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Is wife responsible for medical bills of deceased husband?

The last post in this topic was posted 2621 days ago. 


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It has been a while since I have posted here, as I was able to clean everything up with the help of the board. Now I am back with another question.



My father recently passed away. There are now a large number of medical bills being sent to my mothers home (addressed to him). Her only income is Social Security. My question is, who is responsible for these bills? My father had medicare (A&B?) so all of the providers already received some payment for the services, and the bills are for the amounts not covered by that. This is in Massachusetts.



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Your mother is not responsible for those bills, HOWEVER, if your father left an estate and the bills are VERY large, the OCs may decide to file a claim against the estate.


DO NOT let anyone tell you that a spouse is legally responsible for a deceased mate's debts, either credit card or medical UNLESS they were jointly obtained.


If your mother has an estate lawyer to help her with settling the estate, ( if there IS an estate) they can help her.

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Thank you for the reply.


I am sorry to sound naive, but I do not know the exact definition of an "estate". My parents owned a home together, and a small checking account.My mother is now living in that home alone. I guess, my fathers name would still be on the deed? Could they try to attach something to that? There was no will, and there is no lawyer to help settle anything. Basically, everything my father "had" is now my mothers.



So far, the biggest bill is around 800 or so. There are a large amount of smaller ones in the 100-200 dollar range, but with so many, the total amount is starting to add up, but they are spread among numerous providers.

Edited by New2repair
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Your father died without a will?? Did he have any real estate or investments or any other assets that were NOT jointly owned by your mother?? If not, then there was no estate to probate, nothing that could be attached in any claim. Your parent's home is NOT in jeopardy in any way shape or form.


If your mother is concerned about the claims, make up a form letter stating the fact that your father died with no estate and make copies of the death certificate ( they do NOT have to be certified copies) send the same letter to each party claiming anything with a copy of their bill.


MAKE SURE that your mother does NOT fall victim to any scum scam collection service telling her that she is liable for any bill.


MAKE SURE that the letter is not signed by either you or your mother and that your name and address and relationship are NOT divulged


The return address can be your mother's address, but the letter should NOT be signed by her.

Edited by Why Chat
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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the response. Yes, father died without a will, and there were no assets that were not jointly owned, and no probate process. I have drafted up a basic form letter.


Dear Heath provider

Thank you for the care you provided Dad. Unfortunately, dad passed away on September 2015 (see attached). At the time of his passing, dad left no estate and no assets. Please refrain from sending further correspondence regarding this account. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.



Is that sufficient?


Thanks again for all your help!

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The last post in this topic was posted 2621 days ago. 


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