My mother was in a nursing home for a period of time before she passed away. I received a bill for $9,000 for days not covered by medicare and private insurance. Having power of attorney and an only child who inherited the house and the estate, I started making small monthly payment on my mother's behalf. The nursing home growing impatient with the small amounts being paid reduced the bill to $4000. I continued to send $10 a month on the $4,000. I just got a call from the nursing home collection dept offering a settlement of 35% off the $4,000. They said that this is the lowest discount medicare would allow. They said if I didn't accept the offer that they would turn it into collection and that I would have to pay 20% more. My mother passed away in Feb and I did not recall signing any papers that I would be responsible for any debt. Can they still collect was is owned? I thought that they could not turn the bill in for collection if I was making monthly payments.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Unless you agreed to guarantee your mother's debt, you are not personally responsible for it either as her child or as the representative of her estate. However, her estate may have an obligation to pay. That raises the question of what assets were in the estate. You said that you inherited the house. I recommend that you consult with a lawyer who can advise you on your liability for the debt and the obligations of the estate.