Am I liable for my husband’s credit card debt now that he has died?

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Am I liable for my husband’s credit card debt now that he has died?

My husband died recently in a car accident. In trying to deal with his debt we came across a credit card that he had used. He actually had put our 17 year old son on the card as well to build up credit. He had no life insurance and I make minimal money per month. I am not on the card at all. Am I liable for the debt?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In most states the answer to your question would be no; a spouse cannot be held responsible for their spouse's debts. However, CA is a community property state.  As a general rule, in a community property state, one spouse assumes liability for the other spouse's debts. Therefore your wages and any other non-exempt property may be at risk if this bill is not paid.

Note: Since your son is a minor, he bears no legal responsibility for this credit card debt.

At this point you should consult directly with an attorney in your area who can review the specific details of your situation.


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