What happens if Mom or Dad die with credit card debt?

It’s a fair question when you consider that seniors are now more likely than ever to have debt loads.

If Mom or dad go before their debts are paid, their estate is responsible. But paying off debts, especially credit card balances, can seriously deplete the proceeds of a life insurance policy or annuity intended to support the surviving spouse in comfort.

When a senior dies with credit card balances outstanding, the surviving spouse may well inherit the debt if the credit cards are held jointly. It’s safer for each spouse to keep and use a credit card in their own name. That way, if one spouse dies with balances outstanding, the estate, not the surviving spouse, is responsible for the debt.

Too many seniors take responsibility for their spouse’s debts, at the expense of their own financial stability.

Here, insolvency professional Richard Goldhar discusses how to preserve insurance proceeds for the benefit of the surviving spouse.


Here’s the bottom line. Seniors aren’t comfortable discussing finances with their adult children. It can be a huge help to Mom or Dad to talk to them about their options if they find themselves widowed and unsure of how to discharge remaining debts.

Richard Goldhar offers to review the liabilities of an estate to determine if the debts can be discharged without eating into insurance benefits and other legacies. A free, no obligation consultation with Goldhar can help your surviving parent preserve cash and protect the dignity of their loved one .

To arrange a consultation, call Goldhar at 1-855-541-5114. Or use the online contact form.