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Filial laws in many states make adult children responsible for parents unpaid medical bills, nursing homes etc. even if they signed as " responsible party." We constantly get offers from our life insurance co. that we "qualify for upping the amount." We can only afford on our limited income the life insurance we have to cover minimal buried costs. Do insurance companies want us to have bigger coverage so that God forbid our be responsible for medical debts if any?


So far in late 70s we are in decent health and able to pay all Medicare co-pays. TV inundated with ins. companies commercials depicting parents assuring their adult children that there is insurance to cover expenses after their death. My favorite one (?) " you are covered, no dr. checkups needed etc. , only $9.95 a month! Whee. They don't mention that it's $9.95 a month per $1,000 unit. So let's say I wanted $20,000. life ins. policy each for both of us, it would be approx. $400.00 per month!
Thanks for any input.
Nanabinx

Children are not responsible for parent's debts! Not sure where you are getting your information. I've only seen 1 Filial law case which was highly unusual involving a mother who was in a nursing home awaiting Medicaid but left the country before it was approved. Kids had money. Once one is approved for Medicaid by the state, that person has already been vetted and Medicaid pays for all the bills from date of approval. Children have nothing to do with it at that point. When parent dies , they are not responsible for any debts.
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Nanabinx Jul 20, 2019
Thank you. I'd never heard of filial laws & I think I read a post on this site re: Medicaid which made sense when the person left the country? I didn't think it included Medicare but needed to ask. Thanks again. God bless.
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Medicare is an insurance that covers medical bills, your copays would be a debt that your estate would be billed.. Medicaid is public assistance and has a recovery program that gets whatever assets you own when you die, however, this varies from state to state and a living spouse changes things, as does how much assistance you received.

Filial laws are intended to ensure that the rich don't leave their parents on the street to die or in a home at taxpayers expense. It is a bit ambiguous when you read up on it. There are lots of variables that come in to play. Unless you end up on Medicaid and your children have money this is probably not a real concern.

Your estate will go through probate, unless you have a trust that owns everything, your creditors will file claims against your estate and a judge will determine what gets paid before any inheritance is distributed. If you have a trust, I bet it has a provision that states bills get paid before the distribution takes place.

If money is a concern, please put your wishes in writing. I just get so sad when I hear that someone spent money they didn't have to bury a parent, cremation is so much cheaper than a burial and quite frankly it is unfair to not let your kids know what to do with you when you pass and to pay for it if you want a big to do.
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Nanabinx Jul 20, 2019
Thank you so much for ans. I never heard of filial laws that were mentioned in a post re: Medicaid which we don't take. Just wondered if these laws might apply to Medicare. We have no estate to leave, but blessed that our limited income is sufficient to cover all Medicare co-pays, living expenses & two daughters able and willing to help us in case of any hiccups. 😊😊
Had POAs and DNRs drawn up years ago. That decision saved me a lot of angst when my husband was diagnosed w/ vascular dementia. Not easy to have to take over all decisions re: his health issues but I get no grief from anyone. 🤓
Thanks again. Blessings & hugs.
Nanabinx
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I live in MN and my husband has durable Power of Attorney for his mom. She (and her jerk husband) had thousands of dollars of cc debt, were upside-down on their mortgage and had absolutely no savings or investments other than their meager ss monthly checks. Their debt was not our debt. Their house went into foreclosure and we moved them out and informed the mortgage co. that they had dementia and were on Medicaid and in nursing homes. We never heard from either the cc companies or the mortgage co's. You shouldn't need any money to cover their bills as you should not be responsible for them if you didn't sign any of the paperwork. I'm not an attorney but maybe you can spend a little $ if you want a for-sure answer on this but I don't see how legally any business can come after the children for the debts of their parents unless you have jointly signed any contract (like on a mortgage or car). Now, being joint with a parent on a bank account may mean that creditors can come after that money, but I think it stops there. Again, contact an attorney certainty.
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 18, 2019
Geaton, creditors usually get paid before inheritance is distributed. There is a process that takes place within the legal system to ensure that debt is addressed.
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