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My father passed away early this year. A bill for over $1000 just came in for services performed in January, billed to his insurance in June. The insurance denied the claim. Are there guidelines or resources to help us know which bills we are responsible for?

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Was there a will? Who is the executor? Was there an estate? Which would be a house, car, money, bonds, shares, etc. If so this needed to be probated. If no will, then the state steps in. In either case, all bills need to be satisfied if there is money. Debts come first. As said, you need to find out why the service was turned down. Wrong info could have been given by the dr. office. It could have been coded wrong. Maybe dr. wasn't a Medicare dr. or in the private insurance network. You need to research this beforevu pay. Now, if Dad had no assets or money, the bill can't be paid. The provider may ask for proof of this. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE PERSONALLY FOR DADS DEBTS. And don't let them tell u otherwise.
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The estate is responsible for all bills engendered in the person's life. Just b/c they have passed, the bill still need to be paid.

An insurance claim? Call the company and chase that down. Any number of reasons it was denied. Don't panic. My FIL had a full set of dentures that cost $1200 which I paid for 6 months after his death. It didn't MATTER that he wasn't there to use them, he'd had them made and that bill was a debt to the estate.

Credit cards, dr bills, utilities, property taxes...they still need to be paid.

Dad had a trust, so the distribution of the estate went fairly smoothly. Hubby was executor, and he was told it would take about a year to "finalize". It did, in fact take almost exactly a year.
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So sorry to read of your Dad's passing. If none of his assets were jointly own, then his Will has to go into County Probate, even if there is no Will the same has to be done.

Any bills that come in are paid through the estate during a year time frame. An Estate of My Dad's Name checking amount is usually set up for these payments. Copies of bills and checks need to be kept. After the year is up [or whatever is the State law] then the Estate is closed and items left can then be distributed to the heirs.
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Do NOT pay bills!! This is a scam - I received many bills that were bogus and I didn't pay.

I researched! What I learned is that if you pay once - they will come out of the woodwork and you will be responsible for everything.

My mother owed nothing and I paid nothing! The bills stopped coming.

Please be aware - and if you doubt, go to Howard Clark website - the children are NOT responsible for the bills and many really are bogus.  I was getting them from California for a hospital in Mississippi - and I called the hospital in question and they thought I was nuts.  My mother had NO outstanding bills!
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I need to clarify my answer: We paid ALL of dad's bills out of his estate. Had be been indigent, this would have been a different story altogether. BUT, the bills he'd owed, be owed b/c of services rendered. There was money to pay. And we did.

Had he been without funds completely, no, we would not have paid from our own pockets.
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I am sorry for your loss. If your father had assets then the information already provided is accurate. If your father did not have assets, you are NOT responsible for his debts. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise especially a debt collector.
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If there is an estate, the estate is responsible for payment. You personally are not responsible for a parent's debts...It's unlawful for them to do this.
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Just to clarify RayLynStephens' post, it's Clark Howard's website. He is a very trustworthy consumer advocate. I subscribe to his newsletter, which comes daily via e-mail, and which usually has some very helpful information.  I'm not surprised that he can give excellent advice on estates, debts, and so on.  
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My mother owed on a credit card, cable tv, telephone...when she went on Medicaid and went into a nursing home, that was that. We stopped the cable tv and telephone, and I sent a letter to the credit card company saying she was in a nursing home and had no money. After she died, I sent a copy of the death certificate and a letter by registered mail to them saying she was deceased and there was no estate. I did get a call now and then from a bill collector asking to speak to whoever was in charge of Mrs. ____'s 'estate', and I would just say 'no habla Ingles' or 'I don't know any Mrs. ____, she is deceased'. the. end.....now, if your father has any assets or estate, they can get reimbursed from that. YOU do NOT have to pay them with your money, nor should you! And check all the 'bills', some of them are bogus, scams, begging letters from charities. Beware of any 'magazine subscriptions'. I informed them my mother was deceased and they kept sending bills anyway. I tore up those invoices for 'magazine subscriptions', which she may have had at one time in the past.
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Once you explain the situation and send any proof needed you tell them you want no more calls. If they do, report them to FTC. Collection agencies are under stricter guidelines that Companies that have their own collection dept. They r not allowed to harrass or threaten.
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