Ask Andy: Caregiver contracts

By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Many of us have to put in long hours caring for family members or friends, people who are elderly, sick or disabled.  It can not only take a toll on you, but also your wallet.

Some families are now turning to something called "caregiver contracts."

In a nutshell, the contract says that rather than get unspecified inheritance when your loved one passes away, you will take a set salary now, often a modest one, to manage their care.

Right now, on average, caregivers are providing more than 20 hours of care a week.  The average length of time for that care is about four and a half years.  That covers everything from cooking, cleaning up after your loved one, managing often complex medical care and recruiting and hiring additional help for them.

Many caregivers find it difficult to keep full-time jobs when they are juggling those kinds of demands from loved ones.

Estate advisers said that if you and your loved one agree to enter into a caregiver contract, you should make sure your siblings and other relatives know about it to minimize any family tension.

Also, make sure the contract is clear in terms of your duties and compensations.

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