Are you going to leave your loved one’s your credit card debt?

Although most people in Lee County, and anywhere else, would rather not leave their loved ones with a financial burden after they die, many people fail to take the proper steps to avoid that very issue. However, by planning ahead you can make sure you satisfy your creditors as well as your beneficiaries.

When a person prepares a will it is very common to include some sort of directive indicating that he or she would like his or her debts paid off before the beneficiaries get any money. Although it’s a good idea to be fiscally responsible with one’s creditors even after death it can also leave a person’s heirs in a bind. It’s important to remember that executors must follow federal and state laws when it comes to paying off debt.

However, the good news is that one can plan ahead with the right estate plan, which can help cover one’s debts as well as protect valuable assets for his or her loved ones. Another option if a person is left in this kind of predicament is to negotiate with financial institutions on a settlement. Many times they are quick to settle for partial payments up front instead of a long drawn-out battle over many months.

The safest bet is to protect your valuable assets by coming up with a well-thought-out estate plan. By preparing a will and choosing an executor who understands your wishes, you can help ensure that your loved ones will get the inheritance you intend. If you have questions regarding your estate plan, then you might want to consider speaking with an experienced estate-planning attorney as soon as you can.

Source: Forbes, “How to cope with credit card bills after a family member dies,” Deborah L. Jacobs, June 18, 2014.

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