Dear To Her Credit,
After my mom passed, I began making the payments on her two credit cards. I have never used them, just made payments. She has been gone almost five years and there is still over $3,000 on the cards. Is there a way I could stop paying on them? -- Patricia
Yes. Stop paying on your mom's credit card bills now.
Making payments on a relative's credit card for years after she is gone is not your legal or moral responsibility. Taking care of your parents while they are alive is great. Trying to pay their debts for five years after they are gone is not wise use of your resources.
If they're still sending statements and accepting payments after this period of time, I would question whether the banks even know that your mom has passed away. Whoever managed your mom's estate five years ago should have notified them and closed the accounts long ago.
Here's how it's supposed to work when someone dies:
At this late date, you should contact the credit card companies by phone or mail and tell them what happened. Tell them that you are not responsible for the remaining balance. They may ask for a copy of the death certificate or other documentation. Once the bank has everything it needs, that should be the end of it.
I'm concerned that you would make payments so long on this account. It must not be a small amount of money for you, or you would likely have just paid it off when you thought you were responsible or were somehow helping your mom. Nevertheless, the money you've been paying needlessly could have been going toward a retirement account, saving for your next car so you don't have to make payments or investing in your skill set to improve your career.
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