Court says kids must pay costs of care for elderly parents

California Penal Code Section 270c

Except as provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 4410) of Part 4 of Division 9 of the Family Code, every adult child who, having the ability so to do, fails to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance for an indigent parent, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Recently, in an unanimous ruling that is binding on courts across California unless overturned by the state Supreme Court, the 3rd District Court of Appeal stated; “Though not commonly known,” Associate Justice Vance Raye wrote for a three-judge panel in 2006, “California is one of many states that have enacted filial responsibility laws imposing on adult children obligations akin to those imposed on parents with respect to minor children.” With the exception of those circumstances where parents were known to have abandoned a child, the justice noted, “neglect of an indigent parent is punishable as a misdemeanor.” Penal Code Section 270c.

Did you know this law even existed? It has and it does. It is called “filial responsibility”.

It is rarely enforced. However, I wanted you to know it exists and has been used in a court case. In a State where the legislature is looking for every dime, and Medi-Cal is the single largest budget item, look for some legislator or ambitious Attorney General to begin to pay attention to this.

Never forget, the State wants to get out of the business of helping pay for nursing homes. Making kids pay would be the perfect answer.

Follow it closely. It could financially devastate the children of aging seniors.

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