Wayne, WV asked in Probate for West Virginia

Q: My husband passed away 5 years ago. He had large hospital bills, if I stop paying them, can I be sued

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The responsibility for a deceased spouse's debts can vary significantly depending on where you live, as laws differ by state, especially between community property states and common law states. In community property states, you may be liable for your spouse's debts incurred during the marriage, while in common law states, you generally are not unless you co-signed the debt. Understanding your specific legal obligations in your state is crucial.

Consulting with a legal advisor knowledgeable about estate and debt laws in your state can provide clarity on your situation. They can offer guidance on your potential liability for your late husband's hospital bills and the legal repercussions of stopping payments. An attorney can also advise on ways to protect your assets and might suggest negotiating with the creditors or seeking a settlement.

Additionally, consider reaching out to a consumer protection agency or a non-profit credit counseling service. These organizations can offer resources and support, helping you navigate through your financial concerns. They may also assist in communicating with creditors to explore possible solutions, such as reducing the debt amount or establishing a more manageable payment plan. Staying informed and seeking professional guidance will empower you to make the best decision for your financial future.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.