Am I Legally Responsible for My Parents' Nursing Home Bill?
I have been asked this question a lot in the last several months. The short answer is NO, UNLESS you sign paperwork accepting legal responsibility for your parent’s financial affairs. When I placed my mother in the nursing some time ago, I was in a mental cloud, but I had enough clarity to know that I did not want to accept any financial obligations of my mother. Accepting financial responsibility is also a common mistake many children make as they nobly take care of their parents. This can also create lasting financial obligations well beyond the death of a parent. I took the time to read through all the paperwork the nursing home presented me. The nursing home wanted me to accept financial responsibility, so they could recoup funds they thought were owed to them. I only accepted a Power of Attorney on behalf of my mother. This allowed me to provide direction for her care, but it did not obligate me financially after her passing. I have also found a great article by a local Super Lawyer that address the financial responsibility of a child upon admission of a parent into a nursing home. I always recommend seeking the advice of an attorney prior to entering into any contract, especially something of this magnitude.
When Can an Adult Child Be Liable for a Parent's Nursing Home Bill?