Are there any circumstances under which adult children become responsible for a parent's debts?
October 28, 2004 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Are there any circumstances under which adult children become responsible for a parent's debts?

I have no communication with my mother but know that her spending is out of control. She lives in the US but is not a citizen or permanent resident; I live in the US and am a permanent resident ('green card' holder). I am concerned that I could somehow become responsible for her mounting debt. Does anyone have any experience with/knowledge about this?
posted by widdershins to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
 
My mom had an aunt who was institutionalized at an early age and ran up hundreds of thousands in unpaid medical bills. All it meant for my mother was that creditors had first dibs on the inheritance money.
posted by cardboard at 12:18 PM on October 28, 2004


first dibs on the inheritance money

I am not an attorney, and this is not legal advice, but I believe that they can't go after anything other than her assets, which might mean you inherit absolutely nothing, but they can't take things from you just to get their money back from her.
posted by oaf at 12:27 PM on October 28, 2004


I'm not a lawyer, but if I could suggest one thing it would be: Make sure you don't jointly own any property with her. They could come after her half which in turn would either make you sell your half or buy her half, either of which would/could put a crimp on your bank account.

pwb.
posted by pwb503 at 1:09 PM on October 28, 2004


Under US law, children are not legally responsible for their parents' debts. Some links here and here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:20 PM on October 28, 2004


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