Is an Agent Under a Power of Attorney Entitled to Compensation?

Posted On : October 29, 2015   By : RobG

Q:

My wife and I have are agents under my 86-year-old mother’s durable power of attorney. We are her primary caregivers because she is not able to cook her own meals, clean her own home, do her own laundry, do grocery shopping, drive herself to doctor’s appointments, allocate her own medications, or pay her own bills. We are both with her 24/7. I gave up my employment 10 months ago in order to care for her. Are we entitled to some form of compensation under the power of attorney?

 

A:

Unless your power of attorney form specifically prohibits compensation, agents under a power of attorney are generally entitled to “reasonable” compensation. What is considered reasonable is going to depend on your duties and the area you live in. But it sounds like your duties go far beyond what an agent under a power of attorney would typically be reimbursed for.  Usually, the best way to handle compensation for caregiving responsibilities is to agree on a reasonable rate with your mother and create a written caregiver contract. If your mother ever applies for Medicaid, state officials could contend that the payments were intended simply to reduce her assets to qualify for coverage. Before compensating yourself, we strongly recommend you contact an elder law attorney to find out what is allowed in your state and to help draw up a contract.