If and elderly woman is admitted to a nursing home and paperwork was given to the family and the lady passed away in less than a month with no signature on admission papers , who is responsible for the bill?

If and elderly woman is admitted to a nursing home and paperwork was given to the family and the lady passed away in less than a month with no signature on admission papers, who is responsible for the bill? She had no power of attorney at the time. Paperwork was going to be looked at but the woman became ill and the paperwork was put to the side and forgotten

Asked on October 16, 2017 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If she was not married at the time, only the elderly woman (and now that she has passed, her estate--or her money and other assets, like any home, left behind when she died), would be responsible: other adults or family are only responsible financially if they signed paperwork taking responsibility. So the hospital (or rehab center, nursing home, hospice, etc.) can try to get the money from whatever the woman left behind, but they are limited to what she left behind; they cannot sue or otherwise get payment from other family members who never actually agreed to become responsible for any debts or bills.
If she was married, her husband would be liable: spouses are liable for the "essential" costs and debts of their spouses, like medical care.


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