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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2757
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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My spouse is near death--he has a sizable credit card

Customer Question

my spouse is near death--he has a sizable credit card balance in his name only--car loan his name only. will they come after our home? bank accounts / the will leaves all to me we have nothing but the house and a small life insuance policy . I have skipped this months pymt so to have money for the funeral needs and to have money before insurance comes in. I heard the estate can have a lein placed upon it. I donot have any income a widowers pention albeit a small one want come from the v.a. for months-- do I call them and let them take back the car//I cannot afford the pymts--credit card does not have me as a other signer or user,his only.. do I return bill unopened with deceased written on the outside? my home will be paid off due to veterans insurance what to do???? do I depleat what little I have in joint bank account-put it somewhere else?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 10 months ago.

What state are you from? Was the house held jointly with a right of survivorship? Have you opened the estate and started probate?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ohio-both our names are ***** ***** deed,his name on mortgage note. he is still with us for now.? I don't know how to proceed. I'm thinking to let his car go back/I cant pay for it. I cannot make his credit card pymts either.. I certainly don't want my home and whatever assets that I might have leined upon because of his debt.should I empty out the checking acct? the main thing is what to do about the creditcard and his car note. upon his death the house will be paid for thru the v.a. small life insurance that needs to go to f.home and whats left tide me buy till I get a widowers pention in 2-3 months time. he does have a will leaving everything to me
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 10 months ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

So sorry, I didn't notice you had responded. I had a busy day and should have gotten to this sooner. To answer your question, Ohio is not a community property state therefore any credit card debt solely in his name is ***** ***** your debt. If all you have is life insurance and the house as property to pass to you, you might consider not probation the estate at all since it is insolvent. The life insurance will pass to you outside of probate anyway and would not be controlled by the will. The house since it was owned jointly will likely as well although you need to ascertain if it was held with "a right of survivorship". This means that when 1 spouse dies, the other spouse gets 100% of the property and it does not have to pass through probate. You simply need to get the death certificate and go to the county assessor's office with the title and get it put in your name. In this best case scenario, you would get these two assets without having to go through probate. The downside is the creditors will try whatever they can to get you to pay. You don't have to again assuming your name was not on the account and you weren't a guarantor. So ignore them. You could take it to probate and the creditors would have to file a claim with the estate after you give 3ach and everyone one of them notice of your husbands death. Again there would be nothing to pay them with but their claims would be extinguished which would stop the calls. Probate can be long and you will probably need an attorney so again, with no assets it might be best to avoid probate (again assuming the house was held with a right of survivorship). The checking accounts if held jointly will also automatically go to you, so if this is the case, yes you can empty them out and don't worry about the credit card debt. It is not your debt and they cannot put a lien on your house if it passed outside of probate. So you should think about what is the best situation for you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?