I am providing care services for someone who had been a workplace acquaintance. We are both retired - I had helped her with the retirement paperwork and process. She has Parkinson's that started in her late 30's and she is now 60 and she is in Stage 3 (mobile) with some Stage 4 symptoms (assisted mobility needs). Last year, when she was in the hospital for a serious non-Parkinson's illness that nearly killed her, I accepted her request that I take on the legal role of POA. I thought it would be a short-term need. During her hospital stay and the five months of recovery that included hiring, supervising, and payroll for in-home caregivers, I was okay with being compensated an amount that would cover vehicle fuel costs.
Now, post-recovery, I am still in her life as she requires someone to oversee payment of household bills, recruitment, oversight, and payroll for a once-a-week housecleaner. She requires someone to schedule and accompany her to medical providers, physical and psychological therapies and this includes implementing the care plans set by the providers. She requires someone to track her medications for side-effects, prescriptions/refills, preparation of daily doses into med boxes and implementing fail-safes to ensure they are taken. She has two cats that need care (cat boxes, daily feeding). She owns two houses on a large property that require oversight of maintenance needs. I filed for her social security disability and it was granted. She has substantial inherited financial funds that require oversight.
She has a long-term friend that lives on her property who is an alcoholic and has no income therefore dependent upon her for housing, food. This friend's behavior is erratic and is sometimes emotionally abusive (I have not witnessed but have been told) but she does not want the friend out of her life (it's classic co-dependency). The friend is supposed to cook the evening meals but this is erratic, so, she requires a daily food service to her door that is not meals-on-wheels and needs someone to oversee the weekly ordering and payment.
She has family consisting of a parent who is 88 yrs old and a half-sibling who is 35 yrs old, but they are not local and neither is involved in her life other than brief infrequent visits and email. Her parent has told me they are glad I am helping her.
She currently exhibits short-term memory issues, and I know that as this and her other Parkinson's symptoms progress, in-home caregivers will be required. Due to her financial status, she very well can afford round-the-clock caregivers until her death even if she lives to be 90 yrs old if her funds are well-tended. This reminds me that there is the need to get her to do a will and the advance directive paperwork.
So, if I continue to perform the POA duties, and there are tasks to be tended to every day, should I request to be paid, if so, how much? I have asked two different lawyers, one seemed to chastise me by saying POAs aren't generally paid and the other suggested no more than $20/hr and it had to be declared as income for tax purposes. Would being gifted up to the IRS legal non-taxable amount ($15,000/yr) be enough, or, too much - has anyone done this?
Does anyone have experience with being a POA and being compensated?