Question: My sister passed away recently. She had several significant debts. Is there any chance her creditors are going to come after me or her other family members for those?

Answer:Unless you entered into an agreement as a co-borrower or guarantor of your sister’s debts, no, you do not have any responsibility for a deceased sibling’s debt. Depending on the amount of assets and debt she had in her name, a probate estate will be opened in the state where she last resided (and any other state where she owned real property). A personal representative will be appointed to manage the estate. Maybe that personal representative will be you or another family member.

The personal representative will have certain responsibilities, such as creating an inventory of the estate and notifying creditors of your sister’s passing. The creditors will have a certain amount of time to submit their claims to the estate, and the personal representative will be responsible for paying those debts from the estate’s assets. If the estate does not have sufficient assets to pay off your sister’s debts, her state will have a process for determining which creditors have priority.

I’m sorry for your loss. I hope that this answer provides some stress relief during a difficult time.