Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt, Project No. P104806
Unfortunately, "a person who has authority to pay the decedent’s debts from the assets of the decedent’s estate" is entirely too loose of a term. This could be used by a number of debt collection agencies to justify contacting persons who "may" have authority, which can grossly overstep the bounds into friends, employers, colleges, long time community members, or any other persons who shared regular contact with the deceased. If this change is to be implemented, there must first be proof that the person being contacted has authority over a minimum portion of the assets of the decedent's estate, provided by either that person or any of the previously authoritative parties listed in section 805. Second, it should also be made clear that items willed to the friends and family of the deceased are, at the time of death, no longer part of the deceased's estate but part of that person's estate and cannot be used in the collection of the deceased's death. No recipients of the deceased's will should be regarded as persons responsible for the deceased's assets or debt through the sole reason of being a recipient of the will. Thank you.