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Louisiana probate: Dealing with a loved one's credit card debt

When a loved one dies, there are a lot of things that need to be figured out. If proper estate planning was completed, probate in the state of Louisiana may not be too complicated. However, if the decedent had credit card debt when he or she passed, some may find dealing with it a bit frustrating. 

Most Americans have credit card and other debts when they die. A recent article suggests that 75% of people do. Those set to inherit an estate may worry that they may be held responsible for paying off the debts with their own personal funds. Thankfully, that is not necessarily how it works out. 

Creditors have the right to file claims against an estate within a set period time. If they can successfully prove that they have the right to collect, the debts are to be paid out of the estate, not out of the pockets of surviving family members -- unless the debt is co-owned or the decedent was married. The responsibility of jointly owned debt passes on to the other account owner. As Louisiana is a community property state, if the decedent was married, his or her spouse will become responsible for debt repayment.  

Creditors have the right to be informed when their account holders pass away. Most will file the claims necessary during the probate process to collect any funds owed them. Those who fail to do so within the statute of limitations will be unable to seek repayment down the line. 

When it comes to probate in Louisiana, it is all about the details. Unless one is familiar with the ins and outs of probate and the rights of those allowed to make claims on a loved one's estate, the administration process may be prove more difficult than is necessary. Thankfully, it is possible to turn to an experienced probate attorney for assistance handling creditor and others' claims in a swift manner so that the estate can be closed out quickly and without error.

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