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Am I Liable for My Spouse's Nursing Home Bill?
If my husband is in a nursing home and he depletes all his assets, will I be responsible for his nursing care costs, even if my assets are tied up in an IRA?
Usually in non-community property states, one spouse is not responsible for the other spouse’s debt. However, in some states there is an exception to this rule for medical bills, meaning that a spouse may be liable for any debts relating to the other spouse’s medical treatment. In those states, nursing home care may be considered a medical bill. The rules regarding a spouse's liability for medical bills vary from state to state.
In community property states, a spouse is usually liable for any of the other spouse's debts that occurred during the marriage, even if only one spouse signed off on the debt.
One option is for your husband to apply for Medicaid to cover his nursing home expenses. We recommend you contact an elder law attorney right away to find out the best course of action to make sure you won't end up with a bill you can't pay. To find an attorney near you, go here: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys.
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