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Ask Bill Fix Your Own Question
Bill Fix
Bill Fix, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 81
Experience:  Attorney at Fix Law, PLLC
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My husband passed away suddenly due to illness. I was named

Customer Question

my husband passed away suddenly due to illness. I was named as beneficiary on his life insurance, 401k and IRA. We did not jointly own property. I found credit cards in his name only. Will I be responsible for those debts?
JA: What state is this in? And when did the issue begin?
Customer: Indiana
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I called to cancel the cards
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Can't think of anything
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 2 months ago.

Hi, I'm an attorney in TN and will try to answer your questions.

Expert:  Bill Fix replied 2 months ago.

If you were listed as primary/sole beneficiary on the life insurance, IRA, and 401k, then those are non-probate assets that should go to you without going through the probate court. Other property like a home, automobiles, or bank accounts that did not have your name on them could potentially be probate assets where you'd need to open a probate case to transfer them...

Credit cards in his name alone would be debts of his estate. If your name is ***** ***** those accounts, generally you would not be liable for them, but his estate is.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do I understand that life insurance, IRA and 401K are not considered part of his estate?
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 2 months ago.

So in order to deal with the cc debts (and any other outstanding debts, expenses, or taxes of the estate, e.g., medical bills, funeral, auto loans, etc.), a probate case would need to be opened. Any assets of the estate would first need to go toward the outstanding debts before any heirs got their share of an inheritance.

As long as the life insurance and investment accounts named you as sole beneficiary, they would not be part of the probate estate.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 2 months ago.

Thank you.

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