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San Fernando Valley Elder Law Attorney Answers: “Who is Responsible for a Parent’s Nursing Home Costs?”

nursing home

Like residents in more than half of the states in the U.S., California citizens are subject to filial responsibility laws. This means that adult children are financially responsible to pay for costs relating to their elderly parents’ care, including nursing home and other long-term care costs. But, like many legal and financial issues, filial responsibility is not entirely cut and dry. This is where a San Fernando Valley elder law attorney can help you determine how to prepare for an elderly parent who may require long-term care in the future.

One thing to consider is that filial responsibility laws do not affect adult children of an elderly parent who receives assistance from Medi-Cal. If the elderly parent cannot afford to pay for long-term care before qualifying for Medi-Cal, however, then financial responsibility will fall to the adult children. In San Fernando Valley, filial responsibility laws state that an adult child can be sued by the state – and even by the parent – to provide financial support, depending on how many assets the adult child possesses. If the elderly parent passes away before the payment is made, the debt owed by the adult child is cleared.

While it’s rare that filial responsibility laws are enforced, even in San Fernando Valley, there have been cases where courts have found adult children liable for their elderly parents’ long-term care costs and have been forced to pay for those costs, in addition to any fines or fees that come with such a judgement. That is why it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of owing money for your elderly parent’s long-term care costs. There are many options available for plans that avoid disastrous financial situations involving long-term care costs, even if you believe that your particular situation may be too forgone to help. While it’s always better to plan early, especially if you think you may be on the hook for your elderly parent’s long-term care costs, it does not hurt to find out what options are available to you.

If you would like to learn more about filial responsibility in California, or discuss ways to find, get, and pay for your elderly parent’s long-term care, please set up an appointment at our San Fernando Valley elder law office by calling the Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane at (818) 905-6088.