Will my spouse have to pay my credit debt after my death?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2020 | Firm News

There is nothing more final than death, which means you probably assume that when you die, your debts will as well. That is not always true when you have a spouse. Your creditors could hold him or her responsible for your debt in a couple of situations. 

According to Forbes, your credit card company could hold your spouse responsible for your credit card debt if it was a joint account. In addition, because Texas is a community property state, it is possible for the company to hold him or her responsible for any debt you acquired during the marriage. 

Outside the two conditions 

If you were not a joint account owner or co-signer with a legal obligation for the debt and you do not have a responsibility under the community property laws of the state, then creditors cannot compel you to pay the debt. They can, however, go after the estate. 

During probate, the court will give creditors a chance to make a claim against your estate. If this happens, the court can take money from your estate and give it to creditors. This, obviously, will take away from the inheritance your spouse receives. 

Inform executor 

You should let your executor know about any outstanding debts you have. Keep him or her in the loop on your credit card debt so that when you die, he or she will know exactly what you owe and will not end up paying for debts that do not exist. This can at least help to ensure as much of your estate remains as possible for your spouse.