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Responsibility of relatives / PoA for unsecured credit card balances of the recently deceased?

_ptatohed
Regular Contributor

Responsibility of relatives / PoA for unsecured credit card balances of the recently deceased?

My Dad recently passed away.  I am Power of Attorny (PoA) for his financial affairs.  What is my responsibility, if any, for paying off my Dad's unsecured credit card balances?  If not paid, can they go after me?  

 

Thank you.   

5% CB rotating: ; Everyday 3% CB: ; Everyday 5%: ; Retired to sock drawer after AOD: ;  In my sights / On my radar:
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coldfusion
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Responsibility of relatives / PoA for unsecured credit card balances of the recently deceased?


@_ptatohed wrote:

My Dad recently passed away.  I am Power of Attorny (PoA) for his financial affairs.  What is my responsibility, if any, for paying off my Dad's unsecured credit card balances?  If not paid, can they go after me?  

 

Thank you.   


First of all, sorry for your loss.

 

Second of all, IANAL so it would be wise to speak with an attorney to confirm (or correct) what I'm saying and to properly help guide you, and I encourage you to do so.

 

Your Power of Attorney (even if durable) automaticalIy dissolved upon the death of your father.  The authority and responsiblity to settle his financial affairs now rests with the named executor(s) if his estate, and if your father were not declared indigent the executor(s) would have to settle the debt using proceeds from the estate. If you are the named executor of the estate you can manage it on that basis, but continuing to manage his financial affairs as a/the named PoA is problematic because that authority no longer legally exists.

 

If there were sufficient assets available and the executor(s) didn't manage the estate properly including debt settlement they could have their own legal troubles, but if your dad were declared indigent family members aren't personally responsible for paying his debts.

 

As far as notification of creditors, it basically starts off with their being notified that your father has passed with them potentially requesting a copy of the death certificate as validation.   Sometimes they will follow up themselves but often contract out the next steps to a 3rd party specializing in estate settlement to follow up to arrange for payment of your father's debts.

 

Again - I encourage you to take my comments with a grain of salt and to seek competent advice from an attorney. 

(5/2022)
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Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 2 of 5
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Responsibility of relatives / PoA for unsecured credit card balances of the recently deceased?


@coldfusion wrote:

@_ptatohed wrote:

My Dad recently passed away.  I am Power of Attorny (PoA) for his financial affairs.  What is my responsibility, if any, for paying off my Dad's unsecured credit card balances?  If not paid, can they go after me?  

 

Thank you.   


First of all, sorry for your loss.

 

Second of all, IANAL so it would be wise to speak with an attorney to confirm (or correct) what I'm saying and to properly help guide you, and I encourage you to do so.

 

Your Power of Attorney (even if durable) automaticalIy dissolved upon the death of your father.  The authority and responsiblity to settle his financial affairs now rests with the named executor(s) if his estate, and if your father were not declared indigent the executor(s) would have to settle the debt using proceeds from the estate. If you are the named executor of the estate you can manage it on that basis, but continuing to manage his financial affairs as a/the named PoA is problematic because that authority no longer legally exists.

 

If there were sufficient assets available and the executor(s) didn't manage the estate properly including debt settlement they could have their own legal troubles, but if your dad were declared indigent family members aren't personally responsible for paying his debts.

 

As far as notification of creditors, it basically starts off with their being notified that your father has passed with them potentially requesting a copy of the death certificate as validation.   Sometimes they will follow up themselves but often contract out the next steps to a 3rd party specializing in estate settlement to follow up to arrange for payment of your father's debts.

 

Again - I encourage you to take my comments with a grain of salt and to seek competent advice from an attorney. 


+1 

 

Great advice


Total revolving limits 689000 (587000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 715 TU 712 EX 695

Message 3 of 5
_ptatohed
Regular Contributor

Re: Responsibility of relatives / PoA for unsecured credit card balances of the recently deceased?

Thanks guys.  

5% CB rotating: ; Everyday 3% CB: ; Everyday 5%: ; Retired to sock drawer after AOD: ;  In my sights / On my radar:
Message 4 of 5
Have1
Regular Contributor

Re: Responsibility of relatives / PoA for unsecured credit card balances of the recently deceased?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I never played one on TV.

 

I'm sorry for your loss.  Estate laws are pretty basic once you get your head wrapped around them.

 

Be aware that some creditors may attempt to get you or other family members to settle any outstanding debts by playing on your emotions and sense of responsibility for the deceased.  Don't.

 

Only the estate is responsible for any debts owed solely by the deceased.  You will need a lawyer to assist in settling the estate, establishing the executor and making sure the final tax return is completed correctly.  It's very basic legal stuff that should not, normally, cost very much.  And it is a cost to be paid out of the estate.  You need to see to getting a lawyer before paying anything.

 

First to be paid from the estate is funeral expenses, then legal, then taxes, then secured debt, then unsecured debts.  All of these are after any exemptions granted by law to certain dependents.  Your lawyer will walk you through it.

 

Here is a link to get you started:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/06/dealing-deceased-relatives-debt

 

Also look up "Small estate law" with your father's state after. You will find basic guides to help you understand the process.

 

I hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

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