I moved in with my parents in Massachusetts in 2020, when I got laid off from my job and it became clear that they needed live-in help. Without me, they’d need to be in a nursing home. My dad has dementia, and my mom is on oxygen. It seems likely that she has dementia now too. For the past several winters, at least one of them has gotten sick and wound up in the ICU. There’s going to be a winter when one of them doesn’t come home.

Because my parents require full-time care, I haven’t gotten a new job and I don’t have any income. I’m behind on my student-loan payments and my taxes. My credit score used to be in the 700s, but now it’s terrible — in the 500s. I’m thinking of filing for bankruptcy, but it’s unclear how much that would actually help with these issues.

My parents do not have a will or an estate plan, and at this point, I doubt they are well enough to make one. I want to care for them as long as I can, but I also need to start to consider what this will mean for my finances long term. My main hope is that I heard about a Massachusetts law that says if you’ve lived with your parents for two or more years and you can prove that you’ve lost wages to care for them and that they would have gone into a nursing home without you, the government will let you have their house when they pass away. I think that would apply to me. I have siblings who might fight me for the house, but my parents did not make another plan for it so this is the only way I see it being protected from being taken over by the state to pay for my parents’ medical bills after they’re gone.

Read more on The Cut.

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