Why should aging family members consider compensating those who regularly provide them with care?
While many Caregivers feel a sense of obligation to provide an aging family member with care, “because it’s what you’re supposed to do”, a formal agreement known as a Caregiver Agreement can provide options for both the Caregiver and the Care Recipient in the future. This can be very important for the aging family member, or their spouse, if there is the possibility of Veterans Benefits or care in a Nursing Facility in the future.
Who are the parties of these agreements?
A Caregiver Agreement is between the Caregiver, normally a child or close relative, and the Care Recipient, normally a parent or grandparent. This is very important because the Caregiver Agreement memorializes what is expected of both parties, and maybe more importantly, states that the Caregiver expects to be paid for their services.
What requirements must a Caregiver Agreement meet?
When considering a Caregiver Agreement and for estate planning and long-term care planning purposes, the following should be included, but not limited to:
- A start date for services;
- Detail the services to be performed;
- Match the Care Recipient’s financial plan;
- Detail of Caregivers compensation;
- Affirm the Caregiver’s status as an employee, not an independent contractor;
How is a Caregiver Agreement beneficial to me and my loved ones?
While it’s often difficult for a child or close relative to accept payment for services that they may normally provide out of love and affection, Caregiver Agreements can be very important to the Care Recipient, because they can facilitate asset preservation down the road. This point is particularly important from a Medicaid planning standpoint, because retroactive payments for “care services” cannot be made where the care arrangement was not previously memorialized to meet Medicaid rules.
Contact Kane & Crowell, PLLC immediately at (615) 784-4800 if you or a family member are facing long-term care and health issues. It is our goal to make sure our clients have the quality of life they want and deserve.