@insanity Re: When my mother died
" ... your debts as well as your assets make up your estate, and that is all inherited by your next of kin."
Your statement implies that debts are inherited - they are not. Any creditor can make a claim against the estate of a deceased person but the claim is against the estate, not the person who inherits the estate. If your mother/father dies, with zero formal/recorded assets and debts of £500 (lets say), then you, the child of the deceased, do not owe the creditors anything.
That exact situation happened to me, when my mother died and I just ignored all the letters that had been sent to her (at her old address) and forwarded to me. There is nothing the creditors can do.
If my mother had died with £1000 in the bank, then I would have been morally and legally obliged to pay the debts before keeping the remainder for myself. I did consider writing to the solicitors and debt collection agency, and gas/electric companies, and Virgin Media, and the local council, and the water board.........., but I knew they would then have my home address and would send their crap through the mail to me. So I just ignored them and had a lot less work to do.