hospital & medical bills

by Carol
(Glendale AZ )

I am the successor trustee for my brothers Revocable Family Living Trust which became irrevocable on 2/1/13 upon his death a week ago. He incurred extremly high hospital bills and various medical procedures in the critical care unit. He had no medical insurance. Is the trust responsible for paying the medical bills in the state of AZ? His only asset is a home which I intend to sell. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for hospital & medical bills

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Jul 13, 2018
Grandmother Bills
by: Anonymous

My grandmother was hospitalized for a fall, discharged and passed away about a week later. Medical bills are beginning to roll in and I've paid a few. Am I obligated to pay them? She had a small checking account. The rest of her money was tied up in CDs and IRAs naming me as the beneficiary.

Reply from

It's possible. Some states have filial support statutes that may require adult children (usually) or grandchildren to pay for necessary support, including medical bills, of their relatives. These laws are not typically enforced however. Before you pay these bills we suggest you get legal advice.

Our condolences for your loss.

Jun 26, 2018
Husbands emergency room bill somehow mine
by: Anonymous

Hey in Missouri in 2008 my then husband fell on a crumbling retaining wall and shattered his wrist. He went to the emergency room and incurred a bill. I was NOT there nor did I sign any paperwork saying that I was responsible. I think a 50 something year old man should be responsible for his own bill. He didn't pay and I was named in a judgment which I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. I only found out about it when I tried to refinance the house after a divorce. The decree gives me the house but I cannot refinance until the two things that he was ordered to pay are paid. He is not going to pay them. WAS THE HOSPITAL WIHIN THE LAW ADDING ME TO A JUDGMENT FOR MEDICAL SERVICES THAT I WAS NOT INVOLVED WITH.

Jul 01, 2017
by: Anonymous

Oh yeah I am going through it I have a contract with a definite buyer and I can't close because hospital wants the home it's worth 1/3 of bills

Mar 28, 2017
My Dad
by: Anonymous

My Mother died 1.5 years ago and my dad dies recently they live in VA, They have a house that is not paid for yet myself and my sister want to keep the house and finish paying for it. Can we do that he was not on medicade and has no money, he was only in the rehab part of the nursing home 3 days, is the state going to take the house

Jan 18, 2017
Seperate of assets
by: Anonymous

My wife has health insurance and I don't. We also just bought a house. I was wondering if there is a paper or form that if I don't get health care then they can not touch the house if something happen to me.

Sep 07, 2016
Hospital bills
by: Jamina

My husband had a procedure for a foot issue that was not life or death by any means, which caused some accumulated medical bills less than $5,000.

I just received a summons for court in my name and his name and apparently this bill has been sent to my credit as a judgement causing my score to drop over 40 points. My question is, is this legal?

We both have jobs, he is alive and we have 3 children. We also live in VA, im not sure if there is a law that is state specific that covers this. Something else that is bothering me is that I have tons of medical bills due to surgery, and the birth of 2 children but they never sent him a bill for me. I'm very confused and could use some advice. Thanks

Aug 25, 2016
Small Estate in NC
by: Tarheel

My Mother passed in Dec. 2015. NC has a provision for Small Estates called "Collection By Affidavit" which basically means there is not really a probate period. This also means there isn't any 90 day period required to notify creditors.

My sister lives out of state so the Clerk of Court issued me an Affidavit for Collection (30 days after the death). This granted me the right to inventory, collect and distribute her property. Creditors are also allowed to apply for an Affidavit for Collection as well.

I paid funeral expenses and any other known debt at the time (ie. final rent payment, cable bill). The Clerk of Court was satisfied and issued a Closing Affidavit.

I have been receiving calls from a collection agency for my mother's debt. I believe it is for a $100 electric bill. I have not engaged in any conversation with them since I believe I am no longer responsible for any further collection. My question is how should I proceed with them?

It has been over 8 months since her death and it doesn't appear that they will stop calling (robo-call).

Any advice? Thanks.

Aug 24, 2016
Am I liable to pay hospital bills for stepfather?
by: Anonymous

If my stepfather lives with me and he is hospitalized and has no insurance, I am liable to pay his bills?

Apr 08, 2016
High medical bills
by: Anonymous

After my mother passed away, she incurred 90k in hospital debt. She was on medical assistance before she passed. Do we have to pay these bills? She also owns the house we live in, and the house is going to probate. Is there a way to prevent this? We live in Minnesota. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

Apr 02, 2016
My mother passed due to hospital negligence.
by: JalexM

What happened to my mother was total negligence, but my mother asked me not to seek retribution. She passed away with much pain and suffering and now the hospital want's to collect from me her son money that is owed. She had insurance of which if she was hospitalized more than 7 days the insurance would pay 100% of the bills. But the hospital is now in probate over a small amount like $1800. Do I have to pay this bill??

Apr 01, 2016
both parents passed owing back taxes, only asset is a camper, can we sell it?
by: Anonymous

Both of our parents passed away, dad in 2010, mom just recently in Fall of 2015. She passed away unexpectedly. They have a debt of back taxes. There is no will, no power of attorney, no probate. The only asset she has is a 10 year old camper. Can we sell it to recoup funeral costs and split what little is left? Are we obligated to give the funds from the sale to the IRS? Please help.

Feb 10, 2016
Trustee responsible for medical bills?
by: Anonymous

I am managing a trust from my father for my very ill unmarried brother. He went many years without insurance, and has accrued huge medical bills. The trust is currently paying the insurance premiums. My question is, is the trust considered part of his estate, and required to pay his bills when he passes, or will his son be required to pay these bills. He resides in PA. if that makes a difference.

Feb 06, 2016
medical bills in Louisiana
by: Anonymous

My mother passed away March of 2015 and my father passed away in 2000. They had a living trust. There are 5 siblings/beneficiaries that the estate was divided. What obligation do we have to the medical bills that are trickling in after her death?

Jan 21, 2016
Deceased parent of 4 yrs nursing home bill
by: Anonymous

I received a letter stating that there is an outstanding balance of $4318 on my deceased Father's nursing / rehab ctr bill from 2011 until his death at a hospital in 2012. Actually he was in the hospital the month of 1/2012 and the home is saying they are entitled to that month's payment. I just last month 12/2015 trashed all the old papers that had the receipts that proved the bills were paid. It has been 4 years since my father's death and now they come to look for this money. My dad did not have an estate, will or any insurance. I had to pay for his funeral myself. What is my recourse to this issue?

Jan 20, 2016
Hospital Bill in State Hospital
by: Anonymous

Hello I’m inquiring for the following situation. My husband suffers from Bi-polar and instead of going to jail (NCR) for his actions he was ordered to a State Mental Hospital rather then jail (in Maryland).

The State Hospital has been sending letter’s stating they need my social security number, income information place of work, Tax Transcripts etc….. Well needless to say, I’ve ignored the letter’s because I’m not handing over information that I don’t believe they need.

Just recently I received a bill for 100K plus stating if I don’t pay it will be submitted to a debt collection agency. My question, if my husband was sentenced to a Mental Hospital rather then jail why do I have to cover his room and board? Also, they’ve already billed my insurance and 90% of these patients receive care from our Tax Dollars but since I have a job, Medical Insurance do they have the right to bill me for his room and board? He could be under there care for years!!

Again, this was ordered by a judge it’s not like he wants to be there "HE HAS TO BE THERE" If he was in jail the jail doesn’t send bill the responsible "Family Member" it’s paid with our tax dollars. I hope you can shed some light on this situation.

Jan 08, 2016
who is responsible for hospital bill
by: Anonymous

My brother in law just passed away on Christmas Eve. IT was sudden, but he was in the hospital for less than 24 hours. He was not married and his nearest living relatives are my husband, 2 other brothers and a sister. He did not own a home or anything. Who is responsible for that hospital bill? Please help.

Reply from

We are so sorry for your loss. It is very unlikely that you as siblings are responsible for his unpaid medical debts unless perhaps you signed something agreeing to take financial responsibility for his bills. The hospital will probably write those debts off.

Jan 03, 2016
Mom Medical bills
by: Anonymous

So sorry for your loss. If your mother made your brother the beneficiary of her life insurance policy, now that she has died, the policy proceeds belong to him. Therefore, he does not obligated to use that money to pay her unpaid medical bills.

That does not mean that your mother's creditors may not contact him (or anyone else in your family) demanding that he pay her debts. It's not unusual for this to happen actually. To educate yourself about what to do if that happens, read this

My mom passed away on Dec. 16, 2015 has life insurance but no other assets other than SSI. She had some major medical bills due to her live condition. She live with my sibling at the time of death. We (5 children) want to know if we are obligated to use the rest of her life insurance policy which is not a lot after funeral expenses to pay on her medical bills. It will still leave many unpaid due to the amount owed. My oldest brother was name beneficiary of policy.
We live in Texas. My father passed away in 2001.

Dec 09, 2015
Mother's medical bills
by: Fernando

It's possible that the hospital will try to collect from your brother, but unless he signed paperwork at the hospital guaranteeing that he would pay your mother's unpaid medical bills, he is not legally obligated to pay them.

My mother died August 26, 2015. Left hospital bills unpaid. My father died in 1982, so she was a widow. My brother was her Power of Attorney. Will the hospital and any other medical bills come after him?

Dec 07, 2015
can a hospital put a lien on my home?
by: Anonymous

I had a loan on a home but found another home, could not sell first home, I rent it out to pay home loan in Georgia. It will be paid for in two years, I have medical bills that my insurance did not cover, I want to sell first to pay my home I plan on retiring in. I only make about 15,000 a year I am now on Obama care I am 64 years old and want to retire at 65 and be able to live off SS. Can the hospital put a lien on my house when I sell it to pay the home I now live in?

Reply from

As much as we'd like to help, we urge you to talk with a bankruptcy attorney asap to find out whether the proceeds from the sale of your first home is protected from creditors. We simply can't ascertain that for you; an attorney will need to review your financial situation and advise you on the best course of action. We assume that you are talking about a substantial amount of money here, and that you'll need every penny. Getting legal advice will likely be money well spent. A consumer bankruptcy attorney should be familiar with what's safe and what isn't. If you are having trouble finding one, you can get a a free initial evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney here.

Oct 09, 2015
MO Medical bills of decedant
by: Anonymous

The same thing is happening to me. SSM has now put my name on my husband's hospital bills and is seeking payment. I explained that there will be a probate and they need to seek a claim through the probate process. They are insisting that I am now responsible for the bills. I live in Missouri. My husband passed away on August 26, 2015.

Reply from

We're so sorry for your loss. As much as we'd like to help we can't give you legal advice. It is our understanding that in some cases, in Missouri, spouses may be held responsible for each other's medical bills. But it's not always clear cut. For example, here is one case:

Lester E. Cox Med. Ctrs. v. Richards, 252 S.W.3d 236 (Mo. App., S.D. 2008)

Under the doctrine of necessaries, a spouse may be held liable for necessary medical services provided to the other spouse if they maintain no separate assets. St. Luke's Episcopal-Presbyterian Hosp. v. Underwood, 957 S.W.2d 496, 499 (Mo.App. E.D. 1997).

We would encourage you to talk with a consumer law attorney to clarify your responsibility for these bills before you pay them.

Oct 09, 2015
12K Hospital Bill
by: Anonymous

My husband of 42 years, Passed away quickly and suddenly. However, he was taken to the er for what I believe were resuscitation attempts. He had group health insurance from his place of employment. A majority of this bill from that night were not paid through the above insurance. He didn't have money per se, I was the beneficiary of anything he did have, such as our home, life insurance, his retirement monies etc. The hospital is sending bills in his name to the house. He incurred over 12 K worth of bills, the night he passed.

What sort of responsibility do I have RE: that bill? Am I on the hook for the 12k that was incurred while they made attempts to resuscitate him? His group insurance expired on the 1st, but my husband did not pass until the 2nd, 22 minutes after midnight. The latter is what his death certificate shows. And, most of the resuscitation attempts were made the 1st of the month, not the 2nd.

Reply from

We are so sorry to hear about what you have been through. We can't say for sure. The reason is that in some states, spouses can be held responsible for their husband or wives necessary medical bills. These laws are sometimes referred to as "doctrines of necessaries." We would recommend you talk with a consumer law attorney to clarify your responsibility for them. If you need help finding one, you can visit the website of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Again, our condolences for your loss.

Aug 27, 2015
Dad's Hospital Debt - Coming After Mom
by: Anonymous

My dad died a few months ago leaving some hospital bills now. The hospital is coming after my mom who has dementia. She lives in mo so this is not a community property state. The other thing is she has never been to this hospital and when they were informed that my dad had died the proceeded to put my mom's name on his bill to try to collect is this. Is it legal and is she obligated to pay his debt?

Reply from

Our condolences for you loss.

In addition to community property states, some states have laws often referred to as "Doctrines of Necessaries" which can hold spouse's responsible for each other's debts for essential services such as medical bills. Missouri appears to have such statutes but also appear to be less than straightforward. There is some case law on this issue, so this is a situation where it would be very wise to talk with an attorney with expertise in these matters. If you need help finding one we recommend you visit the website of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

Jul 24, 2015
Medical debt with Living Trust
by: Anonymous

I have a Living Trust with my brother and I named as the Trustees to a condo. Our mother passed away while we were in the process of getting her Medical because her insurance ran out the last month she was there. The hospital is still asking for paperwork that shows her previous bank acct. information which I was on the account as well, the condo. being transferred to us and stocks with us named as the Beneficiaries. Do I have to send them this information, and if I do will Medical not pay and hold us responsible?

Reply from

We are sorry for your loss. We assume your mother had an attorney prepare the trust. Is that correct? We would recommend you talk with the attorney. It sounds like the hospital is trying to ascertain whether there may have been a fraudulent conveyance of assets to the trust. But if your attorney set up the trust properly it should be fine.

Jul 03, 2015
by: Anonymous

It’s unclear from your question as to whether your mother deeded her house to your son or left it to him in her will. If she deeded it to him, then he now owns it and she has no interest in it. If she left it to him in her will, then she continues to be its owner and it won’t transfer to your son until after she dies.

Your mother is responsible for her medical bills but your father may be responsible too depending on the state where they reside. If they live in a community property state -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington State, and Wisconsin -- they are each legally responsibility for one another’s debts even if only one of them signed for a debt. This is not the case if your parents live in a non-community property state. However, many states have something called a "doctrine of necessaries," which says that medical care is a necessary and therefore, makes each spouse is legally responsible for the unpaid medical debt of the other.

If your mother is on Medicaid, the state where she resides is legally entitled to sue your mother’s estate after she dies and assuming it wins, the state will put a lien on her home assuming she still owns it. Should that happen, the house could not be transferred into your son’s name after her death until the amount of the lien gets paid. This might necessitate selling the house in order to pay the lien. Her hospital can also sue for the money it is owed, and if it wins, it too can put a lien on the home, although its lien would be secondary to the state’s.

If your mother does not own the house at the time of her death because it’s in your son’s name, the house will be safe from collections, but other assets in your her estate would be at risk. Also, as I mentioned earlier, if your parents live in a community property state and/or if their state has a "doctrine of necessities," the hospital can look to your father for payment.

Two final comments: First, if there is nothing that your mother’s estate or the hospital can take in order to get paid after her death, they are not entitled to look to you for payment unless you signed for her hospital bills.

Also, I am not an attorney so for definitive answers to your questions, I highly recommend that you schedule an appointment with an elder law attorney.

My mother owns a house and has a spouse but way before she got ill he granted his 50% to her. The estate is 100% hers now and has given it to one of my son's. A document has been signed and sealed by a notary but has not yet been filed in the courthouse. Recently, she has used up all her hospital days of her insurance which is spring healthcare and medicare. She will begin to have a balance at the hospital. Don't know how much longer shell be hospitalized. Could the hospital or medicaid take her house? Who's is responsible for the hospital and medical bills?

May 15, 2015
doctrine of necessaries virginia
by: Zebe

As we explained in our previous comment, it's our understanding that the "doctrine of necessaries" in Virginia says that among other necessaries, each spouse is legally responsible for the unpaid medical debt of the other. So if your spouse died with unpaid medical debt, you are responsible for paying it. Again, if you have any further questions about this, please consult a consumer law attorney in your state.

Best of luck.

Virginia law
could tell me what does mean.
it means im not responsible for my deceased wives medical bills?
§ 55-37. Spouse not responsible for other spouse's contracts, etc.; mutual liability for necessaries; responsibility of personal representative.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a spouse shall not be responsible for the other spouse's contract or tort liability to a third party, whether such liability arose before or after the marriage. The doctrine of necessaries as it existed at common law shall apply equally to both spouses, except where they are permanently living separate and apart, but shall in no event create any liability between such spouses as to each other. No lien arising out of a judgment under this section shall attach to the judgment debtors' principal residence held by them as tenants by the entireties or that was held by them as tenants by the entireties prior to the death of either spouse where the tenancy terminated as a result of the death of either spouse.

Apr 23, 2015
Spouse's unpaid hospital bills
by: Zebe

So sorry about the loss of your wife. We are sure that the last thing you want to be doing right now is worrying about her medical debts.

The "doctrine of necessaries" which is a part of the common law (case law) in some states says that spouses are legally liable for each other's "necessary expenses," which includes medical expenses.

We believe that VA recognizes the "doctrine of necessaries," but please confirm this with an attorney in your area. We are not attorneys nor are we intimately familiar with VA law.

If we are correct however, and your spouse left behind a lot of medical debt, the medical providers to whom those debts are owed can look to you for payment even though all of the debts are in your wife's name. If they do contact you about payment, the providers might be willing to let you pay off the debts for less than the total owed and/or they might be willing to let you pay the debts over time. If they begin to threaten you about what they intend to do if you don't pay up, contact a consumer bankruptcy attorney in your area right away. You can use bankruptcy to wipe out unpaid medical debt.

If we are wrong and there is no "doctrine of necessaries" in VA then you are not legally liable for your spouse's unpaid medical debts.

Good luck!

I'm living in VA. I lost my wife march 2015 and she left lot of different medical bills. we have a house. but house is under my name. and she doesn't have a any estates. I didn't co sigh any bills. so do I responsibility for pay her medical bills?
please help me
thank you

Apr 18, 2014
nursing home debt
by: Anonymous

I am the wife and my husband passed a month ago in New York. I want to know if I still have to pay the 10,000.00 back pay for the nursing home now that he is dead?

Link text here

So sorry for your loss. The answer to your question is, "It depends." First however, you should know that when someone dies, his/her estate (the assets the deceased owned at the time of death) must go through the probate process or some other less formal state approved process so that as many of his or debts can be paid out of those assets. Only after this has happened can any remaining assets be distributed to the deceased's beneficiaries.

Now, if this happens and there are unpaid debts left, and assuming you co-signed for any of those debts or any of those debts were joint debts (debts that you and your spouse obtained together), then you are legally obligated to pay them. Therefore, if you signed any sort of paperwork agreeing to be responsible for your husband's nursing home care, then any balance due after as much of that debt has been paid out of his assets, will be your debt. If you want greater clarification about your situation, we recommend that you set up an appointment with an estate planning or probate law attorney in your area. Another option is to contact Ask Estate Lawyers Now.

Mar 05, 2014
florida laws regarding spouses medical bills
by: Anonymous

My husband passed away in January 2014. He has medical bills from 2013. I live in Florida and want to know if I am responsible for his medical expenses. I was told that because I never signed anything when he went to the hospital and because everything we have is joint, I do not have to pay.

Reply from Florida is a separate property state. This means that one spouse is generally not responsible for the other spouse's unpaid debt. Therefore, you are probably not responsible. However, if your spouse left behind an "estate," in other words he owned assets when he died, those assets must be used to pay as many of his debts as possible. This is done through the probate process or a less formal process that may be available in your state. If this does not happen and his assets are distributed to the beneficiaries of his will (or to you and your children or others if he died without a will), his unpaid creditors are legally entitled to try to collect from them. For more specific information about your particular situation,contact Ask Estate Lawyers Now

Apr 29, 2013
hospital & medical bills

I recommend that you consult with a probate law attorney in your area about your situation. I am not an attorney nor am I familiar with the estate planning/probate laws of AZ. Therefore, I do not want to give you advice. An hour of an attorney's time will be money well-spent and it won't cost you "an arm and a leg."

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