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Phil Cannella shared with his audience at one of his recent Crash Proof Retirement Educational Events, “You would be committing fraud if you knew a parent was near death and the estate didn’t have the money and you used it knowing it wouldn’t be paid off. Even if you are not held personally liable for the debt of the credit card, you’ll feel the effects of it if you’re a beneficiary of the estate. Debts will be paid from the estate before beneficiaries get any money. “
Phil Cannella goes on to explain that there is a specific time for creditors to file a claim against the estate. When an estate is probated, creditors are prioritized. Credit card debt is unsecured, unlike a mortgage, which is secured by property, or a car that is secured by the vehicle. So when it comes to collecting your money, it’s likely the credit card company will be at the back of the line with you when it comes to paying debts from the estate.
“That’s not to say the credit card company won’t try to recoup the debt from family members, so don’t’ fall for it if you know you’re not liable. Taking pre-emptive action, such as notifying credit card companies that the cardholder is deceased, will help prevent them from contacting you. Before any debts are paid out of an estate, including credit card debt, consult your attorney,” continued Phil Cannella during one of his weekly educational programs.