Do I have to pay a nursing home bill received after my mother’s estate was closed out?

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Do I have to pay a nursing home bill received after my mother’s estate was closed out?

My mother died 2 years ago in a nusing home. She was a Medicaid recipient and they used her Social Security for payment. Today, I received a certified letter from a collection agency stating she owes over $900 to the nursing home. I have not received any bills from the nursing home and her estate was closed out last year. I have gone through everything and there was never any bills from the nusing home. Do I have to pay this bill?

Asked on April 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the ensuing troubles.  I can see how this is really troubling at this point in time.  What you have to ascertain is if the creditor - the nursing home - was properly notified of the probate of the estate and their right to submit a bill as a creditor.  Now, I am assuming that she died in the nursing so they had notice of the death.  And I am assuming that they had the information as to her next of kin and those that would be responsible for her bills.  So the question really is if they were notified of the probate a a potential creditor.  Check with the attorney that helped you with the estate.  And ask what the time frame is for them to be precluded from making a claim on the estate assuming they had the notice.  Good luck.


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