How to document when mom reimburses me?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 10, 2016
Soninlawpt asked...

My mom frequently asks me to pick up grocery items, or her prescriptions, or needs me to order something for her online. She has paid me back by writing a check, and putting in the memo line "groceries" or "Depends".
However my siblings who live far away, are suspicious, and I wonder if there is a better way? Mom doesn't drive. I am DPOA, so I have to be careful that I do not "gift" myself anything. I am not getting paid for anything other than the items she requests me to buy, for her use alone.
Should I get a duplicate credit card at her bank? Would that solve things?
Also thinking that if we needed Medicaid, they might see these checks as gifts or transfer of wealth (yeah like $32.03 at a time?) but just want everything to be transparent and no trouble down the line.


Expert Answers

Brenda Avadian, brings knowledge, hope, and joy to family caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia. She cared for her father with Alzheimer's and helps families one-on-one and in groups. She is the author of eight books, including the pioneering memoir "Where's my shoes?" My Father's Walk through Alzheimer's and the Finding the JOY in Alzheimer's series. She presents vivid, compelling, and funny keynotes to both professional and family caregiving audiences.

As your mom's Attorney in Fact (with a DPOA), it's important for you to keep track of your/her expenses and share these with her heirs (your siblings). Whether you hire help or are paid for your time depends on your situation.

You're on the right track, soninlawPT, to be concerned about transparency with potentially suspicious siblings.

However, if you have DPOA for financial and health related matters, you may want to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help you track expenses if these grow too cumbersome. Or you can see about being reimbursed for the time you spend tracking, recording, then sharing your mom's expenses with your siblings.

If she's close to qualifying for Medicaid (limited assets), you may consider an elder law attorney to ensure you're taking the right steps given the laws in your state. Oftentimes, elder law attorneys offer an initial consultation for free. However, know that their paid services have saved many (including me) more by following their advice, even after paying hundreds (and thousands) in fees.


Community Answers

Soninlawpt answered...

Thank you Brenda, I am able to ask my own attorney a few Q's, but mom has no funds to spend on her own lawyer.
Medicaid is a distinct possibility, getting close to 5 yrs of assets left. So I think I better make contact with our local Medicaid office and see if they can info me on what they would prefer, documentation-wise.