What Happens to Credit Card Debt When You Die?

  • Written by Steel Rose

Millions of Americans have grown used to the idea of living with debt. Millions are also expecting to die with it.

According to a poll by, a total of 31 million Americans believe they will only be rid of their credit-card debt when they shuffle off this mortal coil. Their outlook only gets gloomier with age: While 65% of millennials in debt can’t foresee paying it off any time soon, that rises to 68% of Generation X, 70% of baby boomers and 83% of the Silent Generation.

But once you’re finally free, where does that debt go? If there’s a chance you might leave credit-card debt behind, it’s important to be informed and make some changes to ensure your loved ones won’t be burdened by more than grief.

Before you pass on, you get to decide who is in charge of dealing with your finances. This “executor,” whom you name in your will, is responsible for distributing your inheritance, paying taxes and, yes, satisfying your creditors. The process is called “probate.”

Most people name an immediate family member, but if you don’t choose an executor, the courts will appoint an administrator for you. Depending on the state and who is willing to accept the job, this could end up being anyone from your spouse to one of your creditors — so make sure you make your wishes known. To read more, click here