If my husband dies, am I responsible for his debts?

by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach

in Couples and Money, Credit Cards, Debt, Family Finances, Loans

Q: If My Husband Builds Up a Lot of Credit In His Name and One Day He Dies Am I Responsible for His Bills? We are Married But Never Lived Together

A: If someone passes away and leaves credit card debts or other bills, those obligations are not automatically transferred to the person’s heirs or surviving relatives, provided those individuals were not listed as joint owners or co-signers of the debt. So as long as you did not have joint accounts – such as credit cards, auto loans, a mortgage, etc. – and the debts that he incurred were his alone, you would not be forced to pay those bills in the event he dies.


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Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach

Personal Finance Expert and Co-Founder at Ask The Money Coach.com
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of numerous books on personal finance. She appears frequently as an expert commentator on television, radio and in print.

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Susan Shaw

I understand that my spouses bills are not automatically transferred to me, his debt would have to be able to be covered by his assets.
However, what if we have JOINT assets? Would I be required to sell those assets to pay his debt?
And if we have JOINT debt – say a credit card in both our names – will it just transfer to me, or will I be required to pay it off within a certain period of time?

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