Plan ahead to avoid burdening your children with nursing home costs. Eventually, everyone who lives long enough will need some kind of comprehensive medical care. Receiving around-the-clock attention at a nursing home isn’t cheap, however, and can lead to financial ruin even for people who have a nest egg saved up for a rainy day. These looming costs can lead parents to wonder if their healthcare needs will eventually cause financial hardship for their children.

How Filial Responsibility Works in New York 

Some states have filial responsibility laws that require a child to pay for the parent’s care. In those states, your kids might be legally obligated to cover the costs of your nursing home stay, whether they can afford it or not. The good news is that New York does not currently have such a law on the books.

However, there are still certain situations where a child might end up on the hook financially anyway. For instance, the terms of a nursing home contract may require a child to do everything in their power to use the parent’s assets to pay monthly costs. 

If your heirs don’t use all of your money to pay the nursing home bills or apply for Medicaid coverage on your behalf to cover costs, they could be exposed to legal liability. In these cases, the nursing home can potentially sue your children. That’s why your family needs an attorney’s assistance going over a nursing home contract before signing anything. You should also discuss these topics with your estate planning lawyer:

  • Scrutinizing past financial moves that could impact future eligibility due to Medicaid’s five-year lookback period
  • Preparing for the potential need to spend down to meet Medicaid requirements
  • Using long-term care insurance to cover costs when possible
  • Setting up and funding trusts to protect assets that should go to your family rather than the nursing home

Craft an Estate Plan to Protect Your Family’s Financial Future

Don’t put yourself or your children in a situation that may not be financially viable. Every New Yorker eventually needs to plan for a potential nursing home stay and associated Medicaid coverage with an elder law attorney. Call or message us today to schedule a consultation.