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A Better Partnership


Nov 2017
November 14, 2017

Family Caregiver Disputes

It is common for a family member to provide in-home care to an aging loved one. Sometimes there is an expectation by the family member that they will be paid for these services, particularly if the care services provided are time consuming and the family member’s employment income is reduced or eliminated in order provide the care. 

Family disputes can arise if the caretaking family member expects to be paid but has not been paid at the family member’s death. 

In Michigan, it is presumed that a family member was providing the care services for a family member gratuitously.

To rebut this presumption, the caretaking family member must prove there was an expectation to be paid by both the caretaking family member and the family member receiving the care. Family disputes can also arise over how much is “reasonable” for a caretaking family member to be paid. 

To avoid or minimize a dispute, a caretaking agreement should be discussed, put in writing, and signed by both the caretaker and the family member receiving the care. If the family member receiving the care has questionable mental capacity, other steps should be taken. If the care recipient is or will be applying for Medicaid, special care must be given to the caregiver agreement to avoid jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility. We can help with all of these issues.

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