Who is responsible for paying nursing home bills after the resident dies?

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Who is responsible for paying nursing home bills after the resident dies?

When dad was admitted into a nursing home, I signed all of the documents. Now I keep getting bills in my name. I am responsible to pay the bill or can the nursing home make a claim against my dad’s estate since he has passed away?

Asked on May 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your dad. 

Did you apply for Medi-Cal for your father when he was in the nursing home?  If so, Medi-Cal should have been paying the nursing home bills.  Depending on your father's income from Social Security and other sources if any, Medi-Cal won't pay the entire bill and there will be a patient's share.  Medi-Cal is entitled to reimbursement, but this can be waived if it is a financial hardship.

If Medi-Cal is inapplicable as a source of payment, the nursing home could file a claim against your father's estate.  If the estate is negligible, they won't be able to collect.  You are NOT  responsible for the bills.  My advice would be to fight these bills. 


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