If a couple cohabitates, have and raise children together in a state that does not recognize common law marriage then one of the parties dies, if all financial matters (mortgage, property taxes, credit cards, checking/savings accounts, auto loans, etc.) are solely in the name of the deceased mate, and federal and state income taxes have been routinely filed individually by the cohabitation partners for the duration of their cohabitation, is the surviving mate responsible for the deceased mate's financial outstanding debts? What about the children of the deceased? (Minors age 17 and 16). Your help is greatly appreciated? xxxxx xxxxxxxx
Thank you for your question. I am a licensed New Jersey professional. Please permit me to assist you this evening.To answer directly, the surviving mate is NOT responsible for the other financial debts that are outstanding. As the parties were never married, the law treats them as virtual 'strangers' to each other without further obligation under law. Minors likewise cannot be liable for the debts of the adults. While the estate of the deceased can be used to cover the debts (if possible), the minors themselves are not personally liable for any of the costs and obligations left behind. They can end up losing their inheritance to creditors if there is any, but they themselves do not have to pay a dime personally toward anything themselves.Good luck.
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