Q: My elderly father has a significant amount of credit card debt. I am his only living heir. Will I be responsible for those debts when he dies? J.W., Paramus, N.J.
A: No. When a person dies, his debts are paid out of his estate by the estate's executor. But that means those post-death credit card payments will reduce any money coming to you as the sole beneficiary. One caveat: If you're a co-signer on any of your father's credit cards, you can be held personally liable for the debt. In such a case, you should make sure those debts are paid off while your father is alive.