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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7405
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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My husband used my identity years without my knowledge or

Customer Question

My husband used my identity for many years without my knowledge or consent. He just passed away and I am stuck with all his bills. Am I responsible for them, if he forged my signature?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Thank you; a few minutes please as I look into this for you; my sympathies for your situation.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Pursuant to the following statute (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/0061.html)

the nonmarital property of the person forging the document would first be liable;

if there is insufficient nonmarital property, then the marital property would be used because a spouse is liable for the actions of the other spouse.

The problem is also that the court will require a handwriting expert to verify that the spouse forged the documents, which is a very expensive process; and if the debt is for the necessities of life (food, medicine, etc) the marital property is liable under that theory.

I know this is probably not the answer you wish but I could only locate a statute that stated otherwise; I hope this information is helpful as I am under a moral obligation to provide accurate information, so please take that into consideration when rating my service. Thank you!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
my husband was using this money for his personal use. I did not know about this until now. He was a big gambler.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

If the company had reason to suspect the forgery, the court will typically dismiss the debt, based on the unclean hands theory (where a party cannot unduly gain financially based on their wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing).

Otherwise, the spouse is typically responsible, because a spouse is responsible for the misconduct of the other, unfortunately.

So it will likely come down to whether the company knew or should have known of the forgery.

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