Probable Death of Spouse; How do I protect what little assets there are?
My husband was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer with wide mestases to the liver and lymph nodes. While he is currently doing well with chemotherapy, I understand that there is a big probability that I may lose my husband to this disease as quickly as 18 months (which only leaves me about 11 months with him If I'm lucky) Of course I do not claim to know his hour of death, nor do I want this to happen, but I need to protect myself. I am only 48 and can't fathom the thought of starting over with nothing after working so hard all my life. We own our home and 3 vehicles, we have about 90k in equity in the house and I have my own retirement account. My husband unfortunately made some mistakes that I was not aware of until the diagnosis; He used all of his life insurance money, savings and 401k and we had no health insurance either due to the economy. So, not only will I be left with no money, no husband and no life insurance money, I will be left with all the debt as well. I need to find a way to protect the assets in the event of my husband's death. What can I do now to protect the equity I have in the house from creditors?? I live in Wisconsin, which means it's a community property state and I will be held responsible for my husband's debts; which will be insurmountable for a woman earning less than $40,000.00 per year. I'm seriously scared because I will more than likely have to file Bankruptcy after his death. I won't qualify for a mortgage on my own, especially with the debt....So, I don't know what to do! I just know that doing nothing is not an option for me at this point.