I live in a state with filial laws and my mother lives in Maryland. She is in good health currently, but she has made bad financial choices her entire life, has no savings, doesn't try to save, no retirement, doesn't have a stable job, and we have no relationship.
I'm terrified I will be responsible for her financial burdens one day.
While many states have filial laws -- as your current home does! -- they're rarely enforced, and typically designed for use by state governments as a way to replenish Medicaid coffers.
That means another point in your favor here is that any services your mother would use come from Maryland -- with no filial laws -- instead of your home state. Since your home state isn't footing her bill, it probably won't come after you for reimbursement.
Of course, as our generation becomes increasingly older and places more financial pressure on the state-funded retirement support programs, that lackadaisical attitude toward filial responsibility law enforcement could all change in coming years.
Of particular note is a 2012 Pennsylvania case, in which the state's Supreme Court upheld a matter between a private nursing home seeking to collect a large unpaid balance from the former resident's son. Uniquely, it was a private business -- not the government -- which sought and won compensation per the filial support laws.
However, it's been almost 10 years since the Pittas case without any substantial cases or enforcement actions concerning filial support laws.
Just keep an eye on this space for any possible legal developments, and talk to an estate lawyer to see what possible planning you can do in the meantime to prepare for the future.
Our general disclaimer: We're lawyers, but not necessarily your lawyer, and do not represent the individual who asked this question. We're providing this information for general educational purposes based on the publicly available information provided by the anonymous Internet user. Any number of details may change how this individual's attorney may pursue this legal situation, differently from how we suppose above. If you have a similar question, then you should consult with a lawyer about your specific situation to get a "real" response!