Can a company hold a child responsible for parents bills after passing

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a company hold a child responsible for parents bills after passing

Called CenturyLink for service in was
asked if I knew a person, I said yes
she was my mother but she passed May
2015, they informed me that I would
have to pay her bill before I could get
service because I was related to her.
How is that legal?

Asked on October 6, 2016 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

They can't force you to pay the bills--that is, they cannot sue you for the money. But a private company can refuse service to someone if a close family member failed to pay her bills, the same same way you could look for a different service provider if a family member of yours had a bad experience with a company. No law forces you and them to do business together. So while they can't sue you for the money or otherwise legally compel you to pay, it is legal for them to say that if you want to do business with them, you have to clean up your mother's past due account. 

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 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.

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