Are adult children required to pay the medical bill of their deceased parents?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are adult children required to pay the medical bill of their deceased parents?

My wife’s parents both died this year, several months apart. I want to know if she and brother are required to pay their outstanding medical bill bills out of their inheritance?

Asked on December 28, 2016 under Estate Planning, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, a child does not inherit their parent's debts. That is unless they specifically assumed any such debts (for example was a co-signer on a loan, etc.) or there was a pre-death transfer of an asset for the purpose of defeating a potential creditor claim against the estate. However, the deceased's estate is reponsiblde for the payment of all bills and any other outstanding debts. Only after they have been paid can the remainder of the estate, if any, be distributed to beneficiaries/heirs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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