December 13, 2010
If you've combined households or if you're considering such a plan, several agreements may benefit you and your family. See your elder law attorney for more information about sibling and family agreements. The following information is from the book How Not to Go Broke at 102! by Adriane Berg.
Sibling Support Agreements
Some families choose to enter into a sibling support agreement -- a contract that outlines the support responsibility of adult children in several situations, including when a parent comes to live with them. The written agreement specifies who pays for what, who manages separate bills, who has access to assets and income, whose name is on the deed and who will inherit joint property.
An advancement clause is an agreement used by senior parents to ensure that money and property given to the caretaker is deducted from their inheritance. This document can help keep financial interactions between senior parents and adult children out in the open.
Personal Care Contracts
In some situations, families choose to enter into a personal care contract, which stipulates that the adult child providing care to her senior relative for life will receive a lump sum payment upon the senior's passing. The purpose of this contract is to keep the senior at home or with the caretaker, and give the caretaker incentive to give maximum effort without fear that another family member will contest the payment as a gift under duress.
It is a good idea to meet with an elder law attorney to answer any legal questions adult children may have regarding sibling and family agreements.
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