Should children pay for the long term care of their parents? In the thirty states that have Filial Responsibility laws, they can be legally required to do so. Texas does not have these laws, but the issue is important for Texans whose parents live elsewhere or for Texas parents who might consider moving to another state.
Filial Responsibility Laws allow the state, or a health care provider, to sue family members to recover money that was spent on a relative’s medical care. Some of the laws take into account the ability of the relative to pay. Additionally, a federal law prevents the state from applying its recovery law if the person in question is already enrolled in Medicaid. However, the Filial Responsibility laws can still be applied if a Medicaid application is still pending.
These laws make planning for long term care and Medicaid extremely important. If you do not do so, your children could unexpectedly find themselves legally required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in your medical costs. While it can be argued that children have a moral responsibility to pay for their parents’ care, the reality is that often they simply cannot afford to or that the money would be better spent on their own children.
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