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Liability for Deceased Spouse's Medical Bills

Question: Is a husband liable for his wife’s medical bills after she passes away? Her bills were sent to a collections agency which is dunning me for the bills and collection charges.

Answer: Illinois has a Family Expense Act under which one spouse is generally liable for necessary expenses of the family, which includes non-elective medical expenses, as long as the spouses are living together. The liability probably does not extend to cases where credit is intentionally extended to one spouse, as may be the case with elective procedures (cosmetic procedures, dental implants, etc.).