An inheritance can also consist of debts

When receiving an inheritance, you may incur debts in addition to assets. If you receive an inheritance, there is a risk that you will have to pay for the debts of the deceased. You can accept an inheritance beneficially to prevent you from inheriting more debts than assets, but certain actions may in some cases make it impossible for you to get out of the inheritance. If a loved one dies, you may also be liable for funeral costs, for example. The person who engages a funeral director and concludes a contract is liable for the total costs of the funeral. If the deceased had not taken out a funeral insurance policy, or the insured amount is insufficient, you can be contacted by the funeral director. These types of situations can arise if the deceased had no other means to finance the funeral.

Accepting an inheritance

When it turns out that the estate consists of more debts than assets, it may already be too late. For example, if you withdrew money from the deceased’s account after death, this may be sufficient to accept the inheritance. However, it can also be done by a very innocent act. You have taken certain goods from the deceased’s home. This may even involve goods that hardly represent any value.

Is there money?

It sounds crazy, but you must first check to what extent there is money in the estate. The deceased may only have had debts, without clearly showing this to the outside world while he was alive. People who have debts are ashamed of this and will only tell other people about it when they really can no longer avoid it. You can find out the financial position by checking the bank statements or by opening the mail.

Inherit debts

Heirs who simply accept may be saddled with an amount to be paid to creditors or to companies that have incurred costs (for example a funeral director). Once the creditors know who the surviving relatives are, they can submit their claim to these people. With some forms of credit it is possible to take out term life insurance. In that case, no residual debt remains, but the insurer will bear these costs. This option exists, for example, with a revolving credit. When young people die, there may be a student debt owed to the Information Management Group (IBG). These debts are forgiven upon the student’s death.

Consequences of divorce and remarriage

When spouses with children divorce, and for example the man remarries and has children with his second wife, strange situations can arise when the man (father) dies. If his second marriage is simply in community of property, the surviving spouse (his second wife) is entitled to all his assets. The children from the first marriage receive a claim equal to their inheritance from their father’s second wife. This claim will not decrease over the years. It may happen that the woman spends her money and after her death her heirs (her children) are left with a claim from the children of the deceased man from the first marriage. They owe the original amount, even plus interest.