What steps are needed to legalize our prenuptial agreement?
After signing, witnessing, and notarizing, filing isn't required
to make a will or prenuptial agreement legal. Some areas allow filing,
but rules vary by local area, so I suggest contacting the local probate
court or land recorder's office.
A deceased's debts should be paid with the property in their estate (the
property left at their death). Children don't inherit their parent's
debts unless they created a co-signor/guarantor/surety/joint account
relationship to the debt, so that the child's name is on the debt also,
and it isn't a separate debt. Spouses will generally only be liable for
a separate debt of the deceased if they live in a community property
state. However, state laws vary about which marriage partner is
responsible for certain debts, depending upon when the debt was
incurred, the identity of the debtor, or the purpose of the debt.
Only after the debts are paid will the remaining assets be distributed
among the beneficiaries of the will. Be advised that when a child
inherits property that is collateral for a debt -- for example, a car
that is not paid for or a house with a mortgage -- the debt comes with
the property. If there is insufficient money or assets to pay all
creditors, then the estate must be divided up as equally as possible,
with secured creditors receiving priority. This means that if the
deceased parent died with little or no money in their accounts and
didn't own a home, unsecured debt, such as credit card debt will not be
paid to the creditors.