Spouse's responsibility for medical bills in Ohio

by Stevia
(Springfield OH)

My husband died in April 2008. I paid as many medical bills as I could out of my personal funds. Last week I received a call for my husband for collections of a medical bill that was made two months before his death. I do not recall receiving a bill in the first place. Am I responsible for paying this debt? The collector was not very nice. I told him to sue me because I thought I was not responsible for the debt. Now I'm not so sure. My husband did not have an estate. Our house went directly into my name because we had a survivorship deed and everything else we had went directly into my name as well. I didn't go through probate.

Comments for Spouse's responsibility for medical bills in Ohio

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Jan 03, 2013
Spouse's responsibility for medical bills in Ohio
by: Debtcollectionanswers

You may indeed be responsible for the medical debts of your deceased spouse because of Ohio's Doctrine of Necessities. This doctrine says that a spouse is responsible for debts incurred during the marriage if they were essential to providing for the health and well being of his or her family, including his or her spouse. Medical debt would fall into this category.

The medical debt your spouse owed at the time of his death should have been paid out of any assets he may owned whether or not his estate went through the probate process. If he did not own any assets, then his unpaid medical providers can look to you for the money.

I recommend that you schedule an appointment with an attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve their debt collection problems so you can become fully informed about your rights and responsibilities. It may be that you can work out payment plans with the creditors or get them to agree to allow you to pay your husband's debts in full for less than what he owes to them. If you reach any sort of agreements with his medical creditors, do not pay them any money until you have the details of the agreements in writing.

Another option you may want to consider is filing for bankruptcy. You may be able to get rid of all or some of the debts by doing so. You can talk to a bankruptcy attorney today by calling (877) 248-2510, or you can go here for a free initial evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.

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