Specifying how debt should be handled can solve some problems before they arrive.

A death debt load can create problems for heirs and executors, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog explained in “Use Your Will To Specify How To Handle Debts.”

Large debts can leave executors scrambling to figure out which estate assets to sell to pay off the debts. Heirs who thought they might receive a particular asset or a specific amount of money, might be disappointed to have the asset sold or to have their inheritance reduced to pay off the debts.

One way to avoid these potential problems is to specify in a will exactly how your debts should be paid and to do so, before listing how your assets should be distributed to heirs.

It is easier for heirs to accept that they will not inherit something because of debt, if a will never states that they should have it in the first place.

Specifying how to handle your debts also makes handling them much easier for an executor.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that meets your unique circumstances including paying off debts.

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Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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