When you are considering modifying or developing an estate plan in California, it is important to meet with a qualified Los Angeles estate planning attorney to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and T’s crossed. There are so many questions that legal professionals can answer when it comes to the final plans associated with one’s estate. One of these common questions is what happens to my credit cards when I die? Is the balance paid off by your estate or is it the responsibility of your surviving family members to foot the bill?
How Are Credit Cards With a Balance Managed After Death?
It is up to the credit card companies to prove that debt exists. Additionally, when their bills aren’t automatically paid by the estate, they must take action if they want any chance of recovering the costs. There are situations when the personal representative or the administrator of the deceased estate will begin automatically paying any outstanding debt and bills that exist. If this doesn’t happen, then credit collectors must connect with the personal representative of the estate and file a claim for the balance due.
However, there is a time limit on how long a creditor has to file that claim in California. If a file is made within four months of the death, they are within their rights to do so. If they file outside of that time frame, it is not likely they will recover their money. The personal representative is under no obligation or requirement to pay a claim made outside of the defined time limit. When it expires, so does the creditor’s viability at recouping their costs.
Additionally, the California personal representative of the deceased can also counter creditors by asking for an itemized list of what costs the creditor claims that are owed to them. Even when the creditor responds with such a list, the personal representative can still reject it. If this happens, it is up to the creditor to file an objection with the California probate court. If a creditor files an objection with a California probate court, the court is likely to throw out these protests if the creditor didn’t file during the four-month timeline or if it isn’t in line with the law in California.
Just because a person dies, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to be liable for their credit card bills. The estate of the deceased when the credit card is only in their name can be responsible for payment. If the credit card was jointly held by a spouse, for example, then that surviving person may have to foot the bill. Outside of these circumstances, credit card companies cannot go after other relatives to obtain payment for the outstanding debt.
Where To Find An Experienced California Estate Planning Attorney
Debt is a major consideration when you are developing a California estate plan. Attention to both how your debts are handled as well as how to manage improper claims is critically important. The California probate and estate planning attorneys at the Levia Law Firm will be able to help you ensure that all of these aspects and more are addressed in your estate plan. Contact the California estate lawyers at Leiva Law today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by calling (818) 703-1777 to learn more.