Liability for Parent's Debts

Question: How can I ensure that any debt my mother incurs, I will not be liable for? My mother has a 25,000 credit card bill, limited income, a mortgage (which is current) and several other credit cards which she has defaulted on. The 25,000 credit card is current. Her credit score is in the low 600’s if that. She refuses to consider bankruptcy. She is 72 1/2 and I want to make sure that I cannot be held liable for any of her debt, other than the student loan I co-signed for her. Also, I gave her a credit card to use for food and gas. The card has her name on it but is linked to my account. I pay that bill on time but does giving her the card imply that I am allowing her to open credit in her name using my information?

Answer: Absent a signed writing you are not liable to pay the debts of a parent. Gratuitously paying the bills of another does not without more make you liable for bills that are not paid.

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