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Filial responsibility for long-term care could be boon for lawyers

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I’d love for more people to read my articles. The other day, I was thinking, “I like lawyers. More lawyers should read my articles. What could I tell them to get them interested in long-term care insurance and other long-term care planning strategies?”

One obvious reason is that they’ll get old someday, too.

Another reason is that (frankly) they may see business opportunities related to all of the turmoil in the stand-alone long-term care insurance market.

A third reason is that “filial responsibility” seems likely to be a boom market for lawyers.

Read: Filial Responsibility and Long Term Care

More and more submissions about adult sons’ and daughters’ legal responsibility to pay for their aged parents’ long-term care flow into my inbox.

The authors often talk about that as an opportunity for long-term care providers to get paid, or for government programs, such as Medicaid, to recoup some of what they have spent for nursing home care for beneficiaries who really weren’t all that poor. Long-term care planners may see that as a last-ditch option to recommend to clients who have no other practical way to pay for care.

Meanwhile, it’s also a reason that lawyers should be attractive prospects for long-term care planning services for their parents.

Think about what the world might be like in 2031. Many lawyers who are now handling financial planning services and estate planning services may find themselves bringing more and more filial responsibility suits. Many lawyers who now handle defense work of all kinds may find themselves defending clients against the waves of filial responsibility suits.

Even if the parents are happy, the adult children are happy, and the care providers are happy, whatever program happens to be paying the long-term care bills may see things differently. It might want the adult children to chip in.

It seems risky for any lawyers who may be facing unanswered questions about filial responsibility for their own parents to handle those cases.

It may be risky for lawyers facing those kinds of issues to even practice in the same firms as the filial responsibility litigation specialists.

Filial responsibility scandals may be to lawyers and public officials in the 2030s what Zoe Baird-inspired domestic worker tax-reporting scandals were to the 1990s.

(President Bill Clinton nominated Baird in 1993 to be U.S. Attorney General, but she withdrew after revealing that had hired illegal immigrants to work as her nanny and chauffer, and failed to pay their Social Security taxes. The incident became known in the media as “Nannygate.”)

The implication: Young lawyers need to talk to long-term care planners now to protect themselves against the risk of filial responsibility controversy.

See also:

Son Hit with Aging Parent’s $93K Nursing Home Bill (Forbes)

The DRA’s Hidden Exposures And Opportunities

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