What are my legal obligations if my wife, who I have been separated from for 12 years, dies?

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What are my legal obligations if my wife, who I have been separated from for 12 years, dies?

My wife and I are seperated but not legally. She has custody of 2 of my 3 children; 1 is 20 and 1 is 19. Her brother has custody of the 16 year old. My wife is not doing well and they are putting a feeding tube in her. If she dies, what are my legal responsibilities? And, what are my rights? And, what can I do or should I do? Keeping in mind that money is an issue or we would have been divorced.

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

So long as you are married to your wife but are not legally separated from her, you under the law unless she has a power of attorney designating responsibilities to others would have the final say with respect to her care.

From a financial standpoint, since you have been separated from her for 12 years, you should not be legally responsible for any bills concerning her care.

For peace of mind, I would offer to help your family in any way you can and see what is requested of you.


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