Credit card payments on death

My Dad passed away a few months ago and I am executor to his will.  He was a farmer and had farm land which is to be passed to my mum as part of the will (who, as part of the will does not have power to sell or ownership of the land).  My dad left some credit card bills but no cash in bank to pay for these.  There are no other assets.  Am I required to sell the land (even though the will states it can not be sold) to pay the credit cards, or do I tell the credit card companies there is no cash to pay.  A friend told me that the land is effectively left in trust and I would need to break the trust as the value of the land would more than cover the value of the credit cards.  This seems a bit unfair having to sell land that dad asked not to be sold.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,223
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    edited 10 January at 10:21AM
    How much do the credit card bills come to? It seems odd that he had no other assets at all to pay towards these, as assets count as more than just money in the bank - car, farm vehicles, farm animals etc? 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • NorthIrish
    NorthIrish Posts: 7
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    Due to age and illness he had stopped farming a few years ago but retained the farm land.  At date of death there was no stock or farm machinery.  Also didn't have a car as I collected what he needed.
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,055
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    edited 10 January at 3:12PM
    Due to age and illness he had stopped farming a few years ago but retained the farm land.  At date of death there was no stock or farm machinery.  Also didn't have a car as I collected what he needed.
    And no other assets? No bank accounts? No investments? Has he had any assets in the last few years that he has given away?

    How much was the credit card debts? 

    A will stating land cannot be sold does not make it "effectively left in trust". Unless otherwise legally set aside, it is part of this estate, and if it is the only part of that estate (sounds very weird) and the estate has debts, then that asset will have to be sold to settle the debt (unless some other arrangement can be made with the creditors).

    I don't see how you can class that as "unfair", unless you somehow dispute the debts?
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,169
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    edited 10 January at 5:44PM
    Credit cards are always sole name.

    I believe the advice you are being given is technically correct. 

    If there are genuinely no other assets (no cash, no savings, no bonds, no goods, no insurance policies) then you & mum may wish to offer the credit card lenders a sum that will satisfy them
  • NorthIrish
    NorthIrish Posts: 7
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    Thanks for the advise.  There is a small amount of cash which in the order of paying debts will go to pay off the funeral costs first.
  • Ticked
    Ticked Posts: 514
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    See a solicitor. Get expert advice. 
  • ballyblack
    ballyblack Posts: 5,050
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    Is their no current income from the land.

    Can it not be let out? 

    I agree with advice to consult a solicitor
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,082
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    How did your late father end up in the position of having no assets but a large (?) amount of debt ?  Was this situation engineered? 
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,223
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    edited 10 January at 6:25PM
    It also seems unfair that your mum is tied to the land and can’t  sell up and downsize if she needs to do so. 
    I do think a lot of it will depend on the specific wording of the will which you may wish to get legal advice on. But generally speaking debt repayment comes before distribution of the estate.
    if Mum wants to keep the land and it’s not a huge amount, then perhaps paying it off herself would be the way to go to facilitate that. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,601
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    Either sell the land, or find the money to pay off the card from somewhere else. 

    Family club together to pay it, mortgage the land?
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