Little-known law could force children to pay for parent's nursing home care
An obscure South Dakota law can force adult children to pay the cost of long-term care for their parents if the elder family members cannot pay on their own.
The civil law is rarely used. But as the cost of long-term care skyrockets and nursing facilities increasingly face financial challenges, elder law experts theorize the law may be enacted more often when nursing home bills go unpaid.
South Dakota is one of 29 U.S. states that have the adult child payment requirement, commonly known as a “filial law” that addresses the responsibility of one person or a group of people to pay for the housing, feeding and care of family members, often parents.
In the latest report from South Dakota News Watch, Bart Pfankuch examines the law and talks with elder care experts about its potential impact.