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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36181
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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I live in Hawaii. My wife died in May, in the hospital, and

Customer Question

I live in Hawaii. My wife died in May, in the hospital, and there were hospital bills, doctor office bills and other medical bills. I did not sign anything saying I would pay her bills. I was told by the hospital that in Hawaii a spouse must pay those bills even if she/he did not sign. Do you have a statute that says they are correct
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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This is commonly referred to as the "doctrine of necessaries". And I hate to give customers bad news, but this is the statute they are referring to:

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Hawaii Revised Statutes
TITLE 31. FAMILY
572. Marriage

[§572-24] Spousal liabilities. Both spouses of a marriage, whether married in this State or in some other jurisdiction, and residing in this, shall be bound to maintain, provide for, and support one another during marriage, and shall be liable for all debts contracted by one another for necessaries for themselves, one another, or their family during marriage; provided that when a support or maintenance obligation, however designated, is imposed upon a spouse under chapter 580 or any other law, the amount of such obligation shall be determined by the appropriate court on the basis of factors enumerated in section 580-47(a).

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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Barrister

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello again,

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Did you have any further questions I can help with tonight?

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thanks

Barrister

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