When someone passes away, there is usually someone named as the executor of their will; this executor has the responsibility to handle what is called a deceased estate. This estate includes the monies and other assets left behind by the deceased, as well as any tax bills and other such costs that need to be met from that estate. If you're someone who needs to handle a deceased estate, you would do well to speak to an attorney who can walk you through the process. It's also good to know a few basics about how that process works so you know what is expected of you and how to manage certain aspects of that deceased estate.
Typically bank accounts that were in the name of the deceased personal solely are frozen so that bills and expenses can be paid from that account, without anyone else accessing the funds now that the person has died. For joint accounts, fund are usually then transferred to the name of the person who held the account jointly with the deceased person. This is important to know as it may be easier for a person to create a joint account with someone else before they die, if they want that person to have quick access to those funds after their death.
Loans and credit cards
For credit cards in the name of the deceased alone, these balances are usually paid from their individual bank account or other assets. For jointly held credit cards and personal loans, the other individual on that account may need to apply for a new credit card in their own name, depending on the bank that has issued the card; they can provide supporting paperwork to the bank which has issued the credit card, showing the death of the other account holder. They also need to continue to make payments on these jointly held credit cards or loans as long as they are open and a balance is owing.
An executor usually plans a person's funeral and may have expenses for anything that was not prepaid. They will typically be allowed to pay for funeral home expenses from the deceased person's bank accounts; however, there may be limits on what they can claim as funeral expenses. For example, they may not be reimbursed for their own personal travel, car rental for themselves or others, catering, a venue after the funeral for a family gathering, and other such expenses.