Porter, TX asked in Probate for Maryland

Q: Dads girlfriend was authorized user on Amex & chase cards. She used after he died, now they’re trying to make me pay

My sisters and I got the estate after he died and the credit card companies are coming after us for the charges she incurred. What can we do, is it legal?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: You should hire an attorney to help you dispute those charges. This can be done as part of the process of probating your dad's estate.

Paul E. Draper
Paul E. Draper
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: If the personal representative of your father's estate made a distribution from his estate to you and your sister without first paying the estate's outstanding valid claims then those creditors can institute legal action against you and your sisters to collect what is owed them to extent of the distribution received from your father's estate. This assumes that the claims are valid. First, you need to establish if those creditors (the credit cards companies) had timely filed claims against the estate. To establish a valid claim against an estate, a creditor needs to either file a claim with register of wills' office in county or Baltimore City where your father resided or notify the personal representative in writing of their claim within six months after your father's death. If such a claim or notice was not timely made then those creditors are barred from seek collection based upon the applicable statue of limitations. Furthermore, even if a claim was timely made, the amount a claim can only be for amount of the purchases that your father made or authorized and any charges on his credit card after your father 's death cannot authorized by him and should be disallowed. You should first contact the personal represenative of your father's estate to determine whether any claims against his estate were timely filed and if so, why those claims were not paid prior to the dsitribution to you and your sister. As is evident by this answer, this matter is not going to resolved without some action on your part. If the personal represetnative of your father's estate does not resolve this issue with the creit card companies, I recommend you consult a probate attorney to review the matter. Best of luck.

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