Follow
Share

My sister & I have been co caretakers for my mom & stepdad for years. My stepdad recently passed away. My brother who has always lived out of state has offered to take mom. "He is retired & has nothing but time" Mom pays her own way. He has no financial out of pocket for her needs. Initially he asked for $20,000.00 to prepare his home to better take care of Mom. I sent it. He also asked for her car. I gave it to him. However he is now insisting Mom pay him monthly for his inconvenience. Mom is happy there. My sister & I both work so it's made our lives easier. We took care of Mom because she's our Mom & never did we ask for payment to do so. He's had her for 6 weeks. We feel financial gain was his intention all along. I welcome any thought on this.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Thank you all once again. My sister did contact our attorney. He has given us much food for thought as you all have. I'm very proud of what we have done in caring for our parents. I hope we are as lucky in our later years.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Something I dont see on here much....Could you not rent your mother's house out to generate income rather than sell it. that way you get osme of the bills paid and some left over. Seems daft to apy bills and have a house stood empty. If you're worried about who would rent approach a local corporate they often want to accommodate people visiting for a month or sop and they will pay over the odds to do so.

Worth considering?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I firmly and strongly believe that elders should have the dignity of paying their own way to the extent they can afford to. When my mother moved in with my sister for a year, Sis charged the same amount Mom was paying for her subsidized senior apartment, plus something for food. It was much less than the market rate for Sis's lower level, but that was the "family discount." This made perfect sense to all 6 of her siblings.

So I am inclined to think your brother should expect some room-and-board payment. (This has nothing to do with what you and your sister did not charge. That was your decision.)

I really feel uncomfortable with the way this all came about. Brother doesn't seem to have been playing straight-forward with all of you. BUT it seems to be the best situation for all concerned, and he is entitled to some compensation. So I hope you can work it out.

And when you do work it out GET IT IN WRITING. Get an attorney who specializes in Elder Law involved with the most advantageous way to arrange things.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I thought she was supposed to be getting the $500
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I forgot to write that I was thinking about the money she receives from SS when figuring out how much money she had to work with each month.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What you wrote makes all the difference in the world. The main thing that jumped out at me is that you still have your mother's house. Much of her SS has to go to pay for things at the house. That does make it very difficult to give your brother the $1500 he asks for. Do you plan to sell your mother's house or keep it? I would recommend that if you do sell it to make it clear upfront where the money will go. I could see potential problems coming from this.

In your shoes what I would do under the current circumstances is figure out how much it used to cost your mother to live at home, then use that amount as a base. Deduct what the costs are for keeping her old home. These will be a lot with insurance, taxes, etc. Then the remainder would go to him to pay for everything for your mother. I have a feeling that the $500 he is getting is generous, especially since groceries and other things are put on the credit card. What you are doing sounds right to me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My sister & I have always taken care of our parents. In 2009 my stepdad's medical problems started with age related heart issues with surgery needed & ended with duodenum cancer. He had 2 children that lived out of state & not willing or able to help. He was a very difficult man at times, but we were also there to support mom. He battled cancer for 2 1/2 yrs. Amazing he lasted as long as he did. However, it was my sister & I who saw to all of there needs. Dr appts, grocery, banking, yard work.....etc. Any help he or we tried to bring in did not work out. He was a very demanding & difficult man. (They were married 34 years) This was also about the time mom started displaying memory issues.
My sister & I do have our own homes separate from mom. I live 35 miles away & my sister lives near mom. Following our stepdad's death in Aug 2014 I moved my office into mom's house. I stayed & worked from there during the week. My sister babysits during the week. She would take weekends & I would go home. It was 24/7 for her & I.
Ok.....back to my brother. He always lived out of state. He would call mom on Sunday's & maybe a yearly visit. He just wasn't around.
Mom is 79 & he is the oldest age 60. He lives with his fiancé in a small but comfortable home. His fiancé works full time. He is retired. He borrowed the 20K from mom to pay off credit cards & a 401K loan in preparation to buy a larger home. He has no family close to him. (He always said that's how he liked it.) Mom is in very good health other than her memory issues & discussion making faculties. She does require supervision. She sleeps well at night & takes naps daily. It was his decision to take mom & in his words "he has nothing but time."
I will tell you that mom loves being with him. He has always been her favorite. He is excellent with her. He has had her for 6 weeks. It has been very nice to be able to have ours lives back. We still have moms house of course so I pay bills & make sure all is ok there.
Do I now think that his motive was to use Mom as additional income? Yes. It has only been 6 weeks but we've been in an ongoing discussion about money. He states he will pay the 20k back when he sells the house they live in now. After moms bills are paid out of her SS, I load $500 onto a debit card. That would have been 5/1 & 6/1. The money is taken almost immediately. He also has her credit card but does not feel we should monitor it. Somethings have had to be questioned. I will not question groceries or salon visits. Other charges we will & he doesn't feel we should. In his words very frankly he does not want to discuss what we have done in the past for our parents. He now says he wants $1500 in cash monthly. He will return the credit card.
Also as I mentioned before we let him take moms car. She doesn't drive but she loves her Prius & he didn't have a car. The car is in her name & she does pay the insurance.
I feel I'm rambling now. I very much appreciate all of the comments. I hope I've added more insight into this situation. And yes....I'm happy Mom's happy. I just feel he is taking advantage of the situation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hopeful - you know your & Sissy's viewpoint on your brother could be based in the past when everybody was all kum-ba-ya with each other & their lives.

Things change. I'm more inclined to go with the he planned this group.....

So what to do, to get all finances back to a new starting point you could do either:
Ask bro if the 20k is to be considered a loan, a gift or for housing accessibility items OR for caregiving. And that if a Loan, then you'll need his signature on paperwork to that effect that is actuarialy sound based on moms age (this yiu need otherwise Medicaid will say it's gifting); OR gifting & send him a letter stating that if mom needs to apply for Medicaid in thenext 5 years that this 20k will make her ineligible so he will be responsible to private pay; or fir repairs renovation then with receipts; OR if for caregiving that it will be reported to iRS.

If he balks at any of this, you can as DPOA issue him w-2 on it to IRS along with a noncompliance statement (that he would not do w-9 & I-9).

I know this sounds all nuclear options but if he runs out of caregiving ability or interest and mom runs out of $, you & Sissy will be scrambling to private pay for mom's care. Someone who got 20k and asking for more now when things are still pretty simple with mom, well probably can't be counted on when it gets tough. One good fall and the world changes & Hello Medicaid!

Imho unless they have a solid 400/500K in assets, or are generationally wealthy,, they are likely to run out of $ to private pay for care if they live long enough. And mom will need Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If he doesn't have a special contract for her care, and mom runs out of money and needs a nursing home and Medicaid support within five years, everything you've given him will be considered a gift. Medicaid will come after it and will exclude the appropriate months of her care. Never say never.

If you decide to pay him for mom's are, you must call it salary, pay the employer portion of Social Security and give him a W2 at the end of the year.

This is not to be done lightly. You should most definitely consult an elder law attorney.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It is legitimate to expect to be compensated for loss of earnings, additional spending on utilities, the kind of expenses that caregiving and the time it involves entail. But you seem to suspect that your brother sees your mother's presence in his life simply as an income stream, above and beyond what she actually costs him? Not ok. Tell him either to explain what he wants to be compensated for in money terms or to do one.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well he may have had to put an annexe on to be fair and that would have cost way more than 20K especially if he had to put in a disability bathroom that would cater for the future not just the present. Maybe a stairlift? I spent 40k on a bathroom widening Kitchen access to accommodate wheelchair which meant a full remodel, widening doors - it soon goes believe me. I have to say though that I have concerns re his integrity. Sounds iffy to me
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hopeful, I assume since your stepdad had passed away recently [sorry for your loss] that he and your Mom were living independent from you and your sister. Thus, after he had passed that you and sister were still working full time and helping out your mother here and there, but not full hands-on caregiving under the same roof.

How old is your Mom and how old is your brother? Is your brother married with grown children? Does your Mom have any aged related health issues such as memory issues, or mobile issues? Or is she still active, still driving, and totally taking care of herself?

As others has quizzed, what was the $20k used for? A new walk-in shower? Or other safety measures?

You mentioned that your brother is retired, were the words "nothing but time" your words or his? Some people who are retired are busier than back when they were working. I never could reach my parents when they first retired, they were on the go constantly.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I will offer some advice based on what we do know. If the mother is staying with the brother, then the expectation to contribute to household expenses (e.g. utilities and maintenance) is reasonable. This is independent of any caregiving help given by the siblings before, particularly if the mother was not living with them. If the $20K was a loan, it could either be deducted at the time when the will is executed or it could be used to pay for the mother's costs. It would be wise to have all these things in contract form in case it is needed in the future for things like medical assistance or in executing the will. Verbal contracts don't carry much weight when it comes to these matters.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hopeful2, you're way too vague for anyone to help you on here. You were asked why he needed 20K and you said for a loan? A loan for what? If he can afford to retire he should be financially OK.

Someone asked if it was for ramps for your mom or another bathroom, you didn't answer.

Who hands over 20K and doesn't ask questions?

But unless you come back and give more specific information no one can help you here. Some are trying to guess, but unless you're more concrete no one can advise.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Here's a slightly different perspective. You wrote:

"He is retired & has nothing but time", then that he asked for monthly funds "for his inconvenience." Do you see a contradiction and inconsistency here? Lots of time but he's inconvenienced? How so? And didn't he volunteer in the first place?

I don't like to be the lone suspicious person, but that was my gut reaction as I read and reread your post. This was planned and he gradually worked up to requesting the monthly payment.

The other important issue though is that your mother is happy. So I think the question is how to balance his desire for money vs. the fact that your mother is happy (so far).

Has he suggested a monthly amount? I'm assuming the $20K came from her funds, and that you either have a DPOA or joint account. Have you discussed this with your mother, and if so, how does she feel about his request for payment. Is he single or are there others in the household?

Somehow I can't help think that (a) he had this planned all along, and (b) if he doesn't get paid, your mother will bear the brunt of it in changed treatment.

I do think, however, that you're entitled to know specifically how the $20 was spent. I can think of about $5k to remodel the bathroom, another few K for a ramp, if that's necessary, and generously guessing another $1k or so for an extensive network of grab bars.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask him to document the $20K and see what his reaction is. It's also interesting that he got this up front, before hitting on you for the monthly stipend. If he doesn't get the latter, he still got the $20K.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you all for the input. A fresh view on this situation is exactly what I needed.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My thought is that one first needs to determine just how much physical care is needed for your Mom? Does she have any dementia that means where even if she doesn't actually need physical care, she needs constant supervisory or companion care? Just as a frame of reference, my Mom is home with dementia....and lives where there is no family. In order assure she is safe, and takes her meds and breathing treatments on time and properly and is NOT driving herself to grocery, bank, visiting my dad, etc, we are (she is, but I am the POA) paying for 6 hours/day of a licensed caregiver. At $18 to $23/hr, this does amount to nearly $3000/month. If your brother has to be up and down with your mom at night, cannot freely leave for an evening away or a weekend trip and leave her alone, then he does deserve to be paid. If you sisters were in that same boat, you could have been paid as well. BUT, how much is reasonable, depends on how much his normal life is upset by having her join him in his home. Did he explain what he did to his home for her to come? And has he started paying back the 'loan' for the $20,000? Another thing to consider is how much money does Mom have left? If there is any chance she may need to apply for Medicaid at some point, you all have to be very careful at how her money is used, and whether there are 'gifts' because all that will create a penalty period that will delay Medicaid approvals. It may be more objective to have all meet with an elder care attorney to carve out an official agreement that considers all these details, because then the decision/contract etc will be more objective, and will consider the right actions to assure she would get quick approval should she need Medicaid down the road.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If the $20K was a loan, then maybe he could deduct a reasonable amount of what he owes each month that he has your mother there with him. I don't know what your mother's situation was when she lived near you. Did she have her own home? Did they require 24/7 care? Has there been any change in her care requirements since she moved in with your brother?

The biggest question is if the amount of money your brother is requesting seems reasonable -- like the amount of money it would cost to help with household expenses. You and your sister may not have charged, but that doesn't mean no one should ever ask your mother to pay something. Besides, we don't know if she lived with you or not, so hard to compare.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

He asked for the money as a loan. Mom does not pay room & board. However she pays all of her personal needs as well as contributes to grocery expense.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Unless he put in a bathroom and ramp, I can't imagine what he spent $20,000 on. Did you gift it, or did Mom? Because if you gave him (alone) $20,000, he will need to pay taxes on that.

You said that she pays her own way. So, she is paying room and board and now he wants paid for his hands on care of her?

That payment would have to be minimal at best. I am all for getting paid, but that doesn't seem to be the deal when this started. Your mother needs a legal contract with him, now.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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