Sheboygan, WI asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin

Q: Will outstanding medical bills have to be taken out of my estate when I pass away ?

I am responsible for paying off my late husband's considerable medical bills because Wisconsin is a community property state.( he had cancer ) I am hoping that I can leave any money I may have at the time of my death to my son.I have no other debt and do not own any property.I am 60 yrs old.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI

A: Assuming you otherwise meet the means testing you can file bankruptcy to eliminate that debt. If your spouse were still alive you could have signed a post nup to prevent the debt from attaching to joint assets, but that ship has sailed. The only way to avoid the creditors from going after your estate is to pay off or otherwise discharge your debt. You could also try to list children as beneficiaries on the accounts you have but the only SURE way to avoid this is to get rid of the debt. I'd both file bankruptcy if possible and change beneficiaries to avoid property going through probate. Seek local legal help as there may be a third option those of us outside community property states don't think about!

Good luck. -- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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