If my ex-husband passed away and left me his life insurance, am I now responsible for his debt?

Asked on November 5, 2014 under Estate Planning, Virginia


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In community property states, such as Arizona, if a married person incurs a debt, that debt is shared with his/her spouse, and if the person dies, the spouse would be responsible for the debt.  Virginia is not a community property state, so that rule would not apply to you, even if you were still married.  Likewise, if your ex-husband had left you money in a will, the probate court would pay his debts out of the estate before paying you.  However, being named the beneficiary of life insurance does not make you responsible to pay the deceased's debts.

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