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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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am i responsible for my late wifes final medical bills. i signed

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am i responsible for my late wifes final medical bills. i signed nothing at the hospital-all bills are in her name, she had no will or assets.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

No, you are not liable for the medical bills of your wife if you did not sign for them at the hospital and she did not have any assets in her name at the time of her death.

The 1975 Code of Alabama specifically states that Husband's are not liable for contracts of their wife's entered into after the marriage.
Section 30-4-7

Husband not liable for postnuptial contracts and torts of wife.

The husband is not liable for the debts or engagements of the wife, contracted or entered into after marriage, or for her torts in the commission of which he does not participate, but the wife is liable for such debts or engagements, or for her torts, and is suable therefor as if she were sole.

(Code 1886, §2345; Code 1896, §2525; Code 1907, §4491; Code 1923, §8266; Code 1940, T. 34, §70.)


There is a common law doctrine called the doctrine of necessaries that can make spouses liable for certain "necessary" debts like medical bills. However, the Alabama Supreme court held that the doctrine of necessaries is void as unconstitutional in Alabama.



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