Carer Agreements – An innovative solution to the aged care dilemma

Your frail mother is still loved but she is 92 years old and needs home care. Taking care of her is a labor of love, but hard work; Even when you smile. Combined with the arduous and relentless demands, the “job” of caring for her can be a severe financial burden for a child. Studies have shown that a child who serves as the primary caregiver can lose 75% of potential income during each year that the parent’s caring “job” continues.

What if there was an innovative solution to the elderly care dilemma? Carer agreements – formal contracts whereby relatives are assigned to care for elderly family members have been around for decades, but with the current economic downturn, more and more families are choosing this option. This is good news, because carer agreements come with a number of benefits, not least of which is that money given to a son or daughter under a carer agreement is not considered a “gift” by the government when the elderly person is trying to qualify for Medi-Cal, Medicaid, or other public benefits. . Another advantage is psychological: for an elderly parent, the idea of ​​being cared for by a trusted family member may be especially meaningful. Contractual arrangements may also ease tensions and resentments between siblings, if, for example, one of the children provides the lion’s share of the care.

The caregiver agreement should be in writing and should be carefully drafted, preferably by an attorney who specializes in seniors law. There are also tax consequences. These agreements are legal contracts; It should include details such as the cost of services with each itemized service; The duties that the caregiver will perform are explained in clear language. Permissions to make medical or financial decisions should also be clearly described, especially if medical and physical decision-making will be part of caregiving duties, these powers should be set out separately in the Permanent Powers of Power for Financial Affairs and the Health Care Advance Directives for Medical Purposes. problems. Perhaps most importantly, the caregiver’s contract must be executed before the caregiver can receive any compensation. If this last condition is ignored, the caregiver agreement may lead to a crisis rather than a resolution.