Do Relatives Assume Credit Card Debt

Now here is a rather common question that will no doubt become even more common now that credit card debt has risen so sharply over the past decade. When a relative such as a parent, child or sibling dies is their credit card debt transferable to their relatives?

This is a rather common question that causes some understandable consternation. While it is indeed true that debts and liabilities of the deceased in past centuries were passed by bloodline, we are happy to report that that is no longer the case. At least not in civilized nations.

The practice of making relatives responsible for the deceased’s debts was actually outlawed by decree of international law in 1956 when it was so ordered by the United Nations.

There are exceptions to that however, and it is very important that we point those out. Once again, a relative is not responsible for another relative’s debts when they die unless they are a cosigner on any of those accounts.

For example, if your father dies and he leaves $10,000 in credit card debt you will not be liable for any of that credit card debt unless you cosigned on the accounts.

The $10,000 will be paid from the deceased’s estate if they in fact have assets that can cover the amount. If they leave no assets upon their death then the credit card debts will die with them.

Another important point to make is that if an individual is acting as executor of an estate then they too are not liable in any way for the debts of the estate, unless however, as we stated earlier, they were a cosigner on any of the accounts that debt has accrued.

While the executor of most certainly does have a fiduciary duty to distribute the estate’s assets to creditors that are owed, they themselves are in no way liable personally for any of those debts.

Related Information:

  1. Student Credit Card Debt Reaches Record Levels We all know that college tuitions are spiraling out of control. And now I’m afraid there is some more bad news to add to the equation. Credit card debt for…
  2. Understanding How Debt Settlement Works While many Americans struggle to make their credit card payments, more and more are beginning to turn to debt settlement when they find they can no longer afford the debt…
  3. Consumer Debt Falls for the Seventh Straight Month Consumers continue to cut debt in the face of this seemingly endless recession. The Federal Reserve Board reported that August represented the 7th consecutive month that consumers have reduced their…
  4. Consumer Debt Continues to Decline The amount of credit card debt that Americans currently hold has fallen a remarkable $86.2 billion from its peak of $975.2 billion in September 2008. That’s nearly a 10% decline…