Who Pays My Bills When I Die
Hopefully, you will have made a will which appointed an executor to handle your final wishes. The executor after arranging for and paying for the funeral and burial costs will use any funds that you have to pay any of your outstanding debts and thereafter, will pay the beneficiary of your will any remaining funds. If there is no will than a close family member or friend will have to hire a lawyer to have a court appoint an executor to handle your affairs. For more information, please go to the website of the Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors – www.cicea.ca.
If there are not enough funds to pay your debts after you die, there are several options. If the debts are substantial, there is a provision in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to have a deceased estate placed into bankruptcy. This requires a meeting with your lawyer (who must obtain a court order to start the bankruptcy) and a trustee in bankruptcy (who will administrate the bankruptcy). If there is no funds in the estate and you do not mind getting the phone calls and letters from collection agencies, you do not have to do anything, except perhaps explain that the person has died.
Under no circumstances is any person liable for the debts of another person unless you signed the original application form as a joint applicant or signed any document since the original application. I have heard many stories over the years of collection companies telling a wife, husband, father, mother, son, daughter, etc. that they are responsible to pay the debt owing for the person who passed away. This is not true. You are not liable to pay anything. The person at the collection agency is on commission – he or she will say anything they need to in order to induce you to pay the outstanding account. The only person you are helping is the collection person at the other end of the phone who earns a commission if they get you to make a payment.
Contact Rumanek & Company Ltd. for more information on bankruptcy and debt solutions. Or please fill out the free bankruptcy evaluation form. To learn more please visit our YouTube Channel. Rumanek & Company have been helping individuals and families overcome debt for more than 25 years.