Who is responsible for paying a decedent’s debts in Pennsylvania?

When someone dies, their outstanding debts do not die as well. In simple terms, the decedent’s estate now becomes responsible for any debt. If the estate has sufficient assets to pay all debts, the estate’s Executor or Administrator may pay all creditor claims as they come and ultimately distribute any remaining property to the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs. Things get a bit more complicated when the estate is insolvent, which is when a decedent’s debts are greater than their assets. In those cases, the personal representative for the estate will use all of the money from a decedent’s assets to pay off the debts. In Pennsylvania, the payment of debts follows a very specific order of priority, which is outlined in the PEF Code. If any debt remains unpaid after all of the assets have been exhausted, the decedent’s family members will not be responsible for the remainder.