Q: Is the surviving spouse responsible for the debts of the deceased spouse
Yes and no. Nor for personal debts, student loan debts, credit card debts etc. but yes to medical bills. The creditors have a right to make a claim against his estate and the estate has an obligation to pay it as long as the assets in the estate are over and above the exemption amount. The exemption amount can vary depending on minor or disabled at home, whether the decedent owned a home among a few other things.
I hope this helps.
A: Shared debts remain owed by the surviving spouse. Debts tied solely to the deceased normally get paid out of their estate, meaning their share of the assets they owned at their death. One way to deal with those debts is to open a probate in Court, then publish a Notice to Creditors in the newspaper. If a creditor fails to submit a claim within 90 days of the notice, the estate will not have to pay the debt.
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