Filial responsibility is something that until recently I had never heard of, but something which might impact any of us with someone who is receiving long term care.
Filial responsibility means that adult children can be made financially responsible for their parents’ nursing home and long term care facilities when the parents can’t afford care for themselves. Some long term care facilities who have been unable to receive payment for their services through the resident or Medicaid are now looking to the resident’s children for payment, and the courts are supporting their claims.
Filial responsibility laws are on the books in 30 states. Though they apparently have not been enforced in the past, given the economic climate in which we live, that seems to be changing.
States with Filial Responsibility Laws
Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia
What To Do
If your parents live in any of the states listed above, it is even more important that you discuss their long term plans and financial situation with them as soon as possible. It is equally important that you seek expert legal assistance to protect everyone involved and you, the child, are not surprised with an unexpected financial responsibility which could easily exceed $60,000 annually for one parent.