once an estate is opened after parents pass can the heirs pay off the mortgage in full so debtors can not come after it?

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Jul 02, 2012

Your question is a bit vague so I cannot give you a definitive answer. You really need to consult with a probate law attorney in the area where your parents lived to get that. However, the executor/s of their estates (I assume each of your parents had their own will in which case they would each have designated an executor.) determines what debts get paid and what don't out of the assets your parents left behind in accordance with the laws of your parents' state. In other words, in probate some debts take precedence over others, and therefore the executor cannot pick and choose which debts to pay.

If you and your siblings are talking about paying off the mortgage yourselves, that is something you would need to talk to the executor/s about and with an attorney as well. And, even if you did pay off the mortgage, you would not be the legal owners (assuming the house was left to you and your siblings) until title was transferred into your names, which would happen toward the end of the probate process.

Bottom line, you are best off consulting with the executor/s for your parents and with a probate law attorney.

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