Are You Responsible for Your Parents’ Credit Card Debts Upon Their Deaths?

This is a common question that many clients have and they are left frozen in fear of when a family member passes away. The short answer is: generally no.

For credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and other such unsecured debt, you are only liable for these types of debt if you were a co-signer. That means that if you and your father have a joint credit card, then upon his death, you will still be equally liable for the debt even if you are  not the one that made the charges. That being said, if you father’s estate is not insolvent, the Personal Representative may be able to pay it off with estate (or Trust assets if there is a Revocable Living Trust). Just be aware that by being a co-signer, you agree to be liable for any charges and outstanding debt on the card that your parent makes.  If the credit card however is in your parent’s sole name, then the debt is not your responsibility.

Contact me here if you have any questions about this topic or about your estate planning needs.


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