Important Details of an Elder Care Agreement

The person caring for someone with needs makes many sacrifices often a significant sacrifice is leaving a job and performing. An Elder Care Agreement between family members can provide an opportunity to compensate the caregiver if they are no longer able to do so.

Even though most family members want to help and feel an obligation to care for a relative, it is a job with great obligations and responsibilities, a way to protect both the caregiver and the carer in writing.

This is a binding agreement also known as the Long-Term Care Personal Support Services Agreement, the Elder Care Contract, or the Family or Caregiver Care Contract. In most cases, you can call it an Elder Care agreement.

This arrangement can provide family caregivers with security that they will not face undue financial consequences. At the same time, the agreement can reassure the caregiver that they have a ring attorney to manage their needs.

What is this kind of document?

The Elder Care Agreement is a contract, usually between a family member who agrees to provide care services (the caregiver) to a disabled or elderly relative, and the carer (the dependent). 

The wording of an agreement makes it clear which tasks are expected in the exchange. Because you can help avoid family conflicts about who will take care of care and how much money will change hands.

For this reason, the arrangement should be discussed with other family members to resolve any concerns before an arrangement is drafted. 

It is advisable to treat the Elder Care Agreement as a formal document. If the dependent is receiving government-funded home care, the agreement shows the state where the money is going and for what types of services.

A foster agreement can alleviate potential confusion among family members concerned about estates to heirs and prevent later misunderstandings about reducing the amount of money that can be inherited. This information can be taken into account when planning an estate with a lawyer.

What are the basic elements you should include in the agreement?

You need to fulfill three basic requirements:  

  • The agreement should be in writing 
  • You must arrange payment for future care provided (not for services already provided)
  • Compensation for care must be reasonable. It cannot exceed the cost of a paid caregiver service from a local home care agency

Further components you should include in the Elder Care Agreement are:  

  • Start date of maintenance
  • A detailed description of the services provided
  • How often are services provided?
  • The place where the services are provided
  • How much, and when does the carer receive?
  • If it is planned that the caregiver will live with the person in need of care, are board and lodging free as part of the compensation?

Do you need a lawyer for the Elder Care Agreement?

It is not necessary to use a lawyer in all cases. However, depending on the circumstances and the complexity of the situation, it may be advisable to enter into a contractual relationship. 

It would be helpful to consult a lawyer. A flat-rate contract is complex, and it is more difficult to show compensation in terms of “fair market value” for care services. A monthly or biweekly salary for care services is easier to come by. 

Suppose any party is not happy with the proposed financial transactions or how the agreement affects eligibility for Medicaid. You should consult an attorney to avoid disputes later. 

Having the person with dementia acting as their own representative and signing the Elder Care Agreement can help to have the document checked by a lawyer. An important consideration in assessing whether he or she is unable to sign the agreement. 

The power of attorney or the court-appointed guardian or restorer must sign the document in this situation. Whether the person who receives money for the care also keeps the person in need of care. Power of attorney or guardianship, consult an attorney.

How does the Elder Care Agreement affect eligibility for Medicaid?

Medicaid (MO Health Net in Missouri and Medical and Health Services (HFS) Medical Benefits in Illinois) is a state and federal program that helps pay for long-term care costs for people with limited incomes and assets. Look back period of up to five years. You can also sometimes refer to this as “reduced effort”. 

Suppose the patient needs to enter a facility or request other services that Medicaid could pay for. The Elder Care Agreement can show that the care services were not an attempt to hide assets. Pay for the “value” of personal care services. Without a contract with a caregiver, Medicaid could treat payments to a family caregiver as gifts. 

The rules are complex and vary from state to state. Another option that you should consider to get and get your own attention is consumer-centric attention. Contact the Department of Aging and Disability Services (Missouri) or the Department of Health Care and Family Services (Illinois).