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I am power of attorney for my father, can I pay myself?

My father is 92 and in a nursing home for the last 9 months, on a private pay basis (not on medicaid). I have full durable power of attorney. Is it okay legally to pay myself from his funds, in order to compensate for the many, many hours of work I have put in towards his care: taking care of his needs, such as numerous phones calls and visits to doctors, nurses, accountants, coordinating all medical care, handling issues with insurance, his house bills, his car, his banking/financial matters, etc, etc? If so, how do I calculate a fair compensation amount?
Status: Open    Nov 16, 2015 - 08:58 AM

Elder Law

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Nov 16, 2015 - 10:41 AM

I think you are right to ask because you are in an ethical grey area. My best advice would be for you to check with a local attorney. Being the primary caregiver for a parent can cause a substantial financial burden, but you will need to protect yourself from accusations of fraud or abuse. If you do wind up paying yourself in any way, be sure that you have an extraordinarily thorough accounting system for exactly what your father is paying for. For instance, (and check with an attorney), if you transport your dad to the doctor you would want to log the miles along with the purpose and time.

I have spoken with families who have paid their adult children. Typically (and more safely) the consenting parent who is free of dementia makes the decision to pay their adult child as a caregiver. However, I have heard of your situation and your legal safety ought to be your first concern.

Nov 18, 2015 - 10:26 AM

You can pay yourself as POA, there are usually no restrictions, but please be sure to keep careful track of what the payments are for in case any future Medicaid questions were to come up, or other family, etc may inquire as to what the payments are for.
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