Palm Coast, FL asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida

Q: Wy wife recently died. She had several credit cards in her name. Am I responsible for these bills?

1 Lawyer Answer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your wife, please accept my condolences and sympathy for you and your family at this sad time. The rule generally is that you have no obligation whatsoever unless you have cosigned or otherwise agreed to be responsible for the credit card debt or any other debt. While it is possible that someone may try to make you responsible for any charges if you have your own card and are an authorized user on the account, it is up in the air whether they would pursue you for that actually. So, the answer is usually and generally "NO". What may happen is that if a probate is required that they will make a claim against the estate, and if there is an estate that must be probated then it may get paid, otherwise those debts will not get paid, and they are out of luck usually collecting on any of those sums. If you think or feel that a probate will be necessary, or you are just not sure, then you will want to have a conversation with a Florida Probate Matter on these and related estate specifics and issues. Do not let the credit card companies make you think you have to pay your wife's old debts otherwise, it simply is not true, no matter what they claim or try to say.

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