What is the US law on spouse's responsibility for their husband's or wife's debts in a case of failure to pay back due to a death, or serious illness or absence of income, etc.a) debts that were acquired before a matrimony, for example a student loan b) debts acquired during a marriage
State/Country relating to question: Massachusetts
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A spouse is not responsible for the debts of their spouse titled solely in their name, either ones acquired before death, or ones acquired during the marriage. Unless a surviving spouse signed a contract/personal guarantee that they would pay such debts, the balance is to be paid from the decedent's estate, that is, the assets titled solely in the decedent's name. If there was no estate then the debts simply don't get paid, and creditors should be informed that the decedent left no estate from which the debts can be paid off and that the accounts should be closed. Many times creditors will make surviving family members feel as if they have the obligation to pay the debt, but that is not the case.
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