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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My husband is a DDS & I work as office manager. We had been

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My husband is a DDS & I work as office manager. We had been working on a patient in her 70's who wanted extensive dentistry involving implants. She required oral surgery for implant placement and our office was in process of making crowns to attach to implants. She had come in several times for work and had made good faith payments towards her balance. She did have problems with balance, either due to age or alcohol. She fell often and had to use a walker. We had to replace her temporaries often because of this. We had her case completed and ready to seat and she missed her appointment. Her sister called to let us know she had passed away and said she had been excited about getting her new teeth. She told us her sister would have paid her bill if she had the chance and that she would see to it. We were very sorry for her because she was a very proud woman, having her Phd and a very prominent career in our town. Her sister even told us that she was going to be handling her affairs and so we had no reason not to expect payment. My husband had several hours of his time, as well as two laboratory technician's , working on her case, as well as parts and materials . The patient died in May 2012. She had been billed prior to and after her death. When we did not receive payment, we contacted her sister, and after a bit she told us there were family issues and that the patients cousin was now in charge and gave me the name of the attorney handling the case. A proof of claim was filed in Anderson county, as per letter letter from attorney in September. I have called the attorney and he seems a bit wishy-washey to me. Can't tell me much of anything and does not return calls. We have done what we should but are starting to think we will never see the $5,600+ owed. What are our options? My husband' s parents died a couple years ago and we were very meticulous about paying all bills etc. What does the law say ? Can we sue the estate or what?

Thank your for your question.

If the proof of claim has been filed with the probate court in charge of the estate, then you do not need to do anything else at this point.

Probate issues often take quite a long time to resolve. For instance, I was just involved in one where the proof of claims were submitted in 2010 and were not paid until 2012. The court examines the claims and determines if they are truly payable by the estate. In your situation, they will be because it was for medical services.

You need to check with the probate court to make the determination that your proof of claim has been included with the estate. You will have to be patient, but it wouldn't hurt to continue contacting the attorney to continue stressing that you expect payment.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

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