Washington, DC asked in Family Law and Collections for Virginia

Q: Do I notify a debt collector of who the executor is if it isn’t me if they haven’t asked but are sending me letters?

My wife was the POA for her eldest sister who was in a nursing home in Kentucky for 9 months before her death in 2022. Her other sister is the executor. I do not believe that she has settled the estate but there are no assets. Apparently Medicaid must have been denied because we are getting letters from a collection agency for $50k of debt. We have had no contact with the nursing home since her death. Debt collector correspondence is addressed to the deceased but c/o my wife. Do we volunteer who the executor is with their contact info or wait until they request it. We have typed a letter clearly stating that we are not the executor and have no legal authority to do anything and asked them to not contact us further

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You have no obligation to cooperate or provide any information in response to their demand letters. If they are a "bill collector" under the statute, they must cease contact when you demand that, and they may not continue contact just to harass you. That means that they have no choice but to sue you, and, since you haven't cooperated, they aren't required to believe your claims that you aren't responsible. They can let a court sort that out... at great expense to you, and they will not be liable for that.

If there is no estate, wouldn't it be easier to cooperate, put them in touch with the executor, and get the matter resolved cheaply?

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