Am I responsible for my deceased spouse’s credit card debt?

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2012

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Am I responsible for my deceased spouse’s credit card debt?

I am not an authorized user. Can they into my account and take the money or put a lien on the house?

Asked on January 3, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states in this country, if the credit card debt was incurred during the marriage you had with your deceased spouse, the marital estate's assets would be responsible for the debt regardless of the fact that the credit card was solely in the deceased spouse's name. You personally would not be responsible for the debt, but assets of the marriage would be. Meaning, your separate property cannot be levied upon concerning any judgment arising out of this debt.

One way to possibly resolve the debt of the deceased spouse is to probate the estate of him or her (assuming there is a Will). If the creditor does not make a timely creditor's claim to the estate, the claim for the unpaid credit card debt could be barred for payment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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