Could You Be Responsible for Your Parent’s Long-Term Care Bill?

Grandparents with grandchild

Disclaimer: With Medicaid, VA, and insurance regulations frequently changing, past blog posts may not be presently accurate or relevant. Please contact our office for information on current planning strategies, tips, and how-to's.


In over half of the U.S. states, filial support laws exist, which could require you to bay long-term care bills for family members. These laws were created many years ago and not all states who have the law will currently enforce it but there have been court cases in the past decade that have brought these laws to new light.

In Health Care & Retirement Corporation of America v. Pittas, the court required a son to pay his mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill. The mother had left the country and there was no government program covering the cost. In another case, Eori ex rel. Eori v. Eori, a brother brought a case against his own brother. The brother was ordered to help pay for the long-term care of his mother. Both court cases occurred in Pennsylvania.

There are many valid arguments against these laws. For example, some have said that if someone didn’t agree to pay for the bill and was not involved with the nursing home bill from the start, how could they become responsible to pay for it?

Ultimately, these laws just further support the benefit of planning for long-term care before you or your loved ones require it.