Thursday, September 4, 2014
Article on Filial Responsibility
Christina Lesher (Law Offices of Christina Lesher), Andrea Wilson (The Methodist Hospital System), and Kerrie Wesley (Law Office of Kerrie A. Wesley) recently published an article entitled, Whose Bill is it Anyway? Adult Children’s Responsibility to Care for Parents, Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal, Vol. 6 No. 2, 247-278 (2014). Provided below is a portion of the article’s introduction:
Over the next few decades, the elderly population of the United States will expand exponentially, as the Baby Boomer generation ages. Though Social Security and other government programs have aided in sustaining the financial stability of Americans for the better part of a century, the system now lacks resources. As more of the work force retires, fewer tax dollars go into the system to maintain a population that will likely have a longer life expectancy than any generation before it. Seeking a solution to this problem, some have proposed a utilization of filial responsibility statutes, which place a heightened level of responsibility for the welfare of the elderly on family members, rather than on the government.
In recent years, there has been growing discussion of filial responsibility statutes among legal scholars. If such policies were effectively implemented, they could potentially ease the burden on government coffers. However, these laws also come with the potential for a significant impact on Medicaid eligibility. This article aims to provide an overview of filial responsibility laws and to explain how it factors into Medicaid estate planning.