Many can agree that the best people to take care of our loved ones are the ones closest to them. More often than not those people are immediate family members, like a child who takes care of a parent, or a family friend. However, when a loved one cares for their family members, many issues may arise. Lets use some examples.
Example #1: When a relative providing the bulk of care and, in return, inherits a parent’s home, the other children object because they feel like the caregiver was over-paid for his/her services.
Example #2: Family members begin to resent paying the relative whom they see as living rent-free in a parent’s house.
Problems like these can be avoided with a family caregiver contract which are commonly known as personal care agreements.
These contracts are extremely important for the following reasons:
- Allows for the relative who is the caregiver to explain to the rest of the family members the kind of work she/ he is doing;
- Providing the starting date;
- Setting boundaries for the caregiver;
- Designating responsibility for expenses, and an accounting;
- If a parent later files for Medi-Cal, there must be a written record that money was paid to caregivers for their duties, and not just a gift to spend down assets to qualify.
- The caretaker family member may contest his/ her share of the Trust distribution based on their services.
Thus, it is important to take caregiving matters professionally to ensure that there are no personal conflicts. It is in your best interest to create a caregiving contract, when a family member becomes a caregiver. If you have this, or a potential situation for caregiving in your family, please contact the office to arrange a consultation.