Can I claim compensation for travel to intervene in a medical crisis that resulted in me taking on POA responsibilities?

Follow
Share

Dad had a stroke after bypass surgery. Can not reason to make financial decisions and need assisted living going forward. Since there was no advance planning by him but he was relieved someone was stepping in can I refund myself the travel expenses my wife and I took to make this trip 1/2 way across country?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
13

Answers

Show:
No
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well! - there's no need to be insulting...

However, I agree that there is an important difference between being ethical and being a martyr.

It is entirely ethical to claim out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the person for whom you have POA if those expenses were incurred solely for his benefit. Unfortunately, since you are carrying out the POA role without actually having POA, it's trickier to see how you would go about it.

I would keep receipts, draw up an invoice and run it past your father's lawyer, if he has one, or an appropriate professional adviser if he hasn't yet. The ALF may know the right people to consult if you don't know where to look for one. But whatever you do, keep good records.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

There is a lot of misinformation posted above. In your specific circumstances, you need to consult an attorney (and to be clear, to give a lot more facts than you present above). That having been said, if you have a power of attorney, you may be able to claim reimbursement of reasonable expenses out of the assets of the principal (i.e., your father). I say "may" because it depends what state your father lives in. If he's in a state that has adopted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, that is helpful, because the Act allows reimbursement. Again, call an attorney. It should be a very quick conversation.

One final point. Disregard all the posters above who talk about how you are "morally obligated" to forego expense reimbursement and such. Make decisions based on *your* life situation and financial needs, not the opinions of random people on the internet who know nothing of the facts and circumstances of the situation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

First off no there is no way to take a tax write off period! As for reimbursment, if dad agrees to it in writing u should be fine. However remember if dad needs medicaid in the next 5 years it could be challanged. Are you POA for dad already? If not get that in place asap like yesterday. Then draw u a contract with dad if you feel the need to charge him for services. I would only reimburse for your ticket not wives as it was not necessary for her to come and could be viewed as excessive. You know your financial situation and if this travel is a financial burden then ok. If not i would not charge him. Its what we do for family. If fad is loaded and wants to pay you fine , its his money, just dont abuse your power as POA fo right by him and you will get your reward in the end, a clear conscience knowing you cared for dad in a upright and proper way.Make him proud!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

No. That is not ethical. Dad's money should be used for him only.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No. Don't do it. In my opinion, even if there are substantial differences in your father's and your ability to pay, you should -- at least this first time -- try to manage this trip yourself.

However, NOW, see (or call) an attorney who specializes in elder care (CECA is the best designation) and ask for a consult. Many will give you the first appointment without charge -- but ask up front. See what the attorney says about how to structure REIMBURSEMENT of expenses you undertake for your Dad's care going forward. Don't expect to be reimbursed for the time and effort involved in taking care of his finances OR VISITING HIM (which I hope you feel you should do!) BUT if you (not your wife) need to go on occasion to attend Patient Care Planning meetings or to talk with a local lawyer, Vets Rep, banker, etc., reasonable travel expenses should be RE-IMBURSEABLE. If you want your time paid for you will need a care contract the lawyer will need to help you with. Keep METICULOUS records. Start NOW to keep/make copies of all bank statements and any checks you write; do nothing with cash. If your father is able/willing to make change checking/investment accounts so that you can access and sign checks (with or without actually making you Joint with Right of Survivorship -- ask attorney and be especially careful if there are siblings and/or step-siblings) get yourself on those accounts SO THAT YOU HAVE ACCESS ON LINE TO HISTORY. If the combination of your father's resources/income AND his health/medical needs require at any time in the next five years -- and on going -- that he apply for Medicare he/you will have to produce copies of all bank/investment statements AND COPIES OF CHECKS for 5 years (60 months) from the date of application for Medicaid. Any checks made out to you will be deemed by Medicaid to be a "gift" which will penalize him and could significantly delay his eligibility (if ever) for Medicaid assistance -- Medicaid pays for nursing home care not Assisted Living -- and he must be medically in need of same AND indigent -- my mother's nursing home, pharmacy and medical insurance bills average $10,500 per month. Two years ago in Assisted Living she had plenty of money; then she fell and broke her hip and the world changed. Five years ago she was living totally independently and I had NO access to (nor needed/wanted access to) her financial records...today I am scrambling to recreate them, including trying to figure out how to handle the gift of a vehicle she made to a grand child YEARS before any of us knew this would happen. It's important to remember that your father may not be capable of managing his own finances but may nevertheless still be competent enough to agree to a care contract and to sign a Durable Family Power of Attorney to allow you to assist him. Also a Will and "Living Will/Declaration for a Natural Death" -- whatever your state calls it and whatever you/he are comfortable discussing. But DO discuss! Very importantly: Talk to his doctor. If Dad isn't competent to do anything or doc won't talk to you because Dad hasn't signed HIPPA release come back to this site and do some more research and ask some more questions and we'll try to help you then. Give us LOTS more information, including his age and yours and whether there is any indication by doctor of dementia. And was doctor willing to share info with you about your Dad whiile you were there and do you think he will in future.

This sounds -- right now -- like your father may well be able to participate in this advance planning. Do all that you can do RIGHT NOW.

Finally, but importantly: bypass surgery is no picnic and anesthesia makes the BEST of us a little wonky for a few weeks. He may well get LOTS better and I hope he does. Even so, consider this a wake up call and do everything in your power to do as much advance planning now as you can -- it isn't necessarily too late. Bless you, stay in touch, and angels watch over you on this journey. Lolli
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It's possible you can write them off on your income taxes. There's a specific amount you have to meet, then anything over that is deductible. But I would consult a tax consultant/attorney first just to make sure. I was able to deduct mileage, medicine, hotel stays, even travel to and from pharmacies. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I don't know exactly what the legal ramifications are but my own experience is this:

I'm POA for my folks who are 600 miles away. I use my credit card for gas and motels and all the stuff I buy for them while I'm visiting and taking care of them. I make the trip as needed usually about 4 times per year.

I keep careful records and pay myself back from their checking account. They know, or at least mom does, that I do this and have no problems. Dad has dementia and is always shoving cash at me which I decline.

My expenses are for the most basic stuff, econo motels and gas. I would not use their funds for a vacation type trip for my wife and I. I would be hesitant to charge plane fare but maybe that's acceptable.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

No
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm sorry your dad had a stroke; I wish him well. What I think you're asking is whether you can take the money out of his account to "pay yourself back." If you are an owner on the account, you can do whatever you want. However, something about this doesn't sit right with me. I'm sensing it doesn't sit right with you, either, which is why you're asking for input. Under normal circumstances, the thing to do, if your dad can easily afford it and you can't, would be to say "Dad, the trip out here really stretched us financially. Would you consider covering it?" But you say your dad has lost his reasoning, so that's not a possibility.

In light of that, my opinion is that you should take the money. If he's in assisted living now, he will likely eventually need nursing home care, in which case, all of his money will need to be taken out of his name anyway. This is a valid expense; it was for his care. If what you take ever makes a difference in his being able to stay in assisted living or not, give it back. But the way you're describing things, he doesn't have much use for money now and you do.

I'll use my own life as an example. I was caregiver for my mom for several years. Driving 80 miles to her house 3-4 times a week, paying for everything for her because she only had social security and some credit cards and I had a full-time job. I spent a LOT of money. Toward the end, I started using her credit cards for my gas only. I was so afraid of doing something morally wrong by "taking" her money, even if it was for things I knew she needed. At the end of the day, she went into a nursing home and had to default on the cards anyway. I now wish I had used her money for ALL of her expenses! It would have made things easier for me, and in retrospect, that would have been better.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions