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§44-2-21. Order in which debts of decedent are to be paid.

(a) If the applicable assets of the estate are insufficient to pay all claims against the estate in full, the personal representative shall make payment in the following order:

(1) Costs and expenses of administration;

(2) Reasonable funeral expenses;

(3) Debts and taxes with preference under federal law;

(4) Unpaid child support which is due and owing at the time of the decedent’s death;

(5) Debts and taxes with preference under other laws of the State of West Virginia;

(6) Reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, including compensation for persons attending the decedent during his or her last illness; and

(7) All other claims.

(b) If the applicable assets of the estate are insufficient to pay all claims within a class, those claims within that class shall be paid on a prorata basis. No preference shall be given in the payment of any claim over any other claim of the same class, and a claim due and payable shall not be entitled to a preference over claims not due.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if the payment of all funeral expenses of the decedent is provided for by an irrevocable preneed funeral contract or trust, neither the decedent’s estate nor the decedent’s surviving spouse shall have any obligation for the payment of such funeral expenses.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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