“Thought for the Day” #970 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

May 16, 2017

Maryland’s filial responsibility law has been repealed.  This law formerly provided that adult children are obligated to financially support a destitute parent with food, care, shelter, and clothing.  The law was not used much in nursing home cases because Maryland law prohibits a nursing home from holding adult children responsible for a parent’s nursing home bill unless the child consents in writing to be financially responsible.  However, the law could have been used when a parent under age 65 was under the care of a psychiatric hospital.  The repeal was a bipartisan effort.  The arguments for repealing the law were that filial responsibility laws were a holdover from Elizabethan times, and that a parent’s failure to exercise sound financial discretion should not burden the parent’s adult children.