Memphis, TN asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee

Q: Regarding caregiver and heir Tennessee Estate

Last 4 years of my fathers life I took care of him by doing anything and everything that a person who can barely walk and who can’t drive needs to have done. My dad told me that If I did those things I could live with him rent free and he’d help me with anything I needed. Year one I helped him find a home in an area close to everything. I moved him since he couldn’t carry anything heavier than a box of Kleenex due to his COPD and CHF. That was 30 years of things at a farm condensed into a small house in town. I left my job to move there for him and cashed in my 401k so I could pay my bills. Dad paid my movers. Year 2 dad gave me $1k gift. Year 3 he moved in with me and my husband and paid for groceries then he gave me $5k for a car. Year 4 was more complicated because he went into a nursing home but didn’t want to stay but couldn’t get out of bed and was a total care so asked me to hire some people to help me bring him home. Absentee heirs now trying to sue to recover all!

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1 Lawyer Answer

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.

Answered
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: There are a lot of considerations in this type of situation. If you have an advanced directive, which is essentially a power of attorney for health care, and a regular power of attorney for financial issues, that will help. The next consideration is nursing home care, and, statistics show that a private room in the U.S. is around $8000, and a semi-private room is around $7000. Medicare may help, but if you have assets or he had assets then they may go after that first. The other consideration to keep him home is to hire a caregiver and have an attorney do a conservatorship. Conservatorships take a long time to do - maybe a year - and decisions will be made by the court regarding same. If he has a will, and you are the beneficiary, then there will probably be a will contest. You really need to hire a local attorney to take care of the situation, because it can become very complicated.

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