If my husband died, amI responsible for medical bills and can my bank account be frozen?

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If my husband died, amI responsible for medical bills and can my bank account be frozen?

He was 64 when he died; had taken early retirement; also working part time. Insurance did not pay all of his bills. He did not own anything and the checking account is in my name. I am disabled and my disability check goes to the bank.

Asked on February 3, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

VA law makes spouses jointly and severally liable for emergency medical treatment, including follow-up inpatient care during the initial emergency admission, received by either spouse from a physician or a hospital, so long as they are living together.  However as to non-emergency care, unless a spouse specifically agreedto be responsible (by singing a contract or the like), a surviving spouse in not personally liable for such debt.

Note:  The deceased spouse's estate remains liable.  So indirectly a survivng spouse may be affected.


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