Here’s what happens to your money and debt after you die

7 min read

Debt doesn’t just go away when someone dies.

Most debts get passed on to any surviving family members after someone passes away. If you do nothing to plan for this inevitability, the state in which you live will decide how your estate should be handled.

“When someone dies and has no directions of how their assets should be distributed, the assets will pass according to the laws of intestacy,” says Michael Silver, a Certified Financial Planner professional with Baron Silver Stevens Financial Advisors in Boca Raton, Florida. “So every state has created its own will if you never signed one.” But your state’s will may not reflect your wishes.

The best way to avoid future family feuds, high legal fees, court costs and unnecessary delays is to plan now.

“I always tell people I think it’s just irresponsible not to have these affairs in order,” says Silver. “It’s our responsibility not to put the burden on others.”

Let’s take a look at smart ways to dispose of your assets and debts so that your heirs don’t get short-changed or perturbed.