Credit Card Debt in my late husband’s name

Question: My husband passed away recently, and at his death, had $11,000 of credit card debt. He owned three cards, all in his name only. I am a pensioner with a substantial mortgage to carry now. Am I responsible for paying off his credit card debts ? Can I refuse to do so without anyone coming after me for money?

Spouse’s Debt and Credit Card Debt

Your spouse’s debts are his debts.   No-one can pursue you for his debts.  It is a common misconception that because you are married, you automatically become responsible for your spouse’s debts.  That is not the case.  You are only responsible for a debt if you signed for that debt.

If you were joint on the credit cards with your husband, than you are responsible.  If the cards were solely in his name, and if you never had a card or used the card on his account, you are not liable for it.  More information can be found in this article about whether filing for bankruptcy affects your spouse, and in this article about debts that are joint with your spouse.

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