Could You Be Responsible for Your Parents’ Nursing Home Bills?
This week, Craig Siminski, of CMS Retirement Income Planning, shares an article discussing the reason to plan for long-term care needs:
In 26 states (and Puerto Rico), laws generally hold children financially responsible for certain debts of their parents. These laws are referred to as filial responsibility laws (or filial support or filial piety laws).
The details of filial responsibility laws vary by state. Most require that a parent must be deemed unable to pay for the costs of basic care and support before a child may be held responsible. And most states consider the child’s ability to pay before holding the child liable for the cost of a parent’s health care.
Filial responsibility laws are generally not enforced. But one 2012 case out of Pennsylvania may provide an example of how these laws might be used. Health Care & Retirement Corporation of America v. Pittas addressed the question of whether a child can be held responsible for the health-related debts of a parent.
The court found an adult son responsible for $93,000 in nursing home costs incurred by his mother. The court also ruled that there was no duty to consider the parent’s other possible financial resources for payment, which included her husband and two other adult children, or the fact that an application for Medicaid assistance was pending at the time of the claim against the child. The court found that the plaintiff had met its burden under the law by proving the child had the financial means…
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Craig Siminski is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with more than 22 years of experience. His goal is to provide families, business owners, and their employees with assistance in building their financial freedom.
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