I Have Been Diagnosed With Terminal Prostate Cancer. What About My Debts? – Dave

“Dear Steve,

I have been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer which is terminal.

What will happen to my debts after my death, would it be better to make myself bankrupt before this happens as I have no assets whatever?


Dear Dave,

First off I’d like to send you out a big virtual hug and wish you a peaceful journey on this chapter of your life.

The path you choose to take on your debts will really depend on if you have any family you plan to leave anything to.

middle age coupleIf you are not married with joint debt or do not live in a community property state with a spouse, then the creditors can only look to your estate for any payments. Anyone you appoint to manage your affairs when you are gone will simply need to supply each creditor with a certified original death certificate and that will end things for most creditors.

If you filed bankruptcy now it would make it clear there would be nothing to chase when you are gone.

If you want to leave things as wrapped up and tidy as possible with minimal work required for those that you leave behind then a bankruptcy makes logical sense.

If you are not in a place to mentally deal with that right now or you can’t afford to file bankruptcy, then instruct whoever you designate to handle your affairs to read How to Handle the Bills After the Death of a Loved One.

If you don’t have anyone by your side as you make this transition, I can’t stress enough how awesome the people are at your local hospice chapter. When my mother passed last year they were a blessing.

Let me know what you decide to do about your debts.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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