Back in the 1500’s, under English law, a child had a duty to contribute to the cost of a parent’s care, if parents lacked the ability to care for themselves. Does that principle still govern today?
That’s a question that has been a topic of discussion among elder law attorneys recently, as a recent article in the Indiana Lawyer explains. Two apparently contradictory legal facts are at play:
- The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act prohibits nursing homes from requiring a third party to sign or to be personally responsible for a resident’s expenses, or to payment as a condition of admission.
- Indiana is one of 30 states with their own filial responsibility laws requiring adult children to financially support their parents if they are not able to take care of themselves.
- The parent must be accepting financial support from the state government
- The parent has a medical or nursing home bill which they cannot pay (the bill was acquired in that state)
- The parent is considered indigent (cost of care exceeds their Social Security benefits)
- The parent does not qualify for Medicaid
- The caregiver has reason to believe the patient’s child has the money to pay the bill and sues that child
- Long term care insurance
- Promissory notes
- by Rebecca W. Geyer