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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
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MY WIFE PASSSED AWAY THIS SEPTEMBER. AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR THE

Resolved Question:

MY WIFE PASSSED AWAY THIS SEPTEMBER. AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEDUCTABLE
MEDICAL EXPENSE SHE INCURRED? WE HAD A JOINT MEDICAL PLAN IN MY NAME BUT SHE INCURRED THE EXPENSE.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 2 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.

Hi, with regard to your post:

MY WIFE PASSSED AWAY THIS SEPTEMBER. I am so sorry! AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEDUCTABLE
MEDICAL EXPENSE SHE INCURRED? Unfortunately, that is very possible. See more below. WE HAD A JOINT MEDICAL PLAN IN MY NAME BUT SHE INCURRED THE EXPENSE.The doctrine of necessaries is alive and well in NY, which means, given our duty to support our spouses (and children), and provide them with necessary things, which includes medical needs, we are generally liable for our spouses medical bills. However, there is some caselaw that has appeared at times to limit this obligation.


A cause of action for medical necessaries, by your wife's medical provider, against you, may only be viable if the primary debtor (your wife)... is unable to satisfy the debt out of her own resources. (See Gilberg v Lennon, 212 A.D.2d 662, 622 N.Y.S.2d 962 [1st Dept 1995]; Medical Bus Assocs v Steiner, 183 A.D.2d 86, 588 N.Y.S.2d 890 [2d Dept 1992].) So if she has an estate, that would be obligated, but now you necessarily. In addition, the doctrine of necessaries requires a showing that the necessaries were furnished based on the credit of the spouse (you) and a showing that the amounts alleged to be owed are commensurate with the spouse's means. (See Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, Inc. v Frey, 152 A.D.2d 73, 548 N.Y.S.2d 109 [3rd Dept 1989].)
This is the caselaw I'd start looking into, and research more thoroughly. If you have and had no money, the provider clearly didn't rely on your financial picture in deciding to provide her with tx and that may be a defense should they decide to sue you.

Good luck here, and again, I am so sorry for your loss.

I hope this helps clarify for you.

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Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11714
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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