Hospital Bills

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I am my mothers legal guardian. She is in late stage Alz/Dementia. She had 2 hospital stays recently. She lives with me. Am I responsible for her hospital bills?


3930 helpful answers
That depends on how the guardianship was set up. If it's a Power Of Attorney to pay her bills, likely not. But if you are an actual legal guardian, you'd do best by consulting the legal document and asking an attorney, as they are all different.

Most likely you are respnsible but good avice on the previous advise. Depending on your mothers finances and insurance, talk to the hospital billing department and see if you can submitt her for a hardship case. Some of the hospitals take these and have them reviewed by their boards and will take care of any remaining bills or most of the time they will work with you or give you a discount. The first thing you have to do is ask and see what you can get.
Good luck
Dear marylee. yes you do need the durable power of attorney that is needed for if the person becomes incable of taking care of themself. A guardian is diiferent states. I am my mom's legal Rep through the state of Florida. also Durable Power of attoney, have a legal heath epoxy and am the only one on the will. I had that done many years before mom started to get sick since I live in Florida and she was in New York in case something happen. My mom was just in the hospital the last four months twice. One was for a broken hip the other was for a fall of which she hit her head. She is in a assisting living. But all her bills were pay for by medicare and a self elected co-insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield). I have paid nothing. If she has no money they can can make you pay the bills. Only if she has assets still in her name. You can get with elder care from your state they may be able to help. or even call the Alzheimer's 24/7 hot line. they may also be able to help you. patrica
Is it work doing a spend down for medicaid?
My, is it work! And hard work, at that... I had to do the spend down, and it took a long time. It was somewhat easier, in that my parents had a great amount of outstanding debt, and I applied their assets towards that, and paid off all their creditors, with the exception of one. I also invested the maximum allowable amount by our state, in a pre-paid Funeral Contract for each parent's future needs, so that part would be cared for in advance, and I wouldn't be faced with the difficulties and stress later. I did this all without the cost of an Attorney, but with much counsel and advice from professionals. There are booklets and assistance programs to help walk you through the whole process. There are other things you can do, depending upon your particular set of circumstances. I am still working toward the day when my Mom may have greater needs, but for now, she's covered by Medicare Advantage Plus BCBS. It will be interesting to see what changes the new health care plans bring. (BTW, nothing against Elder Law Attorneys, but we saved my parents thousands of dollars by doing it myself.) Yes, it is work, and very tiring, but you can do it.
Dear SecretSister You are right it is hard work getting all the bills paid up and to make sure every thing is in order. My own mom attorney fees were only $100.00, since my job of which I work had a program and they paid for most of the paper work. I did sell all my insurance policies, because in New York the law was going to chnage and I still had the house to clean, repair and sell before I brought mom to Florida. My dad was a veternan so mom will buried in New York. I know it sounds wired to think of things like that but after all I went through when I got back to florida both my husband and Myself went to a lawyer. So my own children will not go through what I had to do. You are coorect also about Elder care lawyers i don't trust them. When Mom was in a nursing home once in New York I contacted a eelder attorney because I was having so much problem with the nursing home. She was going to take me as cusotmer and told me to call her if the doctors or lawyers gave me a hard time. After I did what was requested of me i did call her about this nursing home in New York after several calls she return the deposit I gave her and said that it would be a problem to find another person to help. Well i was thankful I did have so much legal paper done pior to mom illness getting worse. Do not wait untill the elder one becomes incapacitated before you do anything with a elder's finances. hope this will help people that don't know that much about what is hinding in mom or dad's house. There could be bills not paid or checks not cashed, credit cards out in the open. Bou the things I found.Alzheimer & Denentia are both a hard thing for any caregiver to live with and try our best to see that are partents get the proper care and love they need. patrica61
I wish to qualify that I was uncomfortable with some of what I heard a couple of Elder Law Attorneys say. But I won't discount them all. Patricia, you're right. Alzheimer's is difficult to deal with. Fortunately, there are many support systems available, such as this site, and local groups to learn how to best cope. I didn't get involved in my parent's finances until they were no longer able, which is often the case. Not everyone plans ahead, but I hear many like you, caring for their elders, say they don't want to do the same to their children. That's a noble and thoughtful thing to plan ahead. I wish you the best. Having to deal with two States makes your situation a little harder, no doubt. Take care.
I agree that some professional advice from an elder law attorney may be in order here. Each state is different. You may not be responsible for using your personal resources to pay her bills but you certainly are most likely responsible for paying her bills from here resources. If she no longer has resources or they are running low, you may need to begin the medicaid application process.

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