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Taxtom
Taxtom, Accountant
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Experience:  25 Years in preparing Personal and Business Tax Retuns
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My mother in law passed away this week. She has a $12,000

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My mother in law passed away this week. She has a $12,000 credit card bill including her paid up funeral expenses. She has virtually no assets, we found $1500 in a checking account so far, she was living on social security, no real estate or life insurance. My wife was on her credit card but not as a primary card holder. What happens to this bill and/or what is the best approach with the credit card company?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  Taxtom replied 5 years ago.

Taxtom :

Hello, If yur wife is not a cosignor on the account she would not be responsible for the debt. For her to be shown responsible the credit card company would have to prove that your wife used the card for her own use intending to defraud the credit card company. The remaing balance in the checking account can be used to pay her final expenses and if there is anything left you can pay the credit card company. You will need to send a letter to the credit card company telling them she died and include a copy of her death certificate. Send the letter certified return receipt so you have proof of mailing. Thanks Tom

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Taxtom,

I thought that was the case but I think we may have to pay for the final charge, which was the funeral home expense. We had no choice but to charge that to her card on the day she died. My wife signed because she had the second card. She was never a co signer on the account, however. Should we deal with that in advance or wait for their request for that $3500 charge to be paid?
Expert:  Taxtom replied 5 years ago.
Hello again, Yes the final charge even though it was for her will be a problem. I think it might be a good idea to contact the credit card company and make arrangements to pay that final charge. You can use the money from your mother-in-laws checking account to help. If you don't they will probably try to collect the total balance. Another option that may work better is if you can come up with the funds is to go back to the funeral home and tell them there was an error and have them credit the card back for those charges and pay in another way. Also just a side note, You may be required to return her last Social Security check. Thanks Tom
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