My Mom Died, and the Assisted Living Facility Charged Me Because I Did Not Give Them A 30-Day Notice
Many admission contracts for Assisted Living communities say that you must give 30-
days’ notice when you are planning on leaving. This is not a bad clause and prevents
individuals from finding a “better place” and moving from community to community.
However, in a recent case, I had a client’s mother pass away. Within a few days, they had
removed all her possessions from the room. The assisted living facility then sent them a
bill stating they did not give them a 30-day notice, so the family was liable to pay 30
days. Some Assisted Living Communities in the State of Missouri charge families for an
extra month (30 days) when their loved one passes away because they did not notify the
facility of their intent to give up the room.
I contacted the administrator and was told that since they signed the admission
agreement, they must provide a 30-day notice before discharge, or they will be charged for those 30 days. I asked how someone is supposed to know that someone is going to die in 30 days and was told this was “non-negotiable.”
Note: The current state regulations do not address this language/issue.
What Can You Do Now? If you are looking for an Assisted Living Community, do this:
If you are placing a loved one in an assisted living community, review their contract and
if it states that you must give a 30-day notice before leaving, add the following
statement (or something similar): “I will provide the 30-day notice unless my loved one
dies. I do not agree to pay for 30 days if my loved one dies.” Note: The assisted living
facility may refuse to admit your loved one if you do this, so be prepared to walk away if
If you have already signed an admission agreement agreeing to pay a 30-day notice:
If your loved one dies and the assisted living facility sends you a bill for 30 days, do not
pay the bill! Instead, let the assisted living facility attempt to sue you and have them
explain to a judge that there was a “breach of contract” because your loved one died,
you did not know they were going to die and therefore could not give the 30-day
IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU, PLEASE EMAIL ME AND TELL ME YOUR STORY, I AM WORKING ON DEALING WITH THIS LOOPHOLE, AND I AM VERY INTERESTED TO SEE HOW MANY INDIVIDUALS HAVE HAD THIS ISSUE!
Cheryl J. Wilson, M.S.