Q: My father passed away recently and he left some debt on his credit cards. The credit cards are under his name only, what happens since these cards cannot be paid and how should I go about informing the credit card companies?

A: When you die, and there are no assets in the estate, the debts die with you. As long as no one else held those credit cards, the debt cannot be passed on. But if there are assets in the estate (if your father owned a home, furniture, clothing, car, etc.), the credit card companies can petition the court to have these items sold to pay back the debt.

Please consult with an estate attorney for further details.

Published: Feb 28, 2001