Q: I am a power of attorney for my wife’s Aunt. I do everything from pay bills for nursing home, do income tax, get health ins.etc. I take care of her house, clean, sprinklers on and off, buy things she needs, check medical bills, and a whole lot more. My question is, how much can I charge her monthly. I drive 45 minutes, 2 days a week to make sure house is ok. Is $300 a month ok!, or, is it too much or not enough. Thank you for your input! (West Newton, PA)
A: You can charge a fee for your services as an Agent on the Power of Attorney (POA) if authorized by the language contained in the POA. If the POA does not mention a specific dollar amount, it probably says a “reasonable fee”. If so, the fee must be reasonable compared to the normal fee charged by elderly caretakers. You may want to investigate. It may be in the $20 to $30 per hour range. Beware however, if she ever needs to apply for Medicaid in the near future, these payments could be considered a transfer without fair consideration and could disqualify her from receiving Medicaid benefits. If you fell she may need Medicaid in the future, you need to meet with an Elder Law attorney who is versed in Medicaid law, to review the entire situation.