Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt, Project No. P104806
Contact should be limited to the estate representative, widow/widower or other know holder of a joint account with the deceased. So many very ill seniors run up tremendous debt for nursing home care or final illness treatments that any property left could and should be seized. However the children who inherit nothing but debt should not even be approached for these bills. Due to the real estate fiasco caused by the lack of government oversight was not the fault of the children they should not be held responsible for any of this debt. yes a cheaper funeral may be appropriate however usually the children have been caring for their relative for no charge. they should be able to recover some of their charge but at least not be held responsible for any of the debt. the same for siblings and other relatives. If they received no substantial gifts from the deceased for the 3-5 year period preceding death, they should also be off the hook as it were. This moral request only works on those probably struggling to raise and educate their own children and pay family medical expenses. Otherwise if the relative had the money they likely would have helped the sick now dead person in the first place. Some states Virginia for one refuses to take a total care parent off the hands of a child homeowner (child bought home with no help from parent) by jailing them for abandonment even though the child has no resourses and can't work while caring for the parent 24/7. they are forced to live on a small social security benefit and don't have decent food. the debt should not be the child's.