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Do you know how to handle an estate’s debts?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2021 | Probate |

Serving as an estate administrator can be honorable and stressful. After all, if you’re like a lot of Ohio residents who are serving in that capacity, then you don’t have much, if any, experience navigating matters pertaining to estate administration. This probably includes how to handle estate debts.

Debt priority in estate administration

In many instances when someone dies, their debts must be paid before their remaining assets can be distributed. Of course, there are exceptions, such as when assets are placed in a trust that can’t be touched by creditors, but there’s likely to be debts that need to be paid in your case.

One of the tricky parts about handling these debts is that they have to be paid in a certain order in accordance with state law. For example, the costs of estate administration should be paid first, with funeral expenses following that. Costs associated with the deceased’s last sickness rank rather high on the list of priority debts, too. Expenses incurred in the individual’s last nursing home stay outrank personal property taxes, and debt owed for manual labor provided within the last year follows those taxes. You can find the full list of debt priorities here.

Know how to competently navigate estate administration

Dealing with the debts of an estate is just one part of estate administration. There may be a whole host of other issues that you’ll face, and mishandling any of them could lead to allegations of wrongdoing and financial harm to named beneficiaries and heirs. You certainly don’t want that outcome, which is why it may be beneficial to turn to an experienced attorney if you want to learn more about how to competently navigate the process.


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