It is well-known and accepted that parents are required to provide care and support for their minor children. What is less well-known, is that in over half the states, adult children can be required to provide care and support for their elderly parents.
There are many laws on the books that receive very little attention because they are very rarely used. If few ever bother to attempt to enforce a law, then there is usually no reason for people to bring it up.
However, sometimes those laws do eventually become important, because of a general change in circumstances that sees those laws starting to be used more frequently.
An example of this is filial-responsibility laws.
These are laws that have been passed in 28 states that require adult children to provide financial support for their elderly parents if the parents are unable to pay their own bills, as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses in "Filial-Responsibility Laws Could Cost You."
These laws were not used much in the past because government programs for the elderly such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid provide financial support for the elderly.
Today, with people saving less and living longer, many elderly people are not able to afford the costs of their own care, which is increasing.
Nursing homes in states with filial-responsibility laws are increasingly looking to enforce them against children with parents who do not pay their bills.
This is yet another reason to make sure that you plan for your retirement and estate. If you do not, your children might be required to pay for you.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (May 3, 2017) "Filial-Responsibility Laws Could Cost You."