Am I responsible for the bills that belonged to my deceased mother? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

Free Answers to your Legal Questions by Lawyers.
ask »


Am I responsible for the bills that belonged to my deceased mother?

My mother recently passed away and has no assets, trust or will. Are her children responsible for her bills (medical, ambulance, credit card)? I have only notified her creditors of her death and she has received bills from creditor that have turned it over to legal departments and probate departments. She also has a large nursing home bill and her medical was pending when she passed away so I dont know how to proceed with that. Also we have one joint account that I paid her bills through and there is nothing left in that account.

Answer By Andrea Perez

Contact this Attorney Now

You are not personally responsible for your Mother's debts unless you agreed to be responsible (joint account, join credit card, co-signer or personal guarantee). Also, if your Mother has any assets to inherit, her bills and other debts will need to be paid first before the assets can be distributed. This is a procedure that is monitored and must be filed with your local Probate Court.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/27/2012

Answer By Geoff Germane

Contact this Attorney Now

No, the children are not generally responsible for the debts of a deceased parent. If the child was a co-debtor, the child may have his or her own liability.

Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 1/27/2012

North Sound Law, PS
Contact this Attorney Now

No. You are not responsible for your mother's debts. Creditors and collection agencies often pressure family members into paying the debts of a decedent, but you have no legal responsibility for those debts. Your mother's estate has the obligation. In most cases it is the best course of action to be able to settle her estate properly is to file a probate case. Probate not only deals with the proper distribution of a decedent's assets, it also settles all debt obligations of the decedent as well. Meeting with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your mother's estate and how best to proceed would be well worth any consultation fee you would pay.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/27/2012

Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Contact this Attorney Now

No, you are not responsible for your mother's bills unless you signed something agreeing to be responsible.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 1/27/2012

Answer By Dara Goldsmith
Goldsmith & Guymon
Contact this Attorney Now

If you signed as a responsible person on her accounts then you could be. If you received assets from her you could be responsible up to the value of the assets that you recently received. If the answer to both of those questions is "no," the you cannot be held responsible. If you answered "yes" to either or both, you should seek legal counsel.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/27/2012

Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
Contact this Attorney Now

Her children are not directly responsible for your mother's debts. To the extent that you received assets as a result of her passing, creditors might be able to force you to pay. Even though you have no direct liability, in some cases the creditors will try to convince you to pay; don't without consulting first with a probate lawyer.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/27/2012

Answer By Brian Haggerty
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Contact this Attorney Now

If you were helping your mom with her finances, it is possible that your actions could make you liable. In general, though, you are not responsible for the debts of a parent.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/27/2012

Answer By Laurie E. Ohall
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
Contact this Attorney Now

In Florida, neither a spouse nor the decedent's children can be held personally liable for the debts of the decedent, so long as the spouse or children did not sign a document accepting personal responsibility.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/27/2012

Answer By Dean T Jennings
DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
Contact this Attorney Now

No. Do not make any payments that could be interpreted as your taking responsibility. You nor your family members are not responsible to pay the bills, unless you signed something personally saying you would pay. Ignore the creditors other than to tell them she is deceased with no assets.

Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 1/27/2012

Horn & Johnsen SC
Contact this Attorney Now

Your mother's estate is responsible for paying her debts. If there are insufficient assets in her estate to pay all of her debts, unless the debt is joint such as a co-signed loan, you have no personal obligation to pay for your mother's debts. Some creditors and collection agencies will imply that you as a relative have a legal obligation to pay; however, this is a collection tactic and is simply untrue. Where the estate is insolvent, Wisconsin Statutes section 859.25 specifies the priority in which debts and expenses are to be applied: 1. Costs and expenses of administering the estate. 2. Reasonable funeral and burial expenses. 3. Provisions for the family under certain limited circumstances. 4. Reasonable and necessary expenses of the last sickness, including compensation of persons attending your mother. 5. All debts and taxes owed to the government. 6. Wages due to employees earned within 3 months before the date of death. 7. Property assigned to a surviving spouse. 8. All other claims. You should explain to your mother's creditors that there are no assets in her estate available to pay and supply any documentation requested by the State of Wisconsin with regard to her nursing home care expenses.

Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 1/27/2012

© 2017 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | IB Cookie Policy