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California is one of 30 states that have filial responsibility laws, which means that children of parents with limited financial means could be responsible for paying the bills for their parents’ medical bills.

Of course, most of us would choose to take care of our parents rather than see them out on the street, regardless of whether or not we were required to by law, but the cost of doing so rises every year.

And while these laws have rarely been enforced, with dwindling Medicaid and Social Security resources as baby boomers age, is it such a far stretch to imagine that those laws may be enforced again some day? There have been recent cases where children of destitute parents have been made responsible for paying nursing home bills if they had the means to pay those bills.

The fact of the matter is that we are living longer today than ever. In some cases those added years are high quality, but often those years are spent in a slow decline into Alzheimer’s or dementia, both of which eventually require round-the-clock care. With modern families generally needing two incomes just to stay afloat, where would that care come from?

The time to address this issue is before care is needed. You should consult with an estate planning attorney, who can help you develop an estate plan with your parents that can include important asset protection strategies and address issues like long-term care planning and insurance coverage.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0041.