My wife's name is on her mom's checking account. Can creditors go after me if she dies owing money? - AgingCare.com

My wife's name is on her mom's checking account. Can creditors go after me if she dies owing money?

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This is a joint account, my wife is an account owner, along with her mom. If my mother-in-law passes away and there are unpaid debts, I am thinking the creditors will look for my wife and any of her assets to pay off the debt. Our joint assets could be a target....house, checking, investments, etc. My mother-in-law (85) has some funds now, but this could be quickly wiped out if she gets ill and runs up medical bills.
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Exactly how is the account ownership worded?
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From my own experience, my name was on my mom’s account. I paid her bills out of that account. When she moved from her apartment to the nursing home, as POA, I had to pay the final bills for utilities, cable television, rent, etc. I was told by the financial officer at the NH that her debts were hers and not mine, although she had none. The FO told me “if they would threaten to come after Mom, let them. There’s no money. Period”.

The best thing you can do is have your wife keep a close watch on her mom’s spending so there are no debts left owing. Since she is on the account, she can request a copy of the statement. She could even offer to start writing checks for the bills if Mom wants her to.
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Teamforest, can you clarify whom you are referring when you wrote "if she dies"? Are you referring to your mother-in-law, or your wife?
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