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  1. #1
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    I live in Georgia and my question is the following:

    If I claim my mother as a dependent am I liable for her medical bills even if I never signed anything agreeing to it?

  2. #2
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    Apr 2007
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    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    Just to verify - who signed to be responsible for the medical bills - your mother & just your mother? Thanks.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    Betty,

    Thanks for your quick reply. My mother was the only person that signed anything agreeing to pay for her medical bills. My only involvement was to take her to the hospital and providing a deposit of $1,500.00 which they demanded. The only paper I ever signed was simply the credit card slip authorizing the $1,500 charge.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    Ok - if you didn't sign anything that you would be responsible for her medical bills/debts, then you shouldn't be just because you are her child.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2006
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    supratentorial region
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    818

    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    Quote Quoting Betty3
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    Ok - if you didn't sign anything that you would be responsible for her medical bills/debts, then you shouldn't be just because you are her child.

    Betty, I have a question. OP is claiming her Mother as a dependent. Would that make any difference in her responsbility for her Mother's bill?
    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2008
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    5

    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    Betty,

    Thanks again for your prompt reply.

    My concern is not that the mere fact that I am her child would make me liable for these bills. The issue that I worriy about here is that I claimed her as a dependent because she truly is totally dependent on my wife and I for her livelyhood.

    She gets less than $250.00 a month from Social Security and we provide for room and board. So we figured there was nothing wrong with claming her as a dependent on my 1040 because it would help a little with the taxes.

    So, you believe that as long as I did not sign anything agreeing to pay for these bills, the fact that she's a dependent of ours (in the eyes of the IRS) is not relevant?

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    My source indicates just claiming a parent as a dependent would not make the children liable for the parent's medical bills - only if they signed something indicating they would take responsibility for them. Claiming them as a dependent just means you furnished financial support to them during the year.

    I'm assuming you're not your mother's guardian & that you do not have financial POA over her affairs but that you just helped her out financially on your own during the year. That seems to be the case.

    As a matter of fact I have a friend who had been claiming her dad as a dependent on her inc. tax form due to the amt. of support she put out for her dad each year. After he passed away, she was not responsible for his medical bills. As he didn't have any money/assets to speak of, she said the doctors & hosp. got nothing. She just sent the bills back saying deceased & no estate.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    You said your mother gets social security. Does she get Medicare to help with the medical bills?

    Anyway, children are not responsible for parents' medical bills & other debts, siblings aren't responsible for other siblings medical bills & debts though sometimes a spouse can be responsible for another spouse's medical bills/debts.
    That's not to say a creditor will not *try* to collect from anyone that is related - they are known to do that.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    What you're describing here is exactly the situation at hand. I am neither her guardian nor do I have POA over her affairs. She has complete use of her faculties and she's quite self-sufficient (not financially of course).

    One irony in all this is that as soon as she came back home from the hospital she had her Medicare card in the mail box, however, it is not effective until the 1st week of August.

    Thanks again for your time and feedback! By the way, are you an attorney? You certainly seem to have more than just a casual grasp of these subjects.

    Take care and thanks again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    Default Re: Am I Liable For My Mother's Medical Bills?

    No, I am not an attorney -- just what I know from experience & from law ref. books.

    You take care, too & you're welcome.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

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