Spouses Aren't Liable for Separate Debt
If the credit card or debt is something that was solely in the name of your deceased spouse and you never signed anything agreeing to be liable for it, as a general rule you will not be personally liable for the bill.
This is true of credit cards, personal loans, car notes, business debts, mobile phone contracts, and other bills. Such items are debts of your deceased spouse and become liabilities of his/her estate and the creditor must seek payment through the succession proceeding.
An Important Caveat
There is one caveat, however, that you must be aware of. Although the creditor cannot pursue you personally for payment of the bill, the creditor is permitted to pursue and collect against any community assets you owned with your deceased spouse.
For instance, even though you are not personally liable, the creditor may nevertheless be able to garnish a bank account that was jointly owned between you and your deceased spouse.
The rule of law in Louisiana permits creditors to pursue community property to satisfy both separate and community obligations. As such, even though you are not personally liable, it may not be prudent to ignore the bill collectors of your deceased spouse if it puts your community property at risk for being taken.
How We Can Help
SVHC Law, Estate & Probate Division helps families across Louisiana settle the estates of their loved ones. If you have questions about the division of assets and liability for debts after the death of your spouse, call our office today to schedule a consultation.