If a loved one dies and they owe money on something - you will receive a call within a day or 2 of them passing. They will try to get you to agree to pay for their debt by any means possible - usually a guilt trip. "I'm sure he would have wanted his good name perserved" etc.
They will try to get you to make any payment at all. $1, $5, whatever. If you pay ANY amount, you become fully responsible for the debt and they will transfer the loan to you.
The legality of this tactic and the debt transfer probably depends on the state.
You are under NO obligation to pay for the debts of a deceased loved one, so be careful. If they had an estate, the debtors need to go through the correct legal processes to file a claim against the estate - not you. If there's no estate, the debtors are shit out of luck and they know it.
The people attempting to collect on these are scumbags and will first try to trick, guilt, or shame you into paying something. If that doesn't work they will try to insinuate you will have legal problems if you don't play along.
This is especially terrible as if you were close to this person, you're grieving and vulnerable and they act as if they are trying to help you in a rough time - when they're actually trying to screw you.
TLDR: If a loved one dies - DO NOT pay for any of their debts. Not even a dollar. You will inherit the full debt if you do so.