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Credit card debt and estate planning in Indiana

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Probate

In Indiana, debts do not automatically disappear when a person dies. Individuals and families need to understand what happens to credit card debt after a loved one’s death and how to handle it properly and pay off any outstanding balances.

Estate planning and credit card debt

Estate planning can significantly determine how credit card debt handles after a person’s death. If the deceased had a will, their wishes regarding debt repayment should be outlined in the document. The state’s intestacy laws will dictate debt payment if there is no will.

Who is responsible for paying credit card debt?

Paying credit card debt after a person’s death generally falls on their estate. The estate is a legal entity responsible for paying off the deceased’s debts and distributing their assets. The obligations may go unpaid if the estate does not have enough assets to cover debts.

However, sometimes, a co-signer or joint account holder may be responsible for paying off the credit card debt. It is essential to carefully review the terms of the credit card agreement and any relevant state laws to determine who is responsible for the debt.

What to do if you inherit credit card debt

Suppose you are an heir or beneficiary of an estate with outstanding credit card debt. In that case, it is crucial to carefully review the terms of the credit card agreements and the estate’s assets. If you are not a co-signer or joint account holder, you may not be personally responsible for paying off the debts. However, it is still vital to address the debts as they can impact the distribution of the estate’s assets.

Credit card debt does not automatically disappear after a person’s death in Indiana. It is essential to understand the role of estate planning in determining and handling debts and carefully reviewing the terms of any credit card agreements to determine who is responsible for paying off the debts.