How can I recover caregiver costs? - AgingCare.com

How can I recover caregiver costs?

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I put in 50 to 60 hours a month taking care of my elderly mother. I also supplement her income if she comes up short. My sister does nothing except show up every 3-4 years. The three of us own Mom's home. When Mom passes it will be divided equally. This is not fair...what can I do???

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If your mother is coming up short now, and you have to chip in funds to keep her going, I assume her only asset is her home, and that is all that could be inherited and split.

Understand that if your mother needs increasing care, if she ever needs Medicaid, then there will be a lien on the house.

It is likely that no one will inherit anything.

Of course it isn't fair that one child does all the caregiving and putting in funds and that all children share equally in the inheritance (if there is any). That is why the only fair and sensible arrangement when there are more children than one is for the person doing the caring to be paid while the caring is going on. This should be done with a contract in place, to establish that this payment is not a gift, but it for services rendered.

But ... and this is a big "but" ... how can your mother pay for care when she can't even cover her own expenses each month?

I wonder if it isn't time for you as a family to investigate what kind of services your mother might be eligible for, and to find ways to help her live within her means.

Perhaps selling her house now and using the proceeds for her care in a more affordable setting might be worth considering. For example, would assisted living be suitable for her? How long could she afford something like that before her money (from the home sale) runs out?
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How much money are you giving your mother each month? I see from your profile that your mother is in Independent Living in CA with vision problems.

Your caregiving time with your mother is probably only going to increase as she gets older. Is there Assisted Living where she is, which presumably would be the next step for her.

How is she paying for IL? How will she pay for the more expensive Assisted LIving when the time comes?

You must be local? And your sister is at quite a distance? Does your mother know that you are supplementing her income? If so, then why isn't she reimbursing you?
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If your mother is still in charge of her affairs and up to the discussion, you can talk to your mother about it. But be careful, because harassing an elderly lady about this kind of thing not only looks bad - is bad - but could give your sister legitimate grounds to contest any new will that resulted from it.

If you are fed up with supplementing your mother's income and want your sister to contribute half of the shortfall, say so to your sister.

Or stop supplementing your mother's income, and investigate what benefits she might be able to claim instead.

I don't know if it would be possible to treat money you 'loan' to your mother as some kind of advance to be repaid by her estate, maybe - does anyone else? How could one find out?
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8/23/16. You need to set up a caregiver contract with your mom if she is still competent to mske contracts.
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Oops, sorry on the date, I was a month ahead :P

Just so tired, in the throws of moving my Dad from Independent Living to Assisted Living. I was ready to rent a room for myself !!!
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August 23, 2016, I do hate to be the bearer of bad news, BUT, if you are only helping out about 2 hours a day, then your mother is nowhere near the end of her lifetime. I can predict that at some point she is going to need a much higher level of care, and it will cost. The house may have to be sold prior to her death to help pay for that, especially if she is already running short of funds. For sure, nobody ever said life was fair. If it was Dementia wouldn't exist.
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09/23/16..... Regarding "caregiving cost" do you mean payment for doing caregiving, or out of pocket costs that you pay to buy things or pay bills for your mother?

For caregiver wages, it depends on what your mother can afford to pay you. You would need to put together an employment agreement stating how many hours per week, what are your duties, what are your hourly wages, and who will pay the payroll taxes.

As for out-of-pocket expenses, can your mother reimburse you for those? If yes, you would need to keep records of all the receipts along with a copy of the check that shows you were reimbursed. That is for in case your Mom might need to apply for Medicaid.
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There is not anything you can do if your mother or her POA does not reimburse the money while she is still alive. After the will takes over, it will be up to the other heirs whether to let you have a little extra for money you put in. What we do for them while they are alive is considered a gift unless there is payment or legal paperwork. Sorry.
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