Mike, that is awful that your MIL was like that. But your wife should have dealt with her mother. To have a do nothing brother show up for a check from mom, meanwhile her oxygen compressor is running up the electric bill. That was wrong.
When I refer to protecting an inheritance I am not talking about the taxpayers footing the bill. First off Medicare has a 5 yr look back on finances, the elder just can't hand off the house and the bank accounts to an adult child and cry poor mouth.
I am talking about the adult child taking care of the parent in the home, thus avoiding the monthly expense which on average is $6K a month. If it can be done, I realize in some cases it is not possible to keep an elder at home.
But there is no perserving of an inheritance and the taxpayers foot the bill, unless someone is very clever and has a crystal ball and can predict the future so that they time it right and sign over all their assets(and can you really trust anyone not run off with your money), wait 5 yrs. and then get Medicaid.
But that would be difficult to do.
I don't know of anyone or anyway that an elder can be living in an assisted living or nursing home on Medicaid while they have a hefty bank account.
Like I said Medicare does a 5 yr lookback and wants to know where the money went.
When the elder is taken care of in the home by an adult child that person is not burdening the tax payers, they're living off the elder savings in most cases, and by not having the elder in a facility not going through the money like Hitler went through France.
And if there is an inheritance left over when the elder passes and a house that is paid for, and you have an adult child who sacraficed years of their own life to caregive, maybe gave up a job, or in some cases got laid off because when their company did layoffs they got rid of people who had family issues, than that child should get more of the estate.
Because as Equality said, while other family members went on with their lives and earned an income and prospered, the caregiver's job and life became taking care of someone.
BC, you're right they don't know. I didn't know. So when someone says well the parent should just pay the caregiver, it isn't just that simple. Many of us had no idea how long the caregiving would go on for or how complicated it would become.
And again many of us start off(myself included) thinking well these are my parents of course I will take care of them, clueless as to how much this involves.