Can you go after unpaid alimony from a deceased persons estate

My ex-husband died and he didn’t pay me allimony for 17 years. He left everything to his wife. Can i get back alimony from what he left to her?

Asked on March 24, 2017 under Family Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, your alimony payments end when your ex-spouse passes away. However, you may be able to recover unpaid alimony by making a claim against your deceased ex-spouse's estate. In other words, if your ex-husband owed past due alimony when he died, you are still entitled to that amount. His estate will likely be taken through through the probate process. During probate, the court appoints an administrator (either an executor if there was a Will or a persoanal representative if there was no Will) for the estate. The administrator oversees the estate, pays outstanding debts and distributes the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. If your ex-husband owed you past due alimony, you are a creditor of the estate. This means you can submit a claim for the unpaid alimony. The exact process for submitting a claim varies from state-to-state so you should consut directly with a probate attoeny in the county of where the probate was opened; they can best advise you further.

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