Crucial Information about Grownup Children and Legal Responsibility towards Retired Parents

| Saturday, September 1, 2012
By Namey Youan

When working adults retire, they will be expected to live off their retirement benefits or pensions which may have accumulated over the years after working for so long. Regrettably, there are many adults who lack sufficient resources and earnings to live a comfortable retirement.

Situations will vary a whole lot, depending on whether a particular retiree possesses their own residence, has a pension, needs special care, medication and similar elements. Occasionally, the parent will move into the adult child's home, or perhaps the adult child will live in the parent's home.

While children are not bound by law to take in their aging parents and provide them with support, there are laws in about 30 US states that require children to take some responsibility of their aging parents. These state laws declare that children ought to pay for necessities such as shelter, clothing, medicine and food. Such statutes are described as filial responsibility laws and formulated according to the laws set by Queen Elizabeth of England back in 1601 described as Poor Laws.

Government Programs and Entitlements

In the United States, there exist certain government programs where individuals make contributions towards retirement. These consist of Medicare and Social Security. All Americans make contributions throughout their working years towards these national programs. Social Security is a national scheme meant to provide for seniors and retirees once they reach a specific age. Upon attainment of the age of about 67, contributors will get a regular monthly stipend to take care of their expenses such as rent, food, clothing and other necessities.

Medicare provides for medical and health requirements, particularly for elderly individuals who need special medication. On the other hand, Medicaid provides basic help such as shelter, food, clothing and personal care to senior citizens in desperate need of assistance. This is generally a program organized by the state governments and because demand for this type of support is high, the funds and restricted. This is why the government urges children who can take care of their aging parents to do so. Whether there is any sort of legal obligation on the part of the children is yet another issue entirely.

Enforcing Filial Laws

Up until now, no government has actually enforced the existing filial laws found in the various state statutes. This is due to the fact that the problem concerning seniors and retired adults with no income or social security is still manageable. It is possible that in the future this issue may get out of hand and the governments may have to identify other ways and methods of caring for seniors with no Social Security or Medicare needs. As a result, there is no enforced legal responsibility on the part of adult children to look after their aging parents.

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