Do I need a Contract for Personal Service with my Elderly Parents?

Q: I am in the process of moving from my home in Pittsburgh of 28 yrs. to be closer to my Elderly Parents with Health Issues in Steubenville, Ohio. I have quit my job to be able to go back and forth every few weeks and sort and pack freely and my Parents are helping me by paying my bills, etc. temporarily. I am not caring for them, only getting closer in case I should need to. One Person says a caretaker contract is needed because of possible Medicare in the future, another says it shouldn’t be necessary until a certain dollar amount as a gift is surpassed. Can someone clarify please?

A: You really should consult with an Ohio elder law attorney. If your parents may need Medicaid assistance to pay for home care or nursing care in the future and an application to Medicaid may be foreseeable, you do need advice on how to draft a caretaker contract in compliance with Medicaid regulations. This way, the money paid to you as a caretaker, will not be subject to the Medicaid 5 year look back. An attorney may also advise you on other ways to shelter your parent’s assets while maintaining Medicaid eligibility.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.