DO I HAVE TO PAY MY DECEASED MOTHER’S CREDIT CARD BILL? By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
This week’s question: DO I HAVE TO PAY MY DECEASED MOTHER’S CREDIT CARD BILL?
QUESTION: My mother recently passed away and I have been appointed personal representative of her estate. I just received a notice from her credit card company saying that I have to pay them over $5,000. Do I have to pay the bill?
ANSWER: The answer to your question is maybe. First, you do not have to pay any of your mother’s bills from your personal funds, unless of course you are a co-debtor on the bill (for example if you and your mom are both listed as borrowers on a loan). A personal representative is required to pay a deceased person’s legal debts, but there must be money in the estate to do so. Many creditors are willing to negotiate and accept a reduced amount as payment in full. If there are limited funds an attorney can help you determine which debts, if any, should be paid first and can help you negotiate with the decedent’s creditors.
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