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Credit Card Responsibility for Deceased Spouse

Question:  My wife has a credit card in her name only.  If she passes away, am I responsible for the debt? Answer:  No – as long as you did not sign any documents agreeing to be legally responsible for your wife’s credit card debt.  However, if the court appoints you as the executor of your wife’s estate, and the credit card company properly makes a claim in the probate case, then you may be required to pay all or part of their claim.  That payment would come not from your own funds but instead from any money left in your wife’s estate, after higher-priority claims (such as funeral expenses) have been paid.   For more information about Illinois law, visit  If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit