What Happens To Mortgage Debt
If you and someone else such as a spouse or partner took out a mortgage together, what happens to that debt is straightforward.
The surviving borrower is responsible for the loan, says Leslie H. Tayne, a New York debt settlement attorney. If you dont want to leave the co-signer on the hook for the remaining balance, a life insurance policy can help cover the cost. So factor in how much is owed on your mortgage when calculating how much life insurance you need.
If there is no co-signer on the mortgage, no one has to take on the obligation. However, that doesnt mean your family can inherit the property free and clear. If they want to keep the home, they will have to assume responsibility for the loan, Tayne says.
Even if they want to sell it, they will need to continue making mortgage payments until the house is sold. And the remaining mortgage debt will have to be paid off once the house is sold.
If no one takes over the mortgage after you die, the bank can foreclose on the property, Tayne says. It can then sell it to recover the amount owed on the mortgage.
Beneficiaries Money Is Partially Protected If They Are Properly Named
If you or your loved one has completed a beneficiary form for each account such as your life insurance policy and 401 unsecured creditors typically cannot collect any money from those sources of funds. However, if beneficiaries were not determined before the death, the funds would then go to the estate, which creditors could go after.
Notify Credit Card Companies Of The Death
All credit card accounts should be closed immediately after the primary cardholder dies, and you should act quickly to avoid interest and finance charges. For joint credit cards, notify the credit card company that a joint cardholder has died.
Also, find out if any recurring charges are set up on each credit card account. If there are recurring charges, such as a phone bill or utility bill automatically charged to the account each month, youll need to cancel those or transfer them to another card right away.
When you contact each credit card company, do so by certified mail and save your receipt. If you call the number on the back of the card, you can speak to a representative about the situation; they can flag the account and provide the address where youll need to send the necessary documentation. Once each card issuer receives your letter, theyll ask for an official copy of the death certificate if you didnt send one in your initial letter.
Don’t Miss: Is Apple Credit Card Worth It
What Kind Of Legacy Do You Want To Leave
What if, instead of worrying about how your family would survive after youre gone, you were able to rest in peace, knowing that they were well taken care of?
You want your loved ones to remember you for the blessing you were, not the burden you left behind. Thats why its important to think about your legacy, which includes proper planning and attacking debt.
Does Credit Card Debt Die With You
Cake values integrity and transparency. We follow a strict editorial process to provide you with the best content possible. We also may earn commission from purchases made through affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more in our affiliate disclosure.
Its a good idea to consider how that debt might pass to your family. On the flip side, its also wise to think about whether credit card debt from a spouse or loved one might pass to you when he or she dies.
Jump ahead to these sections:;
Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, handling the details of their unfinished business such as dealing with credit cards can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist;that will help you ensure that your loved one’s family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
Also Check: How To Get Your Credit Card Interest Rate Reduced
What Happens To Debts After Someone Dies
When someone dies, a legal process called probate is initiated. Assuming the person who died wrote a will, this process is managed by the individual the deceased designated in their will as their executor. Among other things, the executor is responsible for carrying out the wishes the deceased expressed in their will. The executors actions are overseen by the probate court in the county where the deceased resided.;At the start of the probate process, the executor catalogs the assets owned by the deceased and determines their value. These assets are referred to as the deceaseds estate and may include money, personal property or real estate. The executor also identifies all of the debts that person who died may have owed at the time of death and contacts all of the creditors to let them know about the death. After being notified, the creditors have a limited period of time within which to file claims with the court in order to be in line to get paid out of the assets in the estate.;Tip: Certain kinds of assets are not available to creditors when someone dies because those assets are said to pass outside a will. They are not part of the probate process. They include:
- Life insurance proceeds,
- Retirement accounts, like IRAs and 401s, brokerage accounts,
- Payable on death accounts and transfer-on-death accounts, and
- Any assets in a living trust will not be included in the probate process.
What Happens To Debt After Death
As the saying goes, the only sure things in life are death and taxes. And, unfortunately, the former wont allow you to escape the latter. If youre self-employed, for example, and die still owing outstanding installment payments, the Canada Revenue Agency will come to collect from your estate if your family doesnt take care of it first.
But what happens to your other debts, like your mortgage and credit cards, when you die? Heres an overview.
Note that various credit card companies and lending institutions may have unique policies in place so you should consult with your specific debt-holders to verify details. The best advice for planning for your eventual death yes, well all die sooner or later is to have a legally registered will. Dying without a will can be a costly hassle for your surviving family members to sort out.
Also Check: How To Protect Against Credit Card Fraud
Youre An Authorized User
In this case, this doesn’t mean that the debt is forgiven, it just means that the authorized user isn’t the one responsible for the debt. An authorized user can spend money on a credit card but has not signed up for the full responsibility of the card. Its wise to only let people you trust become authorized users, but these trustworthy individuals are not on the hook for your debts when you die.
What Happens To Credit Card Debt When You Die
What happens to you after you die? No one knows for certainbut one thing’s for sure: You won’t have to worry about paying your bills anymore. For your survivors, it’s another story. Will they be responsible for paying off your credit card balances? In most cases, no. When you die, any credit card debt you owe is generally paid out of assets from your estate. Here’s a closer look at what happens to credit card debt after a death and what survivors should do to ensure it’s handled properly.
Also Check: What Is Credit Card Reconciliation
What Happens To Mortgages
When a person dies with a mortgage still owing, there are several possible situations. If the deceased had mortgage life insurance, the insurance will be used to pay the remainder of the mortgage. However, if there is no such insurance, a sole mortgage will have to be repaid by the estate. In some cases, this may require that the property be sold.
In the case of a joint mortgage, there are several different possibilities. For joint tenants, the responsibility for the mortgage passes to the joint owner. For tenants in common where the deceased could name a beneficiary to their share of the property, that person could choose to continue paying a mortgage to avoid selling the property.
How Life Insurance Can Secure Your Familys Future
Planning for a future where youre no longer around is not the nicest of topics, but the good news is that our life insurance policies can help make matters easier.
For technical advice on writing your policies under trust, contact Legal & General today.;
Find out more about our range of life insurance policies.
Don’t Miss: Is It Best To Pay Off Credit Card In Full
Paying Off Credit Cards After Death
If you are responsible for administering someones Estate, you need to find out what debts he/she owed, including any credit card loans that are yet to be paid off. You also need to determine whether these debts are held in the deceaseds sole name or in joint names.
If a credit card is held in joint names and the other account holder is still alive, that person will then take on the debt in its entirety.
But if the credit card was held in the deceaseds sole name, you should contact the bank or financial institution and tell them about the death. This will lead to the account being frozen and will usually stop further interest accruing.
You then need to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation. This will allow you to access the deceased persons financial assets, which you can use to settle any debts that are due. Therefore you dont have to settle any outstanding credit card loans from your own pocket.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax , Property and Estate Administration affairs*.
* We can also pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral, providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs.
How We Make Money
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.
Also Check: How Do I Check My Cabela’s Credit Card Balance
Joint Cardholders Are Stuck With The Bill
If you have a joint account with your spouse and pass away, your spouse is stuck with the debt. While this seems far from ideal, that is exactly what you signed up for when opening the account.
If you are an authorized user, you are generally not responsible for the debt unless you live in a community property state. If you are an authorized user of a card owned by someone in poor health, you may want to consider getting yourself removed from the account just to be on the safe side. You dont want a credit card company to come after you for debts you didnt incur yourself.
Can I Be Responsible To Pay Off The Debts Of My Deceased Spouse
In most cases you will not be responsible to pay off your deceased spouse’s debts. As a general rule, no one else is obligated to pay the debt of a person who has died. There are some exceptions and the exceptions vary by state.
As a general rule, no one else is obligated to pay the debt of a person who has died. Here are some exceptions to that general rule:
- If there was a co-signer on a loan, the co-signer owes the debt.
- If there is a joint account holder on a credit card, the joint account holder owes the debt. A joint account holder is different from an authorized user. An authorized user is not usually responsible for the amount owed.
- If state law requires a spouse to pay a particular type of debt.
- If state law requires the executor or administrator of the deceased persons estate to pay an outstanding bill out of property that was jointly owned by the surviving and deceased spouse.
- In community property states and depending on that states law, the surviving spouse may be required to use community property to pay debts of a deceased spouse. The community property states include Alaska , Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Unless there is an exception, you do not have to take responsibility for the debt of the deceased person. You are not obligated to do this and the creditor or debt collector cannot use unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices to get you to assume responsibility.
Recommended Reading: Does Td Bank Have Visa Gift Cards
Federal Student Loans Are Forgiven
This forgiveness applies both to federal loans taken out by parents on behalf of their children and loans taken out by the students themselves. If the borrower dies, then the federal student loans are forgiven. The same if the student passes, the loan is discharged. Proof of death is required, which may be an original or a certified copy of the death certificate.
For private student loans, on the other hand, there is no law requiring lenders to cancel a loan. Some loan programs offer loan forgiveness at death while others will charge the debt to the estate of deceased. It is best to check with the loan servicer.
Solvent Vs Insolvent Estate
One of the confusing issues for survivors of the deceased is understanding the difference between a solvent estate and one that is insolvent.
A solvent estate is one that has enough money to pay all the decedents bills. For example, if you die and your assets are valued at $100,000, but there is $25,000;owed on medical bills;;credit card;is;$10,000 and;you;still owe $15,000 on student loans, your estate is solvent because your assets are more than your liabilities .
Thus, your heirs would have $50,000 to split among themselves.
However, if the opposite were true your assets are valued at $50,000 and you owed $100,000 for medical bills, credit cards, student loans, etc. then the estate would be insolvent.;The creditors would line up in the order given above and be paid accordingly.
If the money runs out before all bills are paid, the businesses at the bottom of the priority list must write off the debt and the;heirs would receive no money.
Don’t Miss: Is Paypal Credit Card Good
Tips For Handling Credit Card Debt After Death
There are a few steps you should take to minimize the impact that your debt has on your loved ones.
The first is to have a frank conversation about your finances.
If your loved ones are aware of how much debt you have, they will be better equipped to handle it when you pass.
Dealing with the shock of someone dying and finding out that they were deeply in debt is difficult. Its easier, but not by any means easy, to handle a death without the surprise of debt.
Another step to take is to take the time to name specific individuals as your beneficiary for things like your 401 or insurance policies.
Many of these assets bypass the probate process. That means that the money wont become part of your estate and creditors cannot take it to pay debts. The money will pass directly to your heirs.
If you dont name a beneficiary, the money will go to your estate, where it can be taken by creditors.
Make sure you have a sufficiently large life insurance policy. A common piece of advice is to make sure that your policy would be enough to pay off debts on any community property.
Alternatively, the policy should pay your familys living expense for a few years. So, if you are your spouse purchased a home together make sure your life insurance covers the mortgage in full.
At the very least it should cover years of monthly payments. That will give your spouse the chance to handle their new debt while adjusting to life without you.
Watch Out For Collection Agencies That Prey On Survivors
Often, debt collectors will make the survivor feel that it is their responsibility to pay off their loved ones debt, stating it is their legal responsibility. This is simply not true. The death of a loved one does not mean automatically inheriting debt from their estate.
A spouses debt is not transferred to the other spouse upon death unless the debt was joint or co-signed. Knowing your rights is important, so be sure to check out our blog, What Can Debt Collection Agencies Actually Do In Canada?
Read Also: How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Efficiently
What Happens To Student Loans
If a person dies with a student loan that wasnt paid off, the debt can be cancelled. You just have to notify the student loan company with one of the following documents as proof of death:
- original Death Certificate;
- original coroners interim certificate
- copy of coroners certificate stamped the coroner
- copy of a foreign Death Certificate.
Who Is Responsible For Credit Card Debt When You Die
When you die, any debt you leave behind must be paid before any assets are distributed to your heirs or surviving spouse. Debt is paid from your estate, which simply means the sum of all the assets you had at the time of your death. The executor of your estate uses the assets in your estate to pay your outstanding debts. The executor may be someone you named in your will or estate plan or, if you didn’t have a will or estate plan, a person appointed by probate court.
If you have more debts than you have assets, your estate is insolvent. Whether family members must pay your credit card debt in this case depends on several factors.
Anyone who is a joint account holder on your credit cards can be held responsible for the debt after you die. Joint account holders apply for credit cards together as cosigners or co-borrowers; the credit card company checks both applicants’ credit reports when deciding whether to issue credit. Both account holders are equally responsible for paying the credit card balance.
Few major credit card companies offer joint accounts these days. If you share a credit card account with your deceased spouse, it’s more likely that one of you is an authorized user on the other’s account.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Annual Fee For First Premier Credit Card