Pay other bills and estate expenses

Settle the Estate

Once all high priority debt has been paid (e.g., administrative costs, funeral expenses, taxes, medical costs), the rest of the deceased’s final bills can be paid.

Typically, these are smaller bills that were not required to be paid to manage the Estate.

These other bills and expenses include:

  • Credit card debt
  • Student loans
  • Payday loans
  • Storage fees
  • Cell phone bills

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant The laws of the state where the deceased lived will determine the priority in which debts need to be paid. Review state law to determine which debts need to be paid first.

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If the estate does not have enough liquid assets to pay its bills and debts, some assets may need to be sold.

If all estate assets have been sold or liquidated and there is still not enough money to pay the estate’s bills and debts, the estate is considered insolvent.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More To determine whether the deceased’s estate is insolvent, review the Task, “Determine Estate Solvency.”

If the estate is insolvent, state law will determine how the estate must be settled, including the priority for paying the estate’s debts.

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know First, the probate court in the county and state where the deceased lived may have to officially declare the estate to be insolvent. Then, the probate court and the laws of the state where the deceased lived will determine the priority of payment to creditors, including which debts must be paid before others.

Since the rules that guide this process differ in each state, review the laws of the state where the deceased lived to determine what happens if the estate is insolvent.

AutumnIcons_Providers.svgProviders While not required, it may be wise to contact a probate attorney if the estate is insolvent. There may be state-specific procedures to declare insolvency and an attorney can help you comply with those procedures.

Providers to Contact


Probate Attorneys Near You

Probate attorneys help settle a deceased person’s estate. They can help you pay the estate's debts and determine whether the estate is insolvent and file necessary petitions with the probate court.

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Settle the Estate