The Death of a Debtor Spouse Extinguishes Judgment Debts to Marital Property Owned as Tenants by the Entirety

HNWEstate Administration and Probate

  • A marital home escapes debts and judgments of a deceased debtor spouse if owned as tenants by the entirety.

A client owned their home as husband and wife, as tenants by the entirety.  A judgment was entered against the husband only during his lifetime.  Husband passed away.  By law, 100% of the property goes to the surviving spouse by operation of law and the surviving spouse can sell the property without having to pay off the judgment, but the rest of decedent’s estate is still subject to his/her judgments and debts.

The surviving owner acquires title by right of survivorship. N.J.S. 46:3 (17.2, 17.3) and the judgment against the decedent is no longer a lien upon the real estate.

To discuss your NJ estate administration matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at  Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Estate Administration Attorney

Previous PostNext Post