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What happens if your parents with no assets?

While many Kent area residents believe their money will last way past when they die, many times their savings don't last forever. Children who are left behind after their parents die may wonder what happens if their parent dies with no assets.

Sometimes, when a person dies, they leave a financial mess behind. Children in these situations may worry that they will have to deal with the financial burdens. Almost half of senior citizens die with less than $10,000. In addition, many seniors are dying with debt, which is a relatively new phenomenon. They may still owe money on their home mortgage or they could have credit card debt.

Those who are facing this situation may wonder what will happen with their parent's financial matters. First, children are generally not responsible for their parent's debt. The debts are paid by the estate and if there is no money in the estate then they are not paid. Accounts that have beneficiary designations, such as life insurance and retirement plans, are paid directly to the beneficiary and that money doesn't have to be used to pay for debts. Families who are facing a situation where their parent dies with no assets may want to hire an attorney to help. An attorney will advise the heir on how to handle the debts, such as telling creditors that the parent is insolvent, and will help formally close the estate. Families should also take careful notes when talking to debt collectors, including who they talked to, dates and times and what was said, with reference numbers.

Facing a situation where a parent dies without assets is something many people will need to deal with. Having a legal professional help during this situation can be useful.

Source:, "Three things to know if your parent dies broke", Liz Weston, March 6, 2018

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