Question: I’m 58 years old and twice widowed. Can I collect Social Security benefits on behalf of my first wife? If so, at what age can I start?
Question: I was married in July of this year. I owe back taxes but my wife does not. We plan to file separate tax returns. I know the IRS will apply any refund I may get towards my balance. Will my wife’s refund be affected?
–Lawton Fox, Turlock, Calif.
Question: I live in New York State, where the Marriage Equality Act just passed. Unlike domestic partnerships (which I currently have in order to get my partner on my company’s health plan), marriage opens up a world of financial issues that are further complicated since the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. Would my partner’s credit history now affect mine? Would I no longer be taxed on the value of his health benefits through my job (along with post-tax deduction of benefit contributions, it cost me about $4,000 a year)? And what about filing jointly or separately? What are the other issues that this creates? I don’t even know what to ask my attorney or accountant.
-Ted Davis, Brooklyn, New York
Question: In the August issue of SmartMoney Magazine, you mention a question I need an answer for: “Are you responsible for the (tax) debt incurred by your spouse?” Also, my wife has a lot of credit card debt in her name. Am I responsible for paying that off when she dies?
Peter in Nixa, Mo.
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