The short answer is no, your debts do not die, or just go away, when you die. In fact, a claim by a creditor (for example, your credit card company), can live (almost) forever and become a real problem for the loved ones you leave behind if not handled properly.
When you pass away, your debts (credit cards, mortgage, Medicaid repayments, etc.) become the debts of your estate. Texas has very specific rules regarding how and when creditors are to be notified of your passing, and how and when creditors are to be repaid.
In my role as a Probate attorney, I do regularly negotiate settlements of these debts. And, if handled properly from the start, it is common to achieve an outcome that is favorable to all parties. However, if ignored or not handled correctly, significant and expensive problems can arise, even years down the road.
When a loved one dies, it is extremely important to take time to grieve and comfort those left behind. It is also vital to handle probate and estate issues in a thoughtful and proactive manner. Otherwise, creditors will indeed come calling one day and, when they do, they will likely have the law on their side.
To learn more about Probate and Estate matters and to schedule a free consultation, please call The Cawlfield Law Firm at 972-382-5400, located on the historic downtown square in Celina, Texas.