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Debt After Death

The topic of death is often avoided, but once someone you love has passed, could they be leaving behind a pile of debt? It could happen and it could have a huge impact on those left behind. It’s not something that is discussed often, so we question, what really happens to debt after death?

The passing of a loved one can cause great uncertainty around a person’s debts, assets and finances once they’ve gone. So, we’re here to clarify a few things.

Many people believe that the personal debt of someone who has died is passed on to the surviving members. This is not entirely true.

If the debt is in their name, it belongs to them and them alone. Plain and simple. Their wealth and property will be used to pay funeral costs and then will be used to settle their debts. If their assets and finances are not enough to pay off the debt, the rest of the debt dies too.

However, in some instances debt may be passed onto a surviving relative if the debt is held in joint names. For example, a partner may be liable for the debt of a loved one who has passed, if they were also paying the mortgage. However, some people get confused surrounding the idea of credit cards. Credit cards are not issued in joint names, so, it’s handy to know that even an ‘additional cardholder’ will not be responsible for credit card debt after death.

There are several different ways of dealing and paying off each type of debt, that’s why it’s important to be aware of what debt someone has and to discuss with a professional on how this type of debt should be dealt with. 

Here at Sensible Debt Advice, we recommend settling your debts before it’s too late. If you or a loved one are in debt and struggling with repayments or you fear you could be leaving high levels of debt behind once you’ve passed, get in touch today, we’ll be able to discuss the available options to you.

We can help you plan and regain control of your finances. Don’t struggle in silence, talk to us on 01656 661426 or email us here.


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