Mom recently passed, do we continue to pay the credit cards or do we let them lapse until executor is set up?

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We live in Missouri and Mom recently passed.We are getting late notices on credit cards and the bank account has been put on hold. Do we pay the cards out of pocket or wait until the estate funds are released and the Executorship is established?

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Now is the time to visit with a Probate Attorney in your state. State law sets the rules for enforcement of debts against a decedent. Timing may be important If there are mortgage payments due on a piece of real estate. But credit card debt is a very different story. You need the advice of a Probate Attorney in your state who can explain the time line for estate settlement.

State law could provide your Mother's estate with protections that put the burden on the credit card companies to prove a debt is actually owed. If you try to make contact with your Mother's creditors yourself, you will likely set yourself at a disadvantage. Without the representation of a Probate Attorney, you won't really know what you are doing.

In my state (Massachusetts) survivors have conceded substantial amounts of money by charging ahead without legal representation. Many survivors never realize they have wasted substantial sums from an estate, until after making the mistake of proceeding without the advice of a Probate Attorney. Only a Probate Attorney in your state is competent to advise you.
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When my mother passed away, I sent all her creditors a copy of her death certificate, they in turned closed her accounts. I was not responsible for any of her bills since my name was not on any of them..hope this helps
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NO NO NO and NO.

Any payment you make can be taken by the credit card company as your internet to pay off the debt. If the credit cards are in your mother's name, wait until the estate has been settled, let the credit card companies put their claims in & they will get paid from the money in the estate. You can let the credit card companies know that your mother died---they may require the death certificate--but do not let them bully you into paying anything. It is not your debt & you are not responsible for paying it.
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Make absolutely sure you HAVE to pay these debts before you do!!!!!
In many cases - if your name was not on her account or if there will be no money left in the Estate - you are off the hook. And don't feel sorry for the credit card companies. If you don't have to legally pay these, DON'T.
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Who is Executor (or Personal Representative as it's called in some states)? Have you opened a Probate account yet?

If (a) the heirs are just you and your family and (b) there is no friction about division of assets and (c) you can afford it, I would pay the credit cards now to avoid accumulation of interest.

If these conditions don't exist, you may have to wait until the documentation is in place, then pay the cards off from your mother's estate's assets.

But in the meantime, do notify the credit card holders so that they're aware of your mother's death and don't make a determination that payments aren't being made for any other reason.

However, please read the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, (google Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 15 USC 1692) so that you DO NOT admit liability for the credit cards (unless you already have that liability - that depends on how the accounts are titled).

This is a good place to become familiar with the FDCPA:

lawcornell edu
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My dad recently passed in June and i informed the credit card companies. They closed his accounts and waited for estate money to be finalized for me to pay them off. Some of them just wrote them off. Some of them sent condolence letters. So with my experience when I let them know what was going on they were very understanding and compassionate.
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Don't use your own money to pay the bills.
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When I informed the Bank of My Mother's death, I needed to produce a death Certificate as well for authenticity, otherwise as Judge Judy often says WORD OF MOUTH " THATS HERE SAY "
I'd suggest if You are in that position where You can pay off Your Mom's credit card debth do so without delay..and be sure to get a letter from the Bank stating that You paid off the amount so You can give a copy to the Executor to claim that money back. In My experience if You allow the Bank to get their claws into You " They'll draw blood.
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You really should talk to an attorney about this. The estate may be responsible for paying off bills before the remaining monies can be divided out to the heirs.I agree to notify the credit card companies--
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The first thing you need to do is communicate with the creditors about the death of your mother. (I am sorry for your loss). Try to negotiate a stop on the interest charges until the estate can pay the debt. If that doesn't work enlist the aid of a consumer credit counseling to negotiate smaller payments with smaller interest rates. The most important thing is to communicate with everyone she had debt with and some may forgive the debt.
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