Baltimore, MD asked in Tax Law for Maryland

Q: if i marry someone who owes taxes & he dies will i be respondable for those taxes .

my fiancee and i live in baltimore and we are planning to marry and buy a house in georgia. He owes taxes of $51, 000 and he pays each month. If we marry, buy a house and he dies am i responsible for his debt and If i file taxes for a refund will they take that away.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: No, you will not personally owe your husband's tax debt, but you may want to consult a CPA before filing joint tax returns as a married couple, as opposed to married filing separately. When you purchase your house, title it under your name alone, as the IRS can attach any property in which your husband has a title interest, including joint tenancies and tenants by the entireties. You should also maintain separate bank and other financial accounts under your sole name. Should your husband die during the marriage and you have any jointly titled assets with right of survivorship (generally the default for joint assets), you would become the sole owner of any such asset titled by right of survival. That would remove such assets from your husband's estate and place them beyond any creditors claims against the estate. Obviously, your husband should consult a tax lawyer about options, including bankruptcy options for discharging all or some of his tax debt.

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