Dec 31, 2016
By elder law attorney Rick Law, managing partner at the multi-generation law form of Law Elder Law. Serving seniors and boomers in Western Chicagoland, Illinois.
When someone provides a service for someone else, there is an expectation of compensation, but when the same services are performed by a family member, the presumption is that the services were performed gratuitously.
Courts have historically held the presumption that when one family member provides a service for another family member, the person does so out of love and the services are considered gratuitous. Not only is there a historical prejudice against the adult child who is caring for an elderly parent, but in some states that prejudice is written in the administration rules of that state.
It is your lawyer’s job to overcome the assumption that relatives perform services for each other out of love or mutual convenience. This can be quite a presumption to overcome, because the prejudice against contracts among relatives dates back to the 1800’s, when it was assumed that relatives performed services for the mutual convenience of everyone in their household. There are also deep-rooted cultural beliefs about caregiving among family members.
For example, there are strong cultural beliefs at play that suggest parents should receive reciprocal free care from their children because of the years they spend as uncompensated caregivers raising their children.
Your trusted elder law attorney should build into the language of the personal-care agreement that the transfers made under this contract are not for love and affection, but rather they are for services rendered to the elder by the caretaker for fair market value.
If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please 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.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney 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!
My wife and I had our first child three years ago. That’s when we decided to set up a trust, should anything happen to either of us. We reached out to Zach Hesselbaum to help us out. He was very thorough and professional throughout the whole process. Zach went above and beyond to make sure that we understood every detail of setting it up and he did an excellent job. We recently had our second child a few months ago. With the new baby, he helped us make the necessary revisions to the trust. Zach made this process great for us! I would definitely recommend using him for any of your estate planning needs!
Tom G., Naperville, IL