If a man passed suddenly, should his spouse pay his outstanding debt?

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2013

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If a man passed suddenly, should his spouse pay his outstanding debt?

He did not have a Will. He owned a condo in florida willed to him by his mother. the mother will may have said wife owns condo in the event of his death. He rented it out. There may be a lien in his mother’s name not his. The spouse does not know where to begin.

Asked on October 16, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for her loss.  There are really two questions here and they deserve a lot of time in answering.  First if there is no Will then he died "intestate" and the intestacy statute will apply to the distribution of his estate that was not jointly held (assets he held with his wife jointly are hers now and will not be included in probate).  The issue with the Mother's condo is difficult to asses here.  Was the name on the deed changed to his alone?  Then it must go through probate.  Is the line a mortgage?  If he continued to pay it on her death then that was fine.  But now if the wife wishes to sell the property it will need to be paid.  I can not determine what is what with the Mother in Law's Will since I do not know if it was probated. She really needs to go and speak with an attorney in the area who can help.  Good luck.

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