If my father died with credit debt solely in his name, will the credit card company write off or forgive the debt?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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If my father died with credit debt solely in his name, will the credit card company write off or forgive the debt?

My father did not have a Will. He was retired and receiving social security benefits. He did not have many assets other than his home, which he and my mother owned.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Mississippi


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. In most states, a surviving relative is not liable for the debt of a family member who passed away and owed money on a credit card or other account issued solely to their name.  As long as your Mother did not sign the original application - which is a contract - as a co signor then she is fine.  The estate owes the debt, not her.  And I am assuming that the house was owned with "rights of survivorship" so that passed to her automatically upon his death.  Good luck.

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