Skip to comments.If mom can't pay, adult child must (Pennsylvania's filial statute)
Posted on 07/12/2009 9:29:17 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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What about the fact that the kids are the default inheritors? If we acknowledge that all other things being equal, the kids should receive the deceased parents' estates, then why is it unreasonable to assume they might have some liability accompanying that as well, or at least liability capped at the amount of any inheritance? If they're such completely separate entities, would you be willing to have the law changed so that adult children no longer inherit by default? Now I do agree that I don't think it's right for people to be asked to pay if the consumer is alive and refuses to pay.
...well said and true.
peonage and indentured servitude are back as a matter of judicial policy.
I have heard of this before, but not to this extent. I think that they, (lawyers and nursing homes) are pushing this as a way to force people to accept universal coverage. The fact is that the woman may not have gotten the rehab under universal government coverage.
It seems to me that the nursing home should have verified who was going to pay for the treatment before accepting the patient.
The state of New Jersey would have taken everything that the woman owns and sold it at auction, as well as her two pensions, before allowing her to enter the rehab facility.
Actually it is from the Old Testament of the Bible.
I think the other dimension that lawyers and corporations have not factored into their thinking yet, is during a severe economic downturn, people losing jobs, their retirement and eventually their homes should not be screwed with lightly. When people lose everything, they will lose it.
I didn’t ask where the words of your post came from, I asked you if you were what people call an economic conservative, meaning not too interested in social conservatism.
You are in my prayers. I have a similar situation. My Dad is gone (died a few years back), and I haven't spoken to my mother for a long time. We've had children she's never met.
I cut contact completely after Daddy died. I changed my phone numbers, asked relatives not to share any of our personal information with her, etc. We even contemplated getting a restraining order at one point.
I would not pay her debts under any circumstances.
I really can't see how this is legal, since a parent's debts aren't obligations a child has committed to pay.
This is their next move.
They have the precedent set already with the draconian
child support laws.
You will be their next meal.
The estate would have to pay the outstanding debts of the deceased before any distributions were made to the kids. If there were no assets, there would be no inheritance.
I’m not really following you, because I didn’t ask a question. The situation you describe is pretty much the way it works now, and probably IMHO the best compromise. I was trying to reason with another poster who thought that since the kids were adults they should be treated as separate financial entities, never liable for the debts of the parent. I asked if they’re so separate why are they the kids the default inheritors, and if he believed in that separation to the extent where he would have the kids no longer be heirs by default.
It’s quite simple, really. A debt is a contract, while an asset is a possession.
A contract requires that all parties are not only legally eligible to enter into it, but also that they do so willingly. Furthermore, all parties must receive some sort of consideration, or else the contract is invalid.
A possession is tangible property that can be sold, traded, or gifted as the owner sees fit, even in death. If specific desires for the disposition of his assets were not expressed in advance, then he has by default chosen to allow their distribution in accordance with the established legal methods at the time of his death.
The bottom line is assets can be inherited because they do not compel the beneficiary to enter into a legal agreement against their will. Debts cannot be inherited because to do so would cause a party to enter into a contract from which they enjoy no consideration, immediately rendering it invalid.
He had them divide their assets equally. Her half was quickly consumed by the care home, after Dad could no longer take care of her. He had earned almost all of their joint assets, but his support of her was limited to about half of their net worth.
He still had enough to provide himself with a meager living for the rest of his life. My brother and I did not have to bankrupt ourselves to pay for about eight years of nursing home care.
I don't know the optimal solution. Perhaps euthanasia? Murder-suicide by the cogent spouse?
If any of you has the ideal solution to this problem, you should speak up.
Hmmm. Excellent points. Thank you.
So sorry to hear of your parent’s situation. Alzheimer’s is the worst.
Your parents used their assets as far as they would go. And I agree that in their case, dividing the assets was the proper thing to do. Your father had to have some means of survival.
My beef is with parents who bequeath all their assets and live on income from a trust owned by their children or a meager existence on Social Security, for ex., so those assets cannot be used for long term care. Their children could inherit a sizable estate, yet the taxpayers will be footing the bill for Mom and Pop’s long term care. It’s legal, but I don’t like it.
As for the solution, I don’t have one except for a return to having elderly parents live with their children for as long as possible. But with the long lives people are living, you can have 70 year old “children” taking care of 90 year old Mom or Pop! Not the ideal either. So that doesn’t work in all cases.
Thanks for posting that I had no clue about the VA Pension. As I watch the value of my 401K’s dwindle to next to nothing and come to the realization that my only real source of income upon retirement could turn out to be Social Security, it’s nice to know that there’s actually something out there for guys like me who served during wartime but didn’t stay in the military long enough to retire (I was on active duty for 10 years, not the required 20).
I’m sorry to hear of your situation and will keep you in my prayers as well.
Take care, Friend.
AFAIK, that’s pretty much what happens now. When someone dies, their assets and debts go into their estate. Creditors have first right over heirs, which is part of the the function of a death announcement and of probate, to allow any creditors to come forward while whatever assets there are from which to collect still exist. After they’ve been satisfied, the heirs get whatever is left according to what’s specified in the will. If the assets are less than the debt, the creditors don’t get full value back, but the heirs don’t get anything, and the excess debt doesn’t pass down to them.
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