Can a lien be put on my house for a nursing home bill from the person I had power of attorney over?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
Josephine114 asked...

Can a lien be put on my house for a nursing home bill from the person I was power of attorney to who died?


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Being named an agent in another person's power of attorney document alone should not make you liable for his or her nursing home bills. The only thing that might make you financially responsible would be if you signed an admission agreement with the facility in which you specifically promised to pay the costs of care there.

That written, nursing homes sometimes do pursue family members or healthcare agents of deceased residents in an effort to collect for charges unpaid at death. If a resident leaves an estate, the estate is liable for payment. But if there is no "estate", as is almost always the case with long term residents on Medicaid, the family members and agent are not liable.

If you feel you are being wrongly pursued for payment by a nursing home, write a brief letter explaining that you have no legal obligation to pay"”and mail a copy to the facility director and to yourself, both with return receipts requested.

If the facility persists, you might want to contact the nearest Area Agency on Aging and ask for legal help with the matter. You can find the closest office through the Caring website at www.caring.com/local/area-agency-on-aging.