My deadbeat dad arrived at my brother’s Communion high on cocaine. He punched the cab driver. Am I liable for his end-of-life care?

My dad and mom divorced after I was very younger as a result of my father being a bodily and emotionally abusive alcoholic and drug addict. 

Though my brother and I spent sporadic weekends with him after we had been in elementary faculty, I ended visiting him throughout my middle-school years, and minimize off all contact after I turned 18. 

He’s getting older now and I’ve stored tabs on him by way of mutual family and friends. I do know he’s been unemployed for 20 years and can be homeless if it wasn’t for his girlfriend, whom he lives with, though it seems like she just lately kicked him out. 

He nonetheless drinks and smokes closely and from what I perceive, and he abuses different medication as properly. I believe he has excellent playing money owed in addition to debt for bail bondsmen, parking tickets and driving fines, bank cards, and so forth. 

He has a myriad of medical points and he’s unwell however not dying, though I believe his well being goes to deteriorate quickly over the subsequent decade given his harmful life-style. 

‘He’s not somebody I need in my life, particularly now that I’ve kids of my very own.’

He’s not somebody I need in my life, particularly now that I’ve kids of my very own. I final noticed him when he confirmed up excessive on cocaine and punched his cab driver exterior the church throughout my brother’s Holy Communion. 

As my husband and I plan for our future, I’m questioning what kind of influence my deadbeat father goes to have on our lives. Are there any obligations I’d have as his grownup little one, reminiscent of his medical care or monetary commitments? 

I don’t know if he has a will or what’s in it if he does, and truthfully, I’m involved he could have a provision that would influence my future, reminiscent of paying for his funeral bills or inheriting property I don’t need. 

I’m additionally involved he could listing me as his health-care proxy in a medical energy of legal professional. Might I be on the hook for his unplanned finish of life care, or worse, any monetary commitments he has? I need nothing to do with him now or sooner or later. 

Thanks for any recommendation you possibly can present.

The Daughter

You’ll be able to e mail The Moneyist with any monetary and moral questions associated to coronavirus at, and observe Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Pricey Daughter,

Once you consider the Blessed Sacrament, that’s not what most individuals — the cab driver included, I’m positive — take into account. I’m sorry that occurred in your brother’s huge day. On your father, nothing was sacred. A toddler wants stability and a way of security, and having a determine of their life who’s so unpredictable can result in years, even a lifetime, of hysteria and trauma. 

It could assist to look upon your father as sick, somewhat than unhealthy, and misplaced somewhat than merciless. That would enable you to to heal and to forgive him, so you possibly can transfer on from the anger and humiliation of such incidents. I say that as a result of I believe that part of your worry about what occurs now’s associated to your expertise of coping with a extremely unstable determine. That stated, you possibly can decline to be an individual’s energy of legal professional.

There are filial accountability legal guidelines in over two dozen states, however they’re hardly ever enforced by the courts. One comparatively well-known case in Pennsylvania in 2012, Health Care & Ret. Corp. of Am v. Pittas, introduced the topic of filial accountability again to the general public’s consideration. In it, a son was discovered answerable for his mom’s $93,000 nursing house payments, however they had been very uncommon circumstances.

A toddler must really feel secure, and having a determine of their life who’s so unpredictable can result in a lifetime of hysteria and trauma. 

His mom, who was in her 60s, was injured in a automotive accident and went to a nursing house. She was subsequently moved to Greece the place two of her different kids lived, placing them out of the jurisdiction of the courts and the nursing house’s debt collectors, leaving the unpaid invoice. The Superior Courtroom of Pennsylvania discovered within the house’s favor.

Every case is exclusive, in fact, and there has not been a flood of comparable circumstances as is usually suspected after such a ruling. Your father was not there for his kids, and a choose would take that under consideration within the unlikely occasion {that a} nursing house got here after you for fee of payments, even when your father lived in one of many 29 states with such legal guidelines.

These are historical legal guidelines. “U.S. filial accountability statutes had been derived from England’s Elizabethan Poor Aid Act of 1601, which required the grandparents, dad and mom, and youngsters of each poor, blind, lame and impotent individual to financially assist that particular person in the event that they had been in a position to take action,” in accordance with the regulation agency Burke, Costanza and Carberry.

“Federal and state legal guidelines allow Medicaid to hunt reimbursement from recipients’ estates. Nevertheless, an growing variety of recipients are hiding their monetary property to fulfill Medicaid’s requirements. Some seniors switch their possession property to their kids by way of trusts to change into Medicaid eligible with out risking their kids’s inheritance,” it provides.

However that’s not the case right here. You’re out of your father’s life and he’s not in your life inflicting chaos. It could be arduous to sleep straightforward whereas he’s alive, as your childhood self expects his troubles to come back knocking in your door as soon as extra, and your grownup self mourns the daddy you wished you had, however by no means did, one who is also a grandfather to your kids.

A lawyer would finest advise you, in fact, and a therapist may enable you to parse aside all the tangled emotions about this man who as soon as loomed so massive in your life. His shadow stays, however it’s only a shadow and, based mostly on what you’ve instructed me, you possibly can look to the longer term with none actual consequence of your father’s life or dying impinging in your peaceable existence.

You might have the correct to be glad, and to be free. 

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The Moneyist regrets he can not reply to questions individually.Extra from Quentin Fottrell:

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My brother-in-law died, leaving his house in a mess. His landlord wants me to repaint and replace the carpet. What should we do? | My deadbeat dad arrived at my brother’s Communion excessive on cocaine. He punched the cab driver. Am I answerable for his end-of-life care?


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