If I got married but then found out that my husband owes $350,000 on his house and he passes away, am I responsible for his debt?

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If I got married but then found out that my husband owes $350,000 on his house and he passes away, am I responsible for his debt?

I married this guy 6 months ago and live in a community property state. By the way his Will is under his niece’s name.

Asked on August 20, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Janet Martin / Janet Martin Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally no you wouldn't be liable but it is not black and white; If house title is sole and separate property and you are not living in it nor contributing to the payments, it remains his sole and separate asset and debt upon death or divorce. Otherwise, In Calif things are generaly apportioned from the time you marry in general, if not specifically agreed to by the spoue or otherwise in the Will; or the property and debt can become community property by your actions or agreement; You should see an Estate attorney with all the specifcs on title to the prop, the mortgage, who is paying, how the Will addresses the property, if it is valid, etc with your question for an appropriate legal analysis.   You might get a local Estate planning attorney to answer this question with a free consultation but you need all the specific facts and the Will handy. Also, if he didn't tell you about this, there are probably other matters you do not know about either. The two of you should sit down and get all the info financially about each of your debts and assets on the table.


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