By Rick Law, J.D., founder and managing partner at the multi-generation law firm of Law Elder Law, home of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law in Aurora, Illinois. Is your caretaker being compensated appropriately for their services? It is important to demonstrate that the caretaker is being paid fair market value, particularly if the caregiver is a relative or friend. Documentation will help fight the presumption that the arrangement is a scheme to cheat Medicaid by passing the senior’s assets to a relative or friend. If adult-child caregivers have moved the affected loved one into their home and need to make some changes within the home, then these changes must be documented as medically necessary if funds for the remodeling will be taken from the elder’s accounts. In addition, caregivers should be advised by the lawyer regarding the extent of authority provided to them for the expenditure of funds. It does happen that family members serving as caregivers and agents under powers of attorney rationalize an expansion of their authority to dip into the resources of the elder. Your lawyer should provide clear and simple written letters of instruction to the parties involved in a personal-care agreement. For people with Alzheimer’s, the care plan recommendation will state that the caregiver is needed for health care, hygiene, welfare monitoring, nutritional management, and assistance with various activities of daily life. The recommendation will typically end with the statement that “without this care, the patient would require care in a nursing facility.” Most family members are not licensed health-care professionals. A licensed health-care professional, such as a medical doctor, physician’s assistant, or other qualified individual, needs to be in charge of the case management and serve in an oversight capacity. Too many families needlessly lose everything they have. Don’t let that be you. If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options! Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney for the past 8 years in a row by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!