It isn’t uncommon for older people to have trouble paying their bills. Their retirement savings and income might not stretch as far as they thought. The need for assisted living or nursing home care can exacerbate these issues. It may lead their adult children to wonder about filial laws. This post will look at filial responsibility in Florida.
Filial Responsibility Florida: What You Need to Know
Filial responsibility is a concept in elder law. It describes the duty an older person’s adult children may have to support them. It typically occurs when the parent lacks the financial means to support themselves. Several states have filial laws, which may apply differently depending on where you live.
A common scenario when filial laws may come into effect is if a parent needs nursing home care. If the parent lacks funds and the child has the financial means, the courts may enforce a filial responsibility. However, the laws also account for the financial means of the adult children. The laws also might not apply if the senior and adult child are estranged.
Filial Responsibility in Florida
Florida is not among the states with filial responsibility laws. That means, under most circumstances, adult children are not liable for their parents’ debts. However, that doesn’t mean there is no need to worry at all.
For example, a nursing home facility might want an adult child to guarantee long-term care costs. If you sign a contract guaranteeing the costs, you might be liable if your parent can’t pay. That could be an issue if they go to a residential care facility and run out of funds. Creditors might also go after the estate upon the parent’s passing.
Funding Long-Term Care
Many adult children take responsibility even when no filial laws mandate it. You have an older parent, and you want to ensure they receive the care they need. These feelings may compel you to sign an agreement guaranteeing costs.
However, planning for long-term care costs can help you avoid many of these issues. You should review finances with your parent and prepare for the possibility of long-term care. Even if they don’t need it now, they might in the future.
Beyond looking at their savings and income, it might be a good idea to consider long-term care insurance. Setting up a Medicaid asset protection trust might be another smart move. These trusts can protect your parent’s assets while helping them with Medicaid eligibility.
Families may want to consult an elder law attorney when planning for long-term care. These matters can be complex, and an attorney can help with estate planning and setting up trusts.