Outstanding medical bills are addressed during probate

Some people may have the unfortunate experience of having a loved one in a hospital up until the end of his or her life. While this type of scenario is unavoidable for many Ohio residents, it can leave surviving loved ones wondering what will happen with the outstanding medical bills after the person's passing. Like other remaining debts, medical debt is addressed during probate.

The executor of the estate will have the responsibility of handling the remaining bills and creditor claims of the estate. If the estate does not have enough assets to cover all of the claims, the executor will pay the claims in order of priority. In some cases, medical bills accumulated within the last 60 days of a person's life could have a higher priority than other debts, but it can depend on state law and other factors.

If the estate has enough assets to cover all of the decedent's remaining debts, the executor will pay those debts using estate funds. It may be necessary for the executor to sell certain items to have the funds necessary to cover those claims, but liquidating assets can take place during probate. Fortunately, surviving loved ones do not take on the obligation of a decedent's debts unless named as a co-signer or another association with the debt exists.

Handing medical bills and other forms of debt is only one aspect of probate. Ohio residents acting as the executor of an estate may have many questions about the proper way to handle creditor claims, and having the right information is vital. Luckily, individuals seeing an estate through this process can enlist the help of experienced attorneys who can provide guidance throughout the proceedings.

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