The decision to place a parent into a nursing home for full-time care can often be wrought with a range of emotions, including sadness, worry, stress, and guilt. On top of those emotions, there may also be an overwhelming concern about the cost of nursing home care and how those bills are going to be paid. Will you be on the hook for your parent’s nursing home bill if he or she cannot afford it? The short answer is: probably not, but you should encourage your aging parent to work with an elder law attorney to understand the options and establish a plan for paying for long-term care.

More than half of the states have “filial responsibility” laws on their books, which can require children to take financial responsibility for the long-term care of their parent. Although rarely enforced, there have been situations when a nursing home facility has successfully recovered compensation in a legal action against a child of a patient in the nursing home who was unable to pay his or her bill.  

Seniors are living longer and the cost of nursing home care is consistently on the rise which means it can be important to discuss options for paying for long-term care with an experienced elder law attorney if you have aging parents. While elder law attorneys may be able to assist in crisis situations, there can be a lot less stress associated with paying for long-term care if you proactively enlist the help of an elder law attorney in advance of the need for care. The attorney can help your parents understand the differences between Medicare and Medicaid coverage, help them apply for those benefits if necessary, and come up with a plan to pay for long-term care.  In order to protect yourself, and your aging parents, encourage your parents to consult with an elder law attorney today.

For more information about long-term care planning, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures and COVID-19 safety protocols are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering and design.