Debt-laden estates rise as more boomers die

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Published March 3, 2024 at 2:33 p.m.

Domestic. The mortgaged baby boomer­ generation is getting older and now debts are starting to appear in more and more estates. Not infrequently, houses are mortgaged “up to the top” and it is increasingly the banks and not the children who get to share in the estate, recent statistics from the Crown Enforcement Agency show.

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– It may come as a surprise that mom and dad's finances were so bad, says Arne Larsson, lawyer at Familjens Jurist, to Dagens Industri.

In 2023, 22,000 estates were in debt – an increase of 10 percent compared to the year before, according to the Bailiff.

The debts themselves are not inherited, but the bank and other creditors, on the other hand, have priority to both the house and chattels that the deceased leaves behind, and some assets are not inherited if the estate is in debt so that it covers the assets.

The heirs also share the payment responsibility for any purchases made by the estate – for example funeral costs – if there is no money left in the estate. Then the heirs become personally liable for payment.