Question from meyou, What Happens to a Deceased Person’s House in Wisconsin if There are Outstanding Medical Bills?
Answer from AI:
When a person dies, their estate, which includes all their assets, goes through a legal process called probate. This process is used to pay off any debts and distribute the remaining assets to the heirs. In Wisconsin, like in many other states, certain rules and procedures apply to this process.
Probate and Estate Settlement
The probate process begins with the appointment of a personal representative, often named in the deceased’s will, or appointed by the court if there is no will. This representative is responsible for settling the estate, which includes paying off debts.
According to Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 859, the personal representative must use the estate’s assets to pay off the deceased’s debts in a specific order. This includes:
- Costs and expenses of administration
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- Provisions for the family
- Medical and hospital expenses of the last illness
- Federal and state taxes
- All other claims
Outstanding Medical Bills and Property
If the deceased person’s only asset is a house, and there are outstanding medical bills, the personal representative may need to sell the house to pay off these debts. However, this depends on the total amount of the debts and the value of the house.
If the value of the house is greater than the total amount of the debts, the house may be sold, the debts paid, and the remaining money distributed to the heirs. If the value of the house is less than the total amount of the debts, the house may still be sold, but the debts may not be fully paid off.
Consulting a Legal Professional
The probate process can be complex, and each situation is unique. Therefore, it’s recommended that individuals consult with a legal professional for personalized advice. An attorney can help navigate the probate process, provide advice on how to handle debts, and ensure the rights of all parties are protected.
Please note: This information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to provide legal advice. Please consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.