What happens if my parent dies owing medical bills but has no estate? 25 Answers as of August 09, 2013

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James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
As long as you do not guarantee the payment of the medical expenses, they do not get paid.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/9/2013
Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
The hospital will probably write it off as uncollectible and not try to collect anything.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/9/2013
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, if a decedent has outstanding medical bills and no funds/estate to pay the bills (and no one else has assumed liability for the debt), then the bills will likely go unpaid. It's not good for the medical provider, but it happens.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/9/2013
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
If there is no estate, you can write or call these creditors and tell them there is no estate. Normally, they want it in writing and then are usually not collected on.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/9/2013
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
The medical bills are no longer collectible from your father's estate, as he has no estate, and you don't owe his bills.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    The creditors are out of luck, unless someone agrees to be a "responsible party."
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Only assets owned by your parents are responsible for the bill. So long as you did not receive an bank accounts, assets of value or property, you would not ordinarily be responsible absent a guarantee, etc. If you received any assets of value from your parents in the last 5 years, you should speak with an attorney who may be able to address the specific issues you may face. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The estate would be deemed insolvent by the court and, the bills would not be paid.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    The Curran Law Firm
    The Curran Law Firm | Maura Curran
    You do not inherit another person's debts. If there are no monies to pay the debts of your parents, then the creditor has to write off the debt. If there are assets, then you may need to sell the asset to pay the debt. It is important to know what has to be sold to pay for debts and what does not have to be sold or used to pay off a debt. If there are assets of any kind, you need to hire a probate attorney to help you probate the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Those will be unpaid claims against the estate. If there is estate property, it will go to pay those before anything will come to you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Then the medical bills will not likely be paid by anyone. You are not liable for your parent's medical bills unless you signed something agreeing to be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    If there is no estate, there is nothing to collect the medical bills from, unless someone else guaranteed payment.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Just send a note to the creditors, saying your parent has passed away, and no probate is planned because there is no property. That should settle them. Don't pay any bills that can be seen as an agreement to pay them all.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    The Taylor Law Office L.L.C.
    The Taylor Law Office L.L.C. | Ian A. Taylor
    Probably nothing. If an estate is opened in the Probate Court in South Carolina, the estate will publish a notice to creditors, that includes medical bills. The creditor will have to file a claim with the estate. If the personal representative has to pay creditors, they will have to pay the medical bills first. There are many factors that go into payment of creditors in an estate. You could seek the advice of an attorney in your area to determine the estates responsibilities. An estate may not need to be opened. Yet, if there is a will it must be filed with the Probate Court (if in South Carolina). Again, talk with a lawyer about your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    The health care providers/facility will attempt to collect from insurance and/or any health care payment program the deceased was part of. If there are no or insufficient funds to cover the bills from those sources and the deceased doesn't have any assets or has insufficient assets, the companies must write off the bills as bad debt.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    You are not responsible for your parent's bills, unless you agreed or cosigned the bill.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
    Unless others volunteer to pay the medical debt or signed agreements to pay such debt, the debts will not be paid, as often happens.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    The medical bills will most likely get written of by the company.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally the bill are uncollectible if there is truly no estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    The creditors get nothing, if there is no estate. You are not liable for their medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Whoever is taking care of the parent's final affairs should inform the medical provider that the estate was insolvent. No one, other than the estate, is responsible for the bills.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    The estate is liable for the medical bills so if there are no assets the creditors are informed by you of the lack of assets and they will reduce and eventually drop their billing claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    Nothing happens. Send a letter to each and every creditor/medical provider and inform them that your parent died and he/she had no assets at the time of his/her death.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If there is no estate, the medical bills don't get paid. The heirs are not personally liable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2013
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    Unless someone other than the person that died guaranteed them, if the estate has not assets then there is nothing with which to pay the bills.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/9/2013
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