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I've always understood that not to be the case; however I just saw an article stating otherwise. A man in New Jersey was sued by his moms nursing home for an unpaid $93,000 nursing home stay. He never signed anything. Now I'm scared to have mil in a nursing home.

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Never sign the contract or they will hold you liable down the road. Michele K LNHA
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I am POA for my mother and am on her accounts etc. We've had all the paper work completed years ago for her Living Will, etc. I am able to pay her bills from her accounts if she is mentally incompetent but her main assets are in her name first with me just on for transfer upon death. My home is in my name and mom lives with me. So if she had to be moved to a facility, as long as the monthly fees were paid for from her social security and her assets and she doesn't apply for Medicaid, I would be ok, I'm assuming even if I plan to help out.
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There was a definite question of fraud in the lawsuit that was referenced. The mother went to rehab, then stayed in LTC for a few months, then split & went to Greece while Medicaid was pending. I would find it hard to believe that the NH did not tell them that if she leaves to go to Greece, then they will be on the hook for the NH expenses. The son was vague in his answers to questions about his mother's finances & his own finances, that's why he lost.
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It depends on your state law. In Colorado it is covered under the "Family Support Doctrine," but state refer to it differently. It stems from the common law doctrine. Most states do not require a child to pay for a parent, unless the child signs an agreement to do so. Institutions generally require that under a "Responsible Party" clause. Cross that out on their documents. The Colorado Family Support Doctrine requires a spouse to pay for another spouse under some circumstances. Some states require someone to pay for another if the ill party is a dependent (and somethmes if the ill party is living with the ill party). I haven't reat the PA case, but I will. I suspect there were some special circumstance in that case. You should contact an attorney in your state, preferably an Elder Law attorney. Good luck.
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is the bank not going to foreclose on it; that's what happened to a friend of mine's mother
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Because my mom had to go into a nursing home permanently, her home is now abandoned. Because her social security check now goes directly to the nursing home, there is no way to now pay the mortgage so the home is vacant. It feels strange to leave the house all alone and just abandon it but the bank told us to just leave it. Pipes broke over the winter and caused damage. There is a mortgage and MassHealth also has a lien on it due to her late husbands medical needs before he died (he was also on MassHealth, medicaid).
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How about if you were listed as "representative payee" on your mother's social security check? They had to list me because my mother was mentally disabled and knew nothing about handling her own bills. I never lived with her, just made sure that her bills were paid and grocery , clothing, shopping was done for her.
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Unless you have POA and control of a person's funds, why do you think a nursing home would sue you for your mother-in-law's care?
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1RareFind - Hi... if you have a moment, check into the filial law in your state. Two things may have happened. Your state did not have this law on the books, or if they did, they chose not to enforce it. This was generally the case for decades, but that is now changing, and some states have the option to enforce. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with whether an adult child signed an agreement or not.
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I would have to say only if you specifically agreed to take financial responsibility and you actually signed an agreement would you be held financially responsible. Nursing homes can't hold someone responsible if they never agreed to take financial responsibility. I should know because when my bio dad went to a nursing home, I was never held financially responsible for the expenses.
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Ambriel is absolutely correct. These filial laws ARE on the books in many states, as she has said. And they ARE beginning to enforce them more and more. This means that children ARE responsible for any outstanding financial charges whether they like it or not. This law has nothing to do with whether they are power of attorney or any other designated responsible party for the estate.

If you live in one of the states that still has these laws on the books, It might be a good idea to write your congressman to have the law removed. The sooner the better.

As Ambriel stated, as more and more baby boomers come of age, the more likely they will stay as they are for an added cushion and protection to pay outstanding bills.
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There's an expression that anyone can sue Mickey Mouse, but that doesn't make the suit valid.
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If she goes to a home and her money runs out . Then the nursing home wants to be paid if she has a home that would be an asset they would want you to sell so they would be able to continue taking care of her.Its best not to sign anything directly in your husband's name .He should always let her sign or sign as power attorney next to his name on all documents. If she runs out of money medicaid would step in to help as long as there are no more money assets must be sold so they could get something from it they usually look back five years to see where her money assets has gone.If she can afford it a senor group home is much nicer and more private they don't go after her assets
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In that NJ case, how did the mom wind up in the nursing home?
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Great questions - in this case both @pamstegma and @katie222 are correct. Unless there is blatant fraud - everything is paid out of the person in care's assets. This is why it's also essential as an adult child not to have your finances co-mingled. This would also include any titled property.
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There are laws on the books in 29 states that can enforce filial law and lawmakers are starting to debate the matter lately because of the surge of baby boomers needing care. Bottom line..dont sign as the guarantee on anything.
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Make sure you have those important documents in order. Powers of attorney first and foremost. See an elder law attorney to learn about laws in your state. Many will offer a free initial telephone consultation.
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My mom also lives with us, and has very little social security, she pays her own phone bill and a charge card or two, other than that we pay everything. I am on her bank account so I can do her banking if necessary. Could we be liable for any bills?
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If depends upon where you live. Although rarely enforced, some states have family responsibility laws. It is why my siblings didn't want my parents to move to NC with me. NC, IA and GA (where we all live) DO have family responsibility laws. FL does not. Rather than take our personal experiences, which may not reflect your legal standing the best route is to contact an elder law attorney.
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No, except where fraud occurs.
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My attorney has told me that children are not responsible out of their own pockets for their parent's nursing home bills. It would have to come out of the parent's own assets and it appears that is what happened in the Pennsylvania case. If the parent has little or no assets, or they get spent down, then Medicaid takes over. Children can never be sued for their own money by the NH. That is one thing they can't do though I am sure they would greedily love that if they could.
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Yes that was the case. Thank you for that answer. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight! This stuff is soo stressful.
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The case you may be referring to was HCR v. Pittas in Pennsylvania.
Yes, the nursing home sued and won $93K from the son.
His mother got well and she went back to Greece. He controlled all her money and he was evasive in court about what she had and where. Her Medicaid was "pending" when she left the country, so the NH did not get paid.
The nursing home actually sued all the children, but testimony revealed only one son had any knowledge or control of finances. He was ordered to pay up.
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