Smart Money

DEAR BRUCE: My wife recently passed away at our local hospital. She was on life support for three days. After she passed, I started receiving hospital bills from the same hospital. I know I am not liable for her bills since they are in her name alone, but I just think it's ridiculous that I still need to send a copy of the death certificate when they already know she passed away. Any thoughts? -- Patrick

DEAR PATRICK: You should understand that if the hospital has not been paid for your wife's treatment, it is going to be looking to you or anybody else who might have the ability to partially or completely pay her bills.

You say you're not liable for her bills since they are in her name only. That's possible, but please don't think it's ridiculous that people who are owed money will go to good lengths to collect. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It's business, not personal. Send a copy of the death certificate as requested.

DEAR BRUCE: I heard that Mr. Trump doesn't take his presidential salary for his services. Can you tell me where that money goes? Does he donate it to charity? -- Reader

DEAR READER: This is a pretty simple transaction. Mr. Trump can designate where the money will go that he returns to the government for his services. He can donate the money to a fund specifically set up for that purpose and the administrators of that fund will spend the money as he directs. He has donated his salary so far to the Interior Department and the Education Department. It has not been donated to a charity.

(Send questions to Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)

(The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at It is also available at

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