Estate Planning, Legacy, Probate, Wealth, Wills

Should I Pay Their Bills After Their Death?

As a caveat, I don’t encourage you to not pay bills. If you owe, you owe.

BUT, in Texas probate, you can possibly avoid some bills and save some money…

If you’re willing to risk it.

In Texas probate, there are two types of debts: secured and unsecured. Secured debts have an asset to which the debt is attached (mortgages, car payments, etc.) Unsecured debts are debts not attached to any asset (credit cards, bills, etc.).

Once someone passes away, you must notify only secured creditors that the person has passed. Usually the creditor will work out a deal for payment or retransfer the debt to someone else.

But, importantly, you have the option to not notify unsecured creditors once someone has passed.

And, if the unsecured creditor doesn’t respond within the statute of limitations, the debt is not collectible. Thereby saving you money.

The drawback? If you don’t give notice to the unsecured creditor, the debt can still be collected on for years. On the other hand, if you give notice, the creditor must claim the debt much faster. Usually within 4 months of receiving the notice.

So, it’s a choice: don’t tell the unsecured creditor about the death, and possibly deal with them years in the future to get the debt forgiven, or notify the unsecured creditor of the death and the four-month period starts ticking (but the creditor now knows exactly what is going on).

Some prefer one choice, others prefer the other choice. It largely depends on how much money is in the estate, how aggressively the person in charge of the estate wants to act, and how much money is owed.

But it’s an option to save some money if you are willing to risk it.

Get advice on how to conduct your probate and estate plan. A professional, like Legion Law, can certainly help address all these concerns. Our estate plans are cost-effective, comprehensive, and are designed to stand the tests of time.

It wouldn’t be the Legion Law Letter without offering information on how to get in touch with your estate planning and probate attorney. Feel free to schedule a meeting at for any questions, concerns, or issues you need resolved.


Derek Christensen

Founder of Legion Law, PLLC

One thought on “Should I Pay Their Bills After Their Death?

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