topic | pay estate debts, taxes, and expenses
Step 5: pay medical expenses and other debts
Medical debts often take a higher priority than other debts. Be sure that this priority aligns with applicable state laws and your own discernment. Consult an estate attorney with any questions.
If the estate is insolvent, property may need to be sold to pay bills. Consult an estate attorney for assistance in making these decisions. State law determines who gets paid first if there is not enough money to pay debts.
Gather the remaining bills for the estate. Accounts, Deposits Deductions, Dues Subscriptions, and Other Payments may be used as a guide to determine what bills should be paid. For each bill determine:
- Are the charges are accurate?
- Is the bill is for the deceased or the estate?
- Have the goods or services have been received?
Prioritize payments. If estate funds are insufficient, state laws will dictate which bills are paid first. If estate funds are sufficient, pay overdue bills and accounts first (e.g. loans, car payments, mortgages). Make all payments through the estate checking account, and record them in the ledger of the checkbook.
Consult a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or credit counselor with questions.
Ensure that payment records are up to date. If the estate goes through formal probate, the court will require proof that all creditors have been paid.
- Update Accounts, Deposits Deductions, Dues Subscriptions, and Other Payments with the bills that have been paid and any bills that are outstanding.
- Check the checkbook ledger for accuracy.
(if this Step is complete)
Return to Step 4