Who is liable for the debts of a deceased person?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2014

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Who is liable for the debts of a deceased person?

My father passed away several months ago. My mother was named executor of the estate. My dad left behind two credit card debts – one for $500 and one for $100. My mother called both companies to close the accounts and they told her that they would terminate the contracts and that she was not obligated to pay. Last month, she got a notification in the mail asking her to fill out a form so that they could collect the outstanding balances. Is my mother obligated to pay?

Asked on September 9, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I am assuming that they were only in his name and that your Mother didn't use them. Your Father's estate is obligated to pay the debt and the credit card companies can collect from his estate. I would not have her sign anything unless an attorney looks at it first.  Good luck. 

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