If my stepfather dies, is my mother liable for all his debts?

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If my stepfather dies, is my mother liable for all his debts?

My step father has irresponsibly put himself into debt. he is 72 years old and not in the greatest of health. Is my mother responsible for his debt once he passes?

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends on a lot of things.  First, if the debt is something such as credit card debt and your Mom did not take out the credit card with him (on the original application) then hos estate - not your Mother personally - is responsible for the debt.  Debt for medical bills, however, could pass to your Mom.  Are the things that they own owned as joint tenants?  Then they will pass to your Mpm automatically.  But if they are not held that way then they will be an estate asset and subject to probate and creditor attack.  Good luck.


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