Settling a deceased loved one’s affairs in Florida can certainly be challenging. After all, family members must sort out how to handle the deceased party’s estate and debts, all while grieving over his or her loss. Here is a look specifically at how debts owed are handled during probate administration.

From the perspective of probate administration, debts following death are usually repaid via the deceased person’s estate. This is true whether or not a will was created. Relatives do not have to worry about paying off debts that they did not jointly own with the deceased when the deceased passed away. Meanwhile, anyone who did jointly own the debt — for example, a spouse — will be liable for the debt.

However, sometimes, creditors will still pursue the surviving family members for payments to cover the debts. Family members can certainly make payments on their deceased relative’s behalf, but this is not required. If relatives want to get an account of all debts that the deceased person left behind, the estate’s executors can request the person’s credit card balances.

Dealing with credit card or mortgage debt that a deceased party leaves behind can understandably be confusing and even intimidating. However, an attorney in Florida can provide surviving loved ones with the guidance they need to navigate this aspect of probate administration. The attorney’s ultimate goal is to make sure that the client’s rights are not violated and that his or her best interests are protected during each stage of the probate administration process.