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Question DetailsAsked on 3/23/2015

am i legally responsible for my elderly parents

My dad is in a nursing home and is impossible for me and other people to deal with when it comes to his needs. Am I legally responsible for him? We live in Wash state

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You can research the subject with this sort of search phrase on google - filial responsibility

Here are a few articles on the subject - it appears Washington state does not currently have a specific filial responsibility act but I did find that one has been filed as a proposed law for the past few legislative sessions, so it might be close:

In addition, if you received any benefit from the parent during a period when their bills were not being paid - gifting, joint accounts, free or less-than-market condition occupancy of their house, etc you can also be found liable for some of their living expenses if they are unable to pay for it. Also, any life insurance or lump-sum annuity payout or other benefit kicking in upon death may be attachable to pay for expenses they did not pay for, including support or care at state facilities, private facilities, VA facilities, etc.

Note the specific factor regarding Medicare-paid facilities not being able to go after adult children for recovery - but that does not include being barred from going after the ultimate estate for reimbursement.

As one of the articles says - if financing his care is a concern, you would probably be better off contacting an attorney first rather than later - because generally nothing keeps the nursing home from tossing him out for non-payment, so you need to plan on getting him into Medicaid coverage if possible, and for the types of expenses not covered by that make other arrangements in advance so he is not stranded.

Here is an article on the subject of running out of money, as a nursing home or assisted living facility does NOT have to retain a patient who stops making the monthly payments.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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