If one child is a full-time caregiver and the other does nothing, should the elderly parent's retirement trust fund be used as compensation for the full-time caregiver?

Asked by
Answers 1 to 10 of 12
Top Answer
What you're really asking - is "Shouldn't my parents pay me? or "Shouldn't I get an inheritance for taking care of my parents?" This is a sticky situation - the best advice I can give you is to say - work out a payment plan with your parents and get the $$$ now long before they need medicaide or it's all gone.

Whether or not we should expect an inheritance or greater chunk of an estate is kind of a moral and ethical question - one I won't address much. The situation just depends on how much money someone has, how much the parents HAVE already done for the child/family member and how much they do for a parent and how much the caregiver sacrifices to help (savings, job with benefits, vacations, time with spouse, kids, a career.... all kinds of stuff..)

To me, there is no problem paying an adult child, grand child or someone to care for parents as long as the relationship is open, honest and the person does not take advantage in any way EVER. For example: it's to easy to buy something for the folks check with a signed blank check and just add a few things for yourself. My sister in law did this all the time and it added up to hundreds of dollars over the past year. It's cheaper for me to hire someone to do mom's shopping than let my sister in law try to "help". It's also a lot easier on my relationship with my brother and his kids!! My sister in law has proven that she can't be trusted.

If you DO want to get paid, there are tax and liability implications. I urge you to read through the questions and answers in the Money/Legal section of this web site for other similar questions about getting paid. There's a lot of important information there. If you pay yourself in one big chunk of cash you run the risk of disqualifying your parents for state benefits if they go through their cash and need medicaide. Clearly understand Medicaide requirements and regulations before you do anything.

If you get a big chunk of inheritance - provided there's anything left - there are family issues to consider. Do you run the risk of alientating your siblings and their children? You have to consider the type of relationship you want with them AFTER your parents are gone. Do you care to see them? Do you care if they are bitter?

So - keep reading, this isn't as simple a matter as you might expect. Good luck!
I think it is ok to expect some money help if you are providing the care for your parents and it might be a good idea to talk this over with the family I do not think your parents expect to have everything done for them with out them contributing but beware when they apply for medicaide or it is done for them there is a 5 yr. look back period and will probably be longer in the comming years and also there are questions on the application about any large withdrawls in my state it was anything over I believe 2 thousands dollars at any one time so if you do use their money you have to account for all of it or you may have to pay it back sometime-so that sil may not have gotten away scott free and you probably have to disclose this at tax time because that could be considered income but their money can be used for care for them you will get a receipt from the agency that has to be included at tax time. I would consult an elder lawyer with your questions and also the advice from the above member was right on-things have changed and it is usually not possible for elders to leave large chuncks of money for their families the reason medicaide is so complicated now is because people were less than honest in the past with hiding money in order to get free care, and now it is so easy to track the money.
I'd say it's OK. If your parent has more than enough, and you being the caregiver (which means u must be giving up your career, income, losing business, not being promoted, not earning as much as u can, not being to live the life u want because your time & energy is spent on all that caregiving stuff), then it's ok & justified that you get some kind of remuneration for all your efforts and the losses that you're suffering because u can't pursue ur dreams & ambitions. Sorry to say, but there's no such thing as free lunch these days. Times are tough, resources are finite, but the needs of the elderly is sometimes so stratospheric it just overwhelms all kinds of assistance that any caregiver can give. Just don't take advantage of anyone here, and be reasonable enough with the demands. Bottom line... u deserve to be paid too.
Money isn't everything to a care giver. I take care of my dad 24/7 and i would give anything to have some freedom. It is such a treat when someone comes and sits with him so I can have some me time or time with my husband or grandchildren. So many people think you are getting paid or compensated for taking care of them you don't need anything else. I have a brother and sister. My sister lives out of state and my brother doesn't think about asking if I need help or like some time off. My dad can't be left alone because he falls all the time and needs help going to the bathroom all day all night.
My mother-in-law is always wanting to give me money because she appreciates so much the things I do for her. But except for letting her put gas in my car when I take her places, and lunch while we're out, I turn her down. It's not worth causing any family strife in my opinion. Life is too short to worry about money.
my father made a will he gave all his siblens all the same. when my father pased, mom made a new will. I was the one that gave her the best care, you could ever think about. with cervical cancer for 3 years . before the cancer, mom and I when through hip replacement, heart attack , broken palvice. Their was no support with my sibblings, time off or anything. I put my life on hold, plus, making income for myself. mY DEAR MOM, belive me I would give anything to have her back but that did not happen. Mom died of a stroke Dec 11 2010 Some how I now have a Trust fund set up for me, and probley have to ask my younger brother who is the trustee of my living trust, for money. I dont know who Idea it was but that what attorneys have in writing . My Brother tryed to kick me out of the Home Mom and I was Living in . Gave me a month to move out. I did everything in this home, mY bROTHERS DID NOT lift a finger to get it ready for the Market to sell. When the month was up, my brother said he never said that B.S Do I have any legile rights . Also mom left me as a solo Benifer on one of her accounts and he took in charge and changed that so it was all payed equaly shares. Is that right sorry about the spelling I been at my ends for 3 months. is their any feed back Thank You
It is your parent's money to do with as they please. If they have agreed to pay you, as a part of your caregiving arrangement, then that is their decision. It is not okay to help yourself to their funds without their knowledge even if you feel justified in doing so. There are also legal, tax, and Medicaid impliacations because you become your parent's "employee."
IMO, your parents should pay for items that they need for their personal care. Once they are gone, then abide by their will or living trust and divide assets accordingly. It is their money.
if you are a benificiary on a banking account, the money becomes yours imediatly after the person passes. It leagaly becomes yours. No one should be able to change anything and split the money. If you were told this you were lied to. All you need is a death certifiacate and id to prove who you are.
don't want any money, your wrong in my case all i wanted was help, a break, and vacation, and time to spend with my family, i'm having health problems myself all you people think of yourselfs not of the ones you care for, its not right, i never done anything of what you said, because it wasn't up to me to touch nothing it didn't belong to me, i think for your not going to be honest, and do the right things then keep your hands out of taking care of your parents,
i had no choice, i had to take over with a disablity, and i was very upset, the only thing i wanted was help, i never would of done anything to make me look bad, i had to much on me already,

so please don't put your lies on me, i never would be apart of any miss justice, and my mother done her own banking, she always control her things,
and i never touch nothing in her name,
first of all, people must learn the way of life is to live, within your own means, and not think your going to get a free hand out,
what i was asking is, if anything would need to done if my disability got worse, then she might end up in a nursing home, her resourses would go for that wouldn't it, i'm the first one to say there should be more information on how and where to get help on how to give help or get help to take care of your elderly parents without having friction in the families with siblings, because there is to many lies that go around, about the one who done all the care giving, and the ones who done nothing wants everything when the time come close to the end,

but what i say, they lost out on every day of the time they lost, that they weren't there, and they don't know about that person, and its on them to think about, but at least the caretaker will know each day and remember what they went threw, and how much they done for that person,
so remember not everyone out there to get money for they time they helped there parents, and looking to get paid,
were just wondering where was the sisters and brothers when we were the only ones there,
because we had a life to. so you go stick your bank account up your what, i wasn't trying to get paid for taking care of my parent,

i think if there is anything there, it should be divided between all the people in the family, even if the family had bad feeling through it all, because the reason it was bad feeling was one person had to do it all. and knowone would give her the time of day, and she lost her life and her family life that meant the world to her, and knowone cared about that, that what she wanted, the carekeeper was sad she lost her family. she didn't want the money, the older kids wanted the money and there the ones who got all the money, knowone took nothing, there names are on the papers not the caregivers.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support