Am I responsible for my late mother’s bills?

Asked on July 17, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, children don't inherit their parents' debts. However, there are at least 2 situations in which they might be required to pay for their bills.

The first is if there was a transfer of assets from parent to child for the purpose of defeating the claims of creditors. The second situation has to do with something called "filial responsibility". This concept dates back several hundred years to times when a child was legally obligated to assist their parent financially if the parent was unable to pay for their own care. Today, about 30 states versions of have such laws. This responsibility typically arises when a child is required to reimburse for medical or nursing home expenses indurred by their parent.

Since these laws vary from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction, you should contact a local attorney and consult with them regarding specific state law.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.