Mom moved into our guest house about a year and a half ago. Should I pay myself out of my mom's money?

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She has dementia and a condition called Anesthesia Dolorosa. At first, I wasn’t taking any compensation for her being here with us. I would reimburse myself sometimes for prescriptions or groceries, but in general paid for everything she needed. I have power of attorney and am equal to her on her bank accounts. (can’t recall what the bank called it). I recently went to our accountant with questions about my husband's and my finances, as we had just sold a piece of property. I asked him also about a CD that my mom has that’s coming due. He asked questions about my mom, and the time and money we spend. He advised me that I should be paying myself out of my mom's money, and I should pay myself retroactive from when she moved in. I was reluctant, and he assured me it was fine, that he had a similar situation with his mother.
So....I did. Now I’m reading old and not so old posts here about the look back Medicaid has, and I’m wondering if I did the right thing.
My mom is in our guest house which is between our house and the carport, so only a few steps away. I’m not sure how much longer she will be there, as I feel she’s needing more and more care and she will move into our home with us. She hardly gets out much now, and I do everything for her as far as shopping, prescriptions, preparing meals, laundry...you get it.
Our accountant suggested $3000 mo. I could not do that. So what I am doing is paying myself $2000 mo, which includes the expenses I pay for her. In other words, I pay her expenses out of that 2k.
She has about $40k in checking savings and CDs total. She sold her home on a note, so gets $350 mo for a few more years, then a balloon payment in a few years of $20k. She gets a little over $900 ss.
Now after all that history, can anybody tell me if I should pay back the money, or is this ok. By the way, I’m a real estate broker who has put my career on hold to care for mom. My husband owns his own small auto repair business. We are an average middle class working couple getting close to retirement.
Thanks for any advice!
PS. I want to do this for mom, either way!

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Thank you all. I just made an appointment to talk to an elder attorney early next week. This site is a wealth of information and I’m so glad I found you all!
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As I say to my Dad, "You've been saving for your old age, and here it is!"
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Well, I guess I’ll be searching for an elder attorney. Thank you all. I was super good at receipts for the first ...say 6 months. Mainly because of a brother whom I believe may question things. (Unfortunately, an alcoholic who is the reason mom is with us. Moved in with mom and wouldn’t leave, using her as his flop house. Ended up having to change the locks after moving her out. He wouldn’t leave. Sad.) But, I have been more lax when I decided he wouldn’t have a lot of credibility if he ever questioned me. I’ll start the new year being more mindful of what I’m spending on mom, and KEEP RECEIPTS!
I’ve thought about just taking money out here and there and putting it with the money I took out for retro pay. Not spending it, but having it in my account. I don’t know. It’s all a big game, isn’t it? You hate to see all their years of hard work going in a matter of months. But I guess we all pay for it in the long run, right?
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Given all the aspects of your moms circumstances you might consider a visit with a certified elder attorney who is well versed in Medicaid for your state.
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First, I think it's perfectly fine that your mother pays her own way and that she compensates you for any care she would otherwise have to pay an outsider for. Unfortunately if you live in the USA there are complications that your accountant does not seem to be aware of. Since your mom is not enormously wealthy the day may come when she need to apply for medicaid to be able to live in long term care, and any money paid to you without the benefit of legally drawn up rental agreements and caregiving contracts will be seen as a gift to you rather than a legitimate expense. You really need to talk to an elder law attorney to set this up properly.
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First, whatever money you have paid yourself, put that money aside in your accounts so that if it does become an issue, you haven't already spent it. You may need to use that money to pay for Mom's care needs for a few months until the penalty period has past. Second, scrounge around for all the receipts to show Mom's expenses during this time. Save them. Third, have Mom pay all of her own expenses that are specifically for her (medical, etc.) and keep receipts. Fourth, work with a certified elder care attorney (not the same one who advised you previously) to prepare a care agreement between you and Mom defining your responsibilities and compensation.
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Your mother can pay you as long as you have a contract with her. Is she still competent to sign? Otherwise she is gifting you which causes penalties with Medicade. Hopefully you kept every itimized bill that you paid for her. I recommend that you request from the library: How to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs by Gabriel Heiser. Choose the sections that are scenarios of your situation.
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