If one member of a legal marriage passes, is the survivor responsible for credit card debts incurred solely by the deceased spouse?

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If one member of a legal marriage passes, is the survivor responsible for credit card debts incurred solely by the deceased spouse?

Asked on November 19, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally, no a spouse is not responsible for such debt. However, there are exceptions. You would bear liability for spousal debt if: you live in a community property state; you agreed to be responsible for it (for example, if you co-signed on a loan) or, in some states, if the debt had to do with necessary household expenses (this is known as the "doctrine of necessaries"; medical bills are a good example).

At this point, you can contact an attorney in your area for more information.


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