The loss of a loved one is difficult on everyone. Besides the emotional stress involved, families often deal with financial stresses as well. One common issue families face is what to do about credit card debt. Several debt relief options could be available to Louisiana residents who face monetary problems following the death of a family member.
Paying left-behind credit card debt is sometimes the responsibility of the family of the deceased. Because Louisiana is a community property state, the spouse becomes responsible for paying the decedent's credit card debt. Another example of why a family member might have to pay a left-behind debt would be if that person held a joint account or acted as a co-signer with the decedent.
Not all cases require the family to pay their loved one's debts, however. In situations without a spouse or a joint account, the debts are the responsibility of the executor of the decedent's estate. Rather than paying out of pocket, the executor pays with the money held in the estate. Should the funds in the estate be inadequate to pay the debts, the executor has the right to deny the creditor's claim.
Credit card debt can be a huge burden to those under obligation to pay. Louisiana families seeking debt relief may not be responsible for loved ones' debts. Speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help determine the legal rights of those concerned with a deceased family member's credit card debt. Doing so could prevent families from paying bills they are not legally obligated to pay.
Source: Forbes, "After A Death, What To Do With Left-Behind Credit Card Debt", Claire Tsosie, Feb. 16, 2017