Blogs & Comment

Mom sues adult children for support

An aging B.C. mother is suing her adult kids for financial assistance, a recent Vancouver Sun articlereports (hat tip to Money Smartsand Canadian Money Forum). I found the piece rather interesting because its the first time I have heard of any real court cases arising from parental support laws. They have been rather rare.
The article seems to suggest the lawsuits could become more frequent. It says: The Anderson case presses alarm bells given life expectancies are greater than ever before. With the cost of living and of long-term care skyrocketing, who is going to pay the bills for an expanding population of elders?
A commentator adds that such lawsuits may become more common because of demographic trends. As baby-boomers enter their golden years, the ratio of retirees to young people will escalate and put growing pressures on governments to cut back on financial support for senior citizens.
But B.C. Attorney-General Mike de Jong recently recommended that the 1922 statute be repealed on the grounds it was archaic, relevant only to a bygone era. So it looks like thousands of adult children, at least in B.C., may be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Still, its interesting that the culture and legislators of a bygone era thought adult children should look after their aging parents rather than shift the burden to the state. And in many cultures today, such as China, its a given that children will be looking after theirparents when they grow old.
In this day and age of steady expansion in government spending, taxes and borrowing, I wonder if having families look after their own — at least to some extent — is not such a crazy, archaic idea after all. Actually, I would not be surprised itbecomes more of a necessityafter a few more financial and fiscal crises downthe road.
Interestingfactoid from the story: Canada has a desert and there is a small town called Osoyoos located in it.