Can I seek payment from my ex-husband’s estate for payment of his debt?

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Can I seek payment from my ex-husband’s estate for payment of his debt?

My ex-husband passed away nearly 1 year ago. He stated in our separation agreement, filed with the court, the he would transfer our joint credit card into his name and pay it off (strictly his debt), and that he wished me to be the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. Unfortunately, he passed away just 3 weeks after the divorce was finalized from a heart attack and was not able to complete the paperwork for these things. His mother (prior listed beneficiary) took the life insurance money and I have been paying off his debt for the past year. Do I have a case? Is there a SOL?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your former husband has a probate or intestacy proceeding to distribute the assets of his estate, you are entitled as a creditor to make a creditor's claim to it concerning the filed agreement with the court to his estate's representative to honor it. If his estate's representative will not honor the filing with the court concerning your dissolution, your option is to file an action against the estate based upon the filed document.

If your former husband had a trust, you need to submit your claim to the trustee of the trust based upon the court filings. If the trustee will not honor the filed court documents with respect to your former husband, your option is to bring an action against his trust.

If you had a family law lawyer assisting you in the martital dissolution, you should contact him or her about your current questions.

Good luck.


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