Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
What state are you from? Was the house held jointly with a right of survivorship? Have you opened the estate and started probate?
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
So sorry, I didn't notice you had responded. I had a busy day and should have gotten to this sooner. To answer your question, Ohio is not a community property state therefore any credit card debt solely in his name is ***** ***** your debt. If all you have is life insurance and the house as property to pass to you, you might consider not probation the estate at all since it is insolvent. The life insurance will pass to you outside of probate anyway and would not be controlled by the will. The house since it was owned jointly will likely as well although you need to ascertain if it was held with "a right of survivorship". This means that when 1 spouse dies, the other spouse gets 100% of the property and it does not have to pass through probate. You simply need to get the death certificate and go to the county assessor's office with the title and get it put in your name. In this best case scenario, you would get these two assets without having to go through probate. The downside is the creditors will try whatever they can to get you to pay. You don't have to again assuming your name was not on the account and you weren't a guarantor. So ignore them. You could take it to probate and the creditors would have to file a claim with the estate after you give 3ach and everyone one of them notice of your husbands death. Again there would be nothing to pay them with but their claims would be extinguished which would stop the calls. Probate can be long and you will probably need an attorney so again, with no assets it might be best to avoid probate (again assuming the house was held with a right of survivorship). The checking accounts if held jointly will also automatically go to you, so if this is the case, yes you can empty them out and don't worry about the credit card debt. It is not your debt and they cannot put a lien on your house if it passed outside of probate. So you should think about what is the best situation for you.
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