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Debts after dying

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Probate & Estate Administration, Wills & Trusts |

If you have debts in Kentucky when you die, you might think that they will disappear since you won’t be able to pay them yourself. However, this isn’t entirely true as there are some debts that could become the responsibility of others.


In the event that there is a surviving spouse who is listed on the mortgage, then that person would be responsible for the debt. You could take out a life insurance policy so that your spouse isn’t left with a large amount to pay after you die. When there is no other party on the mortgage or if there is no surviving spouse, then it could enter probate, which would determine what happens to the debt that’s left behind. Someone would be given the legal authority to handle the debt and the estate at this time. Keep in mind that the bank could take possession of the home if the payments aren’t made or if the home isn’t sold.

Credit cards

A joint owner on a credit card would be responsible for the debt that remains after you die. Sometimes, credit card companies can seek to obtain payment for what’s owed from your estate. In the event that there is not enough money left behind or if there is no will and assets, then this kind of debt typically dies when you pass away. Children and your other relatives usually aren’t held responsible for credit card debt.

Medical bills

These are quite common for many people and often still longer when you die. Some companies deem medical bills as uncollectible while others could attempt to go after your estate in order to obtain the money that is left on the bill.

Understanding what happens to your debt after you die is critical to estate planning. Researching obligations and being transparent about your finances with your executor and heirs can help ensure that your family is protected.