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Will I Be Liable for the Debts of My Spouse?

Life insurance is often purchased to provide money for final expenses. These expenses can include burial costs and medical bills. They can also include debts.

But will you be liable for the debts of your spouse?

At a time when you will be in severe emotional pain, you don’t want unexpected bills to add to your grief. It is important to get clear now on what you might – and might not – have to pay. Attorney Margaret Barr provides a nice summary of the obligations of surviving spouses. She addresses some of the questions you and I both have on this important matter, including:

  • What if I cosigned a loan with my spouse?
  • How long do creditors have to file a claim?
  • What rights and obligations do I have as an executor or administrator of the estate?
  • What rights and obligations do I have if I am a relative, but not an executor or administrator?

Remember that you must get the advice of a lawyer in your state who specializes in this form of estate planning.

Also remember one other thing: when an estate is settled, everyone from physicians to funeral home directors to banks have their hand out for your money. The life insurance broker is the one who puts the money in your hand to pay these people. That is why it is very important to include sufficient money to pay debts in your life insurance planning.