Am I supposed to pay the medical bills of my deceased husband?

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Am I supposed to pay the medical bills of my deceased husband?

Asked on July 20, 2017 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, GA law provides that only the estate of the deceased is responsible for the deceased’s bills, not the surviving spouse. That having been said, there are exceptions to the forgoing. First, if the surviving signed something accepting responsibility for medical bills, then they can be personally responsible for paying them. So for example, if you signed anything while you were at the hospital, etc. you need to check those documents. The second exception has to do with the way property is held. Once someone dies all of the property that is titled solely in their name (this excludes joint or beneficiary designated accounts), becomes available to creditors. Therefore, any assets that is in only the decesed's name (which can include the family residence, bank accounts, vehicles, investment accounts, and any other property), are subject to creditors claims. Att his point, you may want to consult directly with a local probate attorney.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, GA law provides that only the estate of the deceased is responsible for the deceased’s bills, not the surviving spouse. That having been said, there are exceptions to the forgoing. First, if the surviving signed something accepting responsibility for medical bills, then they can be personally responsible for paying them. So for example, if you signed anything while you were at the hospital, etc. you need to check those documents. The second exception has to do with the way property is held. Once someone dies all of the property that is titled solely in their name (this excludes joint or beneficiary designated accounts), becomes available to creditors. Therefore, any assets that is in only the decesed's name (which can include the family residence, bank accounts, vehicles, investment accounts, and any other property), are subject to creditors claims. Att his point, you may want to consult directly with a local probate attorney.


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