Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Happens to Your Debt When You Die?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 


You are going to live forever.  Death is beneath you.  Those who depend on you financially will always be able to rely on your immortality as a guaranteed source of financial security.  I hope you don’t think I’m lying, being sarcastic or sounding flat out silly. Perhaps you do.

Ok yes, I was being silly.  But the reality is that most of us are equally ridiculous when it comes to our perception of death and how our sudden passing could financially ruin those who care about us.   Death doesn’t care how many appointments you have, how many projects you’re working on, or how many plans you have for the future.  It just takes you, and it’s always at the least convenient time.  That’s the nature of the Grim Reaper, who might not be nearly as malicious as the bill collectors seeking to get their money back after you’re gone.  
While comprehensive financial planning is beyond the scope of this article, I can share a few tips on dealing with debt in the event of your death.  This information could help you when dealing with a deceased relative, and it should also be shared with your relatives in case you pass on unexpectedly. 


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