Many states have “filial responsibility” laws, which obligate adult children to take responsibility for their parents. These laws date back to the 16th-century English “Poor Laws,” which directed financially able family members to support indigent relatives. While nearly all states in this country had such laws in the past, many were repealed as Medicaid became available to those who could not otherwise afford care. However, as more seniors are currently living longer with incapacitating conditions requiring costly long-term care, many adult children are being threatened with legal action if they do not pay loved ones’ bills. With this in mind, it is important that seniors apply for Medicaid on time and avoid disqualification resulting from making gifts to children before applying.
If you have any questions about estate planning as it pertains to Medicaid, you need to call us for an appointment. Planning for the future can be complicated and our experienced attorneys take pride in providing personalized service to all our clients. We can help you craft a thoughtful will, draw up advanced care documents, and set up trusts. We also provide counsel for issues pertaining to family and criminal law and bankruptcy. Quality representation for any legal issue.
HINT: Family members of aging relatives should check nursing-home admissions contracts for provisions that ask for a financial “guarantor” or “responsible party,” which are prohibited by federal law.