My co-workers husband died, he has no assets only credit card debit. Does she have to Probate the will? Is she responsible his credit card debit. She is elderly and has no means to pay his debits.
Yes. When the total value of a person's estate (not including the house and exempt personal property-roughly under $30K) does not exceed debts of a total of $15K (which includes lien's, taxes, child support, etc.) then the deceased's heir can file an affidavit (sworn statement) to this effect and and seek distribution without formal probate.
In other words, it really depends on the type of debt that is on the credit cards, as well as the total amount.
As to credit card, did she sign application? Does the credit card debt relate to necessaries under Texas law? She needs to consult a probate attorney to drill down on the facts including the liabilities. How much money was in the bank in either of their names on the date of his death?
She may not need to file the will for probate. However, his creditors can initiate probate proceedings. As for the credit card that, she may or may not be liable, depending on whether or not she is a co-debtor, and what the card was used for.
She would be wise to consult with a probate lawyer to determine what her options are.
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If she is the sole beneficiary under her husband's will, she may not need to probate it.
But if she is named on the credit cards, she remains liable whether or not she probates the Will.
Remember that credit card debt is unsecured debt. Note also that even if the credit card company went to court and got a judgment, it could not garnish her Social Security -- or much else.
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