Liability of heirs in case of death of a debtor
If one's father/elder in the family passes away and if he or she owes certain debts which have not been repaid prior to the death, to what extent are the children liable? The children of the deceased person have been brought on record as 'legal representatives' but have not inherited any property from the deceased. Are they still responsible for the loan?
See, the principle is simple, I didn’t borrow, why should I pay? The same thing fits in here but with certain conditions. The basic rule is, the heirs should pay for the debts of the deceased. However, this is possible only if the heirs have inherited some property. So, the children are fully liable for the debts of their father or the elderly person if they are the heirs.
However, since you claim to have not inherited any property, you won’t have to pay anything unless the Court orders you to. You would pay only to the extent to which you have inherited the property, if the debt is 1 lakh rupees and you have inherited property worth 60 thousand rupees, you are legally supposed to give that property to the person to whom debts were owed. The term ‘legal representatives’ is there only for the heirs so it doesn’t mean much as you are already bound to pay the debts. The person, to whom the debt is owed, could claim the estate of the deceased person. The estate comprises of everything the deceased owns- the car, the house, real estate, investments etc. So, those who receive property by either succession or will are bound to pay the debts of the deceased.
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