Q: Am a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, I haven’t been paid for a year due to family of the patient mishandling her finances. No one wants to care for her anymore now that all her funds are gone. I would like to know how can I protect myself so I don’t get cheated in the end, and be compensated for the job I am doing. The only asset she has is her house and I would like to know if she can sign a deed or at least put my name on the title so I can have some say and not get kicked to the curb after all my hard work.
A: Having Alzheimer’s doesn’t necessarily mean she is incompetent to sign a deed. You should ask her doctor if she is. If she is competent or is not competent, you should proceed with caution as there may be an appearance that you are taking advantage of her. If you can afford a lawyer, he or she may be able to determine if this is possible. My feeling is that it will only work if she is competent and she wants to do this. At a minimum, you should get a caretaker contract from the women or her next of kin for your services so you can be paid in the future or reimbursed from the estate.