She was writing some before. Before she started to forget a lot. She was writing a small check to me almost once a month as a gift. Sometimes she forgot, and I did not have the heart to tell her that she forgot. So now that she can not remember a lot, can I still write myself a check without any repercussions or problems? I do a lot for her. Such as driving her places, paying her bills, going to get her necessities and her prescriptions. When she sold her house, I took care of everything, including packing all the items she wanted to keep, etc. Finding a moving company etc. ( I did not asked for any payments... etc).(Except for the moving comp.).

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French - so your former neighbor is actually now living in memory care since this summer. And prior to this current MC was in more than 1 AL after she sold her home 2 years ago.

MC should be ordering all her RXs & can order briefs needed. MC and NH have a medical director who is now her primary physician and determines her medication management. Prescriptions should come thru a service under contract to supply meds for all residents and done in larger packs designed for storage at the Nurses station. I’m surprised they will even allow outside RX to come in and be dispensed.

-How is MC being paid for?
& the prior 4 (?) ALs?
- Your signatory on her checking account, so is it you’ve been writing a check each month for her stay & at private pay rates?
- Does she still have about 200k+ left from her house sale? Avg NH stay is abt 2.5 yrs, so if MC is about the same, she’d need at abt 200k to pay for her care in the MC,
- Who filled out & signed admissions contract for MC & the 4 ALs?
So 5 different facilities in past 2 years? Really?
- the 4 prior ALs, their bills have been fully paid?

MC & NH almost always have on site beauty shoppe she can use. While I can totally understand that she wants to go to her old hairdresser, but if their in MC going out on trips can make them even more confused and take days to readjust to the rhythm of the schedule of MC.

Have you had a care plan meeting to discuss her status? If not, as her POA please speak with the DON - director of nursing to get one set up.
Personally I’d work on getting her on the best possible meals & activities schedule and meds at this MC as a priority. Then look at what her costs are projected to be for another 18 mos at a minimum; & if she has the $ to cover costs before you pay yourself at all a personal services fee assuming the POA was drawn up to allow for that. She’s in a MC facility, you aren’t her caregiver, so caregiver contract isn’t feasible imo.

Where is her family,? kids, grandkids, nieces even extended family like 2nd cousins?
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Frenchcan Dec 4, 2018
Yes all her bills were paid. Any places, hospitals, rehabs etc. that she went to, I wrote the checks and she signed it. I just started this summer to write and sign the checks for her, since she thinks she is signing but 3/4 of her signature is written on the table, not the check. For the last two years, I have been taking care of her financial and all health issues.. Yes there is a will and POA. Yes I can sign in her checking account as POA, And yes I still pay her bills, She is being taking care of. As for the scripts... yes they have their own pharmacy. I did go with that, because I thought it was going to relieve me of this part. But after 2 months, I realized they were charging her twice the amount she was paying previously with the same prescriptions. When she was in a residence. She hated it.. so I took her out on numerous occasions. She is in a memory care, because she started walking out of the residence place she was at. But since she could still walk with a walker, and still had many days without forgetting, and she hates this place also. Every time I went to see her. she wants me to take her out ( because she doe not like how the hair dresser there does her hair)(( just to give you an idea of how she is) etc.... This past month is the first time that I go visit her and she does not demand to go out. In the last few weeks, she has become more frail, she has a hard time getting out of the chair. But, she still wants to leave and find another one.
Oh and yes, everything is recorded. I do not pay myself for gas, or meals I paid for her, or time spent going every where. The amount I was getting from her is really minimal meaning that ( since I also work 2 days/wk) I make more than in a day 1/2) then what she had start giving me for a month. I help her when she sold her house, because she asked me. We went to a realtor company(her friend), they sold her house, she put the money in her bank account. ( if that is what you want to know it still there). And since you do not seem to believe me, yes she was in different places... and some of them voided the 30 days notice for her to go. She would throw fits, screamed, pinched, etc. So I guess they were not so sad to see her leave. The last one(AL) , I was called and told that they were at wits end. They did put her in their own MC. But since she was at the beginning of Dementia, she was still aware of what was going on.
Read through the POA document. In order for you to be paid for preforming POA duties it must be written in the document.

If you want to be paid as a caregiver then a caregiver contract should be drawn up. However, the problem with that now is that the person paying must be of sound mind to enter into a legal contract. From your original post it sounds as if that ship has sailed.

In situations when you are purchasing items for the individual you can reimburse yourself - as long as the item purchased is a legitimate need and you have a receipt. Keep detail records of such transactions.
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Frenchcan Dec 2, 2018
Thank you for your help.
Perhaps, I did not clarify that She is not a relative at all. She is (was) a friend/neighbor. We went through having caregivers at her house. She fired them. She did not like them, she was mean to them. Social service was called and they told her she could not stay by herself in the house. She put the house on the market and sold it. She tried different assisted living residences, then a year ago went in another assisted living until this past summer. She actually was too much to handle for them. She is now in a memory care. Since I have been taking care of her. She was at least in 4 different residences ( in 2yrs). I had to find other places, either because she did not like them, or the people were not nice to her etc. I moved her from place to place. This last time, I hired someone to move her and paid them. She started to give me a check this year ( and no she did not pay me last year). In February, then in March. In April, she forgot, and I did not have the heart to remind her. I have taken her shopping, etc. I go to the pharmacy to pick up her scripts, creams, briefs, etc.. then drive them over to the residence. I took her to get her hair done etc. So now perhaps one get a better picture of what I do. She is 92. I also packed all her belonging she wanted to keep when she sold her house. And so on and on...And I do not want to take her money. But I just thought that since she realized I did a lot for her and started to pay me, so I could continue.
French - oh my, so many red flags in your post!
POA paying themselves wages without a defined caregiver contract can be considered to be ”self dealing”. You have no contract, right?
Its considered a breach of your fiduciary duty, should it surface.
Signing her checks as if it’s her signature is fraud.

So why are you POA? why did you deal with selling of her home?
How was home sold? And to whom? Was it to anyone you knew?
She likely has family, perhaps not her own children but there will be relatives somewhere. Where are they in this?
Just what is the backstory?

I’m assuming that all so far has been done out of a sense of concern for her & her safety. But it could be just as easily looked at - like by APS - as your taking advantage of a vulnerable adult. I’d be very concerned that something is going to happen, like a fall, that places her in ER so she’s hospitalized & discharged for rehab at a NH. To pay for her stay at the place after first 20/21 days, as Medicare stops 100% coverage, if she can’t pay, she’ll file for Medicaid. Medicaid requires all sorts of financial disclosures. House sale is recorded at courthouse & assessors so dovetails to states database.

All those checks to you, that you said were “as a gift”, will be look at by Medicaid exactly as that. Gifting to you and since Medicaid has required up to 5 years of bank statements, they will have to the penny all that gifting. She’ll be ineligible for Medicaid as no gifting allowed. Plus state will know exact amt of house sale. You as her POA have to account for all those transactions. Really this can get complicated and if anything looks amiss APS can enter the picture and SSA could require you to become her representative payee. SSA does not recognize POAs, so the lady has to be able to do a rep payee request.

If any way to get her to competent & cognitive enough to get new legal done by an atty for caregiving agreement etc, get this done ASAP
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This question has been asked here before - here is an except from an answer by one of A/C's experts John L. Roberts

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

Here are another couple of links to similar discussions on A/C

I know you are not considering paying yourself a hefty salary but the discussion has some posts which may help you,

As I remember there are some states which support POA's ability to take a compensation over and above documented reimbursement. This must be arranged so as not to interfere with any possible future medicaid application.

A visit to your local Agency for Aging may get you the answer or a consult with an elder lawyer (initial consults are often free).

I am in Alberta, Canada and it is very clear under governmental regulations here that compensation is not permitted unless stipulated in the POA document. I am POA financial and health for my mother and it does cost me some of my own money. The only recourse that I can see is hiring people (to be paid by my mother/your lady) for the things you for which you would have been compensated. I know it is not as clear as that but your time and effort is worth something, and you may not be able to be paid for it directly. Bless you for helping this person. It can be a thankless and costly (not only in terms of money) task.
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Riverdale Dec 2, 2018
Thank you for your thorough answer. I was reimbursing myself in small increments as I buy everything my mother needs. But after being on this site I have stopped doing that and use our joint credit card for supplies. It can cost more as I had rewards card that gave a discount for purchases. If we get to the Medicaid process in the somewhat far future I dont need further obstacles. My husband and I started our retirement earlier in order to get my mother to a state where her care is much less. I now keep every receipt no matter how minuscule. I never wanted payment for my services even though much of her needs fall to me. I have learned so much and continue to do so greatly from the insight provided here.
Is the checking account a joint one with your name on it as POA?
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Frenchcan Dec 2, 2018
it is not a joint account, but I have permission to write checks to pay all bills as POA. A while back she signed documents at the bank to enable me to write and sign checks. At the beginning of this year, she wrote a few checks to me ( her handwriting and signature) as gift. They were in February, then in March.
Oh dear.

It is a great pity that before she became more forgetful she did not stipulate within the POA documentation that you should be compensated for your trouble, seeing as she clearly thought it only fair. But if she didn't, she didn't.

If you have written checks to yourself without any such authority, then you had better pay the money back. It's fair enough to have misunderstood this point but it's not okay to keep the money.
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If her POA documentation specifies that you can be paid for your time spent managing her business, then you can pay yourself that.

If you pay out any money of your own on her behalf, then you can claim that back - so gas for the car when you're taking her to appointments or running her errands is fine, for example.

But you absolutely cannot profit from your role as POA beyond any previously agreed and documented compensation. So more of those informal little gift payments to yourself? - absolutely not.

If you really don't have time for this and it is taking you away from gainful employment, you are always free to resign the POA or to delegate tasks to commercial service providers.
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Frenchcan Dec 2, 2018
I understand what you are saying. But before she became more forgetful, she wrote me checks almost ( she forgot once or twice) every month as a gift. Such as this year : February , march (twice) this year.. but then she started to forget a lot ... She also did in 2017.. can't remember the dates( I would have to look in the paper work).... So if I wrote myself a few checks for the same amount, it means I cannot anymore?? And no it does not specify any amounts just that I am her financial, health POA. And that I can dispose, sell, property etc..
If you have out-of-pocket expenses, document them and write yourself a check. But, this does not sound like it is the case. Would she be able to understand a written agreement? If so, ask her to contact her attorney to draft one. If that cannot be done, I certainly would not risk it.
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