What is my mother responsible for in terms of my late father’s medical bills?

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What is my mother responsible for in terms of my late father’s medical bills?

Asked on April 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

My reaserch suggests that PA still follows what was called under common law, the "doctrine of necessities". Pursuant to this doctrine, a spouse is liable for any and all "necessary" expenses incurred by their spouse. And medical expenses are deemed to be such expenses. Accordingly, to the extent that such debts remain after your father's estate is administered, your mother will be liable for his doctor, hospital and like expenses. At this point, to be certain of her rights, your mother should consult directly with an attorney in her area; they can best advise her further.


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