Zachary, LA asked in Family Law and Probate for Louisiana

Q: A widow whose husband had credit card debt is moving to Missouri from Louisiana is she still responsible for his debt

She is not on any accounts, only he signed

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If a widow's husband had credit card debt and she is not on any of the accounts, she generally isn't responsible for his debt. Since only her husband signed for those debts, they are considered his individual responsibility. This is especially true if the debt was incurred in Louisiana, which is a community property state, but only for debts acquired during the marriage.

However, when moving to Missouri, which is not a community property state, the rules remain the same. The widow should not be held accountable for her late husband's credit card debts if her name is not on the accounts. It's important to notify the credit card companies of her husband's passing and provide a death certificate if requested.

In some cases, the estate of the deceased might be used to pay off any outstanding debts. If the estate does not have enough assets to cover the debts, then the debts typically remain unpaid. Consulting with a legal advisor can provide further clarification and peace of mind regarding her specific situation and any potential obligations she might face.

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Licensed in Louisiana

A: You should consult with a probate/succession attorney to discuss your rights,obligations and the best way to move forward. Presumably the credit card charges occurred before death and no probate or succession has occurred. I do not know the value of the husband's estate so a meeting with a probate/succession attorney is recommended so that you can determine what loose ends exist.

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