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What is Filial Responsibility and Why Is It Being Discussed Now?

Imagine this scenario: You are fifty-five years old and have two children in college. Money is tight right now as you pay for college and try to save a little, but you think you and your spouse can handle it. Unexpectedly, you receive a letter in the mail from a law firm. It informs you that you need to pay $75,000 to the nursing home where your mother lives and receives care, or you will be sued.

Under family responsibility laws, also known as filial responsibility laws, family members have the legal responsibility to care for others. Right now, filial responsibility laws are in place in over twenty-five states throughout the nation. Click Here While the degree of responsibility varies state to state, under these rules, if your parents could not pay for their necessities, it may be legally up to the adult child to figure out how to pay.

As states look to find a way to pay for the ever-increasing cost of long-term care, filial responsibility becomes an increasingly attractive alternative. During this legislative session, it has been discussed by a number of groups as a potential new law in multiple states nationwide. Filial responsibility has been enforced in states like Pennsylvania. Click Here


Knowing that these laws could one day be enforced, it is crucial that you and your family members think forward and plan for your elder law needs as soon as possible. Whether you are financially and mentally prepared or not, each of us could find ourselves in this situation. It is important to make sure your parents have financially planned ahead and received legal advice from an elder law attorney. Further, if you have children, you need to be planning ahead as well and saving for your long-term care future. If you have questions on this issue or any other elder law issue, do not wait to contact our firm.

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