Disability Income • Critical Illness Insurance • Long Term Care • Life Insurance

State Filial Responsibility Laws

Will you be required to help pay for your parents Long Term Care debt?

Currently, about 30-states have Filial Laws on the books (including PA, MD and VA). These laws spell out how and under what circumstances adult children have a legal responsibility to support their parents under the legal term, "filial responsibility".

Filial Law actions may appear, for example, when parents have accumulated large debt related to Nursing Home expenditures, or from other private institutions, such as Hospitals. It's very easy to acquire a large Nursing Home debt while awaiting Medicaid approval. The 2005 Deficit Reduction Act has made qualifying for Medicaid more difficult. What happens if after a few months of running up a Nursing Home bill Medicaid says no? In such cases, the responsibility to pay often centers on whether repayment of the outstanding debt is deemed to be beyond the parents' means.

Children can thus find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit, where judgment in favor of a care-provider will obligate children to pay their parent's bills. Depending upon the state in question (and assuming you've refused to pay your parent's bills) you may risk a number of unpleasant outcomes, such as criminal penalties, garnishment of wages, liens against your property and even jail. Such judgments may affect both your standing in the community and your credit report.

Speak With Your Parents Today

The number of Nursing Home residents now dependent upon Medicaid is large and growing. More and more indigent individuals will be competing for valued Medicaid assistance. Although Filial Laws have been rarely used in the past (relative to the opportunities), there are now documented cases of Nursing Homes turning to children for the payment of their parent's debt. And it is speculated that this trend may increase, as Nursing Homes see narrowing profit margins in the face of an increasing number residents being unable to pay for their care.

It may be wise and financially prudent to assist your parents today with a Long Term Care expense strategy. Providing parents with financial assistance may result in more choices and control (and dignity) in their care needs. And your assistance today may help you avoid future Filial Law actions.

See "Paying for Care" for more information.



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Paying for Care - Insuring the Risk
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State Filial Responsibility Laws
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Paul SuPrise, CLU, LTCP
770 Nuangola Road • Mountain Top, PA 18707-9507
570-868-6871 • Fax 570-868-6872
paul@sickpayplans.com
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