Even if your husband had nothing, he still has an estate, even if that estate only consists of credit card debt.<br />
In my country, when you get a credit card, you have to take out a mandatory insurance policy which will cover your credit card debt when you die. When my dad died, I informed his credit card company and surprise, surprise, they told me that the insurance only covers people up to the age of 69 and if the person is 70, as in my dads case, the insurance was void and the estate would have to pay for it. After speaking to a few lawyers, I found and easy solution, divvy up the estate so that its value can not pay the bill, take the proof of this to the master of the high court and have the estate dclared insolvent, then the credit card company or bank has no choice but to write off the debt. Like I said, this is what works in my country, so speak to lawyer, it may work for you too, especially since the estate has nothing but debt.
I'd find out from a lawyer before I'd give them a cent .
I am no lawyer but i think if he left no estate and your name was not on the cards that you don't have a legal obligation to pay them. They will probably want a copy of his death certificate and will also probably send you a statement that will require you to list his unpaid credit card bills as income when you file his income taxes. that is what they did when my sister died. It's just their petty way of screwing with the families of people who have the audacity to die without paying their credit card bills, since they actually gain nothing by the practice.
I disagree with the posters who say you have to pay for them....It probably depends on where you live, but here, in the midwest United States, my husband opened a credit card, just his name on it, then, being irresponsibile, over-extended his credit, and stopped paying his bill....Collectors called the house, and tried to say that I owed it, too...I told them that my name was not on them, and that I didn't agree to any of the terms and did not sign anything....so they corrected it, and stopped calling.
You are not personally responsible for that debt, but they can take the money from his "estate" (any life insurance, assets, etc).
When my husband died, there was nearly $6million in medical debt. We never signed my name when he was admitted into the hospital. No debtors came to probate so the attorney sent letters to the collectors asking them to state if I was responsible for that debt. No one replied. I was not responsible for my husbands debt in his name only.
When my husband died he had a lot of credit card debt too. Some cards where insured and some were not. I had to pay the ones that were not.
Where I live, credit card debt is supposed to be insured. If it turns out that you DO have to pay his debt, make sure you pay only the outstanding principal. Don't pay any more interest. You need an accountant, a lawyer, or a debt counsellor to help you with this.
As Caliper stated; get a lawyer and you may even be able to find legal advice from public advocates for free. explore all your options and remmeber that you sould be able to repay the debt according to what you can afford. if you have problems trying to find good legal councel, or need help finding where to start, contact or go to your congressman's office and they will help you.