I've been living with mom since dad passed in October 2016. She's 80 years old, I'm 60. I have 2 brothers but as we well know when you are the only daughter, with grown children and you're divorced it's assumed you'll step in. When I moved in it was because she was lonely, as time progressed (3 months) I realized she was starting the slow decline into dementia. I could see the signs since dad suffered from Alzheimer's . Fast forward to 6 months ago, I knew we were on borrowed time with her needing 24/7 supervision and made my brothers aware that I was willing to leave my job to care for her.
I was a paid caregiver (second job) for an agency when my girls were in middle/high school, did it for 6-7 years so I knew what I was getting into. The job I just left was as a substitute teacher, I worked 175 of 180 school days, in a high paying school district. From the get go I made them aware that I would be paid, I've been on this site long enough to know all there is to this ride: loss of retirement, not paying into Medicare, lack of personal time and spontaneity, frustrations of a broken brain, etc. As of last Friday I became mom's full time caregiver. Let me add that at this time her care needs include everything except toileting and feeding, with my help she can still dress/bath herself but needs reminders to do everything else. Memory is gone but she is happy and agreeable. I believe mom is in the moderate stage of this horrible disease and am aware that her overall health is good and she could easily live another 6 years if not 10. That being said, her financials put her at around a million dollars. She would pay me my previous pretax income of $750 a week. Am I expecting too much to be compensated for the income I gave up to keep her at home and happy? The questioning brother says, "What about room and board and that you didn't work in the summer." The other brothers says pay yourself whatever it takes to keep her home plus overtime for the weekends, says he couldn't live with her! I am the financial and medical POA and executor when she passes. I'm aware of the parent/child gifting limit and medicaid look back. My calculations show her having more than enough should she need to put in a facility (brother's reasonable concern). She has income of $35,000 a year and house could be rented for $2,000 a month.
After reading the DPOA I've determined that I can be paid and can gift (myself and other family members) up to the $15,000 that is free of federal tax. Thanks tacy022 and worriedinCali for prompting me to reread it!
Lymie61 we think alike! Much of what you said is the way I see the situation. My brothers and I get along, it's just the one questioning things is a numbers guy and has also been burned by an ex-wife financially. Also, I think it rankles him to think I'd be making money(tax free) and able to save most of it because I live with mom.
Debbie2019 I agree with you that most of this is not his business as he only comes around for holidays and when I ask him to help me out (which is rarely). But as I mentioned above he does love our mom and I do want to have a relationship with him when she's gone.
I think I will make an appointment with an elder care attorney just to have confirmation on the DPOA document and possibly draw up an employment/caregivers letter or contract.
As POA and Executor as well as live in caregiver doing this research and setting up an employment situation is going to be best for everyone in the long run including should there come a need for a "look back" or some other fiduciary review. Even with the differing approaches it does sound like both brothers are actively involved and around and the 3 of you have a good communicative relationship, they love you and mom and aren't just concerned about inheritance. While their eyes may not be as open when it comes to the care Mom needs and what that entails it does sound like they are supportive and aim to work together so everything you can do to keep them included and to be transparent just out of respect the lighter the load is likely to be. This way you aren't being asked and feeling challenged or not trusted and they aren't feeling like they are in the dark or shut out of the opportunity to contribute and be a part of the family care "team". This whole thing is going to be so much easier if you can try to work as a team and my guess is that's what will make mom happiest too.
Good Luck, you are doing a wonderful thing!
Has your mother been diagnosed or is she still legally competent? The diagnosing documents (showing 24/7 supervision required) might help your questioning brother to understand what’s needed 🙂
If you want check with an agency to determine what a "live in" caregiver would be paid.
Keep in mind that a live in would also get time off as no one can, will or should work 27/7/365. And it is not legal.
You can not "give room and board" in lieu of payment either although it may figure in to the income.
Are you deducting taxes, SSI and all the rest of the normal stuff that needs to be deducted?
Does your Moms insurance cover compensation if you were to be injured on the job? If not that should be changed so it will cover you as well as any other caregiver that may be hired.
If the brother that says you are paying yourself to much were to be told that you are going to get a job and that the family needs to hire someone to work from 8am until 5pm then you can be paid from 5pm until 8am would he be happier with that arrangement? If so figure out how much that would cost and see if it is more, less or the same as what the current costs are. If the cost is the same or less that might be a good arrangement for you as it will take some of the burden of care giving off you and give you a "normal" life at this point. But also make sure that the caregiver duties also include light housework, meal prep and all the other day to day things. And the duties of taking Mom to doctor appointments, hair and all the other places she needs to get to can be divided between the brothers and you.
I think with all this he will realize that paying you is the easiest and probably less expensive way to go. But you are giving up a lot as this may be a long journey and it does not get easier.
I think it's important to draw up an employment contract outlining duties and pay along with any benefits including paid respite time. I would find out how to do that legally since you are POA. I would talk to an elder attorney.
You will want to talk about tax witholdings, workmans comp...those kinds of things.