Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do We Die With Our Debt?

CreditWhat happens to your credit after you die?  Whether you are dealing with a loved one’s estate, or doing your own estate planning, this is an important question to consider. 

When someone dies, creditors of the deceased must be notified as well as credit reporting agencies.  This responsibility typically belongs to the executor of one’s estate.  The executor should forward copies of the death certificate to creditors and credit reporting agencies. 

If you still have any debt when you pass away, a joint account holder or co-signer on a credit account becomes solely responsible for any payments.  If you have a solo credit account, your heirs generally will not be liable—but there are exceptions.  For example, in community property states, one spouse may be liable for the debts of another, even if they were unaware of them.  Thus, it is important to be on the same page with your spouse regarding all debts so that you know what you will be responsible for.

See Lucy Lazarony, What Happens to Your Credit When You Die? Credit.com, Apr. 24, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.


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