You may want to consult with Vermont Legal Aid about your application for insurance benefits. Vermont does not recognize common-law marriage and domestic partnerships are things usually talked about by private industry which is sometimes willing to recognize a long-standing living arrangement between nonmarried people.
You will not become responsible for your cohabitor's debts unless you somehow sign onto them, which you should not do.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.