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  1. #1
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    Default What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: FL

    Hi. I know that children are not responsible for their parents' debts, but ...

    If my father is in a hospice, and has unpaid bills, because there are services that were not covered in full, is the estate responsible for those bills, and copays as well, once he passes on?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting CharWorks
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    is the estate responsible for those bills, and copays as well, once he passes on?
    Yes.

    The estate pays all of his bills (to the extent that the estate has assets) before the heirs get anything.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Thanks.

    What if there is no money nor assets? I assume the children would not be responsible for the copays, and whatever bills there are?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting CharWorks
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    What if there is no money nor assets? I assume the children would not be responsible for the copays, and whatever bills there are?
    Correct.

    But one of the children has to become appointed by the probate court as representative of the estate and properly notify creditors that the estate is insolvent.

    Failing to do so could make the children vulnerable to legal action by creditors.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting CharWorks
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    What if there is no money nor assets? I assume the children would not be responsible for the copays, and whatever bills there are?
    Your assumption may not be correct. Some states have statutes that make adult children responsible to pay support for their impoverished parents or liable for necessary expenses of the parent. Under those statutes, it is possible in some cases that the children might be liable for some of the bills of the parent, like necessary medical bills for example. There are problems with pursuing children who live out of state, and other difficulties in applying these laws so my understanding is that generally creditors in those states don't try to pursue that. (My state does not have that sort of statute.) But it can at least be a possibility in some cases. And of course, if you personally guaranteed the debt you'd be liable for that. Having said all that, if you didn't guarantee the debt you are unlikely to be held responsible to pay any of the debts of your deceased parent. Just understand that in some states there might be some possibility that you would be pursued for something.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Correct.

    But one of the children has to become appointed by the probate court as representative of the estate and properly notify creditors that the estate is insolvent.

    Failing to do so could make the children vulnerable to legal action by creditors.
    If there are no assets, in most states, nobody has to do anything. The children do not become liable for inaction.

    unless this is one of States that attempt to put some debt onto the kids (Florida isn’t) , nobody has to do anything.. it’s actually kind of foolish to suggest somebody has to pay money to probate an estate that has no assets.

    if anybody is interest, this is a list of states that have filial liability laws. I haven’t checked them accuracy or the current status of any of the laws.

    https://graphics8.nytimes.com/packag...A/30states.pdf

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting jk
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    If there are no assets, in most states, nobody has to do anything. The children do not become liable for inaction.

    unless this is one of States that attempt to put some debt onto the kids (Florida isn’t) , nobody has to do anything.. it’s actually kind of foolish to suggest somebody has to pay money to probate an estate that has no assets.

    if anybody is interest, this is a list of states that have filial liability laws. I haven’t checked them accuracy or the current status of any of the laws.

    https://graphics8.nytimes.com/packag...A/30states.pdf
    Interesting. Indiana is on that list yet I have never heard of Indiana having any such laws. I just went and read the law and it is vague to say the least.

    IC 31-16-17-1 Duty to furnish support for parents
    Sec. 1. Any individual:
    (1) whose father or mother provided the individual with necessary food, shelter, clothing, medical attention, and education until the individual reached sixteen (16) years of age; and
    (2) who is financially able due to the individual's own property, income, or earnings;
    shall contribute to the support of the individual's parents if either parent is financially unable to furnish the parent's own necessary food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. The individual shall also provide financial support for the parent's burial if the parent's burial is provided under IC 12-20-16-12.

    There is no indication of how its determined if someone is "financially able".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    But one of the children has to become appointed by the probate court as representative of the estate and properly notify creditors that the estate is insolvent.
    Not true - no one has a legal obligation to be forced into representing of an estate. All the children could walk away and refuse ownership. They may choose to voluntarily do so, and if they do, then they have legal obligations.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    This also assumes no one signed anything with the hospice provider agreeing to be responsible.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What Are the Children Repsonsibele for when a Person Dies

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Interesting. Indiana is on that list yet I have never heard of Indiana having any such laws.
    As you can see from the list jk linked, over half the states have a law that makes a child liable for support of his/her parents at least to some degree. Yet I would bet the vast majority of the public does not know that. That is one reason why these provisions are not invoked very often by parents seeking to force their kids to help care for them when they aren't financially able to do it themselves. (Of course another factor may be that the parent just doesn't want to burden the child with it.)

    And it was because so few know about them that I thought it worth mentioning.

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    There is no indication of how its determined if someone is "financially able".
    Nor have the Indiana courts provided any formula or specific guidelines to determine that. The only case that mentions this in the annotated Indiana Code states the following:

    The two basic concerns are the financial need of the parent and the ability of the child to pay. Both are, and must remain, very subjective determinations. Financial ability must be determined by the individual circumstances present in each case. Likewise, financial need must be determined in each case according to the individual circumstances.

    Pickett v. Pickett, 145 Ind. App. 555, 559, 251 N.E.2d 684, 68788 (1969). And that cased was decided 50 years ago. My own search for additional cases on financial ability came up empty. That gives a pretty good indication of just how little these statutes are used. But while they are not used often, they are sometimes utlized. So the chances that a child would actually be called upon to pay for support seem pretty low, but while low, there is some risk there.

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