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What happens to my debts when I die?

Many people in Ohio wonder what will happen to their families and assets when they die, but another question is what will happen to your debts. Will you be relinquished of any responsibility upon your death or will your family have to pay the money in your absence?


U.S. News reports that the process that will happen after your death depends on the type of debt you are dealing with. If you still owe money on your vehicle, your family members have the option of either taking over payments or letting the bank take the car. The same options would be given with a mortgage. Even if you named the house as an inheritance for someone in your will, an outstanding mortgage means that person will either need to take over payments or foreclose on the home. Home equity loans may need to paid off immediately in some circumstances.


The guidelines are different when it comes to debt that has no collateral. If you still have credit card debt or student loans when you die, the outcome will depend on a number of factors. If someone else’s name is on the card or loan, he or she will likely be held responsible. In some cases, you can let the bank know what has happened and have the debts discharged.


 Be aware that some states have a look-back period and may attempt to reverse any gifts that you made before death in order to pay your debts. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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Kroener Hale Law Firm
101 N. Riverside Dr.
Batavia, OH 45103

Phone: 513-716-5940
Phone: 513-828-7510
Fax: 513-297-7227
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West Chester Office
9078 Union Centre Blvd
Suite 350
West Chester, OH 45069

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Suite 1600
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Texts Only: 513-828-7510

With offices in Batavia, Cincinnati and West Chester, Ohio we serve clients throughout Clermont and Hamilton Counties