Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in New York

My cousin is about 55 years old and her 32 year old daughter passed away a couple of months ago. They resided in New York State. Can they hold her responsible for her daughter's bills? (credit card debt)

If they purchased a house together can they take the house?

Asked on 12/04/12, 11:58 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Guy Lewit Guy Mitchell Lewit, Esq.

sorry to hear. The answer is if the credit card was the daughter's and hers alone, NO.

It depends on how the deed reads. Normally non-spousal joint ownership does NOT provide an automatic transfer of ownership to the survivor. While a joint bank account gives all the funds to the survivor. An attorney has to examine the deed. If her interest in the house goes into her estate, the creditors might end up with a LIEN against her interest but they could NOT get the house since it is jointly owned. Did the daughter have a will? If not, the intestacy laws of NYS apply. The parents would probably get the house (with liens possibly).

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Answered on 12/04/12, 12:06 pm

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