Caretaker Agreements

Numerous people are working as caregivers to aging member of the family. In such cases it is wise to think about having actually a written caretaker agreement in location.

Many family members invest many hours a week supplying care for an elderly relative without recognizing that being compensated for that care can be an excellent tool for moving resources without incurring a penalty if the senior later requests long-term care Medicaid.
While many people are pleased to supply this care and do not expect to be compensated, doing so can eventually benefit the senior. Private care typically delays the requirement for long-term skilled nursing care. Nevertheless, if the requirement for facility care occurs, people can retain no greater than $2000 in countable assets to receive Medicaid support to pay for the expense of the facility. If the Medicaid applicant has transferred assets without settlement, Medicaid views these transfers as gifts and punishes the applicant. Through the use of a caregiver arrangement, however, the senior can pay a family member for the care provided, consequently achieving a transfer of possessions, but avoid the penalty.

A caregiver arrangement identifies the individual in requirement of care, the medical condition demanding care, the individual who will be providing care, and details the particular assistance that the caretaker will render. Care might be provided daily, weekly, regular monthly, or on an as-needed basis. The agreement specifies a pre-determined rate of pay for those services. Generally, these contracts address concerns including:
* Carrying the senior to medical appointments

* Running errands for medications, food, individual products, etc.
* Carrying the senior to social functions

* Assisting with activities of day-to-day living
* Preparing meals

* Housekeeping services
* Laundry services

* Lawncare
* Financial management

Once a caretaker contract is signed, the senior can begin compensating the caregiver for services supplied under the agreement. If the senior later obtains long-lasting care Medicaid, these payments are not treated as gifts, but rather, payment for services rendered. Additionally, use of a caretaker contract provides protection for the member of the family versus claims from other relatives if a dispute later on occurs about why the caretaker was receiving money from the senior.
The caretaker should keep detailed logs about the services carried out and is required to pay taxes on the income received. Caretaker arrangements can be utilized with any relative except the partner of the person in need of care. They can also be used with non-relatives who are working separately instead of for a recognized house care company.

Caregiver contracts can not be made use of retroactively. Rather, the signed caretaker agreement should remain in place before services are supplied and payment is made. Thus, it is necessary to consult with an elder law attorney immediately if you are providing or pondering supplying caregiving services to a loved one.