If my mother recently passed away and I am the sole heir, am I responsible for her medical bills?

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If my mother recently passed away and I am the sole heir, am I responsible for her medical bills?

My mother lived with my family and recently passed away. There’s no property or estate, everything else was in joint. If I do not pay her bills will there be trouble later on? Can my family and I run into trouble for any future medical care?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. First, her estate is responsible for her debts, which include the medical bills. Next, have someone take a look at the accounts for you. Generally speaking, joint accounts do not necessarily pass through probate. The asset passes to the joint owner upon the death of the other.  You need to do something, though, with the estate otherwise the medical provider might try and levy the accounts anyway.  Good luck.  


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