Is a spouse legally responsible for credit card debt for a deceased spouse in South Carolina? Posted on May 23, 2011

My father died March 24, 2011. My mother is still living. She and my father were married at the time of his death. They live in South Carolina. He had a basic will, but we did not file it with the Probate court. I called the Probate court, but was unable to understand why exactly we needed to file the will with the probate court. All assets my parents have are in both my mother and fathers name. My father had 2 credit accounts that were in his name only. I sent each of the creditors a letter and copy of the death certificate and asked them to close the accounts and cancel the remaining balance. One of the creditors has contacted my mother by phone and letter (she has not spoken with them yet) and asked her to call them to resolve the outstanding balance. Since this account was in my father's name only, is my mother responsible for the debt? Since we have not filed the will with the probate court, will that cause a problem should the creditor contact them to file a claim against my father's estate? My mother is only in her 60's and needs all the money she has to pay her monthly bills. She does not work. My father was working part time at the time of his death. I paid all the funeral expenses but once the small life insurance claim is paid to my mother, she plans to pay me back. Any guidance you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you!

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