debt from a deceased brother

by Harry
(stockbridge ga, usa)

My wifes brother died last year in Georgia. He had no estate or money. He was in debt to credit cards for approx $8000 and his home has been foreclosured $180,000, He also owes The IRS back taxes in the amount of $3800.(he commited suicide)
He had $30 in a checking account, no car, no job
My wife got power of atorney from her parents to handle thing for them. Can she or her family be held responcible for any of his debts?

Comments for debt from a deceased brother

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Feb 23, 2011
Can Relatives Be Held Responsible for Deceased Brother's Debts?

So sorry to hear about your loss.

In answer to your question, you wife cannot be held responsible for the debts of her deceased brother. Nor can any of your wife's relatives.

This does not mean however that debt collectors may not contact your wife (or her relatives) to demand that she pay her brother's debts. When someone dies owing money, some debt collectors are not above trying to take advantage of the deceased's grieving relatives. Therefore, if your wife (or one of her relatives) is contacted by one of these debt collectors, she should write the collector a letter telling the collector not to contact her again. She should make a copy of the letter for her files and send the original to the collector via certified mail with a return receipt requested. According to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, once the collector receives the letter, it's prohibited from contacting your wife again other than to tell her that his contacts will cease.

If your wife (or one of her relatives) sends such a letter and the debt collector continues to demand that your wife pay a debt owed by her brother, she may have the basis for a lawsuit against the collector. Therefore, she should contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve debt collection problems. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Best of luck.

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