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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Can Adult Children Be On the Hook for Their Parents’ Long Term Care Bills?

The costs of long-term care in the United States are hitting all-time highs. While the majority of us will require some type of long-term care, whether it be in-home care or nursing home care, the costs can be devastating. Any savings can be quickly eaten up by long-term care bills. With proper planning, you can look ahead and put a strategy in place so that you will be able to afford long-term care without your assets rapidly depleting to cover costs. Without proper planning, you stand to lose a great deal, if not everything, because of long-term care costs. On top of that, your adult children may find themselves on the hook for paying your long-term care bills if you are unable to do so yourself.

Can Adult Children Be On The Hook for Their Parents’ Long-Term Care Bills?

While South Carolina does not have filial responsibility laws, North Carolina does. Many states, in fact, have filial responsibility laws on the book that can hold adult children responsible for the cost of their parents’ medical care. While these laws are rarely enforced, it is possible for this to change. Should they be enforced, filial responsibility laws often permit long-term care providers to file suit against adult children and possibly other families in order to recoup payment for outstanding bills.

Filial responsibility laws are generally not enforced mainly due to the fact that most older Americans who cannot pay for long-term care themselves will receive federal assistance through Medicaid. It is uncommon for a person to have large medical and long-term care bills pile up before qualifying for Medicaid. This is why filial responsibilities are rarely enforced; because there are few opportunities to enforce them.

Additionally, filial responsibilities almost always take into account the ability of an adult child to pay. All of this means that several things would need to be true for a situation to merit the use of filial responsibility laws in order to recoup outstanding bills for long-term care. First, the parent would have to have received long-term care in a state with a filial responsibility law in place. The parent would also have to not be qualified to receive Medicaid when receiving the care. Furthermore, the parent would not have the money to cover the outstanding bills and the adult child would have to have the money and financial resources to pay the bill. Lastly, the long-term care facility would have to make the decision to file suit against the child to cover the outstanding bills of the adult parent.

Elder Law Attorney

While it may be uncommon for filial responsibility to be enforced, it should at least give you and your parents pause to think about the future and how to cover the costs of long-term care. Time is of the essence to put a solid long-term care plan in place and Monk Law is here to help. Contact Monk Law today.


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