Alert
Close

Emergency Aid Needed After Nepal Quake – Donate Today

Highlights

Open
Renew for 3 and attend Life at 50+ for free

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation
Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Is My Family Responsible for My Debts?

Here's what you need to know before you borrow or buy on credit

For debt collectors you believe are calling regarding legitimate debts, the FTC recommends simply referring the caller to the executor or administrator handling the deceased person's estate.

Debts That Remain After You Die
A lot of people wonder what happens to the outstanding obligations they had once they die. Do those debts simply disappear? Or could relatives be forced to pay those bills?

In the case of credit card debt and other obligations, rest assured that your family members aren't responsible for paying off your bills once you're gone.

"I always advise people to be informed in advance about any debt-related issues, particularly when it comes to potentially 'gray' areas like paying the debts of a deceased relative," says Money of InCharge Debt Solutions. "The fact is that you are not liable for the debts of any family member, with the exception of your spouse, and even in that case the obligations may be limited," she adds.

No one has an obligation to pay the debts of a deceased person who was not their spouse. And even a spouse's obligation may be limited under state probate law.

That's why the FTC advises consumers that if there isn't enough money from a deceased person's estate to cover certain debts, those debts "typically go unpaid" and family members are not responsible for them.

For more information about debt collection and the rights you and family members have under the FDCPA, see "Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers."
You may also like: Getting a Loan With Bad Credit. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Being Social

featured
groups

savingchalleng

Savings Challenge

Have the gift of thrift? Share your tips. Discuss

Hand holding credit cards

Pay Down Your Debt Challenge

Join our challenge July 18-Aug. 14 and start your debt-free journey. Discuss

Advertisement