Libby, MT asked in Estate Planning for Montana

Q: Co-trustee and POA. I'm being asked by co-trustee to sign a contract outlining mom's care to get paid as caregiver.

My stepbrother and I are named as co-trustees and POAs over our parents. Dad passed. Mom has dementia. I am staying with her in Montana and caring for all her needs, paying her bills, arranging for assisted living in Bend, OR.

The Wills and Trusts state that one can be paid to take care of all necessary arrangements and care of a parent. Since I am out of state and away from any income I have asked for a weekly salary. It needs to be agreed upon by both trustees and he has agreed to the amount.

I am now being asked by my stepbrother to sign a "contract" that he drafted, outlining my "duties and responsibilities" and to "cover myself in case my receiving a salary is ever questioned."

Since this is already specifically outlined in the trust and I would be getting paid a salary that is documented by check, reported and has taxes paid by me, and claimed by mom on her taxes, do I need to sign this? Since he and I are co-trustees wouldn't he be the only one to "question" my salary?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: A caregiver contract makes perfect sense in your situation. It also helps document that those payments are not gifts in case you ever need to apply for Medicaid for her. Otherwise they would be presumed to be gifts. Medicaid applicants are penalized for all gifts made within five years prior to application.

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