Am I, as a wife, responsible for his credit card payments and hospital bills upon his death? 22 Answers as of November 09, 2012

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LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In a community property state like California, the spouse is generally liable, to the extent of community assets, for debts incurred "for the benefit of the community." That would generally include hospital bills and c redit card bills for consumer goods , food and services. That does not necessarily mean the creditors will do any more than send demands for payment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2012
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
Generally no. But be advised that if there is any property or money that is payable to the estate or in a trust that belonged to him, these funds may be required to be used. If property goes through probate you can deduct your exempt property allowance, homestead allowance, or spousal allowance.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/9/2012
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Nevada is a community property state. Generally speaking, community debts are the responsibility of both spouses.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/9/2012
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
Maybe, depends on your state. In a community property state his estate would be responsible. So you could discharge the debt with his assets - 1/2 of the community property and any personal property he owns.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/9/2012
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
Generally not, unless you have agreed to be responsible. If there is an estate, the estate would be responsible for the debts. If there is no estate, then the creditors are likely out of luck.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/9/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    No, only his share of the community property is responsible, as long as you were not the recipient of any benefits of his bills. Do not let the creditors push you on this, as they surely will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Your husband's estate is responsible first. Second, for the hospital bills, probably yes; credit cards on which you were not joint, maybe no. Spouses are mutually responsible for "expenses of the family," whatever that means. If the credit cards paid college tuition for the kids, or prescriptions for family, or groceries, then probably you are responsible. If you were not living together, or you really don't know what the credit cards were used for, they try "he passed away, we've cut up the cards" for starters, and see if the card companies will just write it off.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Debts incurred during the marriage are community debts and the surviving spouse is liable for those debts. If the debts are large you should talk to a bankruptcy attorney about whether or not bankruptcy is appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    Only if it was a joint debt to begin with. Spouses are not responsible for each other's individual debts in Michigan. This can vary from one state to another.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    In Florida, as surviving spouse is NOT responsible for the medical bills and credit card bills of the decedent spouse so long as the surviving spouse did not consent to be responsible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If he had any real or personal property, that must be sold to pay creditors before anyone inherits. If the property is taken without paying the creditors, then the creditors can recover from the person who received the property. Otherwise no one else is responsible for the debts of the deceased.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    La Office of William H. Von Willer | William H. Von Willer
    Probably not his credit card bills, but you can be held responsible for the necessities of life, which can include hospital charges.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    If the credit card is solely in your husband's name, you would not be responsible for the debt. If all of your assets are held jointly or you are the beneficiary of any life insurance policy or IRA, etc., then there would be no estate and the credit card and hospital bills would not be paid despite what a credit card company will tell you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    Generally, you are not personally responsible for your deceased husband's debts, unless you somehow agreed to be responsible for them (for example, by co-signing a loan). Keep in mind that creditors may file a claim against your husband's estate (to the extent that he has an estate).
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    As to the Credit cards, if you had a card or the right to use the card you would be responsible. If this was purely his card, it would be an obligation of his estate and would "come out" before any distributions to beneficiaries. As to medical bills, you might well be obligated to pay these but first these expenses (medical) would come out of his estate (if he has one).
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Not unless your name is also on the cards or you guaranteed the medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    No his estate is. An estate is like a corporation, an entity in and of itself. If the estate has no assets, the creditors cannot be paid. However, an inventory must be submitted to the courts showing what is in the estate, and everything that is exempt, may be ordered by the courts to be made liquid to pay off the creditors. Homesteads and automobiles (that car that is primarily used by decedent and the family is dependent on to continue to utilize) are exempt and cannot be counted toward the estate, just to name a few.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    Oklahoma law maks a spouse liable for certain medical debts, but not for credit cards. To be liable on the credit card you must have signed an agreement to be responsible (generally in the application process).
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    You are not, unless, you have signed as a guarantor or you are a co-owner of the credit card. Barry Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    If you signed on his credit card, you are probably liable As to medical care, you are liable
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Gregory T. Taylor, ESQ
    Gregory T. Taylor, ESQ | Gregory Taylor
    No, you are not. Those debts would be payable through his estate and if there is not enough money to satisfy all creditors, the debt would not be paid.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 11/8/2012
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