After a person dies, their debts do not magically disappear. Banks and other creditors wait only days after a debtor’s death to contact family members regarding any remaining debts. While other creditors must be notified by the executor of the estate. The creditors and banks have the right to collect debts owed by deceased individuals, and the decedent’s estate is liable for the debts if it contains enough money to cover them.
Typically, family members are not liable for a deceased family member’s debts unless the debt is from a joint account or for a loan on which the living family member co-signed. An executor of the estate can request a copy of the decedent’s credit card balance, and the issuer must provide the information within 30 days under the new CARD ACT.
For full article see Paying the Debts of the Deceased from Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog: Real Property, Trust and Estate by Trusts EstatesProf and See Blake Ellis, Debt After Death: Banks Chase Down Mourners, CNN Money, Sep. 1, 2011.
- What Are Estate Taxes? (turbotax.intuit.com)
- Debt after death: Banks chase down mourners (money.cnn.com)