A complete answer to your question is beyond the scope that can be covered with the facts you have provided. Your wife is not responsible for your debts unless they fall under family expense. Even if it is likely that she is not responsible, after your passing the debts may need to be satisfied out of your property. So, she may not be able to retain, for example, the home, without working something out on the debt. There is much more to this than can be analyzed with the information given. If you are ill and your family is likely to be faced with these questions, I suggest you speak with a qualified attorney to do as much advance planning as possible.
I would like to know more facts. My email is: email@example.com. Generally when a spouse dies during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court has a hearing to see if the plan can complete, If the court finds that the plan cannot complete without the spouse, it may be converted or it could be dismissed.
I agree with both of the above answers. A Bankruptcy Court has the authority to permit a chapter 13 case to proceed even after the death of the chapter 13 debtor. I have blogged on this topic for www.BankruptcyLawNetwork.com.
I commend you for thinking of ways to protect your wife after your passing. You surely are a good husband.
You should inform both your wife and your bankruptcy attorney of your concern so they can take appropriate steps in the event of your death. The situation will have to be evaluated after your death to determine whether your non-filing spouse will benefit by continuing to make chapter 13 payments on your behalf, or whether she would be better off letting the case dismiss. In any event, the Bankruptcy Court will require someone to act with authority for your estate, usually a person appointed by the state probate court to administer your estate.
Like any legal issue, there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with this situation. Make sure your wife is given precise instructions on the steps to take. You can make life a whole lot easier for your wife by making advance plans for this contingency while you can.