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How long can creditors continue to send medical bills after someone's death?

2 answers | Last updated: Dec 27, 2013
An anonymous caregiver asked...
My father recently passed away after his long fight with pancreatic cancer. There is a considerable amount of medical bills that we continue to receive almost weekly. I know that in New Jersey there is a nine month statutory period for bringing claims after being notified. My question is: what constitutes formal notice? (i.e. do medical providers have constructive notice of death since they have access to medical records)? Also, are creditors required to consolidate their claims instead of continually sending individual bills? Thank you and God bless!

Caring.com User - Denis Clifford
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Denis Clifford is a lawyer specializing in estate planning. A graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review...

Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to your questions concerning creditors sending bills allegedly owed by your father, after he has died. Your father lived in New Jersey. Therefore, See also:
How do I gain access to my parent's medical records without a durable power of attorney?
New Jersey law governs the issues you raise: Is there constructive notice of death in this case, and are creditors required to consolidate their claims. Each state has its own individual laws and rules regarding creditors' claims following a death. I practice law in California. I am not at all familiar with New Jersey's laws and rules on these issues. Unless you want to do your own legal research on this (possible, but not easy), you'd have to hire a New Jersey lawyer to learn the answers to your questions.


More Answers
jmretired71 answered...

Regarding paying medical bills after a family member dies. A nurseing home hammered us, after my husbands father died, to pay thousands of dollars of medical bills. We never signed anything saying we would be responsible for these bills. After 2 years of harrassment from this facility I did a very unique thing. I wrote them a letter stateing that my father-in-law was now living in heaven and gave them a "heaven" address. I told them he was very happy where he was but he was sorry he had no assets to give them. I signed the letter "GOD". I never heard from this facility again.


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