If my husband was killed in a motorcycle accidentand he did not have a Will, does everything automatically go to me?

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If my husband was killed in a motorcycle accidentand he did not have a Will, does everything automatically go to me?

Also I need to know what I am responsible for regarding debts that were only in his name.

Asked on February 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your husband died without a Will then he died "intestate".  That means that his estate will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state that he was domiciled in as of the date of his death.  I assume that to be FL.  Accordingly, as his surviving spouse, you will inherit his estate (along with your children, if any).  However as for any of non-probate assets, typically, they go to the named beneficiary regardless of the fact that your are his wife.  For example, if he had a life insurance policy the named beneficiary would be legally entitled to the proceeds of the policy.

As for his debts, his estate would be responsible for paying them, unless you specifically agreed to pay them  (eg. you are a co-signer on a loan).  In FL a survivng spouse is not responsiblefor paying any of their deceased spouse's debt, even if those debts were incurred for the necessary maintainance of the houslehold. 


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