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John Willett

We are retired and live in Michigan. We took out a large mortgage and second mortgage for our son-in-law while working and living in Atlanta 10 years ago and still have them in our name in addition to a small mortgage on the house we are living in in Michigan. With life insurance and assets far less than our liabilities, how do we set up a will, if our son-in-law can't assume the mortgages before we die?



If your assets are far less than your liabilities, it won’t matter how you set up a will: the creditors would be entitled to all the assets, other than some household and personal items.

However, you can leave the property to whomever you select. It would pass to that person at your deaths, subject to the mortgage on that property. The creditor may then allow the person to refinance the property rather than taking it.

This can get fairly complicated, and there may be a way to get the property to someone without the debt, or in spite of it. You should consult a local attorney who works with wills to find out. What to do depends on state law and on all the facts in the situation.


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