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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118087
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I am 90 years old and carry about $20,000 in credit card

Customer Question

I am 90 years old and carry about $20,000 in credit card debt. Two of the credit cards that I carry are also in my daughter's name. I have about $65,000 in assets in a custodial acct for my children and IRA. Will my credit card debt be taken out of my assets? I live in Illinois.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Yes, upon your death, your debts come out of your assets, but if your assets are not enough to cover your debts, then your estate is called "insolvent" and your heirs would not be liable to pay those debts. Thus, to avoid having your IRA go to paying debts before your heirs get any, you need to make sure you have your heirs named as beneficiary (name them all as beneficiaries on the IRA and your bank accounts as well) because then at your death, your IRA and your bank accounts that all have beneficiaries named on them never become part of your estate and as such the creditors cannot touch it because it goes to your beneficiaries outside of your estate and all they can seek to claim payment from is the assets in your estate.

Your children/heirs would not be liable for paying those debts from the accounts and if your estate has no money, then the creditors would get nothing.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help, but can you tell me if my daughter is liable for the debt on the two credit cards that also have her name on it (as most of the debt is mine).
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your clarification.

In general, no, the authorized user on the account is not liable for the account payment if you die. It she is more than an authorized used, the account is in her actual name, then she would be liable for the debt when you die.

If she is only an authorized user then some credit card companies will report the debt on her credit report, but legally they cannot collect from her as the authorized user is not liable for the debt.