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I am dieing they gave me 1 yr to live. is my wife responsible for my crsdit cards debt.

1 Answers. Asked on Mar 17th, 2017 on Estate Planning - Massachusetts
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Ms. Maryellen Sullivan, Esq. at Law Office of Mark Standen, LLC
Licenced in ME
Answered on Mar 17th, 2017 at 7:54 AM

I am so sorry.  The answer depends.  You are responsible for debts just in your name, you and your wife are responsible for debts on joint credit cards.  For your own debts, only assets that you own alone are on the line.  If it is a joint credit card, any assets owned by you alone, your wife alone, and that you own together are on the line.  Once you pass away, debts that are yours alone become debts of your estate and, again, subject only to property that you alone own.  Most states allow a spouse to keep some amount of estate assets, usually around $7,000 or so, more if there are dependent children. 

Please note that transferring property to someone else to avoid paying a debt is prohibited in most states and can be reversed. 

I would advise talking with an attorney as there are actions you can take depending on the details of your assets and debt.  Good luck. 


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Estate Planning
It's a common misconception that estate planning is only appropriate for the elderly and those who have amassed a significant amount of wealth. Not true. All adults who are mentally capable should have an estate plan, which can include a last will and testament, trusts and/or advance directive such as a healthcare power of attorney and living will. An estate planning lawyer can work with you and your spouse to assess your estate planning needs, create the documents which form the foundation of your plans and then update those documents as necessary. Estate planning law firms can also work with clients who have special needs and concerns, including those dealing with a chronic or terminal illness, the parents of disabled children and parents who want to protect certain assets for their children from a prior marriage.
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