Dealing with Debt

questions & answers

Question: My husband passed away and had a credit card that was in his name only. Am I held accountable to pay that debt off? And I am confused, do creditors have six months to file a claim, after they receive the death certificate, or 6 months after you probate? Thank You!

Answer: The name on the credit card does not matter, what does matter is when the debt was incurred. Depending on the terms of the card, that is a murky definition and can be when the account was opened, when it was actually used, when the last payment occurred, or when it was charged off. Arizona is a community property state, so if the debt was incurred while you were married, then you are liable for the debt. You have the burden to prove that it was his sole and separate property and used for his benefit only. An easy example would be if he owned a business for years before you were married and this card was used for the business only. If you were married a short time before he died and received no benefit from the card, you could argue that it was part of his separate property. However, if the card was only in his name but opened and used while you were married, then yes, it is likely that you are liable. You will be required to provide "clear and convincing evidence" that the community received no benefit. The answer to your second question regarding creditors depends on the type of proceeding you are referring to: testate (will), intestate (no will), or if there is a trust.  References - ARS §§25-215, ARS §§ 14-3801

QUESTIONS

  • My husband passed away and had a credit card that was in his name only. Am I held accountable to pay that debt off? And I am confused, do creditors have six months to file a claim, after they receive the death certificate, or 6 months after you probate? Thank You!

STORIES

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