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I am on a joint bank account with my Dad who will be applying for Medicaid in a couple of years. He has been in a NH for 5 years. Can I pay myself a small salary for handling his financial affairs or will that count as a tranfer for the look back period. One caseworker I talked to actually told me that I could spend the money on myself since its my account too as long as the item was for me personally and I had a receipt. Can this be correct? I'm in Texas.

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orsessavedme -- I think you may have misunderstand. My father has died and I don't have any one to take care of anymore. The power of attorney I was referring to was taken out over 10 years ago -- things may be different now. I was just trying to help Helen and give everyone an update since the original question is over 2 years old. Good luck to you also -- it was a long road for me.
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Not sure where you live in Texas, but absolutely get in touch with an Elder attorney. There are several good ones in the DFW area. It is really important to take care of things in the correct manner. Just you being on the account "could" possibly get your dad disqualified for Medicaid. My dad doesn't qualify for Medicaid in Texas (where he and I live), but my mom does. However, she lives in Arkansas and the Medicaid laws differ by state. They can also tell you whether you can pay yourself. Also, does your father have a guardianship, that makes a difference as well! Good luck to you!
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Hi I wrote the original question over 2 years ago and my father has since passed away and never had to go on Medicaid. Helen 1930 not sure how to answer you, you might need to consult an attorney. My father never had a trust and all his accounts were joint between me and him with right of survivorship so I just wrote myself a check. I'd say it depends on how the trust is set up and who can sign on the trust account and would write the check. My father had a power of attorney but there was no language in it about paying the agent. The attorney who drew it up never put that language in any of his DPOA documents, I guess maybe to avoid someone being taken advantage of.
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I take care of my mother fulltime in my home... (she has dementia) I just got guardianship of my mother, but my oldest sister whom is not my mothers is the trustee...can I legslly take a sslary for caring for my mother from the trust?
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Thanks cmacgreg52 for the info on DPOA. After 8 years of caring for hubby 24/7 with Alzheimer's and not compensating myself a dime, I decided to withdraw a few dollars a week from his account to "pay" myself. Just did it. But, realistically, the more I think about this withdrawal I will see an attorney and make certain, even with POA, the withdrawal is legal. Never thought differently knowing that to have a caregiver come in would cost far more than the pittance I'm paying myself. Thanks again for the advice. Love this website.
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I recently found out that if the person you are caring for is incapable or incompetent, it is really essential to have a Durable Power of Attorney that specifically states that the "agent" can be "reasonably compensated" for a rate per hour or fixed amount. Of course, the DPOA must be executed before the patient is incompetent, so talk to a lawyer to help set up the appropriate forms ASAP. I use a computer program from NOLO.com - Willmaker - that allows you to prepare a simple will, Health Care proxy, health care directives and DPOA for finances. After completing the easy to use input system, just print them out, have an elder care attorney review them, then signed, witnessed, and notarized, as needed. I've used this for both my mom and me, and am very impressed with the results.
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Yes, whatsagipper...I definitely think keeping a record of what you do could prove invaluable...absolutely...
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hope22, I think you've got it! Great post. It's the little things that turn out to be the most rewarding. Not the things that say "Look at me, see what great things I have done" But this is a thread about paying oneself. Pay some, pay much. It does depend on the situation and the paperwork. I wouldn't think it is a good idea to do all the caregiving for free and when it's over to be destitute. That wouldn't be smart. But by all means, do keep a record of what you do--pay or no pay. This includes any meds you distribute per doctor's orders.
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Yes, you can pay yourself. I do not know how this affects Medicaid. But I would avoid Medicaid at all costs anyway. I live in Texas. My father was in a NH in another state. I was the POA. I kept a detailed spreadsheet of my time and expenses and logged expense reports. In addition, as my father had always provided large checks to me and my family for our birthdays and Christmas, I continued this pattern (with his agreement of course) after I became POA. The amount of time I spent managing his transactions was about 30 hours a month. Due to the travel and time involved, I did end up leaving my job and downsizing to a temp job that allowed me more flexibility to travel to manage my fathers activities. Because this constituted a break in my employment activities, I created an entry on my Linked-In page detailing my activities as POA.
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I wrote in on this thread in the beginning, and follow along as it continues. I don't know...the longer I am in this the less sometimes I think I know...I guess, thinking out loud, and again, to my own situation, I have a place to live, food to eat, and enough clothing to wear, so it's not like I'm planning on going anywhere anytime soon. It's another one of those topics that is so individualized to each persons situation. I think also that some folks just need less to be happy...thank God I don't need a lot, as my greatest joys come out of the little things like working in my flowers, playing the piano, etc etc...the free stuff, but for me the priceless stuff. I imagine on down the road I may be wishing I had worried more about the financial aspect of it all, but then I've always been a survivor and so I'll figure it out as I go along. None of us are promised tomorrow so I try to not focus so much on way on down the road. I have lost too many friends and family suddenly who thought everything was all cruising along just fine and then suddenly life...and fate...happened. I find myself even questioning my faith a lot these days, but I do think we get what we need to make it along the way...maybe I just had a good day today, but just trying not to worry so much anymore..about any of the monetary aspect....I make it better when I don't.
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Texas, I apologize - this is your thread and yet shaking the dust off has raised such an unusual point. Unusual here in this venue anyway, maybe not unusual in life. I think my Dad's caregiver might feel the same way. I wonder though - it sounds like your Mom is wealthy.... could there be some payment down the road? Let's say you inherit a hundred grand, if you care for her for twoyears, that's 50 grand a year, not a bad salary, if it is ten years, then yes grumble on. And sorry Charles, people have to eat. I like the comment that we would eat dirt if we had to ensure they have the right care. But far better if we don't have to. Carry on caregivers, I think no one is hard hearted enough to care for someone just for the money. It is too heart breaking to see the changes they go through. Peace out.
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Handling an estate and paying someones household bills are not the same. I am not judging anyone. I am making a statement to the person that wrote this post. If anyone else is offended by my response I was not speaking of your situation because I don't know you and was not addressing you. This person mentioned medicaid which to me means there is not a lot of wealth involved. Namaste.
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Shakingdustoff, We are there doing similar duties. It is hard. Sometimes you wonder if it is worth it. Exception, we are being paid and mom is not demanding. There are many other factors but no matter how you slice it, it's a lot of work. I see by your comments that you have walked in "the" shoes.
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Sometimes as Caregivers we are so spent that our nerves and emotions are pretty insenced. If our efforts are challenged we can over respond to anyones comments. I found that sometimes I can really come across harshly and even in my comments can come accross disrespectful. So hang in there everyone on this web site we are on each others side and we come here for support and with questions. So if someone comes across unfriendly or too matter of fact for you, just shake it off and remember we are all in the same boat here. xo
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Hey, charles1921, you feel it is your duty to take care of your parent(s) because they took care of you as a child to age 18+. They raised a fine person in you. Are you taking care of an elderly parent? If so, is there money enough to pay yourself for caregiving? NH's get paid, and if you do it, do you feel you should do it for free? Those who care for an elderly parent--in the home--give up almost everything, especially if there is dementia and/or physical disabilities. They should be paid so they don't go broke trying. If an adult child doesn't do the caregiving, then a NH does and even more money goes out--unless it is on the taxpayer's dime.
Oh, there is another real problem. If no one is watching out for the elderly the con-men come out of the woodwork to offer services that sound good, but are actually just nothing. In the case of the Woodwards in CA the cons charged a lot of money for little or no service and finally got caught and were sentenced to 11 years in prison.All their assets were sold to partially repay the victims. Wouldn't it be better to pay an adult child for care giving than to let it go to crooks?
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It all depends on the situation of your parent. My mother has plenty of money for her care and I am not only paying her bills - which in itself would not be much - but she has two commercial rental properties plus her home and I am dealing with something almost daily with her. I have a brother that has done nothing and I have spent the last two years going back and forth every three weeks to deal with something with her or her home. It has taken away from my income. None of the properties are near me - at least 3 hours away. I have meetings, phone calls, emails, doctor visits, and fires to put out as my mother's behavior at the facility is horrendous. I also do the bills for the properties, taxes for her and the trust, maintain her home and yard - my list goes on...yes - I take a very small salary - and I don't feel bad about it - and I will not be judged for it. If you are doing more than paying for a few bills each month - and it takes away from your family and job - you have every right to pay yourself a small, reasonable salary. Now - if your parents finances are not going to last - it needs to be within reason - or not at all - as in the long run - you will be paying for their care.

Charles & Vivian - if your parent was anything like my mother - then I think you may rethink your statements and not judge. No one has walked a mile in my shoes.
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I agree with those who say it's perfectly fine and should be expected that you pay yourself a salary. Otherwise, the money will still run out with assisted living/nursing home care and then when medicaid is needed, you will be broke if you don't take the money for the work you are doing.
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I don't live w/my mother (thank God) and as POA, I take care of her finances and oversee her care. It's a lot, and I don't get paid. She lives alone, thinks she lives independently. But that's not true. Tomorrow, I'm taking a "vacation" day (I never use them for actual vacations, just for dealing w/my mother's stuff, and driving 3 hours to meet w/a home care agency in her area. Why? Her driver's license was revoked, which is is a good thing. Then I have the job of telling her, hoping she understands, dealing with the fallout, and then driving back home. Then next week, another "vacation" day to drive down AGAIN for the agency's assessment. At some point this summer, yet another trip for her birthday, and to handle the issue of her car.
I reimburse myself for expenses, but I don't get reimbursed for my salary at work. I don't get my vacation days back.
And this is for someone who was not a very nice person, who makes it clear every time she sees me that I'm a disappointment to her. It's an obligation, that's all.
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Ninamplatter58 Some elderly don't even get $4,000.00 a month. I am just amazed ar family wating to be paid for taking care of a parent, but that it is just me. They took care of me for 18 years and now it's my turn to take vare of them.
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I feel like GrammyM and I are living the same life. Call me small, petty, jealous, resentful, but I can't see getting paid if you are only handling finances. I know we are supposed to support each other here, but it seems like something that could be done in your spare time. Many of us have given up our entire lives, and we don't get paid.
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Ferris1 I just recently cam home from a 3 hour meeting with my lawyer about my parents trust. Even she has no desire to be her parents trustee due to the tremendous amount of work they can be and the family issues it can cause. My father passed in 08 and my mother had a stroke with left her physically fine and mentally unable to care for herself. It didn't however make her any nicer - which has been the most unpleasant experience I have ever had. I have my own 4 grown children and my husband just retired. I can't travel due to either her almost getting kicked out of where she is, her medical appts that she really doesn't need to go to, the two rental properties that need to be cared for plus her home. Yes, I pay myself as I have lost income from my job. If I had a wonderful, sweet mother who cared for me, or a brother that helped me - sure - it would be a different story. We all have different stories and experiences, and one should not judge unless they have walked in someone's else's shoes.
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Keeping records of what you do and what it costs is a very good idea. It can be in a simple spiral notebook or an elaborate spreadsheet. You can keep it on the computer, but back it up so WHEN it crashes you still have it.
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When I went to lawyer to make sure my moms will was in order when my dad passed. I have be takeing care of her and my dad for over 7 years now. The lawyer told me to go to a CPA which I havent yet, but that If I pay myself even $4000 a month, and pay SS etc. out of it. It is a fair wage for 24/7 care, even if one of my brothers contested it when she passed. A Judge would ask for reciepts for what was spent, proof of pay, and at most a comparison sheet as to the price to admit mother into old folks home which in Seattle can be $4500 to $10,000 a month. He would see it as a fair wage and there would be not contesting it or having to pay it back. Every State is diffrent, it cost me $450 to get that advice.
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TexasDaughter
If it's legal, take the guilt out of the equation. Kids growing up is a positive experience with the high possibility of a good outcome. Elder care is EOL care. A negative experience
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you were given the correct information. Texas-GOOD LUCK....
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Why???
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GardenArtist I respect and honor my Mother. I certainly see my life as a gift..As I see my own children's life as a gift..

Do you have children? Are you teaching them to be a caregiver to you when they grow up? Reminding them that you gave them life which intern they must respect, honor and care for you?

Let's cut to the chase! "My perspective makes sense if I see care giving as unwelcome"!! HA

I can guarantee that NOT one person on AC loves ALL the daily tasks involved in caring for their loved one!

I can hear everyone on here now, " Oh I welcome the opportunity to care for my aging parent, I hope I get to shower them, drive them around, make all their favorite meals, wipe their butt etc...and I hope none of my siblings try to help because I want to do it all by myself because Mom GAVE ME LIFE"!!!!



My Mother is not "unwelcomed" because I care for her. She is a grown women who with her pride and dignity will support herself..She does not want me paying her way..
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Texas - Your father wanted you to be paid to handle his finances. You are supplying a service for him. If you want to be paid then keep track of the time you spend handling his finances and pay yourself.
Just a reminder you will need to claim the money as income (if you make enough to file a tax return).
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Amen Texasdaughter and Joannes. When our parents have a lot, there is of course, a lot to take care of. I have a cousin who's parents were both on Medicaid. She is full of advice, that has nothing to do with my Mother or my MIL's situation. My MIL has taxes in 2 states and and 2 large working farms. (I wish our Mothers had simplified things, but they are 91 and 95 and didn't.)
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When I became the POA for my parents a couple years ago, the elder care attorney who handled their trust and other legal paperwork, told me in the first meeting that if I wanted to be paid for handling everything, I could legally be paid a salary to help me. NOW....I said NO...why would I want to do that as the only daughter. It would be like I was just grabbing any inheritance early or something. WELL....after I got in the middle of this mess, I sometimes have a different perspective on it. We live on SS and we live 5 hrs away from my parents. We have no large amounts of excess cash or investments ourselves....and my home business that was going great guns and giving a small amount of net income at the end of the year, has gone 'down the tubes' because I cannot give it the time and attention required, since my parents come first. My husband suffers because he now comes third....except now he's been diagnosed with Parkinson's while my two parents are still alive....so now I'll soon have 3 to be responsible for at the age of 70 myself! So it's come to the point where I have to travel to see them at least a couple times a month now...occasionally 3 times. Cannot afford the gasoline and car maintenance to do this. Law office says it's perfectly fine for me to use their POA debit card to pay car expenses because I am making trips to care for them. And it's OK to have their money pay for internet hook up in their home, so that I can run my business while I have to be down there with my Mom...any expenses that I would not normally incur if I didn't have to be with them, coordinate their care etc.....can be paid for from their own money. That's fine. It makes sense. I wouldn't 'cheat' them. But, now that we've spent all my Dad's share of their money and he's on Medicaid to cover his memory care unit rent, I understand that Medicaid will get the house, or whatever has been paid out by Medicaid has to be paid for from the proceeds of the house in the end. Mom is still at home, and now living on her half of the income in their trust...but she also has dementia at 88 yr, and there's a strong likelihood she will also end up being placed somewhere and running out of money if she lives long enough....SO...in the end, there will be NO inheritance for me or their grandkids. Nothing is turning out THEY planned it would when they worked hard and saved all their lives, and didn't go on big expensive vacations etc, because they wanted to leave something for their kids. My brother died at 37...so he's not here anymore, but he does have a son, like I have daughters. It's not that I was counting on an inheritance....nor do I NEED it....but I am just saying, that this is a LOT of work, and I am not even a direct caregiver yet. What about the younger caregivers who are backed into a corner, to where they must give up their jobs, and thus their ability to plan their own retirements or have any semblance of a personal life? I've read horror stories on here, of people literally having NOTHING...no car, no clothes, no health care...nothing, because they've given it all up to care for a parent or other family member. THAT doesn't seem quite fair. I can see if people have the means to cover all expenses and give up a job, and don't want to accept payment for caring for a parent, but goodness sakes......some people are literally having the rest of their own lives ruined, where as, if they could get a salary to replace some of what they've given up to help their parents.....that might not be the case. SO....I just think we shouldn't be judging one way or the other specifically, but should be supporting the trials we are all dealing with in whatever way we ARE dealing with being a caregiver.
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