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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32743
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My father in-law is dying of liver cirrhosis and has been to

Customer Question

My father in-law is dying of liver cirrhosis and has been to the ER about 5 times in the past two year. Needless to say he has an extensive amount of medical bills that he cannot pay for because he does not have insurance. Once he passes will we be responsible to pay those bills? If not, will property or other things left in his will be taken to cover those bills?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Assuming that no one signed to be responsible for the bills then the obligation passes to his estate. If he is married sometimes the creditor will attempt to get the spouse to pay but it's unusual for them to pursue this past the stage of a letter.

His estate will have to pay all creditors, including hospital bills, before it can pass any of the property to his heirs. Things like his bank accounts, a retirement account, etc. can be handled by designating a beneficiary who will take possession "outside of probate" and thus the medical providers don't have a claim against that asset. However, anything other than that which he owns at the time of his death would be subject to the claims of the creditors.

If he has any assets worth much he may want to visit with a local lawyer who does estate work. There are ways to handle the property before death which will prevent the creditors from having a claim against it but these ways differ depending on the specific facts, assets, etc.