Am I responsible for my deceased husband’s medical bills?

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Am I responsible for my deceased husband’s medical bills?

I referring to those not covered by insurance; all in his name. I’m not on any medical records or bills.

Asked on August 9, 2011 Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, in community property states (and AZ is one), debt incurred by a spouse for the benefit of the family is considered to be a "community" debt. Accordingly the spouse is responsible for repaying the other spouse's debt.

However, whether or not a medical bill benefits the community becomes the question. At first blush, no it does not. That having been said, no 2 community property states use exactly the same laws. Consequently, if you live in such a state, you will need to consult directly with an attorney in your area so that you understand your rights/responsibilities in your particular case.


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