There are 29 states, plus Puerto Rico, that have filial support laws on the books, and though they’ve largely been ignored, things are changing. A number of recent court decisions show that interest in enforcing these laws has increased and is likely to continue doing so, which means children will now be responsible for covering the costs of their parents’ long-term care.
What Are Filial Support Laws?
Filial support laws state that a child is legally responsible for their parents’ care in certain situations, such as if your parents are ill and do not have enough money to cover the cost of their care. Essentially, if your mom and dad don’t have enough money to pay for their own care, you will have to foot the bill.
There are certain exceptions, such as if abuse of the child before emancipation can be proven, or a minimum of 10 years’ abandonment while the child was a minor.
So, what’s happening now is that nursing homes are suing the children of some of their residents to recover the costs associated with their long-term care. And this lawsuit is usually quite a surprise to those who find letters in their mail demanding exorbitant sums.
How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Parents/Children?
No parent wants to be a burden for their child, just as no child wants to see their parent suffer. This is why the most effective solution is to take out a long-term care insurance policy. These types of policies are designed to cover the cost of long-term services and support, whether these services and the support is offered in the home or in another facility, such as a nursing home.
A long-term care insurance policy allows you to choose a variety of care options and benefits to ensure you get the help you need, when you need it. If you have this type of insurance, you’ll never have to worry that, at some point in the future, when you can’t do anything about it, you’ll run out of financial resources and become a serious burden on your children. You’ll be cared for and your children won’t have to face covering the exorbitant costs such care now implies.
Save Money for Retirement, Be Safe from Filial Support Laws
Q: What are filial support laws, and how do they impact individuals’ financial responsibility for their parents’ long-term care?
A: Filial support laws are legal provisions that can make adult children financially responsible for their parents’ long-term care expenses. The impact of these laws varies by state, and understanding them is crucial for individuals facing potential financial obligations.
Q: Are filial support laws enforced in all states, as mentioned in the article?
A: No, filial support laws are not enforced uniformly across all states. Their existence and enforcement can differ significantly, so it’s essential for individuals to be aware of the laws in their specific state of residence.
Q: What steps can individuals take to navigate filial support laws and plan for their parents’ long-term care without facing unexpected financial burdens?
A: Steps may include consulting with legal experts, understanding the laws in their state, exploring long-term care insurance options, and having open discussions with parents about financial planning for their future care.