Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Rich, Apr 11, 2000.
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The liability depends on a number of factors. If you do not live in a community property state AND it was not a joint account, then you are not personally liable for the debt. The deceased spouse's estate is liable though and the credit can file a claim against it and the executor would pay the claim in the course of resolving the estate.
If it was a joint account (where you co-signed the application and were not merely an 'authorized user') you are liable, but you may be able to file a claim against the deceased estate for some portion of the balance.
I'm not sure what the situation is with community property states, but I would venture to guess that you would be liable as all assets and liabilities of a married couple acquired during the marriage, regardless of how titled, are considered to be the property or obligation of both parties.
Bottom line: If the surviving spouse is the sole beneficary of the decedant's estate or gets the remainder of the estate after certain specific bequests are paid out, the survivor is going to pay for it one way or the other.
One other note: A creditor may not go after proceeds of a life insurance policy unless those proceeds wind up going to the deceased estate because of the beneficiary(ies) pre-deceasing the insured or no beneficiary was named on the policy.
If I am an authorized user on my mom's accounts,will I be responsible for her
balances if she passes away? I am not a joint holder of the account...she just called and asked for a card for me use.