If my partner and I are going to be getting married but he has a terminal illness, upon his passing will I be liable for his debts?

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If my partner and I are going to be getting married but he has a terminal illness, upon his passing will I be liable for his debts?

He has a terminal illness and lots of medical debt that is continually accruing. Already having student loan debt, we want to make sure that I won’t be in a terrible position upon his passing. We love each other, and the marraige solidies that (after 8 years together) and also we hopes assures me of some legal power with his care when things get rough (we are working on a will, and have already filed a DPOA) Will his debt remain his and not be passe onto me (besides rent, we don’t share finances, both have our own accounts, etc.)?

Asked on June 13, 2015 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your partner's terminal illness.

You are not liable for your partner's debts incurred prior to marriage, but you will be liable for his debts incurred during marriage.

You might want to consider filing bankruptcy when the creditors come after you for the medical debts.  

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is straight liquidation which will eliminate certain types of debt such as the medical bills.


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