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Also, with 3 of us in the home can she pay 1/3 of the utilities?

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The VA will allow Pension benefits to be used to pay reasonable room and board to live in the caregivers home. Contact the Fiduciary Hub that initially appointed you fiduciary and tell them you wish to adjust the manner in which the benefit is being applied. They will send you the requisite paperwork. Make sure you keep an excellent paper trail for the next visit from the Fiduciary Hub representative.
I have many clients who are using funds in this manner and it is perfectly acceptable.
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These discussions drive me crazy! There are those that think children should care for parents, give up their lives, spend their own money to provide necessities all while saving parents money for inheritance to those nonhelping siblings. And then there are the cases of the only child that don't have anybody that they will have to share with. And really wacko siblings that think the child caregiver that has moved into parents house to provide necessary care should also pay parents rent?! Yes ideas run the gamut and there will never be any sort of consensus on this issue.

So those of you that are able to provide for your parents free of charge that is indeed very noble of you for what ever reason you do it.

For those of you that are paid to provide care, you are very fortunate that siblings are not in the middle of it with their grubby little hands waiting for the inheritance.

Then those of you who are not paid because there just is not any resources available, you all are just noble in my opinion.

And those of you where parent has sufficient resources to pay you my hope is you do not have a fight with greedy siblings to try to reach a fair and equitable agreement.
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I would consult an elder law attorney who has experience with VA benefits and see about getting a caregiver agreement drawn up. In a Fiduciary capacity you will want to consult an attorney.
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I am not saying her last days should be a source of cash
An agreement will do two things:
Ease your financial pain.
Spend down her money legally.If she is headed for NH anyway and will eventually go on medicaid, why give it to the feds? Either you get or they get it. Your choice.
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Llamalover47, I usually don't get in the middle of these destructive discussions but your comment and that of the some of the others as hateful as they are made me chime. Some people give up jobs, family homes to be their parents caregivers. They have to pay the bills somehow.
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Go see an elder law attny and get a room and board agreement drawn up.
You will have to do some research and find some comparable rooms for rent in your area. You will have to print out that info and take a median figure.
Having your mom in your house will increase water, elec, gas and consumables such and paper products, detergent, food, etc. She could even pay a proportion of you mortgage/rent.
Don't even think of trying to get paid for your time as a care giver. Just be happy with this agreement as it will make your life easier. Getting paid for your time requires more paperwork than I think most people are prepared to do.
A room and board agreement written up by an estate/elder law attny will hold up under medicaid lookback.
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I lived with my mother and NEVER asked or received any "paycheck" for doing it. Most adult children do it out of the kindness of their hearts. This is your mother after all!
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If you are talking to me, I have taken care of 5 family member for over thirty and stayed home almost everyday of that because of the lack of family members help. Lets put it all on the table. most people will almost breakdown there body and mind taking care of loved ones when it comes down to it there is nothing wrong with helping each other why do people feel that it is okay to save the money on the back of one family member but when that person dies that the money should be split or just given to people that don't have the time to come by is say hi. Yes this is a job don't you forget that. The nursing home knows it a job, the eldercare community knows it and courts know it look at what a guardian makes that is not related. So yes i am saying have her pay her way that is what the money is given to her for. Oh you don't worried about everyone in agreement read your handbook and if it is law get it because your not going to get all you deserve. What in the h*ll will happen to you then they die how you get a job after 5/10 years in caring what do you write on your app to get that job, your reference in gone. really your weathered not in a good way in your savings are all gone and your mothers money WILL go to the bills that are owed. You will have nothing because you used your saving for what her money was given to her for, TO PAY HER WAY and yes that is what it is for not to save for a rainy day this is flood season and it will be until she is gone. good luck with that
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Medina4 - I can understand your knee-jerk reaction to the financial question in association with caring for a parent. But, the simple reality is that not everyone has the capacity from a financial standpoint to absorb the additional living costs for another person (be it a relative, friend, etc.) without there being a way to offset this to a degree. I think the responses that suggest checking with an elder care attorney (if even that is able to be paid for out of pocket) are probably the most helpful here.
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Certainly if you weren't there, your mother would be having to pay for her room and board to whomever she stayed with. Also, if it were someone not related to you that you provided lodging, meals, transportation and care for, no one would blink an eye if you charged them. The fact that you are related should have nothing to do with the fact that you deserve to be compensated for your time and the opportunity cost of not being able to have another, probably more lucrative, occupation. Our mothers chose to give birth to us and care for us when we were young...when we became adults, we were expected to provide for ourselves, barring any disability. This is why we have retirement savings accounts, etc., so that we can provide for ourselves in our elder years. Your mother ˆshouldˆpay her own way. Anyone in their right mind would be embarrassed to be sponging off their relatives. I know my mom prides herself in being able to contribute something at least financially, because there is very little she can do physically to help around the house. That said, the amount certainly should be reasonable and a person in good conscience would not make it into an opportunity for enrichment. The other thing is, if you can't work because you're caring for a relative, you can't earn the active income you need to be able to contribue to your own tax-advantaged retirement account, and the cycle continues...and the good advice is to have that agreement in writing (something I've yet to do, but I keep a good accounting of where the money goes!) May you be thoughtfully guided in your decision :)
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