If I’m termially ill, can I stop paying my unsecured debt now and let the creditors settle with my estate after my passing?

I was recently informed that I was dying from lung cancer. I am without medical insurance and every penny counts toward my care for right now.

Asked on September 12, 2012 under Estate Planning, Montana


Elena Eckert

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First of all, so sorry about your illness.

If you stop paying any of your existing debt now, then after your passing an executor/personal representative of your estate will have to handle the debt you incurred.  Also, you may draft a will now, with a provision directing the executor to pay all your debt, expenses of last illness, and funeral expenses from your estate assets.  However, if you do have a life insurance, then you should not include such provision.  

Moreover, if the state of your residence is a community property state and you are survived by a spouse, the creditors will be able to go after your spouse for any debt incurred as a result of your medical care.

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