My step-dad just passed away unexpectedly. My mother is on the deed to their house, and survives. He had 24K in credit card debt in his name only, can they take the estate from my mother?
3 Answers from Attorneys
I'm sorry, but the clearest answer is that it depends upon the facts. The credit card companies can make a claim against your step dad's estate ( they may even be able to open a.c. estate for boom of your mom doesn't) they will not have a direct claim against the house. But, octen credit card ompanies fail to make a claim against the estate. If your mom had authority to charge on a card, she may be directly responsible for the credit card. If he had children not by your mom, she still likely share the estate with them, depending upon his will or trusts.
I am sorry for your loss. Under the facts as you give them, it would appear that your mother would own the house and the house would not be included in any probate estate. If there were other assets that require the opening of a probate estate, the credit card creditors can file claims, or as pointed out above may be able to open an estate to pursue their claims. Unless your Mother is legally liable on the credit cards, they will not be able to collect from assets that she owns.