I had to deal with this exact situation. I was caregiver for both my mother and father at the time of my fathers death. My mother having Alzheimer's was in no condition to deal with any of the details. I didn't want her involved or even know about it.
I had talked to these credit card companies on the phone and told them there was nothing left. There were some cards in my mothers name but she hadn't used one in years. My father also had gotten some in my name so I could buy for him. I didn't want to sign his name. I didn't apply for the card he just called the credit card company and added me to his account with a card in my name.
I guess you know they started calling me everyday. One card wouldn't have been to bad but something like 8 cards.
They were saying they still intended to collect because both you and your mother benefited from the use of the cards and they had our social security numbers.
My reply was my father had access to those numbers and he gave them to you. Neither my mother or myself entered into an agreement with you and never signed anything. If you want to prove we have Please produce the account signature card that we signed. No response but the calls kept coming.
What finally stopped the calls was I sent these companies a letter. To the customer service address I found on the bills. I wrote "This is to inform you that one of your cardholders has died and his estate is insolvent. I followed that with my fathers name and address and then listed that account numbers for the cards." I then added "(My fathers name)s' death occurred on Month Day, Year in xxxxxx County at xxxxx
xxxxxxxx Hospital in Town, State. If any additional information is required it shall be
only by written inquiry.
The phone calls stopped but not the letters. However, as it approached tax filling time one of the major card companies sent notification they where not going to pursue any longer and claiming it a loss. The rest did nothing more legally either. All sent the tax forms I needed to complete my fathers last tax filing.
Also during this time some of the companies tried to make a deal with me. They said they would accept a reduced amount. If I would give them some money during the call. Preferably the whole amount. I told them that I was having trouble deciding and had to see the offer written out. If they could send me by mail a copy of the offer that I could review and better understand I would consider it. They said that was find and I would have it in a few days. I never got one of those reduction offers on paper by mail. I don't believe they intended to honor the offer. Just take the money and come after the remaining balance.
I didn't make any payments because I didn't intend to pay. I was always nice when I talked to them. I never accepted an offer or said I was going to make an effort to pay. My father died in January 2005 so I had to deal with this for the whole rest of the year until these companies have to send out tax filing info. This was 5 years ago and in Pennsylvania.