Ask The Expert: My parents are in the their 80's and are in declining health. They live in a small town with few "professional" resources. They want to pay my brother to care for them, and money is not an issue. What is the legal way to do this, considering tax benefits/legality for all of them?

posted by: Ben A. Neiburger Elder Law Attorney

Your parents can certainly pay your brother to provide care for them.  However, it is very likely that your brother will be considered their employee for purposes of income and employment taxes. You should see an accountant to explain the ramifications of that to both your parents and your brother. However, if your parents were ever to apply for medicaid benefits, having an unwritten agreement between your brother and your parents to provide care for your parents might work against them.  Accordingly, your parents and your brother might consider entering into a written contract for your brother to provide services for them. this agreement should be signed by everyone before your parents start paying your brother. In addition, your brother should keep time sheets and be paid by what is written on the timesheets.  If you have questions on the details of this (of course, it is not as simple as it sounds), contact an elder law attorney to help you with drafting the agreement. A list of elder law attorneys in your area can be found at

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Posted by:Joice

3/5/2012 5:58:03 PM

I am an Occupational Therapist. Here's my perception after wkniorg with the elderly in their homes/assisted livings/SNFs and having my Dad in a nursing home. Every family member knows that the person doing direct care of their loved one has the least amount of education, the most contact with their loved one, and gets paid the least. If your CNAs aren't genuinely interested in the people they work with and enjoy their job, it shows . big time. You can have the most beautiful facility in the world but if the direct care staff is aloof and just going through the motions, word will get out. Hire well and invest in your direct care staff, financially, educationally, and emotionally.

Posted by:Maureen Kelly

11/20/2008 7:51:54 AM

My inlaws are in an assisted living (not a medicaid place) and they are running out of money. Their income is a little over the medicaid limit unless you can deduct medicines. Can they be thrown out on the street? Their grown children don't have the money or place to take care of them, what do they do

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