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My Father Passed Away Leaving Bills and No Will. What Now? – Lynn

“Dear Steve,

Father recently passed leaving aroung 7000.00 in personal debt, no will , no assets ,no one in charge, only life insurance to cover services with me as survivor.

Who becomes resonsible for these bills. All in his name only. I was however on his checking accout to pay his bills, He deposited Just enough each month to cover them. What now?


Dear Lynn,

First off, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. The pain of losing a parent and then the stress of dealing with the bills only compounds the grief.

Here are two posts to read:

How to Handle Collection Calls For A Deceased Person’s Debt

Widow or Widower: How to Handle the Bills After the Death of a Loved One

You should do a couple of things right away. The first would be to order enough certified death certificates so you can send one to each creditor with a letter letting the creditors know what’s happened. This may do the trick.

Be sure you don’t use any of his credit cards after his passing.

The second big step would be for you to contact your local courthouse and ask about the process for people that die intestate, meaning without a will. Explain that your father had no assets to speak of and their might be a simple process in your area to wrap this all up quickly and inexpensively.

If your father was collecting social security, be sure to contact them as soon as possible. They don’t take kindly to paying out benefits for deceased people.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Emily Debt Crusher

    Sorry for your loss Lynn. Assets stand good for debts and if there are no assets, the debts of your late father will go unpaid. It’s a risk his creditors took when extending the credit. Do send them the death certificates and let them know there were no assets and there will be no probate.

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