Is a surviving spouse responsible for outstanding medical bills even if they were separated at the time of treatment but still legally married?

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Is a surviving spouse responsible for outstanding medical bills even if they were separated at the time of treatment but still legally married?

Have been separated and haven’t lived together for 6 years and or spoken for 3 now. Husband has recently died after being hospitalized and has racked up huge medical debt all during time of separation.

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was filed a legal separation application by you (and even if you did not) and your former spouse then incurred significant legal bills while you and he were separated, then you would not be personally responsible for these bills. His estate would be responsible for them.

The rationale is that you were legally separated from him at the time the bills were incurred with no immediate intent to resume cohabitation with him. If you receive invoices from the health care providers for your deceased husband for the bills you are writing about, I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney.


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