Almost 10,000 seniors are turning 65 each day. Are you wondering about your aging parents?
There are plenty of worries including health care, financial assistance, and legal responsibility.
Are you legally responsible for your elderly parents?
Let’s take a look at your obligations as a child of elderly parents and how it may impact you.
Thirty U.S. states have passed filial responsibility laws. This means that the responsibility of elderly parents is a state issue and not upheld by the federal government. China implemented a law last year that required adult children to also be emotionally supportive to their parents including visits.
The state filial support laws require adult children to financially support aging parents if they cannot pay for medical bills and other costs like assisted living.
Each state’s filial law does vary greatly. If you are taken into court for unpaid expenses, each state has guidelines on how other factors affect your financial condition such as personal retirement needs, your medical condition, and dependent needs.
Some states enforce greater than others, so if you have questions, you may want to talk to an attorney to discuss your situation and your state’s laws.
There are other criteria that need to apply before you are responsible for filial responsibility. First, your parent has a nursing home or medical bill they cannot pay and you live in a state with filial responsibility. Your parent’s care is exceeding all Social Security and Medicare benefits.
The parent does not qualify for Medicaid, which would cover these expenses.
The medical care provider must also have reason to believe that the patient’s child can pay these expenses and has to sue for the unpaid balance.
If you meet these criteria, you may be financially responsible if the health care provider goes after the payment. If the court finds your responsible, you could face stiff penalties if you do not pay, including liens on your property.
There are other costs to consider when caring for a senior parent. This includes health care. Your parents can choose an assisted living facility or have in-home care.
More elderly parents are moving in with their children to help save money than ever before, with 31.9 percent of adults living in a mixed household.
You are not obligated to have your parents live with you, but you and your siblings should have a plan in place when the decision needs to be made. There are resources available including in-home care and other respite care services.
You can search for local services to help with any health care services, care, and also help save you some money.
Are You Legally Responsible for Your Elderly Parents?
You could be financially responsible if you live in one of the states above and meet the criteria outlined.
An attorney can help you answer the question “are you legally responsible for your elderly parents?” when it comes to your personal finances.
There is no law in the U.S. (like in China) for emotional and health care support, so this is something you need to decide with your siblings and parents. Everyone has a different relationship with their family, so you do what is best for you.
Keep checking out our site for advice on how to care for your parents and support your lifestyle.