What to do about the credit cards of a deceased?

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What to do about the credit cards of a deceased?

My dad is dying. He owes about $30,000 on his credit cards. He has $10,000 in the bank, which I figure I’ll have to use to pay his bills during probate. If I cancel his cards at death, can the credit card companies sue the estate? Or should I keep paying them until probate is done and then cancel them?

Asked on June 1, 2012 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The main concern that you should have is to take care of your father at this point in time. I would make the minimum payments on a monthly basis on your father's credit cards.

After he passes, you should probate his estate assuming he has a Will in place. If he does not have one presently, one should be drafted for him immediately and he should sign and date it before two disinterested witnesses.

Upon his passing, I would notify the credit card companies of his death and stop payments at such time.

Once he passes, probate his estate and assuming his debts are greater than his assets, the creditors of his estate will receive a pro rata share of the obligation owed to each in relationship to the amount of his estate.


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