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We moved in to take care of mil with dementia after her husband passed away. They had money set aside. There is my husband and 1 brother. We used money to make house livable to accommodate 4 more of us and to purchase a generator. There is a trust fund set up with money. My mil needs 24/7 care. We gave up our home in another part of the state. We still own it but we have renters, that just pay that mortgage. I gave up my job and my husband gave up overtime because I need him here. There is a language barrier and my mil uses about 10% English. My mil makes enough to pay some of the monthly bills, and her meds. She goes to adult daycare and we have very little respite care. My bil says we should pay out of pocket for all her care and taxes on house because we "chose this". We chose this because his family threatened to put her in home if we didn't move in to care for her. His entire family speaks the same language, whereas only my husband speaks the same. They live 1 1/2 hours away. They make twice as much financially then us. She is a stay at home mom. They don't visit her when they come to town and only care about the inheritance. We also have to buy out our 1/2 of the house when she's gone. We can't leave, as this is where my kids go to school now. We had to move here within a month of my fil's death. They go on living their happy go lucky life and are waiting for her to pass, to receive money. They don't even call to check on her. They help us out occasionally when we HAVE to go somewhere, but only when convenient for them. They tell us that they have a family, so can't do much. Although we also have 3 kids like them and around the same ages, except we have one off to college. I've never met anyone so selfish.

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Consult an elder care lawyer, AND, remember if you do get paid it is taxable and that includes SS/Medicare taxes are deducted or you have a 1099 and Schedule C (consult an accountant). I'm pretty sure a live-in caregiver would not be an independent contractor but ask the tax experts or accountant.
FWIW I am POA & Trustee for my mom & dad, and am daily attending to their needs, (today was awful....) but I get paid zero. Because the POA and Trust documents specify that no "gifts" can be made to me, and my siblings insist that I do it all for free. So if that clause is a standard for POA/Trust doc's, you may indeed need a separate Caregiver Contract. Geez these lawyers are making a lot of money out of these situations!
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Iwentanon....I think I understand what you wrote. I think I agree that the person being cared for should pay for the service and for the "stuff" that is bought for that person. If you're able to give care, then you're able to work for pay elsewhere. And you wouldn't have to pay for your bosses lunch. Therefore the caregiver should get paid---up to three times what a person who runs an 8 hour shift gets if there is a 24/7 situation. It is tough to do it all and all the time--something will break.
In a N/H there is help with the cooking, the cleaning, the maintenance and all the other duties required.
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If people are 24/7 caregiving their rent, food and sleeping accommodations are a part of their pay as it would be if you hired a private live in caregiver. one thing about paying for 24/7 caregivers...I read where a sister was left out of the will and the other sister called her a grown up leach taking advantage of her mother, in one of those online attorney's, they estimated that the sister pay her sister out of the inheritance between 150.00 and 220.00 dollars a day and pay the 150 for the 24/7 caregiving, that her sister provided. There was no contract, just the expectation...as far as I can see, there is the expectation of caregiving without any pay or compensation, why shouldn't they get paid? I agree keep your receipts and all the fees that you or/and she pay for. One day this arrangement may go south, mean the rest of your husband's family may pretend that she never needed the help or that you took advantage of her, I disagree with write down only what you did...in 24/7 care you have to be available, for monitoring, which seems like you are free actually that person is strapped to you and you have no privacy. I am a 24/7 non-paid caregiver of my friends mother, some may say I choose it, actually the person being cared for chose to not live in a private facility, but in their private home and because, they were fortunate enough to have family or friends nearby to help them, does not mean that the other husbands sibings should take advantage of them, who are barely there to lend a hand, there is a reason why they do not lend a hand, they think they are too good or the job is beneath them, I do not buy, that people chose to be caregivers, I think they are groomed by careful manipulators who want to neither pay for a private caregiver nor the family one that would cost less and yes, they are cold-hearted and indifferent...I get tired of hearing that dysfunctional siblings somehow lack caregiving skills, when they behave badly and would go so far as to actually not provide enough relief, for a caregiving brother or brother's wife. In my case, the court is holding monies, ie. if in case she goes into a private nursing home, so when the time might come... public aid will take over the payments of that better nursing home.
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I'm with country mouse and pip ruby on this one. Get legal advice from the trust. If it doesn't fit for you. Get the family together for a discussion and organize new arrangements for moms care...you return home or find your own house somewhere else nearby. Don't stress over this anymore and bil needs to step up and offer his solution if he objects on how things are going now.
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I would say that actually what it boils down to is what her money is to be used for.

It is wholly legitimate for you to claim back any money spent directly on goods or outside services for her. Her clothing, her day care, her medications: if you weren't there, anything she'd have to buy anyway is wholly and exclusively for her good. That bit is easy, and your BIL is in error imagining that your moving in with her makes you responsible for her bills. It just doesn't.

Where it gets trickier is, for example, in areas such as adaptations made to her home which are not precisely for her benefit. Yes, she might need to set aside space for a caregiver even if it wasn't you, but she wouldn't have had to accommodate four people. That kind of thing you're going to have to negotiate, along with dividing up utilities bills and so on; but as a rule of thumb she pays her share and you pay yours.

As an aside, and having to jump through similar hoops, I have to say I hate all this. It's ridiculous. We live as a family, and yet here I am worrying about who had the prawn sandwich and whether or not shampoo is a household expense or my own personal indulgence… ugh. It is so mercenary and demoralising and trivial I can't tell you. And yet, and yet… in the end it's all about protecting vulnerable adults, and if that's the world we live in then it's a sad state of affairs but it's a society we've all played our part in creating. Nothing to do but shrug and keep jumping.

Another area which isn't clear cut is whether your time is chargeable. I understand that in some states it is against the rules for family caregivers to be paid for their work? You will need to find out what applies in your state, then stick like glue to the guidance. To that extent, only, you and your husband *did* choose this: if you didn't realise how much of your life your MIL would occupy, and it's proving too much to manage, then you might have to think again. There are other good options, and nothing is ever set in stone. Keep weighing up the pros and cons and see what works best for everyone concerned.

The other thing I would counsel, though it's not directly related to reimbursement - no, actually, that's the exact point. Your BIL's smug refusal to share any of this burden is not relevant to how you manage the serious, loving duty of looking after your MIL. He's a twat. Leave it there. It doesn't *matter* how high on the hog he's living. It doesn't matter that he lies on a sun lounger with a Singapore Sling to hand and loftily issues edicts about what you and your husband should be doing. His snide remarks don't make any difference to your choice, and resenting him will just sour your life. Don't resent him. Ignore him.
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Legally, it boils down to who has POA and who is Trustee. Is that you? Get accurate advice from an attorney who deals with this. The rest is just "he said, she said" Good luck. I know what it is like. I am in the same boat. Only difference is there is NO adult day care here for respite.
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I'm with Pam. I would also add a column about what it would cost without your assistance. 24/7 in home care at $25/hour (24 x 30 = 720 X $25 = $18,000 per month) (720 hours x $10 = $7,200 for you at $10/hr.) And assisted living 6-8,000).

I would also submit copies of the bills to the trust. Keep a written record as you may need to show proof that you endured the expenses, asked for reimbursement and did not receive it when the estate is settled.
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Go to the facility tha thandles the trust fund and speak to the person in charge of her particular trust fund and ask exactly what the trust fund will cover in regards to her care. They will give you a list and tell you exactly what you need to do. Forget the rest of the famly and don't tell them anything about it. We have three trust funds in our family and that is what we did and the trust fund doesn't get ravaged but anyone truly working for the patient gets reimbursed faithfully. Good luck and ignore the rest of them.
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You made the choice to care for her, now you need to accept the responsibilities that come with the job. Your reward will come after she passes. Thank you for caring for her.
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Is the trust revocable or irrevocable?

Terms of each trust contain the conditions under which disbursements are made, as I understand it. It is time to consult a competent trust attorney, but that's more expense.
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Yes. Find out who is the trustee and submit the receipts to him/her. You can be reimbursed out of the trust funds.
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Save those receipts, you may be able to get something. Better safe than sorry
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Ok, so I read the responses. Yes, I guess we did "Choose" this. We chose to grant their wishes and not to put in a home. This is their culture and what they believe is right. My own father begged to be put in a home vs having his kids give up things for him. This culture expects to live at home until they die. I am realistic, and know once things get out of control, we aren't able to do that. But, with that said, we will try as long as we can. She is happy at home. Back to my old post...she is now in daycare and has accepted outside help. The outside help, is somebody we pay more for then the agency, because we want the same person every time. This makes her feel more like a family friend, which helps the situation a LOT. Also, he has access to her bank account, because years and years ago we lived in the Midwest. He monitors every single cent. He doesn't take into account, that she is now in mourning and wears only black, so we have had to buy her clothes, jackets etc...along with a walker, and bars for the bathroom. This is also all "our choice" to do for her. I guess, it would be nice for some help with this. We have spoke with him...and he spends about 5 minutes on the phone with her about once a month. In fact, we were all at a family event, and his family pretended they didn't know who she was. His kids didn't even come over to say hi. Sooooo sad. My children will have many many memories, and for that I am glad. But...my kids have to go without because of the extra costs associated with her care. It is what it is with him. That I know. I don't expect anything from him. My question is about the trust fund that is set up. As long as we care for her for 2 years, nobody can touch the money. But, after that, the 2 boys split everything, including the home we live in. I just don't see this as being ok. and wondering legally how to get help. Besides, I won't ever count on them for help for respite care. And, I don't trust them, only because they don't know her needs. She NEEDS to use her walker and they don't make her because it's to hard on them.
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Think about this: there is no "have to" in the world of eldercare. You are able to chose to care for elders or nor to.
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Multiply your actual hours of caring for her (feeding/bathing/dressing/transport) by minimum wage. That is what you should be paid.
Now deduct 80% of the rent/food/utilities/taxes. Since there are 5 people, she should only be picking up 20% of that cost.
I don't know if that leaves you ahead or behind, but that is what seems fair and you might want to put that in a written agreement.
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Oh my gosh, moving to a professionally run continuous care facility is now considered a *threat*? The places I have visited are so nice I want to sign up and move in tomorrow. I am ready for someone else to do the cleaning, cooking, and being the cruise director :P

I think so many of us hastily make the choice of moving into our parent's house without thinking everything through, and that's understandable. With dementia there is no getting better, only getting worse. There might be a time when your mother-in-law becomes verbally abusive and physically combative. I know I wouldn't want your children to have to live through that.... they want to remember Grandma as this sweet, kind, huggable woman.

What is sad is that the whole time you were married you never were able to communicate with your mother-in-law because neither of you knows the other's language.... how about your children, have they been able to pick up the language? If not, that can make caregiving very difficult.

Plus back in June you said your mother-in-law refuses to have outside help. Right there is a red flag. There is no way you and your husband can work three 8-hour shifts seven days a week for the next 5 to 10 years caring for his mother. Maybe brother-in-law understood the situation more than you think, that his mother is at a point where she would need a continuous care facility.

I hope you and the rest of the family can work this out to be a win-win situation for everyone.
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I'm so sorry your family life has changed so drastically. Most of us are not ready for full time caregiving responsibilities. I've been caring for my mother off and on for two years after her stroke. My brother has helped some and my dad recently passed away. SO let me say from experience....let the bad feelings toward your brother in law and his family go. You can NEVER make people help when they can't or won't. It can make you sick too. Unfortunately (and I'm not picking sides) he is right, we do have choices. I know deep down you love your hubby and his mom BUT realistically the dementia will get worse and so caregiving responsibilities will increase. Please have a heart to heart with your family (your husband and children) and see if they are ready for even more changes. Honestly, now may be the time to say "we love her but are not able to be her caregiver" then find a great facility for her.
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