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I have been my parents care giver for well over 10 years. I quit my job in order to care for them. Only my mother is left and once she goes, my siblings plan to sell the house from under me and I will have no place to go because I only get a very small Social Security check. Can I sue my siblings to ensure that I get to live in the house until I pass away even after Mom passes?

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Yes, it is, deb. If there is no prospect of your mother possibly returning to the home, you can consider selling it, breetobias. I would make sure you were on sound legal ground before proceeding, though. If there is a life estate on the property, then there could be a problem with transferring the deed to another person.

Are you living in the US or another country?
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is that like a life estate?
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My mother has Alzheimer and is now confined to a nursing home or the rest of her life. She gave her house to my brother and me, with her having usufructs back in 1993. Can we sell the home now since she is no longer able to live in it?
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yes, my dad had not been diagnosed with dementia at that point so might be too late in this situation - hate that but otoh, it can be construed that with them quitting their job they're receiving benefits in having been staying there
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If the senior has dementia, it might be too late for them to enter into a caregiving contract. Caregiver needs legal help ASAP, and might want to consider seeking paid employment elsewhere (unfortunately).
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my dad's (also age 93) grandson tried to get him to sign over his house to him but he wouldn't do it - so how did your uncle and his wife "have" your grandmother sign hers over to them? - he said he was leaving it to me. Grandson wasn't working when dad offered to let him move in with him to help him out - or at least that's the way he worded it to me; now, granted, he did also say he wanted him to move in to be there for him but dad still paid all the bills for the house, which was a way he said of helping grandson out, that he wouldn't have to worry about any bills. Then he didn't really realize that we got him a VA pension to pay grandson for staying there, which was more than he was going to do; he thought it was enough to give him a free place to live. But grandson got to where he didn't really want me coming, either. Then he began taking dad's money to pay for things for himself; granted, dad wasn't spending it but he also wasn't spending the time with dad that he had expected in having him move in with him. But in moving in with dad he did give up his place to live and then seemed like something happened to it that it would no longer be available for him to go back to when something happened to dad. Especially with him not working. But still dad would not let anything be drawn up/notarized/ anything giving him the house even though he knew all this and was supposedly doing it to help him out, so I think it really was as much for himself as it was for him, because before he felt like he needed somebody he wasn't concerned about him and honestly even though he wasn't working he was making it just fine - long story - but he said so himself, he didn't want to move in with granddad. But it was the first time and he'd just started, even more reason he didn't want to move in with granddad, said it caused him to lose everything he'd just gotten but he had just gotten it, except for things like the car dad had already gotten for him, just little things like that, so....should he get the house? while I'm the one who went up and stayed with dad when he first fell that caused him to feel he needed him to stay with him; he didn't stay then
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Heck ! my Uncle and His wife had my Grandmother ( age 93 ) sign OVER her land / house and there are 2 other siblings involved here ! the Uncle still works f/t & has $$$ / My Grandmother gets some kind of check per Month and he gives it to his unemployed sons (2) of them. My Grandmother lives in his house and he pays a cheap caretaker to watch her and care for her..........You have to schedule a time/day to visit ! this is for sure elderly financial abuse ! shoot if my Uncle can get away this ! you should too ! especially if you quit your job and have no where to go that is just terrible......you can get a paper drawn up / notarized - you should get the house if you did all the work ! I see where you are coming from this Uncle on the other hand he is stealing from siblings !
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it's already been said that mom has dementia
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In addition to Maggie's caution that you won't win, you could be countersued for filing of a frivolous complaint, especially if you don't have the documentation and facts to support your claim, and also especially if the individual(s) you're suing get mad, hires an attorney and decide to retaliate.
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Simple answer. You can sue. One can ALWAYS sue. You will not win. You cannot impute a contract where none existed. And "what's fair" has nothing to do with it.

This is the reason posters on this board tend to mightily discourage anyone from quitting their jobs to be caretakers. And why there's tons of advice on putting a contract in place if one expects to be paid.
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JeanetteB, Losimons posted on this issue in this thread:

Letter of promise vs. a living Will under contract, which one will be on top? ,
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/which-one-letter-of-promise-vs-a-living-will-184673.htm

Losi's situation involves a lot of complex issues involving law and possible misrepresentation.
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I would first suggest you seek legal counsel, Many will give you a free consult.

Then I would sit down and put everything and ALL you have done in said time you helped her detailing everything... yes, I mean everything. Submit a bill for all hours of service you provided to her "Estate" along with certified copies of your bill ( and note Auntie had drawn up) to whomever ... more than likely your bill for caregiving far outweighs the worth of the house. You really must be vigilant about this.... and please know, you do not have to leave in that 30 days notice.... do your homework!
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I feel exactly what you are going through. I left my home to come take care of my aunt, no one will even stay here 24 hours in 4 years when she got so I was unable to care for her and she needed a nursing home I became the worse person in the world although she promised me in writing that if this should happen I would be able to keep the house. Less then 24 hours after being admitted into the facility I received a 30 day notice to move out. I don't have any money to move and I am seeking compensation for the years I performed these duties and paid my own way.
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Under California’s DWBR, the employee would be paid $1,164.00 ($8.00/hour x 45 regular hours + $12.00/hour x 67 overtime hours). Under the revised DOL regulations, the employee must be paid $1,184.00 ($8.00/hour x 40 regular hours + $12.00/hour x 72 hours). By my calculations, that about a 30% to 32% increase in wages for the employee, if the family can afford the increase. If the family cannot afford the increase, the family will have a couple of options.

Option number one will be to hire more workers to avoid paying overtime. In California, because we have a daily and a weekly maximum on regular hours, there is no way to avoid some overtime liability because the employer can only deduct for sleep time if the employee works a 24-hour shift. Under the DWBR, the minimum an employer could pay an employee for a 24-hour shift would be $156.00 per day ($8.00/hour x 9 regular hours + $12.00/hour x 7 overtime hours, with no compensation for 8 hours of sleep time). The family would have to hire at least two workers to avoid the 45-hour weekly overtime cap. The workers would also have to have a separate place to reside and pay for their own meals on their non-working days.

That means instead of one worker earning $896.00 per week, and receiving room and board to boot, one employee will receive $780.00 per week and another employee will receive $312.00 per week. The employer will pay $1,092.00 per week. That’s about a 20% increase for the family, and a 15% decrease for the worker, excluding the loss of room and board.

The only way to eliminate any overtime liability at all under the DWBR for 24-7 care would be to hire 6 different workers, each working no more than 9 hours a day or 45 hours a week.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

3 yrs 8 months - 2 months hospitalized = 3yrs 6 mo.
188 weeks @ $1,764 per week = $331.642 @ 12 hr days
188 weeks @ $2,212 per week = $415,856 @ 24 hr days -8


M T W T F S S Total
Total 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 84 hrs X $8 = $672
Reg Hrs 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 63 hrs X $12 = $756
OT Hrs 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 21 hrs X $16 = $336
-----
$1,764
$448
-------------------------------------------------------
$2,212

$2,212 x 52 weeks = $115,024

$115,024 x 3.6yrs = $414,086



24hr - 8 hr deduction = + 4 hr OT per 12 hr day above.
4 x 7 = 28 hrs..........28hrs x $16 = $448



$8 x 16hrs =$128 day,$896 week,$46,592 year
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In California, caregivers must receive at least $8.00 per hour for all hours worked (the minimum wage will increase to $9.00 per hour in 2014, and $10.00 per hour in 2016, and certain cities require a higher minimum wage). The employer can lawfully deduct up to 8 hours from a 24-hour shift as “sleep time” provided the employee actually receives at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep this means, the employee must receive no less than $896.00 per week ($8.00/hour x 16 hours/day x 7 days/week). While an employer can deduct some of the costs of room and board in accordance with the Wage Order, in my experience most employers don’t have such an agreement in writing and therefore cannot lawfully deduct meals and lodging.

Under California’s DWBR, the employee would be paid $1,164.00 ($8.00/hour x 45 regular hours + $12.00/hour x 67 overtime hours). Under the revised DOL regulations, the employee must be paid $1,184.00 ($8.00/hour x 40 regular hours + $12.00/hour x 72 hours). By my calculations, that about a 30% to 32% increase in wages for the employee, if the family can afford the increase. If the family cannot afford the increase, the family will have a couple of options.

Option number one will be to hire more workers to avoid paying overtime. In California, because we have a daily and a weekly maximum on regular hours, there is no way to avoid some overtime liability because the employer can only deduct for sleep time if the employee works a 24-hour shift. Under the DWBR, the minimum an employer could pay an employee for a 24-hour shift would be $156.00 per day ($8.00/hour x 9 regular hours + $12.00/hour x 7 overtime hours, with no compensation for 8 hours of sleep time). The family would have to hire at least two workers to avoid the 45-hour weekly overtime cap. The workers would also have to have a separate place to reside and pay for their own meals on their non-working days.

That means instead of one worker earning $896.00 per week, and receiving room and board to boot, one employee will receive $780.00 per week and another employee will receive $312.00 per week. The employer will pay $1,092.00 per week. That’s about a 20% increase for the family, and a 15% decrease for the worker, excluding the loss of room and board.

The only way to eliminate any overtime liability at all under the DWBR for 24-7 care would be to hire 6 different workers, each working no more than 9 hours a day or 45 hours a week. Since an employer cannot deduct for sleep time for 9-hour shifts, the employer would have to pay one employee a day while he or she is sleeping, and the actual cost would be $1,344.00 per week ($192/day x 7 days/week). Since paying no overtime would necessitate eliminating the sleep time exclusion, and because it would mean having six different workers through the week, most employers will not choose this option.

Keep in mind, none of these calculations take into account the increased minimum wage in California that becomes effective July 1, 2014.

Under the DOL regulations, there is a way to avoid any overtime by having 3 employees each work two 24-hour shifts and one 8-hour shift. The employer would only pay $960.00 per week but that means each employee will only receive $320.00 per week, and this would not comply with California law.

In summary, option number one requires the family to pay at least 20% more, but the individual employee will receive 15% less wages and now has to find a separate place to live. The good news is that one additional person will be employed. Keep in mind, none of these calculations consider the increased minimum wage that will take effect in 2014 and 2016.

A second option is to place mom in a residential care or assisted living facility. The costs vary depending on the level of care required, and many allow family members to bring some of their own furniture so it can actually feel like home. Many do not like this option because it moves mom out of the home, and it can be difficult to find a facility that provides the level of care the family desires. This option does nothing for the caregiver unless the caregiver has sufficient skills to work in a residential care or assisted living facility.

A third option, at least in California, is to obtain government assistance. Workers employed through IHSS or other specific state and county programs are still exempt from California’s overtime laws. This allows every tax payer to bear the burden of increased care, but relieves some of the burden from the individual family – assuming the family qualifies for services.

A final option is for a family-member to quit his or her job and stay home full time to take care of mom. Before the necessity for a two-income household it was common for parents and grandparents to live with the family so the family could be responsible for taking care of themselves. Each family will have to decide if that is a viable option for them.

I am concerned that people will try to skirt the laws by hiring “independent contractors.” While there are some instances where a caregiver can be an independent contractor, I cannot think of a situation where a 24/7 caregiver would be an independent caregiver. Families should consult their attorney before hiring a caregiver directly and when choosing a third-party employment agency.
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Back to your original statement, "Can I sue my sisters and mothers living estate...." yes, you can always bring a lawsuit, but it will take either you going to the local law library and reading up on it, or, a lawyer who would take the case.
In my experience lawyers won't touch anything that they cannot make tens of thousands of dollars, so if your mom's estate is not worth very much (like most of us) the lawyer would want to be on a retainer (you pay up front).
It's so sad, but true, that those of us who re-arrange our lives to be caregivers, are not only not paid, but cannot recoup anything from the estate.
And those siblings who avoid doing anything, oh don't get me started.....
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Do your sisters live in the area and help you with caregiving at all? If they live in the area and do not help you at all, then I think you deserve everything. Perhaps you could talk to your mother about this situation. There is nothing worse than having lazy siblings that do nothing to help, but miraculously reappear when it is time to collect the inheritance.
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Write a new will, cut everyone out but you, have it witnessed by a Dr if possible, make a video and tape recording as well as a letter in her writing.
There are places that sell rubber stamps and some folks by them and make papers, most often nobody checks and nobody does anything as they will not know as they are not listed as a heir.
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hopeless1945 I just looked at your profile and you are living in NJ. I never heard of your town but I also live in NJ. What county are you and Mom in? There are steps I think you can do to protect your self. I kind of know the feeling about siblings or family waiting for inheritance after you do all the care for a parent. You should research "caregiver agreement". I saw info about that on here at some point. This is something I think you need to get Mom to sign and have notarized, your siblings don't need to know about this. Your not being sneaky your just protecting yourself. Remember ....You don't need to open any can of worms, if your family wants to use you to be the bait so they can catch the big fish and without the bait there left with an empty line. In other words don't let anyone use you. Save any info on bills in your name proof of you living there caring for her etc. Make logs of daily needs and care trips to dr's etc.
Your Mom has dementia I also read in your profile . How is she doing in the home situation? This is not always a situation that can be a one caregiver role in later stages, or in early stages either. This is quite costly for in home or long term care. Is there a long term plan. Does anyone have Power of Attorney?
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I hope that questions like this will help people who are just getting into caregiving to see the importance and appropriateness of getting compensated for their caregiving all along, rather than expecting to be taken care of after the loved one dies.

Igloo's suggestions seem sound. But is your mother competent to get into legal decisions at this point? And would she understand the concept and reasoning of you keeping the house as long as you want, or is she going to say, "But I love all of my children equally. I want to give the house to all of them"?

I wish you well.
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If there is no will, you should ask mom to do one asap with you named as the executor and she can name you to inheirit the house. But if there will be lots of fallout from your siblings on this approach, she can put in her will that the sale of the house is to be divided equally BUT you have a usufruct on the house for your lifetime. She can even state in the will that whatever $ she has it to go towards the costs of the home. This will enable you to stay there and have some funds from her estate to pay on the house plus whatever you get from your SS. These terms are good until YOU decide to move and not when your sib's want you to. A good attorney will know how to set this up in a will or as a codicil (addition) to the old will.

You know the whole usufruct or whatever they may call this legally in your state, is used all the time for guys with 2nd or 3rd wives who want to technically leave their property to their kids from the first marriage but still take care of the newer wife and not require her to change her standard of living if he dies before her. Good luck and you have to remember to look out for yourself!
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Is there a will and is the house in your mother's name alone? They can't sell it without your consent if there is no will leaving it to them and not you. You need to contact a lawyer.
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hopeless, is your mother still competent? If so, she can leave the house to you in her will or at least set up a life estate.

As sad as it seems, your siblings are not responsible legally for paying you to care for your parents. If they were decent people, they would relinquish the house to you for your kindness, but it sounds like they are not willing to do this. Many parents have wills set up that real property will be sold and the money distributed among the children. If this is the way the will is written, then there is little you can do except to buy out the interests of your siblings.

Even if the house is gone, there are many good places to live. Many senior communities are subsidized by the federal and state governments, so rent is low. The nice thing about these communities is there are no maintenance expenses or property taxes. The amount of rent paid is based on your income. All is not hopeless.
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