What to do if my recently deceased wife and I were physically and financially separated for 8 years but now I am now recieving debt collection notices?

I am now recieving debt collection notices on her accounts. Am I responsible?

Asked on September 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Probably.  Spouses are jointly liable for most debts incurred during the course of the marriage.  You were physically separated, but were not legally separated or divorced.  Unless one of you filed for legal separation, then you are probably liable for all of her debts. 

California is a community property state and most debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are owed by the "community" (the couple), even if only one spouse signed the paperwork for a debt. The key here is during the marriage.

Best of luck.


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