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Law Off of D.L. Drain P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer | "Helping You Get Your Life Back on Track"
Law Off of D.L. Drain P.A., Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer | "Helping You Get Your Life Back on Track"

Diane L. Drain | Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Am I Responsible for My Deceased Spouse’s Pre-marriage Debts?

Published On: February 3, 2015

Warning: Laws governing situations differ state to state. Make sure to talk to an experienced attorney about your unique circumstances.

NOTE: This is not intended to be legal advice.

This area of law turns on specific facts and applicable state law(s). 

bankruptcyIt is almost impossible to give a single answer for what you may think is a simple question.  First, the law of the state where you live or lived may control.  Second, a prior marriage or debts taken out before the current marriage may affect the answer. 

With these warning here are some basics (but you MUST talk to an experience attorney):

  • The fact that the widow may have used the card during the marriage does not necessarily make her liable for the debt.
  • The debt may be charged against the community property of the spouses, but the creditor has a deadline to sue or file a claim in the decedent’s probate case.
  •  If the debt was incurred by the deceased in an earlier marriage was in a community property state, such as Arizona, the ex-wife may be obligated to pay the debt.

Again, all of this is very fact specific, but here is some basic Arizona law:

These are only two of hundreds of cases that may help with this question.

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MUSINGS BY DIANE:

It is important you educate yourself whenever you have questions.  Never assume advice you find on the Internet or friends fits your unique situation.  If you need legal or medical advice it is important to remember that doctors and lawyers spend years learning answers to your questions.  That learning never stops because of changes in law or medicine.

Below is a video “Meet Diane Drain. Some Suggestions on How to Hire an Attorney”.  I hope this short video has some helpful suggestions.

By |Published On: February 3rd, 2015|Last Updated: May 29th, 2022|

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About the Author: Diane Drain

Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.

*Important Note from Diane: Everything on this web site is offered for educational purposes only and not intended to provide legal advice, nor create an attorney client relationship between you, me, or the author of any article. Information in this web site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney familiar with your personal circumstances and licensed to practice law in your state. Make sure to check out their reviews.*

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5 / 5

“You folks are the BEST OF THE BEST in Arizona.” M.H.

You and Jay are the best attorneys I have ever had or needed and thank God for the Honorable Robert Gottsfield in recommending you folks – I would have never made it through the entire process without you and Jay and God Bless you both always and stay in touch as well. You folks are the BEST OF THE BEST in Arizona.

5 / 5

“My only regret is that I didn’t find Diane sooner.” K.H.

I can’t say enough good things about Diane. The way she handled my not typical circumstances was amazing. I was very nervous to start the bankruptcy process but Diane just has a very comforting way of explaining the whole process. My only regret is that I didn’t find Diane sooner. If you find yourself in a financial situation that you can’t correct on your own, please Call Diane Drain as soon as possible.

5 / 5

“Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event” R.A.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event, and selecting the right attorney can add to this stress. Diane and Jay were a pleasure to work with, and it is obvious that they are passionate about helping people get their life back on track. I would highly recommend them if you need a bankruptcy attorney.

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