Currently, 29 states have what is known as filial support laws, which means that children of destitute parents could be on the hook for unpaid long-term care bills.

Historically, usage of these laws has been uncommon, but with cutbacks to federally funded programs like Medicaid, some long-term care facilities are pursuing the children of indigent patients for payment.  At the least, these facilities are leveraging the law to pressure children to disclose their parents’ assets or assets that they may have transferred to their children.

In a recent Pennsylvania case, an appellate court ruled that a nursing home could recover unpaid expenses from a patient’s son, finding that the son had the means to pay.  This could prove to be an enticing development for nursing homes in other states with filial support laws.

Elder law experts in Orange County agree that the best defense is careful estate planning in advance of the time when parents may need financial help, considering strategies like long-term care insurance to fill any anticipated gaps.

If you’d like to learn more about planning for long-term care or have other estate planning questions, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.