If my wife passed away last month, can the hospital make me pay all of her unpaid bills?

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If my wife passed away last month, can the hospital make me pay all of her unpaid bills?

Can they sue me?

Asked on September 25, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The first step that you need to do is probate your wife's estate assuming she has a Will or passed away without one (intestate proceeding) so that all creditors of your wife can submit a creditor's claim to her estate so that your liability for a marital obligation would be minimized.

If your wife had a trust the medical bills would be paid out of the assets of her trust and any remaining balance would come from a portion of the marital estate.

Ordinarily, under the laws of all states in this country since the medical bills of your late wife were incurred during the marriage, you would be responsible for paying any portion not paid by her estate. I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney about your situation to discuss what legal recourse you have.


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