Is the estate of my deceased spouse liable for 1/2 the balance of the mortgage?

We live in a community property state and the property was jointly held and so it went to me as the surviving spouse outside of probate. However, there is a debt attached to it that we both had cosigned on. Since it was a community debt, am I 100% responsible for the balance? His share of the estate will be going thru probate.

Asked on October 9, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are responsible for repaying the mortgage loan. His estate does not need to pay off the loan, unless his will specifically says that the loan should be paid out of the probate estate.

However, you should receive a share of your spouse's probate estate. In most states, you are entitled to a spousal share or spousal election, even if your spouse's will grants nothing to you. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.