Leland, NC asked in Elder Law for North Carolina

Q: Would NGGS 14-326.1 apply all children if one child had a joint checking account with the parent? Said child is 52.

Parent is on disability and Medicade/Medicare. Currently in recovery center in Calabash, NC. Dr. in SC stated he has dementia. Facility is planning on sending him home despite diagnosis. They suggested private home health care. I have not spoke to my father sine 2016 for about 30 minutes. Before that I saw him in 2014 but did not speak. Prior to that I cannot remember. I have no relationship with my father and I'm trying to figure out my personal responsibility in this situation. The case worker at the facility stated if his living conditions were not suitable that "we" would be responsible. There are 3 of us children. By older brother has been his "caregiver" unofficially for years and shares a joint checking account for this reason. My sister has made all his medical arrangements for years. I am not in the picture at all due to personal reasons. Not sure how i fit into all this. I would like to be absolved from this situation. There is no will in place BTW.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Amanda Bowden Johnson
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  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Yes, it would likely apply but only to the extent that yourself and your immediate family are provided for. In other words you are likely only gonna be responsible for 'pops' to the tune of what ever is leftover each month after you have handled your personal and family obligations. If you live pay check to pay check like most people, your obligation could be zero. There is also a 'reasonable cause' exception. Since you have not had any significant relationship with your father for quite some time it seems reasonable that you should not now have to step in and support him. Also, while this law is on the books it is very rarely enforced.

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