There is a lot of anxiety out there about the debt we take on. Sure, savings rates have climbed a bit since the financial crisis of 2008. (Mostly because fewer people are treating their homes like piggy banks, borrowing money on a value they believe will just always keep rising.) But credit card debt is still irresistible to many–what happens when a loved one dies and the debt is nowhere near paid off?
First thing to know is, as a child of a parent with credit card debt, you’re not responsible. Credit card companies can make a claim on equity represented by whatever the deceased owned–a house, car, boat, etc. And they may get their part of the equity before this property can be passed along to relatives as a will indicates. But if your mother or father passes away with a load of credit card debt, that debt does not get passed along to you.