Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Texas

My husband died in Aug of this year. Am i responsible for his personal credit card debit? My name wasnt on the cards

Asked on 10/04/11, 6:08 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Keith Morris Jones Morris Klevenhagen LLP

Yes, they are a community debt whether your name was on the card or not.

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Answered on 10/04/11, 6:14 pm
Keith Engelke Law Office of S. Keith Engelke

I guess I disagree.

My understanding of the law is that you are only responsible for the credit card debt if your husband incurred it to purchase necessaries (food, clothing, or shelter) or if you used the card(s) to purchase something. I have seen debt collectors argue that spouses are responsible for each other's debts. My position is that there is no community debt in Texas with some minor exceptions.. My source for this is See §3.201, TX FAM. CODE, and “Dispelling the Myth of Community Debt”, Featherson and Dickson, Texas Bar Journal Vol 73, Page 16 (January , 2010).

Otherwise, if your name is not on the account and you did not use the card, you are not responsible for the credit card debt. Your husband's estate is responsible for paying his debts.

Since there is a disagreement between two lawyers on this question, you should hire a lawyer to assist you with this, especially if you are taking care of your husbands estate.

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Answered on 10/04/11, 7:49 pm
Donald McLeaish McLeaish&Associates;, P.C.

You do not owe the debt but if there is a probate, the creditor will collect from the assets if it makes a claim before any assets are distributed

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Answered on 10/05/11, 5:16 am
Bob Leonard Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC

Mr. Engelke is right. There is no such thing as community debt. There are, however, five different types of property, including your separate property, his separate property, community property and your and his community property that you each had special control over. Which assets are reachable to satisfy the debt depends on the type of debt that it is.

The best advice is to retain an attorney who is knowledgeable about community property issues to advise you.

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Answered on 10/05/11, 9:26 am

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