Who Is Responsible for Paying a Deceased Person's Bills?

Probate vs. Non Probate Assets

Serious man paying bills online at home
Portra Images / Getty Images

When a person dies, one of the biggest concerns of the surviving family members will become what bills they'll have to pay and in what amounts. Start by reading Who Pays Off a Deceased Person's Debts?

In addition, you'll need to consider the following depending on the type of assets the decedent owned:

Will It Be Necessary to Probate Any of the Decedent's Assets?

If so, then refer to How a Deceased Person's Bills Are Handled Before and During Probate.


What Happens to Jointly Owned Assets?

If any of the decedent's assets were jointly titled with rights of survivorship or as tenants by the entirety, then these assets will pass directly to the surviving owners or surviving spouse by operation of law and outside of probate. But what impact will this have on the payment of the deceased owner's bills? Find out by reading What Happens to a Joint Account When an Owner Dies?

    If all of the beneficiaries named by the decedent have predeceased the decedent, then the account proceeds will become assets of the decedent's probate estate. If this is the case, refer to How a Deceased Person's Bills Are Handled Before and During Probate.