If I’m married but have been separated for 10 years with no contact with my spouse, what do I need to do now that he has died?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I’m married but have been separated for 10 years with no contact with my spouse, what do I need to do now that he has died?

I received a sympathy card from the local hospital 4 months ago addressed to my spouse’s brother at my address (he lives out of state); the card referred to the death of my husband. I have been hesitant to inquire or get the death certificate as I do not want to be held responsible for any debt he may have incurred after our split. His name is also still attached to my home that I alone have paid the mortgage on for the last 10 years. I know that I need to do something to protect my interests but not sure where to start. We never divorced because I could not afford to pay for it and he wasn’t going to help.

Asked on July 14, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult with a probate attorney to see what matters related to your husband's estate need to be finalized, if any.  An attorney can also help you obtain a copy of the death certificate.  The attorney review can also review the deed(s) associated with your house.  If you had a right of survivorship provision, you may not need to do anything to protect your home, because it would automatically revert to you in entirety upon his death.  But to know for sure, you need to have someone look at the deed and the mortgage contract.  You may actually be in a better position than you thought you were originally.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption