Follow
Share

My dad has no assets and his only income is social security. Does he have to pay her medical bills?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Another thought - with no assets or garnishable income, your mother and probably your father is "judgment proof", a legal concept meaning he has nothing with which to pay any judgments that would be entered in a debt collection lawsuit. So, in other words - there's nothing to pay the debts, so it's futile to go after him.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Since his only source of income is SS, he should be free from garnishment, even if creditors initiated suit. However, he could take pre-emptive action and advise the medical creditors of the situation, to stop any harassment that debt collectors might create.

This is a good but a bit complicated article by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on garnishable issues re Federal payments:

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1157/can-creditor-garnish-my-social-security-benefits-pay-debt.html.

However, it does address debts of an individual, not the spouse. I think the question then would be whether or not your father signed any documents assuming responsibility for your wife's bills.

If creditors do come after him, you might want to contact local communities to see if they offer free legal advice for seniors. Most do in my area. They can at least help put into perspective what situation your father is in.

If he is contacted by debt collectors, advise him not to say ANYTHING to them on the phone; write a letter pursuant to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, advise that the debts are not his, DEMAND A COPY OF ANY JUDGMENT, and send the letter registered mail or overnight, so that you have proof it's been received.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you for the replies. Currently he is still living at home. However his social security barely covers his bills & there is a couple of hundred over that for groceries etc. she had only her social security income. So there isn't any "estate". Dad is executor of nothing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If your Dad lived in a community property state at the time of his wife's death: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin he may be responsible for debts incurred by his wife during his marriage even if he did not co-sign the documents. A probate or estate planning Attorney can help him determine whether that's the case.

Don't be surprised if the creditor comes after your Dad to get payment for medical care, as that seems to be one debt that a spouse could be responsible for even if he didn't sign the paperwork.

Have your Dad talk with the doctor/hospital to see if the medical bills could be reduced. One would think that Medicare and any Medicare supplement would cover most of the costs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The Executor of her estate is responsible for paying all bills out of her assets. Unless he signed as the responsible party, it's not his problem.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.