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Blog: Do Adult Children Have An Obligation To Pay For Parental Support?

October 6, 2014

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Do adult children have an obligation to pay for parental support?  I never would have even considered the question because it is seems like no one in Iowa, Nebraska, or South Dakota believes that adult children, in general, have any obligation for parental support.  When mom and dad get old and cannot pay for their own bills or their own medical care, they are on their own or get Title 19.  It has been called to my attention recently, though, that in 29 states there are statutes on the books basically indicating that if parents ask for public support the local officials can look to children, and perhaps even grandchildren, to help support mom and dad.  This is true in South Dakota and Iowa, both of which have statutes.  Nebraska does not.  There is litigation pending right now in Pennsylvania where a child helping parents (without a personal guaranty or even a power of attorney) was held to be liable for nursing home expenses.  It appears that this would be a good time to clean up these old dormant statutes in Iowa and South Dakota.  Could it be that the Boomers really are the sandwich generation – stuck in the middle helping both unemployed children and now needy parents?

This blog post is authored by Dan Dykstra and meant for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to provide legal advice in any particular circumstance or factual situation.  You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action regarding the information contained herein.  

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