Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Can I be held responsible for a Nursing Home bill that is left after my Mother-in-law died? This is in Arizona. I was a signature on her checking account but did not have power of attorney. I signed checks for her Share of Cost to the home each month. Now the nursing home tells me there was a penalty on her ALTCS and is sending two statements. One in my deceased mother-in-law’s name, and the other to my mother-in-law, in care of me, for almost $5,000.00. She was AHCCCS eligible, had no estate. Her only income was Social Security. I spoke to the billing department last month and explained the situation. I was told it would then be left as an unpaid bill, but I received two more statements this month. Am I legally responsible for this statement? Response 1: No, you are not. You are not responsible for your deceased mother in-law's bills even if you were her Attorney-in-fact (Power of Attorney). You have no contract whatsoever with the nursing facility. Can this affect my credit?
Response 2: No. The bill is not yours. The bill cannot go on your credit file because you did not sign any contract with the facility and you did not provide the facility with your Social Security Number. Your credit report is linked to your Social Security Number.
How do I get the Home to stop sending me a bill? How many bills can they send before this stops?
How do I get the Home to stop sending me a bill? How many bills can they send before this stops? Response: You need to send them a simple letter telling them to stop sending the bills to you because you are not responsible for the bills. That the estate of your deceased mother-in-law has no assets to pay the bills. That's all you need to do. If they keep sending the bills, just throw them in the trash. You may also at that time file lawsuit against then for illegal collection practices.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).