Medicaid Planning and Filial Responsibility Laws
While planning for retirement, many people focus on the money they'll need to support themselves
and their family after they stop working. What few people plan for is the possibility that they will have
to pay for their elderly parent's nursing home expenses. Though not widely reported, about 30 states
have laws that allow nursing homes and other extended care facilities to pursue the adult children of
someone staying in the care facility. In some states, these laws, known as filial responsibility laws, give
extended care facilities the right to sue adult children to recover unpaid bills.
While filial responsibility laws differ significantly between states, and only about 20 states have
provisions that allow nursing homes or extended care facilities to sue adult relatives of patients, they
provide further incentives for anyone to begin estate planning and extended care or Medicaid
planning as soon as possible.
Under Federal law, states can't pursue family members if a parent is eligible for Medicaid coverage.
With a Medicaid plan, elderly parents can both maintain some of their assets and use Medicaid to pay
for long-term care expenses without risking the nursing home pursuing their children to pay for
The states in which filial responsibility laws exist have been reluctant to enforce these laws even
though they have been there for decades. However, as medical care costs continue to rise and the
recent recession has left fewer people able to pay for extended living costs, we may see a rise in the
number of lawsuits resulting from care facilities suing adult children of elderly patients.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Fayetteville AR of the Deborah Sexton Law Office PA offers
estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Fayetteville AR. To learn more about
these free resources, please visit http://www.arkansas-estateplanning.com today.