My mother gave me access to her checking account when I took care of her. Did we need to draw up a personal contract?

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My mother gave me access to her checking account to allow me to be reimbursed for my time and expenses while I took care of them 24/7. Did we need to draw up a personal contract? It's too late now because they're deceased and their will is being probated.

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As another community member has already mentioned, your question now is really about whether any Third Parties (other family members, government agencies, creditors) will come forward and question any payments you disbursed to yourself when your mother was living.

Without a written agreement, family members like you who provide care are vulnerable. A Caregiver Contract recognizes and rewards the time and effort devoted to care, and it helps to prevent arguments and misunderstandings among other family members.

Another reason: the elder (and others people involved in care such as physicians and health care providers) aren't sure about who is responsible to maintain the needed level of care. A Caregiver Contract can list the organization of care and other services that are being paid for.

Finally, without a written agreement, an elder who pays you for care could be disqualified from Medicaid coverage if they need nursing home care in the future. Medicaid could consider payments to family members as being "disqualifying transfers."

For peace of mind now, talk with a Probate lawyer in your state, to go over any details of your mother's estate that may need to be settled.

Your question serves as a gentle reminder for people who are now caring for loved ones. They can read more in this article:

Personal Care Agreements Can Compensate Family Caregivers

An Elder Law Attorney in your state can prepare a Caregiver Contract that is compliant with Medicaid regulations in your state, and documents the compensation and services in a format that Medicaid can understand and accept. If the elder is competent to sign the Contract, or if there is an agent designated in a Power of Attorney document, the Contract can be an effective way to manage details, for those who want to focus their energy on the needs of the person they are caring for.
A personal contract would have clarified things, but as you say, it can't be done now.

Who needs to understand where the money went? Are there relatives expecting the estate to be larger?
Carol, I am moving your question back to the front page. Hopefully someone who is familiar with the process can help you.
I had my mom sign me on her checking and savings accounts when she no longer could handle paying her bills. She lived in a memory care facility for 2 years but the rent kept increasing and she kept falling. She now lives with us. I have had to buy a lot of things for her (diapers, kotex, baby wipes, incontinence spray, bibs, bed pads, more laundry detergent, etc.) and that really adds up. She also contributes to the household for the 24/7 care but we work part time also.

We never had a personal contract drawn up as I am her only child and in her will she gave me "everything". She doesn't have hardly anything so it never seemed a necessary thing to do. In my case, there is no one to contest her decision.

I'll be applying for Medi-Cal (Medicaid) for her for the time we can no longer care for her. She's going into stage 7, is a hothead and is a handful physically.

Two years ago, I added some of my money into her account. I am dreading that this may have screwed her up for qualifying to get nursing home assistance. I'll keep you posted.

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