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My brother-in-law owes almost $ 50,000 in back child support. A lawyer from the state of California told him that if he dies before the sum is paid in full, that the state can go after his siblings for it. Is this true?
You are going to have to consult an attorney about this. But then on the other hand why hasn't he been paying child support? There is absolutely no excuse for an absent parent to not pay their child support.
I seriously doubt that his siblings could be held responsible for any of his debts. He may be telling you that to get you to help him raise the money. I would definitely consult a lawyer though.
No sibling is responsible for what another, adult, does. If your brother-in-law dies and leaves his siblings an inheritance, the courts can go after the inheritance for the money he owes. Sounds like your brother-in-law either misunderstood or is trying to elicit some financial help from you.