Can you bill an estate for elder care once the parent has passed?

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I cared for my mother for five years in our home. I dispensed her medication as well as her insulin. She offset some of her expenses for special needs like depends, and personal care, some specialized food for her diabetes, but it was no where near what it cost to care for her full time. My siblings could not be bothered for those years nor did they come to visit her. Now that she has passed they have taken over the estate. Because they join together I am left without any recourse other than to go along with what they choose to do even when I suggest otherwise. I feel like the reason they have any inheritance at all is because I always stayed within her budget and took out of my own, rather than spend her money, or ask to be paid for providing full time care for her. Providing full time nursing care would have cost approximately 200.00 a day. I would have gone through her whole estate by charging her just within the first year alone. I can't seem to get my siblings to understand that fact and they act as though my services were worth nothing. Actually they don't even acknowledge that I did anything for those five years. Now that she is deceased they have come out of the woodwork to center in on her money and are suddenly oh so helpful. It feels like a slap in the face. Would love to know if there is anything I can do. I really don't want any money for the job provided, but would love to make the point that the inheritance is there because she was taken care of with minimal taken out of her pocket and that the services provided were worth more because they provided her the opportunity to be in a home environment where she was loved and she thrived.

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Cub - are you in probate & are you the executor?

If the answer is yes & yes, there could be things you can do both within executor fees & MIE aspect of probate and in placing an unsecured claim against the estate.
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Cubpiper: Although it's a moot point at this juncture, financial professionals will tell you to never spend your own money on the care of your elderly parent(s). Your question was "can you bill an estate for elder care once the parent has passed?" But it seems like you are mainly angry at your sibs, who did nothing to help/nor did they visit their elderly parent...it seems to me that that is your real question/concern? Also, the topic of "getting paid to take care of your elderly parent" has been brought up on this site A LOT. There are several schools of thought on the topic. #1 If you elderly parent was just about eking out a living, then why would you even consider taking their funds?, #2 many caregivers have lost their jobs due to caring for their elderly parent....just for starters.
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What I was thinking about the absentee relatives is the possibility that they probably didn't want to be saddled with any responsibility, which is probably why they stayed away. I mean look at the rest of us when we face situations at times we most need help. Where is everyone when we need them? It seems strange no one wants to be bothered or get involved, sad but true. If you want to know what's really wrong with this world, that's just one thing among many because people just don't seem to care anymore. I know that the tables will turn when people who don't want to get involved most need help, but no one helps. It's one thing to dish it out and another thing to be on the receiving end of the dirty end of the stick.

Finally, a suggestion to get around the lack of editing on the site is to try working on what you have to say in a writing program. Try to do as much editing on what you have to say on here before copying and pasting into the comment box. Try proofreading and editing as much as possible. I can't say you'll catch every typo, but you can catch more of them
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Has the estate been closed out, e.g. all banking accounts closed out? CC, DC accounts closed? if so, then your answer is no.
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Agreed - I edited this to use "senior" throughout but the edits were not made when I posted it. Hope you can fix this flaw - it is annoying, and no one who posts wants to look foolish or illiterate when a post comes up without the edits. Also, my dad and stepmom were upset when they were stuck with taking care of arranging my uncle's affairs, then my grandmothers, affairs when they died, because they did not do a will. Did he do one? No! My stepmom was upset that my dad hadn't done a will (why she didn't take the initiative so they would both have wills is beyond me, given how adamant they were that everyone else should have done one). Does she now have a will? You guessed it - no, she doesn't, even though my family all signed off so she could have what little he had, and she promised that when she died our "shares" would be given to us. Not that we wanted anything - that's why we signed off. I told her if that was her wishes, she would need a will. What did she say? Oh no - her kids from her first marriage would take care of things. Yeah, right - they couldn't even help her with an obituary, nor making the calls to let relatives know of the death, and I was the one who took her back and forth to the probate court and convinced all my siblings to sign off. But even after all that, and all her spouting off about how everyone else should have a will, she did nothing. So much for learning from experience. Fortunately, our family ties are strong, which is why everyone signed off without any issues - and it's not like there was a lot of money at any rate. But a small piece of me is very annoyed that after all that, she continues to be in denial, and I am not anxious to be the peacemaker again.
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I am constantly telling people - seniors - that if they don't want to see the family torn apart, they need to make a will, just so things like this don't happen. If someone has uprooted their life to move in with the senior, or move the elder in with them, and they are taking good care of the elder (and in some cases, putting up with a lot of "stuff" from the elder), they also deserved renumeration - often they may be entitled to it over and above what the senior gets, as there are several programs that pay caretakers and it is not taken out of the senior's benefits. So as difficult as it is, it is better to at least broach the subject. Maybe by mentioning one or two of their treasured items and ask them what they want to happen with their keepsakes when they are gone - if they have a favorite niece or grandchild, maybe mention them, so it doesn't appear as if you are trying to get their things. Then suggest that they wouldn't want their children/grandchildren to feel bad if one gets something and another gets nothing, so how do they want to handle that. At least get them thinking about, then bring it up again in a month or so if the opportunity presents itself, and tell them you love your siblings and fear that if there are no directions, it could create problems and you don't want that, and you are sure they don't, either. Some people will just not listen - either because they don't want to deal with their own death, they don't want to "choose" which children get what, or they are so convinced that the kids will do the right thing. When it all comes down to it, if there is no will, hope that the probate court will be equitable, although I have seen judges lambaste an heir that spends years fighting and dissipating the assets until nothing is left - yet the judges, who see this all the time, are also guilty for allowing this to happen, imho. The bottom line is you can suggest it but if the senior doesn't want to deal with it, then you have done your best. The important thing is that you were there for your parent and you should pat yourself on the back even if no one else does, because your mom knew who was taking care of her.
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Same here, good question, I am exhausted, gave away my life, all to try to keep mom's health together as comfortable as possible at home, helping the caregiver that I alone had to select, find and hire, with a budget that I imposed to balance best quality of care with funds available.
I am receiving no help whatsoever from my sister, who comes to see our mother very seldom, only when family and friends come and visit, to show she is present (average 2 days every 2 months), to add more things on my list and to abuse me; so it's worse than if she was doing nothing.
How can we possibly respect a sibiling who is completely absent when there is work to do for our mother and who, I expect, will be very much present after mum will sadly pass away, when there will be something to gain and profit from the hard work and many (4 so far) years of life I've put in?
At least we have a heart. Knowing this makes us proud, unfortunately elevating us to a higher dimension.
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I know 100% where you are coming from. Same as for I. Took my mother from my brother who would lock her up like a dog and run the streets for scrape did not know this was happening until she had fallen. She was really bad taken care of long story short I had to hire lawyers to get guardianship of mom and all her affairs. She had nothing as the other siblings gaffe-led all her possessions like thieves in the night when she was in the hospital and in my care. She recently passed away 2-14-2016 in the hospital and even on her death bed the vultures were not satisfied and wanted more torture to mom seeing her in such pain pleasures the other siblings I saw. She had a real happy time while with me she was clean and well nourished and seen by doctors every 3 months, up til the end. She went in her sleep and was very much at ease too. I had to find funds for funeral expenses which I am still paying on with the help of my husband. The siblings 2 daughters and her only son are still posting s#@t over FB. Her oldest daughter and husband helped with the wake the only one I consider a true sister.
They did not bother to help, call , or visit mom. Oh boy while she is past away they are talking as if now they care, such BS. and all the boo who.....It costed me alot of out of pocket for lawyers to keep mom safe and the necessities she very much needed. So yeah I feel your heart aches very much so. I took care of mom for 2 long years 24/7 and ran my own business. I am still feeling the physicals wear and tear it had on me. I am trying to get my life back. As it was always looking at the clock for when my rest time away from aides looking at her while I get away. Best of luck. Relax now and thank Jesus for taking our love ones out of the pain and suffering they endured.
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I am the one that originally wrote this post and thank you all for your comments. They have all been very helpful, and truly have helped keep me grounded and reminded of what was the importance in all of this. It is sad to hear that there are many other cases like my own, and it IS very good advice to have something in writing when a family member does the caregiving. While my siblings weren't concerned all the years that Mom was cared for, and couldn't make time to visit her, they are very busy in her finances now that she is gone. I am astounded at every turn that they act as though my husband and I never spent any time, would never be experts at her care, and that we must have never talked to her the whole time she lived with us. They are now the experts. I would have never thought it would turn out like this in the end. It is in that "never thinking" that I was wrong. I should have worked with Mom to put something in place. It felt awkward to me to have that talk with her, and to come up with a plan. It felt weird to talk about a wage for caregiving, and in doing so it felt like if we did it was a statement that I loved her less because I required reimbursement for caring for her. It was the main reason I avoided it all those years. I also never thought we, as her children, would ever need anything in place. I thought we all understood that it was very expensive for care, especially as she declined from Alzheimer's, and I thought they realized I had given up a job so she could be cared for by one of her own children, and by someone that loved her. I never had all the answers. We fumbled along the way. Some days I wish I could have done better. Everyday required humor, but in the end I could tell she was happy and she loved the simplicity of her life. She was part of a family and in that she thrived. This is a warning to those about to care for a parent, and a lesson learned the hard way. This has actually fractured everything we, as siblings, were to one another, and any kind of connection we could possibly ever have in the future. Lesson learned, and something, if given the chance again, I would do different. So lucky to have forged the relationship that I had with my Mom and to have had the last years of her life. Much "richer" because of it.
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Cubpiper I'm in tears right now. My heart breaks every time I read stories of mean, nasty, evil, selfish, greedy, deadbeat family members. My family was close now its horrible.
Maybe talk with a lawyer who's sympathetic with your situation.
THIS IS FAMILY! !!! (me shouting) WHY DO WE NEED LITIGATION? ??? Very sad.
I wish a happy ending to your story.
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