The short answer is, not in most cases. But there are situations where someone could be legally responsible for paying off your bills after death. Plus, aggressive creditors have been known to coerce heirs into paying off debts for which they're not responsible, just to be left alone.
The next lesson I learned was that the concept of the 'evil stepmother' developed for good reason. Unfortunately, there is an inherent conflict of interest between a new spouse and children from a prior marriage or relationship.
Marriage equality is now the law in the most populous state, California, but there are considerations unique to our state's community property system of which people may not necessarily be aware. The following Q-and-A raises some of those issues.