Who is responsible for your cards once you die?

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Replied by FrankN on topic Death

Could not agree more, and if she got away with it, that is still despicable and disgusting.
3 years 2 months ago #1

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Replied by Cents on topic Death

Wanderer, that situation with your family was totally crazy and I am so sorry you had to go through it. The fact that it happened to be the IRS just made an awful situation even worse, in my humble opinion. That goes to show how important it is to follow the laws of your state regarding estates and probate and whatever else your state has on the books to avoid a situation like you found yourself in. Terrible!
3 years 3 months ago #2

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Replied by JG224 on topic Death

My sister-in-law's mother ran up her own mother's credit cards in the year before she died, and then after she died, she told the banks there was no money or estate to be had and this woman walked away with over $30,000 of "stolen" goods and services. To me that is just glorified stealing.
3 years 3 months ago #3

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Replied by FrugalFran on topic Death

Wanderer, that is really an awful situation your family was in! I think it's just terrible when people have to go through things like that after laying a loved one to rest. It shouldn't be so complicated and we should just be allowed to die and mourn our loved ones in peace.
3 years 5 months ago #4

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Replied by patse on topic Debt

I often wondered about this too. Are we responsible for our parents debts? What if they had no life insurance and no assets. Would the debt be transferred to the children?
3 years 5 months ago #5

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Replied by Wanderer on topic Re: Who is responsible for your cards once you die?

This would require looking at the laws for each state where a person dies as they are not all the same. A general rule of thumb is that the Estate legally is responsible to settle all financial affairs of the deceased. Often times an attorney would have the estate probated (court action) that gives all those who have a claim such as the Internal Revenue Service, Individual States and their taxes, creditors, mortgage lendors and the like to come forward and establish their claim. Once the cutoff date has come the court will rule and those coming after forfeit any and all rights to a claim. The process of probate places a notice in a legal newspaper letting those who might have a claim to come forward. You say what happens if they didn't see the legal notice when the judge rules? Too bad! Not probating leaves the legal process open to interpretation and it can get mucky. Oh, those who have claims due to a security interest in the property will have their right to reclaim.

In my case we did not probate and the IRS came forward six years and three months after my relatives death and claimed and obligation of $71,000 (shock would NOT even begin to explain how we felt). The IRS had a search and seizure order for which none of us even knew. Had the matter been probated there would have been no question. It took a total of thirteen years to run out all the statue of limitations and declare the matter closed. Not what you want for a surpirse. We had to engage the services of a Tax Attorney Specialist to work this one out. The statue of limitations didn't quite save us.

So. there is no one simple solid answer due to differences in state and federal law.
6 years 10 months ago #6

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Replied by Meya on topic They will have to dig

They will have to dig up my relatives bones if they want their money back.
11 years 3 months ago #7

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Replied by hjm331 on topic I wouldn't pay them a

I wouldn't pay them a penny back if I'm not liable for the debt.
11 years 3 months ago #8

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Replied by princee18 on topic yes the creditors try to

yes the creditors try to force the family members to get back their money and its true that in some cases they manage to Get their money back.
11 years 3 months ago #9

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Replied by alpha on topic I think you're right that

I think you're right that sometimes creditors may try to pressure people into paying bills they're not legally obligated to pay. But if the person who died had any money or real estate, the creditors can try to get their money from that.
11 years 4 months ago #10

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Replied by mrsjprice on topic I suppose if you don't

I suppose if you don't legally have to pay the debts. I suppose the only thing they can do is to try and scare you into it, as other wise they are not going to get there money back. I think this is pretty harsh seeing as the issue is related to a person who's passed away.
11 years 4 months ago #11

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Replied by Crazy2k5 on topic If you are a joint

If you are a joint account holder or the spouse you are obligated to pay. Or if there is an estate the creditor can sue. But if there is no estate then the banks have to cut their losses. This is what happened when my uncle passed away. He had credit cards that were calling to collect. All american express asked for was a copy of his death certificate. Other creditors were much more harsh. They said it was our responsibility as his family and if we didnt pay it would go on our credit report. (Yes they did try to run this game.) We went right ahead on and sent the death certificate and that stopped the calls and letters. Dont let them fool you. They will try to scare you into paying. If you dont fall into the catagories above send the death certificate and keep it moving.
11 years 4 months ago #12

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Replied by Meya on topic They don't have a choice,

They don't have a choice, I don't see how a parent is responsible for anyone's debt unless they co-signed for it. A student loan is the worse thing that you would ever want to run for and they will forgive your loan in the even of your demise. Your friend parents (sorry for their loss) had to of had some envolvment in her bills.
11 years 4 months ago #13

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Replied by dreamr802 on topic I think that the debt

I think that the debt gets passed on to family members. My friend had passed away and her parents were obligated to pay all of her debt...I don't know why that was, but if you pass away the banks aren't just going to let that money slide.
11 years 4 months ago #14

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Replied by Meya on topic I believe that the only

I believe that the only way someone should be responsible for someone's debt in any circumstance is in a joint account. No one should be responsible for supporting and paying for someone's spending trends. The lender should just file it as a loss.


I agree with you HJM331. I do believe that it should be the joint account user or husband. I never heard of chidlren being liable for your debt. I understand that state laws may be different, but I never heard of one saying that if you die, debt can be charged to your kids or whoever else.

Now the house situation is different, I have encountered a person (my moms boyfriend) where the parent died and had debt that was tagged along to the house and before he could get anything, it was paid off first. What was left (minus debt) was divided among the 2 children and grandchildren.
11 years 4 months ago #15

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