Q: If I die leaving no assets other than household, are my children responsible for credit card debt?
Widowed, receiving CCP and OAS
Adult children are typically not responsible for credit card debt of a deceased parent. There are a few exceptions, such as if one of the children is an authorized user on the credit card or has made actual purchases using the credit card.
However, the estate of the deceased is liable for outstanding debts. So, a child in the position of executor might be called upon to make payment of the parent's debts from any assets of the estate.
A credit card company that attempts to mislead an adult child regarding that liability may be violating consumer protection statutes and may be liable for damages.
*David Levin is the Partner in charge of UpRight Law's consumer rights litigation department. UpRight Law is a national law firm with licensed attorneys providing bankruptcy and consumer legal services in all 50 states. He is licensed in Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia, as well as several United States District Courts. He has 22 years of litigation experience, the last 18 of which have been focused on consumer rights litigation. This response is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney licensed in your state with the appropriate expertise.
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