Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Don’t be embarrassed, nervous or afraid

Chapter 3
What causes people to need Banruptcy Relief

Chapter 4
What is the Procedure to File Bankruptcy?

Chapter 5
When should I file bankruptcy?

Chapter 6
What do I lose if I file bankruptcy?

Chapter 7
What happens to my credit score if I file bankruptcy?

Chapter 8
What can bankruptcy do for you?

Chapter 9
What Does Bankruptcy Cost?

Chapter 10
What is the Real Price Difference Between Bankruptcy Lawyers?

Chapter 11
If I am Married, Can I File a Bankruptcy Without my Husband or Wife?

Chapter 12
Will My Employer Find Out if I File Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13
Does Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy “Ruin My Credit?”

Chapter 14
If I File Bankruptcy, Can I Leave Bills or Property or Transfers Off my Bankruptcy Petition?

Chapter 15
Can I File Bankruptcy on Bills in Someone Else’s Name?

Chapter 16
How Does Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Union?

Chapter 17
Can I file bankruptcy if I have co-signers?

Chapter 18
What About My Car in Bankruptcy?

Chapter 19
What Happens to My House in Bankruptcy?

Chapter 20
When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

Chapter 21
Cross-Collateralization Agreements in Bankruptcy

Chapter 22
Bankruptcy and Joint Accounts with Parents

Chapter 23
When do I stop paying my creditors?

Chapter 24
Gas, cable, electric and phone bill

Chapter 25
Bankruptcy and Divorce, Alimony, & Child Support

Chapter 26
What Bankruptcy won't solve

Chapter 27
Chapter 13 Debt repayment Plans

Chapter 28
Will I be able to get credit again?

Chapter 29
Bill Consolidation Loans

Chapter 30
Bill Consolidation Scams

Chapter 31
Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies

Chapter 32
Student Loans

Chapter 33
Can I get rid of Taxes

Chapter 34
NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets

Chapter 35
Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares

Chapter 36
Business Bankruptcy

Chapter 37
Professional Persons

Chapter 38
Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?

Chapter 39
File bankruptcy for the debts of my deceased spouse or child?

Chapter 40
What if I need a Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

Chapter 41
About Geraci Law LLC and Peter Francis Geraci

CHAPTER #39 Do I have to file bankruptcy for the debts of my deceased husband or wife, father mother or child?

This is a very sad situation. Here’s a typical question we get: “My (wife) (husband) (step mom/dad) died, do I/my father/mother have to pay all her bills if I/she/he did not sign for them”.

The answer is generally NO, with a few exceptions. The reason the answer is “no” is that in order to be liable for a debt, you must have agreed to it, generally in writing, or some law must make you liable for it. Any bankruptcy filing only discharges your debts. You cannot file a bankruptcy case for a deceased person. You cannot file a bankruptcy case for anyone else other than yourself, with the exception that if a person is mentally incompetent, there court-appointed administrator of the personal estate may be able to file a bankruptcy petition.

It is very rare to have somebody enforce an oral promise. If you accompany your sick spouse to the hospital, and they sign in, and you did not sign that you agreed to pay for their medical care, they are not going to file a lawsuit against you because you said to the billing clerk if she doesn’t pay the bills I will.

As far as a written promise, married people can make their own debts. Women do not have to have their husband sign for them to buy a car anymore, they can buy it all by themselves. If Mrs. Jones buys a car, and passes away without paying for it, Mr. Jones is not liable on it, because Mrs. Jones went out and bought it all by yourself, as she is perfectly entitled to do. What Mr. Jones should do is call the finance company and say I’m sorry to tell you, but Mrs. Jones passed away and there was no death insurance rider that I can see that she bought to pay off the loan in the event of her death, so nobody’s going to be paying for this car anymore and you can come and pick it up.

If Mrs. Jones did not die with no assets, but died with an estate that is going to be probated, then give her bills to her probate lawyer or heirs, if you are not an heir or administrator. Bills of a deceased person, or more properly the debts of the deceased person, or claims against their estate, so that if they left any property to be divided up among heirs, or even if they left property and there are no errors, probate estate should be opened and the bills should be forwarded to the administrator or the executor of the estate for payment.

The other exception to actually signing on bills is the law in eight states, one of which is Wisconsin, that debts made during the marriage or community debts. So if Mr. and Mrs. Jones lived in a community property state, and Mrs. Jones made debts by herself while she was married, Mr. Jones may be on the hook for those community debts.

So, if you did not make yourself obligated for the debt by signing a contract or alone, and there is no probate estate going to be opened, and you don’t live in a community property state, spouses or other relatives are not liable for the bills of their deceased husband wife sister mother father or brother. The usual procedure is to tell the finance company, if they call or send a bill, that poor Mrs. Jones is not with us anymore, and send them a photocopy of her death certificate, so they can write it off.

So, do not call the bankruptcy lawyer and try to file a bankruptcy for a deceased person, and don’t worry about the bills of a deceased person unless you signed on them, or lived in a community property state where you were married to them.

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