What is the best way for my five brothers and me to contribute toward paying for my mother's care?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 26, 2016
Rick keenan asked...

My five brothers and I want to set up a fund (account, trust, corporation) to pay for our mother's care. We will all contribute to the fund regularly. None of us individually want the tax liability. What is the best format for our purposes?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

First, I must commend you on the spirit of cooperation that your family seems to have embraced. Getting any five people to cooperate seems like a superhuman task, much less five brothers, much less for such a grandly altruistic cause.

And I'd like to cooperate with a simple answer to the question you pose. But the truth is that your situation potentially calls into play some complicated tax planning -- the term preferred over "tax avoidance" -- techniques.

The best approach for you to take depends on insurance, investments, income, assets, and tax brackets of all the brothers involved -- and your mother's health and financial states also weigh into the mix.

So you sit in one of those situations in which it is best to check out your options with a professional who is willing and able to take all the facts into account. Not just any old accountant or attorney will do for this job. It is best for you to consult with an elder care attorney who is experienced in estate and tax planning -- and it may take some shopping around and sleuthwork to find him or her.

If you don't have a good lead for such a person, you might begin your search using the database at the National Elder Law Foundation.