Can a widow be made to pay husband’s final hospitalization?

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Can a widow be made to pay husband’s final hospitalization?

My husband fell and hit his head in a parking lot while I was out of town. He sustained massive head/brain injuries and never regained consciousness; he passed away the next evening. It took me more than 12 hours to get home so I missed day 1 of the 2 day hospitalization. I stayed the night with him and all day on the final day of his life. I signed nothing. I had no idea who all had attended him and what they did before I could get there. He was in NICU and was admitted through ER. He did have insurance through his employer but it looks like when all is said and done, there will be several thousand dollars outstanding, about 12 to 15 different billers involved. Am I responsible for paying those balances after insurance pays? He had no Will and no estate. We lived very simply and were married 40 years. I am left with no income now, except a percentage of his social security. What should I do as these outstanding balances come due?

Asked on July 30, 2019 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

In AL, a surviving spouse is not liable for the debts of their deceased spouse, including medical bills. Accordingly, you can just ignore your late husband's creditors. That having been said, if he left any property at all (money, cars, collectibles, etc.), they are subject to creditor claims.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

In AL, a surviving spouse is not liable for the debts of their deceased spouse, including medical bills. Accordingly, you can just ignore your late husband's creditors. That having been said, if he left any property at all (money, cars, collectibles, etc.), they are subject to creditor claims. 


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