Compensating adult children for home care

Getting old is a fact of life for most of us. As the population continues to age, care for older people is needed. Many older people in Oklahoma are not able to care for themselves exclusively, and rely on skilled nursing care or family members to meet their needs. If an adult child is helping their aging parents, there are ways for the parents to compensate them.

For many adult children, caring for an aging parent can be a full-time job, or at least a part time job with many hours. Sometimes a child has to give up their job to care for their parent. There can be a few options for parents to compensate their children for the sacrifices they may be making by taking care of them. First, they can pay their child pursuant to a caretaker contract.

Another way to compensate an adult child is to transfer their house to the child as compensation. This is known as a “caretaker child” exemption. In this situation, a parent can transfer their home to a child who has lived in the parent’s home for at least the last two years and provided care to the parent that allows them to stay in their home. This arrangement can allow a parent to significantly compensate their child and can have Medicaid advantages as well. Transferring the home under the caretaker child exemption can help make the parent eligible for Medicaid with certain qualifications. These include, the child providing care is a biological or adopted child, the home is the parent’s main residence, the care provided by the child allowed their parent to stay in the home, and the caretaker child lived in the home for at least two years while caring for their parent.

A legal professional who is skilled in long-term care planning can help their client determine how best to compensate adult children for taking care of their parents and offer strategies for compensation and other senior living issues. Having information regarding these topics can help families understand how to best handle their unique situation.

Source:, “The caretaker child: How aging parents can compensate adult children for care at home“, Kara Gansmann, Oct. 16, 2017

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