When a debtor passes away, some debts are not automatically canceled by their death. Instead, creditors have the option of pursuing these funds through a will or trust in a process known as abatement. This doctrine, which is used in common law jurisdiction as well as in the state of Texas specifically, protects the rights of creditors to receive some form of payment from their debtors. Accordingly, there is a specific protocol to determine from which part of a testament these funds should be drawn.

The legal process of establishing a working will or trust requires precise phrasing and a strong knowledge of the law. Contact the Houston wills and trusts lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865 for legal advice regarding the future of your estate today.

The Order of Abatement

Although it may seem unfair to the legacies of an estate, abatement is a fair and legal approach to return property to creditors that is rightfully theirs. As debts are made, there is generally an assumption that, in some way, the debtor will eventually repay those sums, usually with interest. In order to produce these funds, the courts will generally reduce funds from the following testamentary sources:

  • First, any property not covered explicitly in the will or trust
  • Second, anything left as residual property
  • Third, gifts of money
  • Fourth, gifts of stock or of property sold to specifically raise funds
  • Fifth, specific properties given as gifts, such as houses, vehicles, and animals

If debts are significant enough, even specific properties such as land or buildings may be sold in order to raise repayment funds.

Contact Us

For more information regarding abatement, debt, and creating a testament, contact the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.