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He's living with me and doesn't want to live in a nursing home; but has too much money right now to be eligible under a Elderly Medicaid waiver, so I can be paid as a Caregiver. I had to quit working, due to him having two major health issues this year. In January they said he had signs of dementia and needed 24 hour supervision and care. Then this March he fell ill with hardening of the arteries. I can't work fulltime and have no income of my own, how do we handle this? I am ready to revoke my POA and have another family member take over or have the courts appoint someone. He can't manage his bills but his long term memory is still great. I've explained that he probably has to appoint another POA, but he still want me as a paid caregiver and POA. I am at my wits end, want to help him but I don't want trouble legally. I tried to get advice from the attorney who file the POA in 2010. He knows the situation, but all he says is document. I have to pay my bills and take care of him with his monthly income. I sold his home and place the money in a separate checking account to pay for respite and other personal needs. The monthly income from retirement is caring, room and board. But as POA how do I pay myself. I don't intend on getting into trouble. I want to protect my Uncle and also protect myself. Help!

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I spoke to my CPA today and asked him some questions. He says that anyone can give a gift of up to $13,000 per year, per recipient, without anyone having to report it. That's cash. Also, an elder relative paying rent is not a gift and is considered the elder's expenses. It does not matter that you are POA - so long as you are acting in the best interest of your uncle in a way that he would act if he was able to make decisions. I think so long as you are not charging more than "the going rate" for his housing, you are fine. It's a lot like having a roommate. You don't consider shared rent with a roommate as "income" so I don't think it is considered "income" when your uncle pays you. If your uncle gives you cash above the $13,000, you should document how you spend it for his expenses to show that it is not a gift. Only two states have a "gift tax." (Connecticut and Tennessee) Otherwise, if someone gives a gift larger than $13,000, it merely is deducted from the $5,000,000 estate tax exemption after the elder passes away. I truly don't believe you have anything to worry about with caring for your uncle. I would not document any money he gives you as "pay for services provided," just so you don't need to declare it as income. Being POA is not a problem. Perhaps you are thinking of being a conservator or trustee, in which case there are legal fiduciary responsibilities where a conflict of interest might be claimed - but POA is a very broad set of permissions given to you by your uncle because he trusts you to act on his behalf.
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I didn't think this is a problem. Power of Attorney simply means that you are authorized to do whatever your loved one would do himself if he were able. Has he been declared incompetent? If not, then he is still able to spend any way he chooses, including paying you a stipend for your expenses. That is probably what the attorney meant by, "document." You should just document where his money goes by keeping major receipts and perhaps a ledger. If he pays you a salary for "services" then you'll probably have to report that as income for tax purposes, but if the checks are made directly to another payee - mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. it is my understanding that those are his expenses.


I am in the same boat...gave up my job to move in with Mom. I have financial POA and write checks directly to all providers and cash for incidentals (meals out, pet food, groceries, beauty shop, etc.)


I will check with our CPA, so I guess I'd suggest that you also discuss this with a tax accountant, but I don't think you are afoul of the law.
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