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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Wills and estates attorney in Sacramento explains how to address outstanding debt after the loss of a loved one

April 26, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, a person’s debt is not automatically canceled out upon their passing. As you will soon find out, all outstanding bills will eventually need to be paid out of the decedent’s estate.

Until the estate is evaluated and the will is looked at, one of the easiest ways to buy time before figuring out how to settle the debt is to have the decedent’s bank accounts frozen. This will prevent any automatic withdrawal payments from going through, and it will also help prevent identity theft.

Make sure to call all of the credit card companies where your loved one had accounts and cancel the lines of credit as well. Cancellations are best done in writing, and make sure to keep a copy of each one. You should also include a copy of the death certificate with your request.

If creditors start calling you to discuss the outstanding debt, politely tell the caller that you are unable to discuss these issues until you have spoken with your Sacramento wills and estates attorney.

Finally, you’ll want to gather up all of the decedent’s bills and bank statements and contact an experienced wills and estates lawyer in Sacramento to help you determine what needs to be paid and from what account. It is imperative that you do not speak with any creditors until you have had this meeting.

Here at The Chubb Law Firm, we would be happy to provide you and your family with a free consultation to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are properly carried out and that the estate is handled the right way. Simply call (916) 241-9661 to schedule your appointment today.

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My wife and I have some quite large complexities both in our individual preferences and the construct of our life. When planning for our trust, Heather took the time to hear EVERYTHING we said. The trust which Heather formed for our family took all our concerns into account. When everything was said and done, we received a trust which, by design, is extremely personal to our circumstance. We also are delighted to have Heather to be part of our team of advocates to help when the time comes.

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