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Bill Fix
Bill Fix, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 79
Experience:  Attorney at Fix Law, PLLC
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If my ex-husband, with whom I have 3 adult children with

Customer Question

If my ex-husband, with whom I have 3 adult children with should pass away with a substantial amount of debt due to numerous hospitalizations related to his Diabetes, who is responsible for that debt? If there is a small life insurance policy which I am still the beneficiary, would that money somehow have to go toward his debts?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 4 months ago.

Any debt he has would become his estate's debt, and the executor of his estate has the obligation to pay any outstanding debts, expenses, and taxes of the estate before making any distribution to the heirs of the estate. If he is your ex-husband, the debt collectors should not harass you about it--if they do, tell them to take a hike.

Any life insurance policy that has beneficiaries designated on the policy (and not payable to the individual's estate) are considered nonprobate assets and do not become part of the estate. When the insured passes away, just supply whatever info the insurance company requires (e.g., death certificate), and they should send checks out to the beneficiaries listed on the policy. If you are a beneficiary, that would go directly to you, and those funds would not get tied up in the probate court or be inventoried with any assets of his estate.

If this sufficiently answers your question, please provide a positive rating. If you have additional questions, let me know, and I will try to continue helping you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
this is very helpful. One follow up. My ex has no assets, no will, and there would be no executor. What then? Would our sons in anyway become responsible for his deb?
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 4 months ago.

His heirs should not be responsible for his debt; however, if they stood to inherit anything, it is possible that whatever assets/funds are in the estate could be eaten up by the debts instead of being distributed to the heirs.

If he does not have a will, it would be preferable for him to execute one. That allows him to decide who gets what and appoint an executor for his estate, instead of having the state government say what happens. Without a will, it usually falls to the surviving family members to decide who would petition the court to be the administrator of the estate and take care of everything.

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