Can a widow be charged with fraud for using a credit card in her name on a joint account, after her husband died?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2011

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Can a widow be charged with fraud for using a credit card in her name on a joint account, after her husband died?

I used a card in my name after my husband’s death and did not know I had to notify the card company. I also continued to make payments until I became unemployed and unemployment compensation ran out.

Asked on August 28, 2011 Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is the possibility that a widow that used a credit card in her name on a joint credit card account could be accused of a wrongful act by the credit card company after the passing of her husband. However, the likelihood of this ever coming to pass is remote for the following reasons:

1. the credit card is in the widow's name;

2. the widow and the deceased husband have a community liability for the debt on the credit card;

3. the widow continued to make payments on the credit card until financial adversity forced her to discontinue the payments.

In light of the above facts, using the credit card in the joint account of you and your deceased husband which was in your name was not wrong.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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