Am I responsible for bills related to my father's medical care if he is deceased? 18 Answers as of April 10, 2014

My father passed away in December of 2013. Statements have been trickling in, addressed to him, and I am wondering if I am obligated to pay them. I did have a POA before he passed away to help deal with his medical and bank affairs while he was ill but I am not sure how that falls in to place after his death. He had no assets, no real estate and no savings. He had been living off social security only.

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You personally do not have to pay them, but his estate is liable for them.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/10/2014
Home Town Law, P.A.
Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
POA has no effect after the principal's death. You are personally not responsible for paying the debts of the decedent unless you have somehow assumed the responsibility of paying for your father's medical bills. If you have not signed any document where you assume the responsibility and it is not a joint debt, you should have no personal responsibility for paying it. However, I would consult with a probate attorney in your area for further guidance specific to your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/10/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Do not pay any bill of your father, as he is/was the only person responsible, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise, or try to guilt you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/10/2014
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
The power of attorney given to you by your father terminated upon his death. You are not responsible for your father's debt unless you were a cosigner for any of his debts. If your father did not have any assets, bank accounts or real property, inform the creditors that your father is deceased, he had no assets and no probate proceedings will be initiated.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/10/2014
James M. Chandler | James M. Chandler
You are not responsible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Your POA is no longer of use. You are not responsible for your dad's bills, his estate is. Because he had no assets, his estate is insolvent and would not be probated. Just send the bills back with deceased marked on the envelop.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    You are not responsible unless you personally guaranteed the debts. Write deceased with no assets on the invoices and send them back (keep copies)
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally would not be liable for his medical expenses, either while he was alive or after his death. All of his obligations would be payable through his estate which, according to the factual provided, does not exist. You would be wise to spend an hour with an attorney to confirm these things and get a firm opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The bills are the estate's responsibility. Since there is no estate, they don't get paid. However, in order to keep people from bugging you, you might want to send each of them a letter with a copy (not certified) of the death certificate and an explanation that your father had no assets.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    The only way that you would be responsible for any of your father's debts is if you agreed to be. If you did not sign any documents making you the "responsible party," then you should notify the creditors that your father has passed and there is no estate. The debts will be written off. If the creditors or their collection agencies are harassing you, you should retain an attorney. This should not cost you much. Once the creditors have been notified that you have an attorney, it is against the law for them to contact you at all. They must contact only the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If he has no estate, the bills will not get paid. You are not personally responsible for them. Contact the companies or doctors sending the bills, tell them your father has died and has no estate, and they should stop coming (eventually).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    You have no personal liability for these debts. Tell the people sending the bills that your father had no assets.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    You are not personally liable. If his estate had any funds, they would need to be used to pay his bills.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    You aren't personally responsible for your late father's debts. However, someone needs to settle his estate which includes all of his debts as well as any assets he might have had. Your POA is no longer effective. Someone needs to serve as executor of the estate, notify the creditors and pay off as many debts as possible, file the final tax reports, and distribute any remaining personal possessions.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    You are not responsible for his debts. His estate is responsible. The POA ceases to be valid after the death of your father.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    No. His estate is obligated to pay, and you say his estate has nothing. Just inform any bill collectors that he passed away with no assets, there will be no probate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Provided you signed nothing that could be a guarantee of his medical expenses you have no obligation to pay any charges associated with his last illness or residence. These debts are the obligation of his estate. If you received any distribution of his assets after his death you would be responsible up to the value of the distribution. That is because the estate must pay creditors before any distribution. Your actions as POA do not make you responsible, anything you signed as POA is in your capacity as an agent for your father and not an individual undertaking.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/9/2014
    Fluhr & Moore, LLC | Steven S. Fluhr
    Unless you signed something to be personally responsible, the POA does not make you responsible for your father's debt.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 4/9/2014
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