Am I responsible for my late mother’s medical debt?

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Am I responsible for my late mother’s medical debt?

My mom passed away 3 months ago. She left an acre of land and that was about it. Also, life insurance that was left to my brother and I. Are we responsible for her medical debt? If we don’t pay what would be the repercussions?

Asked on March 15, 2016 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, life insurance proceeds are paid outside of a probate estate. This means that the listed beneficiaries are entitled to the proceeds outright; no creditor claims can be made against them. As for the land, it must be sold to satisfy her medical (and any other) debts. If there is an excess left over the creditors have been paid, then it will go to her beneficiaries/heirs. If there is not enough money to pay off all of her debts, then what remains unpaid will just be written off; the beneficaries/heirs will not be financially responsible for them.


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