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I have greedy siblings. One a tax accountant. I worry though I am 24/7 parental caregiver, siblings will claim wrongdoing. Monthly stipend is not much. Can they claim it as part of my inheritance upon death of parents? Can tax accountant sibling claim I need to file taxes on that amount? They wish me harm though I've put my life on hold for my parents for last 3 years, no help from siblings.

Aren't siblings great? We just took our mother to the ER Monday; she's in a temporary nursing home right now, and we need to find long-term memory/nursing care after a sudden nightmare illness caused complete incontinence, the inability or desire to feed herself, and complicated delusions. So immediately after we discuss a DNR for our mother my older brother announces that he expects us to pay back every penny we borrowed from Mom, pay rent, or get out. Since we couldn't work AND take care of her, my younger brother and I are lacking in funds. Since we need to fix up the house to rent or sell it, we kind of have to stay here to do the work. And since our older brother thinks we're lazy, irresponsible, and spending our mother's money wildly (on food, electricity, cable, water, prescriptions, etc.) and don't actually do anything, he thinks he's doing the right thing. Maybe we should bill him for our time... I think anyone who tries to sue a caregiver should have to spend a week as a caregiver first.
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CaregiverL Oct 17, 2019
Dear SF,

Yes! That’s a better punishment...to make him caregiver! So sorry for what you’re going through. Maybe the place she’s in now can keep her there? Work with Social Worker there & Medicaid office regarding finances or you can see Elder Atty. Was she or your Father a Veteran? Hugs 🤗
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if you are a paid caregiver, you do need to report the income to the IRS. You may not earn enough TAXABLE income & have to pay taxes on it but you do have to report the income to the IRS otherwise yes your sibling can make your life hell.

You need to have everything in writing. If you are truly concerned about your siblings, have a caregiver agreement drawn up by an attorney. An attorney may not be necessary, you could always draw it up yourself and then have it notorized. But bottom line—get it all in writing, everything, everything your parents are paying you for, the date it begins, how much they are paying.
document it all! Don’t commingle your money either. Use your own bank account. If you’ll be taking over their finances then again, document everything! Save all receipts.

You don’t have to disclose anything to your siblings. Sometimes transparency is best but if you know your siblings will have a problem with this, it might be better to keep them out of the loop. Or it might be better to tell them.

anyone can sue anyone in this country. Yes they can try to sue you but that doesn’t mean they will prevail. If your parents have a will or a trust that was drawn up by an attorney, there may even be a clause that says anyone who challenges the will or trust will be disinherited/treated as if they died before the will/trust was created. So if your siblings try to go after your inheritance, they might end up with nothing.
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renoir Oct 16, 2019
My parents have signed an informal agreement (piece of paper noting monthly stipend to be paid) but it was not notarized. I'm thinking that will need to be re-done and notarized? Official documents drawn up by an attorney??
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Renoir, you could be charged criminally if not done correctly. No reason for your siblings to know, think of it as a business relationship between your folks and you. As such, do it legally. See an elder law attorney to draft a caregiver agreement. Your folks become your employer, and need to get employer identification number. As your employer, withholding taxes, worker's comp, social security and such. Yes it sounds like a hassle, but will protect you and the folks in the long run. If your folks want you as their caregiver, they will be happy to do this for you.

My craziness started when APS showed up at mom's door. Sibs had requested an investigation for financial exploitation. Of course there was none and APS closed the case within a few months. That was the start of attorney involvement, I needed one as sibs were determined there was some sort of exploitation occurring. Court eventually ordered that I be paid and received some back pay as well. It was a long drawn out full two year process. Another reason to get that care agreement in place. No questions can be asked that are not documented.

Do not accept under the table cash, it could be tracked if Medicaid is ever needed for parents care. Who is POA for each of your folks? Get those done or updated.
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gladimhere Oct 14, 2019
Before you agree on a small stipend, check into the cost of the care you are providing if it were to be provided by an agency.
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You are the 24/7 caregiver. I suggest they are not signing up for that job and nor would they want to pay for what the care costs in ALF? You DO NEED however to get this payment straight. You need to see an elder law attorney with your parents and draw up a very simple contract of what you do, what you get paid, what the stipends are to pay for their personal products, their food and etc. This is the'n the document you keep and you keep track of all your expenses in file folder each month. You will be putting out a lot of your own money if you are honest; you will be surprised how it adds up. You should also keep a daily diary, simple short statements in composition (bound) notebook out of which no pages are torn and which is done in ink without erasures. This is what you would take with you to court or Lawyer's office to show what you have done. When the judge gets a look at all you have done then your greedy siblings are DONE WITH. But get it in writing and keep it in writing and start NOW. Your parents are also spending down their money. You need to know from and elder law attorney how to do this so that your care and their costs are not seen as gifting should their funds run out and should you need to apply for medicaid. Good luck.
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First, there should be a written agreement between you & your parents for the caregiving pay & all that is included such as free room & board, groceries, etc. If for no other reason If they need Medicaid in the future this is proof they weren’t gifting you money. You are supposed to pay tax on the money you earn. Your inheritance comes from whatever is stipulated in the will, and what they give you now can not change that.
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worriedinCali Oct 14, 2019
Not trying to nitpick but you are supposed REPORT all income not pay taxes on all income. Not all income is taxable. You have to report your income to the IRS but you don’t have to pay taxes on it if is under a certain amount.
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renoir, if you don't have an employment contract with your parents, time to create one. See the link below for a sample.

https://www.agingcare.com/documents/personal_care_agreement_AgingCare.pdf

Such a contract will help answer any questions your sibling might ask, especially if down the road your parents need to go into a nursing home and have Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] pay for room/board and care. I would also suggest keeping a daily appt binder writing down everything you do during the day regarding your parents.

The contract will help answer the question regarding payroll taxes. Either your parents pay the payroll taxes or you can pay them yourself being you are now self-employed. Or there are payroll companies that can handle this.

Whatever you are getting paid, it isn't enough for being on call 24 hours a day. Your siblings sound like they have zero idea of all the things you are doing to help your parents. That appt binder will come in handy for such questions.
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DO NOT BECOME A PAID CAREGIVER FOR YOUR OWN PARENTS.

Im telling you from experience, I am a health care professional and as such everyone looks to me as the de-facto caregiver for my parents...it's horrible...it's like being oncall 24/7 ...it's like my work never ends.

When caregiving for patients who are strangers, you have work hours, you have off-time and you have vacation...but with your own parents' you NEVER get off-time...and the more time you give...the more time they demand.

HIRE a caregiver.
If I could afford to, thats' what I would do.
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DollyMe Oct 14, 2019
So agree!
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I posted last week about my issues with my MIL. My husband & I have been live-in care givers for MIL and BIL who is blind and has autism. Because we have lived here taking care my MIL is now 92. We moved in when she was extremely I'll knowing she would pass within a year. 12.5 years later we are still here. SIL 1 is sick. SIL 2 is a narcissist who has no idea what we go thru on a daily basis.
12.5 years ago they were a "close" family so the family decision was we don't need anything in writing we all love & trust each other. Well, they aren't close at all. In fact, they all don't even remember the numerous family conversations we had before we moved in and why we were doing it which was for BIL.

Please do not make the same mistake we did.
I have many regrets in the past 12.5 years but not getting anything in writing is the biggest one.

And, if I can give you another piece of advice; my 2nd regret is putting my life on hold. It's been over a decade and I have major burnout, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, anger and resentment. I no longer recognize myself. Right or wrong that is the space I'm in. So, again get everything in writing and make sure it is a legal document.

Oh and don't let anyone here or anywhere else make you feel bad. What you are doing for your mom the majority of people would never do.

Kind thoughts,
Kim
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Loen210 Oct 17, 2019
KimASW,
Thanks for being such a loving and caring person.

So sorry for what you are going through. I've been struggling, and it has only been one year. I at least treasure the moments that make us smile.

Siblings outside of the house have put in a big challenge too. We're all here in this group online together to be there for one another and relate.

Sorry I can not help on the legal things. Just relate. Find more small things in life that make you smile. Hang in there.
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One more thing. If you have already been paid by your parents for caregiving, you must report that income also, including income for a previous year. When you see the attorney, you can get help in doing this, also. You may not owe any taxes, but you need to get the income recorded!
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Takincare Oct 15, 2019
By keeping track of all expenses you may actually have a tax write off
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I would set up a "formal" contract detailing what you are to do as an "employee".
Also set up tax withdrawal and if possible add Workers comp to insurance.
You should also hire another caregiver to work hours that you don't. And you NEED to take time off.
If the taxes are not taken out you will need to report the full amount that is paid and you will have to pay taxes on it. Probably a lot easier to have taxes take out each month.
To determine how much you should get paid check with a few agencies in your area and ask what they charge for 8 hours also ask how they do a 24/7 care and what the cost of that is.
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missmacintx Oct 17, 2019
I would do this just to ensure I kept contributing to MY SOCIAL SECURITY
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