What are the legal spending of assets while caregiving for an elderly father? - AgingCare.com

What are the legal spending of assets while caregiving for an elderly father?

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My dad has been living with us. I am his caregiver, driver, personal secretary, etc. In regard to any future need for a nursing home and the "look back period", can he legally pay me? Is there a limit to how much he can contribute to the family expenses? Can these be two separate payments?

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Shashie, I agree with Austin. You need to talk with an estate attorney or elder lawyer. Every state has different laws. You want everything to mesh with Medicaid should the time come when you need to go that route for your dad. If you do it all through an attorney who knows Medicaire (this is why you don't just go to any lawyer), then you won't have to worry about family squabbles or legal issues with Medicaid down the road. You will have peace of mind.

Carol
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I would call an elder lawyer and talk to him or her - they will tell you if you should make an appointment to see them and what paperwork you need to take in with you - I am going to see one next week as my husband will be comming home once again from rehab and I can no longer be his main caregiver due to my health and his attitude towards me-they are up on all the rules and will be able to advise you how you should proceed- good luck'
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I agree with 195Austin. Call an elder lawyer. I was told that I would need a contract in place to allow me to receive payment from my relative for the 24/7 care I provide. The only way to maneuver this area is with legal advice. I know it is had to spend the money but, in the end, it is the only way to go. If you are worried about the "look back perod", I believe (reasonble) legal advice is an allowable expense so you may as well get some good advice. Also, getting good legal advice actually provided me with a sense of relief. I hope it does you as well. Just make sure to "interview" at least 2 or 3 attorneys before "hiring" one. You want one you have confidence in and who treats you, and your loved one, with respect and understanding.
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This whole applying for medicaid has me so stressed but I did find out today the social worker at the nursing home messed up medicaid for my friends mother and her mother was well into her 90's at the time and did not know what she was doing so the feeling I had about not letting her help me with medicaid was right on-just talking to her about it sent red flags up for me - I just wish the husband would help me out a little-he has me so upset I do not go over to see him and I do feel a little quilty about that but I get so upset with him even on the phone so I stay awayis my life ever going to get better, I did ask for prayers in church today even though it is hard for me to ask anyone for anything.
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Thank you Carol-today is the day for the appointment with the elder lawyer and I am so nervous even though I can not control what happens I can only give him the paperwork and answer his questions honestly.
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This is a tough scenario and hard to make suggestions without knowing more details about your situation and that of your father. If you provide MORE than 50% of your fathers support ( room + board can really add up fast) you might be able to deduct him as a dependent thus reducing your state and federal tax. If your parent PAYS you as a care giver you should also consider whether you might need to claim it as income which means higher taxes for you. In this case you might be considered an independent contractor. Federal taxes paid by independent contractors can be has high as 15.5%; each state has different taxes rates of course. I recommend seeing an accountant to understand when you must pay taxes if you are "paid" by your father. Failure to pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis can mean penalties and interest charges to you, the care giver.

Some states pay spouses a monthly stipend to stay home and care for a disabled loved one. Seeing and elder care attorney is definitely a MUST when dealing with medicare or medicaide as well as trusts, gifts and the like. You might also ask your state or county Area Agency on Aging for their insights. Often they can help put you in touch with social workers and others who can help navigate the complex rules and requirements for any type of assistance.

If your father was in the armed forces, contact your local Veterans Affairs official to help determine if he's eligible for benefits. The Agency on Aging or social workers at hospitals can put you in touch with them.

Good luck and don't stop digging for information.
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Hi Austin,

how did it go with the lawyer? Hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel
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Hi Cat- Thank you for your note-I was told so much information it was hard to take it all in-but he says we should be able to qualify for medicaide but I have pages of things to do the more I can do myself the less his fee will be but it is much much less expensive than our first big box elder lawyer would have charged but it is not going to be easy to gather everything I will need and that does not include filling out the application but he was impressed that I was manageing doing what I had been doing the last 8 yrs. and agrees that I have no other choice. I am going to keep a dairy of everthing I have to do so maybe I will be able to help someone else go through this mire someday-right now I feel numb - the husband is not going to be happy about many parts of it but so be it. Right now I can not see the light but I asked him if I have trouble if there was a way around things and he said yes and he is willing to help me as needed-and I was proud of myself that I was able to get directions to his office from the computer I am so not techincal on the computer-take care dear friend.
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Hi Austin,

I am so happy for you. Don't worry about the pages of applications and other documents - there is a way to break it all down into manageable portions of work.
I have alot of experience doing paperwork (yep - I am detailed & boring), others have also done the paperwork. If you get stuck just holler & I know that there is so much experience on this board that there will be answers & help will be here for you. Hopefully that will help you cut down on the number of billable calls to the attorney.....

I still wish Medicaid forms and qualifying was easier. Still - you are halfway there & we're behind you all the way!
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