Unsecured debts and death
If a person dies and leaves behind unsecured debts (finance like personal loans and credit cards) what happens to these will depend on whose name the debts were in, and whether the person had any assets like investments, savings or a house.
If the debts were in their name only
If the debts were only in the name of the person who has died, then these debts will either:
- be written off if the person didn’t have any assets, or
- need to be repaid if the person has left an estate (this could be anything from savings to a share in a house)
If your husband, wife or civil partner has died and they had a debt that was in their name only, you won't become responsible for it.
If they left a will, any beneficiaries named in it will only receive their inheritance once funeral costs have been covered and debts have been repaid.
If the debts were joint with you or someone else
If you or someone else was named on the credit agreement, that person will become responsible for repaying the full amount of the debt.
A credit card will only ever be in one name, but your credit card provider may have allowed you to have a second card for your partner or someone else to use. If someone else's name is attached to the card, they'll be a second card holder. In these cases the second card holder won't be responsible for paying any of the debt spent on either card.