Credit Card After Spouse Passed Away.

by Alfredo
(Toms River, NJ )

My late spouse passed away a month ago. She have some credit card balances. The bank have already closed her account, and gave me the balance which was less than 10k. She had some insurance to be collected, pension plan and unused vacation and sick leave to be given to me. My question are the credit card company can still be paid even she doesn't have any more money?

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Nov 15, 2010
debt after spouse's death
by: Gerri

Alfredo,

We are very sorry to hear of your loss. Generally, when a spouse passes away leaving credit card debt, the other spouse is not responsible unless they are a cosigner or they live in a community property state (which you do not). The creditor, however, may go after the estate if there is one.

Typically pension and insurance benefits go directly to the beneficiary and bypass the estate, unless the estate was named as the beneficiary.

You may want to consult an attorney to find out whether there are any assets they can go after. If you truly can't afford one, you may be able to simply advise the creditors that there is no estate and ask them not to contact you again. They may simply write the debt off as a bad debt, but if they do decide to sue you then you could consult an attorney at that point.

Please also read our deceased person?s debt FAQ page.

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