If my brother passed away and left unpaid credit card accounts, how should this matter be handled?

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If my brother passed away and left unpaid credit card accounts, how should this matter be handled?

Also, my mother is beneficiary of an IRA that is to be used to pay burial expenses. Should she have taxes deducted? She is 80 years old on fixed income which is not taxable.

Asked on February 22, 2011 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I would consult with an accountant on your Mother's behalf but if the proceeds are going to pay the burial expenses - which is the obligation of his estate - then it may really not matter.  Also, she may not really be taxed depending on her income level. Now, his credit card bills are the debts of his estate, not of his beneficiaries (wife, children, parents, siblings).  If there are no estate proceeds (the IRA does not pass through his estate) then the estate is insolvent and you should tell the credit card companies he died with no assets.  You may want to consult with an attorney here if it is worth filing an estate at all and filing for bankruptcy for the  estate.  Good luck.  


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