Motivation Monday - Could Your Children Be on the Hook?

Some retirees who don’t have long-term care insurance or adequate savings to cover an extended stay in a care facility might be jeopardizing their children’s future financial well-being. Twenty-nine states have archaic, filial responsibility laws on the books. Although rarely enforced, these laws can hold grown children responsible for impoverished parents’ financial support, and in some cases, medical and long-term care expenses. A small number of states even extend this responsibility to grandchildren.

Up to this point, most judgments holding children responsible for parents’ long-term care have been tied to fraudulently transferring a parent’s wealth to a child in order to qualify for Medicaid. However, there has been at least one case that held a child liable without any evidence of wrongdoing. In 2012, a Pennsylvania appeals court ordered an adult son to pay his mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill after she moved out of the country. The court based its decision on the state’s filial responsibility law and the son’s ability to pay.

As financial pressures mount from growing longevity, long-term care costs and government deficits, some observers wonder if more states and nursing homes will turn to these laws to recoup their losses. Of course, children can hire an attorney if that happens. Defenses include an inability to pay or parental neglect or abuse during the child’s youth. But sharing joint property or accounts can increase a child’s liability. And children should be extremely careful not to sign a care facility’s admittance contract that makes them responsible for unpaid bills.

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TSG Financial LLC is a Financial Services company located in Garden City, NY. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA ( ( Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. TSG Financial and Securities America are separate entities. Securities licensed in: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, VA, DC . The third-party comments displayed are not verified, may not be accurate and are not necessarily representative of our client experience.

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