans, and as long as the executor is acting in good faith and is making sure that any debts that are still outstanding at the time of the decedent’s death are paid in the appropriate order (Pennsylvania does have an order in which you have to pay those debts), then the executor would not be financially responsible for any debt that is unable to be paid through the estate assets. I always want to help our executors confident in their decision and I want them to take their job seriously, but I don’t want them to worry about things that they don’t need to be worried about. We always want to make sure that the executor is doing things the appropriate way. If so, you don’t have to worry about being financially responsible for the debt that the decedent may have had. If you have additional questions, please contact our office.