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My elderly dad is living w/me. We put his ss check into our account. We pay all his expenses ie his life ins, health, food, clothing, anything he needs. He has about 500.000 left per month that just stays in there and goes toward the house. Is this acceptable? He is 93 years old w/alz. I take care of him w/no help. We have no funeral money set aside. My sister said that because i have his ss money she should not have to pay half of the funeral bill when the time comes. My husb and I dont think thats fair, cuz if he werent here, he would be in a nurs home, Or someone wold have to pay someone like me an hourly wage around the clock to take care of him. Please tell me who is right. We needed that extra money of his SS to run the house, so we felt we could use it because I take care of him, we can't take vacations and I am dedicated to him as if a job. Am I respsonible for his entire cost of funeral because I have been using part of his SS money and not putting some of it away? I dont have the money for the funeral now....but could come up w/half. What do I do? I explained everything to her and she knows all I do, but she wont sway from her story. Thank you. Carol

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Check online or with an Elderlaw attorney about setting up a Personal Service Contract and your dad can pay you out of his SS$ for all, or a portion, of the care you provide. Pay yourself the going rate of a home care aid....somewhere between $15-20/hour. Tell your sister what you are doing. If she would like to make $15-20/hour then let him stay with her some of the time so you can have a break. Some homes, perhaps hers, are not set up for permanent care giving, but she could have him "visit" her for a few days a month. If she really can't manage even that, then it's still all on you. If either of you is less affluent than the other, there is probably some animosity there. But any care above what he can pay for should be shared by both of you at the going rate to be "fair". The caregiver is never going to be "paid" enough for the physical or mental stress that being a caregiver brings with it. You will have to keep documented all the work he pays you to do, just like a HC Aid would do. This would be a job and you may have to pay income taxes depending on your family's annual income. It may stop your sister from begrudging you from keeping "his" money for yourself. You should also look into declaring him as a dependent on your federal & state taxes. There are also caregiver expenses that can be deducted; like mileage to take him to doctors appointments, haircuts, buying clothes, etc. You should also be "charging" his SS$ for his share of the electricity, heat/cooling, water, trash, homeowner's insurance (he is a resident of that home). Be sure to document for any Medicaid (in the future they will look back 5 years at any money he has "given you" or that you have "taken") as well as for your sister. It takes all of my mother-in-law's $1200 to pay for her bills each month (includes the food that she buys for breakfast & lunch that we don't share and 1/3 of the dinners we prepare), not including any payment for her room at our house or extra care when we hire an aid, cleaning lady or I do it for free. An attorney recommended that I should be paid for my services like bathing, hairdressing, dressing, cooking, driving...all the things that would have to be provided if I wasn't there. I bet your sister resents that you are "keeping dad's money for yourself". Only documentation will have a chance to open her eyes. Some people won't even believe the documentation (ever watch the news?!?) and then you have to decide if you forgive her for being selfish or shortsighted or if you end an unhealthy relationship. You have enough stress with your dad.
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Maybe you should present her with an itemized list of what it costs to care for your dad, including compensation for your time. Tell her you're willing to split the costs half way, and ask her to compensate you for her half.
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You are the one giving up your privacy, freedom, tIme and?living the stress of caregiving. I think your sister has a lot of nerve nit picking. If he were in a nursing home you would have the carefree life she lives. No one really realizes how hard it is to give up freedom. When mom moved in our grocery more than doubled because I always bought her things we would never eat. Snacks, puddings, breakfast bars, jellos and a bunch of munchies which she craved.
I'm sure you paid for meds too. Your sister is wrong. IMHO.
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Omg, thank you so much for that comment. That is exactly what my husband says, that i am home for him, that if we were to pay someone to care for him, his SS would be gone, and down the road will be worse, when I will have to really be by his bedside. I just wish I could get thru to her. My Husband wants to talk to her so bad about it, but I don't want to lose my sister over it. Yet, I feel I am entitled to it, and so wouldn't my dad think it and my mom rest her soul. I mean, I can't leave him alone at all, so I am home most of the time. I just want her to understand that His money is Not really his, it is to pay for his care, and that if that means to go towards bills to our house because I am sacrificing my time to do it, than that is what it is. If it were reverse, i would understand and i would be so grateful to my sister and i would definately pay half, if it were reversed. I think my husband is going to talk to her, because she is intuned that something is wrong w/him toward her. Thank you for that though, because i know we are right on this but all your comments are really helping and someone said I should show my sister everyones comments, because until you are a caregiver 24/7, no one knows, until they are in your shoes....Anyone else please comment. I love to hear more...Carol
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The money left after your fathers monthly expences is what is owed you for 24 hour care it is no longer "his". if he was in a N/H they would take everything
All he would get would be a few dollers a week as pocket money. Try talking to other funeral homes and request the lowest legal estimate. If your whole family can't afford that Dad will have to be cremated and his remains put in with mother. Under no circumstances should you and your husband use retirement money or go into debt for this. Talk to social services and see what they can suggest. if your sister still wants a fancy funeral she can arrange and pay for it. have a simple graveside ceremony and a gathering at home or one of dad's outdoor favorite places at the time or in the summer.Thoughts are with you
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Oh Jeannette, not here in NH.....The casket, which I am even getting online, which is legal now. But you even have to buy a vault now to protect the casket in NH...it is made of cement....it is about 1k. Then you even have to pay to dig the hole. We already have the plot and stone, thank God for my mothers funeral 4 years ago. The visiting, emambing etc....5k would not do it at all. 5k may do a cremation if that. Im not kidding you, its highway robbery.
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I think your father should pay for his funeral. All he can afford is $5,000? Then make arrangements that cost no more than $5,000. Is that possible? Oh, absolutely.
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Tessa, You just said one thing that hit the nail on the head...would my dad want to see me in debt over him, especially after how much he appreciates me taking care of him, as he always says it....the answer is ABSOLOUTELY NOT..would he want me to argue w/my husband over it, NO..would he want me to be unhappy about it and stress over it like I am, No, he is the most wonderful man you would ever want to meet. He loves us both and would never want me and my sister to never to talk.....so your right...i can only do what I can, and if i dont have the money, I dont have the money. So I will just have to give him the funeral that the money can afford after that it has to stop, unless she wants more, she will have to put in more. I cant do anymore than that..Your absolutely right...and the SS think she keeps saying is mute, I took care of him, I am sure he would understand that we needed that money, or my mom would too, rest her soul. My mom would be happy just knowing how much he is cared for and loved, and not be in a nursing home...because that is where he would be, or with my sister, which she could not do anyways. So as my husband says, we earned every penny that he contributed to this household....and whatever money if left to bury him, well that will have to be...Any more comments, i will still be glad to take...
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Hon, move on. Tell her what you can afford without her contribution and let her decide the outcome. Dead is dead, but life is for the living, and I'm sure your Dad would not want you to use up your saving or put yourself in debt. As for what you deserve - well many of the living deserve alot more than they get - and many, less so !! She is being so selfish, and I truly feel for you. Is she perhaps a bit like my younger sister - wanting to put on a show for others ? If your Dad is happy with a simple ceremony - what's her problem? Please don't fall out with your husband over this. Remember that while you can't choose your family, you can choose your friends, and I'm sure you have many. The bottom line is to be true to yourself and in time she'll get over it - or not,maybe........but what will you have lost. Will she pick up the pieces if you fall out with your husband? - I think not. Take care or yourself. You are a special person.
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ahh Tessa that made me feel so good thanks so much. Maybe your right, maybe I should let her see these comments from complete strangers, and the pull I am having with myself about this. that this is not coming easy to me, and taking my husband into consideration into and trying to protect her from his dispair. You sound like a wonderful sound person, and I appreciate what you said very much, I am just taking in everyones words and trying to make a decision. And when my Husband says I cant use the total money, then what, my dad only gets up to a certain part...like just the parlor, no church like SHE WANTS...He would have been happy just being cremated....but she would die...but hey if I dont have the money, she would have to put it in, but then I would lose her....When your dead your dead, but she said, he deserves a church etc...Ugh...this is literally making me ill, and I wanted to get this over with now, pre pay and get it done, but I dont have all the money.
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You know what Carol? Your sister doesn't deserve you ! What would she do if the burden of care (and much as we love our parents, it is still a burden) fell on her? Turn her back, I'm guessing - though please forgive me if I'm wrong. You are carrying the can, so to speak, and are not being in the least bit unreasonable! You need to stay strong on this one (Just a thought - maybe she should see the replies you've had?) - of course you are entitled to take reasonable expenses for your Dads care - only the very well off would not do so. On the other hand - I would hate for you to fall out with your sister. Since my Mum died, mine have meant everything to me. What we did was to apportion the costs according to our means (leaving out our brother who did nothing but sponge off Mum - but that's another, quite horrible story - he also had no say in the funeral arrangements). Sounds terribly British, and sorry that's what I am! I feel a bit of an imposter, but I like this site, and maybe I can sometimes give a different take on things. I hope so. Hugs to you. x
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in my husbands mind and my mind, from what I have done for him in these four years, i have way over sacrificed that part of my life and that she should pay for some of that i paying for half the funeral, ya know...understanding what I have been thru, being tied down, where she is not etc....the least she can do, is how my husb put it....
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thank you for you honesty. I know there is no legal answer. I just want your opinions and comments so I can fomulate my own answer in my mind from you help, that's all. I just needed the help from strangers outside the situation, ya know. like what you really think is right from you opinions, thats all. Im not afraid of your opinions, right or wrong, I welcome them. I want to find out if I am right or wrong IN MY OWN MIND if I am right in asking her to pay half. thank you....
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I don't think there is a legal answer to this, but most of us are commenting on what we feel is best and fair. However, making her pay half will be hard. I don't see how that can happen.
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NO, of course she is involved, she just doesnt want to pay...that is what I want to know.....should she have to pay half......i am not doing this alone...She is definately involved in all aspects....yes...I just felt she should pay for half, and she doesnt think she is....thank you
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I don't want to be difficult here, I just wonder if your sister planned the funeral with you? While my inlaws are not getting the funeral they would have wanted, -yet never arranged or paid for-, they are getting the funeral that can be paid for out of their own funds. I would not be comfortable making arrangements and telling other people they must pay for the arrangements I made.
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THANK YOU for you comments, keep them coming, any is helpful to me to understand where I stand regarding her paying for some of the funeral expense. Much is appreciated, Carol
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It amazes me when my siblings or other relatives make comments about getting help or financial aid for things Mom needs or might need. They have no idea what care costs. And they don't know what actually exists out there. They think my mom is eligible for all sorts of things that she isn't eligible for.

When my dad was dying, my siblings and I had disagreements over funeral costs. One brother and his wife picked out a very nice coffin even though Dad just wanted "a pine box." They said they would pay for it. Within 6 months, they were divorcing and didn't pay a thing for the coffin. Because Mom had a stroke right after Dad died, the funeral bill was never paid and went to collections. And now I am trying to find a way that Mom can pay it off on her low monthly income.

It is so hard to find a way to make this all fair when you have siblings.
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thank you so much, I just wish I could get it thru her head what we as care givers all understand. I dont want to lose a sister over this. My husband feels she should pay it all after the insurance. The least she should contribute after I have done all the work, giving his pills, make sure he is alright, caring for him when he is sick, that she doesnt have to worry, she can go on vacations, or even shopping w/out a care. I just recently talked to her about taking him for a few hours per day from Fri to Sunday after 4 years to give me a break. So he is very upset and is going to talk to her very soon, and I fear that, I know he is right, and he too has been there for my dad too. We take care of all of his needs, not just physical but emotionally as well. I just didn't want to lose a sister over it, but my husband says, she doesn't care about losing you. And your dad will have to be cremated if she isnt willing to compromise and see the light on this. This has been stressing me out, I dont have the money, I only have a 5k of my pension money for retirement i was going to use, the only money to our names for retirement. Now I have my husband on my back saying, he will not let me use it, and that my sister owes this, the least she can do to help because of all I have done for him for 4 years. But is losing a sister worth it. I dont know. All my friends feel I am right, my daughter too. This is why I found this web site to ask strangers about this matter, my sister was making me feel that I was suppose to save from his money to pay for his funeral. If my husband wont let me touch the money, he will talk to her, and I wont know what will happen next...It is a crummy situation that my sister just wont see that i was worth it, and that SS money was ok to come toward our house...and that she would give some toward the funeral. Its so sad...Carol
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You are exactly right carolrose45!! I was the one who said that....let dad live with her if she balks at paying 1/2 !! Non-caregivers have no idea what we go through, what we GIVE up..which is our LIVES as we once knew. At least I sleep well at night knowing I am doing all I can for mom...always have and will until her last day.
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Keep them coming, you are helping so much. Please keep your answers coming. I need to hear this. I was so unsure and and knew I was right that I was the one who was doing all the work and if we had to pay someone that we would be using up all his SS anyways. Somehow, my sister does NOT get that yet....If we had to pay someone to provide care around the clock his SS would be eaten up, but since he does have extra, she knows that, and feels it is HIS money, and should be put away for a funeral and not electr, water, etc...to go towards the house he is living in....My husband is so upset now, and he said that he will NOT pay more than half...and to the person who said, yes give my dad to her, and i will pay the whole thing, is absolutely right, because my sister could not take him, and has the freedoms I dont have. Ugh...
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Something I fogot to add.....mom had taken out a life insurance policy several years ago before we had to put her into the first nursing home. That policy cost 55.00 per month. She paid on it for 2 years before being put in NH. SS told me to give that to the Funeral Home..and I DID. All funeral arrangements were made back then when I turned the policy over to them. I continued to make the 55.00 monthly payments ALONE with NO help from siblings for THREE years. I also am and have been the SOLE caregiver for mom all of these years. Siblings have never cared about her. I finally called them together for a meeting and told them...YOU BOTH must pay YOUR share of the Life insurance policy..here is the account number that it must be paid to by the 4th of each month. I'm TIRED of the one who has to take care of everything. NOT RIGHT. They didnt' like it but I told them....if we don't keep the policy up...we will all have to pay the 12,000 for her funeral..split three ways. They quickly agreed to pay the measley 17.00 monthly and have since then. I just got fed up with everything being MY responsibility for SO many years. Now, we all three pay 17.00 monthly and it's taken care of.
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You are NOT wrong to ask your sister to pay 1/2. YOU are the one doing ALL of the caregiving. My mom has lived with me several times over the last 7 years. I tried 5 nursing homes and NONE of them took care of her...only abused and neglected her to the point that she almost died. I take her OUT as soon as I see signs of abuse and move her back in with me. SHe is late state Alz. I too am responsible for her SS check...I'm her DPOA and Representative Payee. I asked SS if I could spend mom's SS check on her living expenses and to help with groceries, etc. They said OF COURSE YOU CAN. SHE is LIVING WITH YOU. She must pay her way. I've done that every time I've had to move mom back in with me. If she just wouldn't get so mean and start hitting me again, she'd be here still today. I do not like her having to live in a NH ..they do NOT care. Tell you sister that if she doesn't want to pay 1/2, then she can can move dad into HER house and take care and you will pay 1/2 when the time comes.
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no, it is a cash ins policy for 5k. That will go directly to the funeral home. The balance I am guessing for the funeral will be another 5k, all I was asking my sister was for 2,50.00. Half of that balance. that was my question, if you thought I was reasonable to ask her for half when I have had his SS for 4 years, that is her defense, so I was wondering if I am right or wrong to ask her? Please help
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Your arrangement doesn't seem unreasonable to me, but I think the mingling of his funds with yours could cause problems in the future, especially if he ever does need to go to a nursing home on Medicaid.

It might be better to come up with a personal care agreement, spelling out what he is paying you and what you are providing.

He is paying on a life insurance policy. What is that for? Could he cash that in and use it to pre-pay for his funeral expenses?
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