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My brother and sister who live out of state have proposed to allow us to use approximately $60,000 of my 88 year old Dad's money to add two rooms and a handicap bathroom on to my wife and families house for Dad to live in. We will then be able to provide full care for him and allow him to be around family who love him and not strangers. My father is and has always been a wonderful caring person, having taken care of my now deceased Mother for years as well as his mother and father in law. He will go along with what ever is decided. They have agreed to do this provided we have that subtracted from our share of the inheritance. Additionally we get the money and they get equal amounts as gifts to do with as they please. Does this seem fair?
dry.gif In a word...No! First, you're not getting any more of an inheritance than the others. While they will spend theirs on themselves, yours will go to your Dad's needs. Second, while everyone seems enamored with this ideal of elder care, no one assesses the costs until they've made the decision. I've seen families destroyed over in-home care. They'll say they're all for it, not wanting to hurt you, but kids and spouses usually come to feel neglected...or used. Even your employer may resent the arrangement if you need more than usual time off to take care of things. I know a person who lost their job over in-home care. Then, you will likely become stressed and resentful of your Dad for all the turmoil in your family and the 24-hour care he requires. This won't leave him any too happy, either. This can all be further complicated if he develops a condition requiring more specialized care, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's diseases. Third, a gift of that size is subject to gift taxes (I think around 50%) and, if he ever needs to go on Medicaid there may be legal consequences of these gifts.
If you decide to be responsible for his care, there are some things that should be in place to make it easier and fairer. You should have power of attorney for health care decisions and all his financial matters. His estate should remain intact to provide for any needs he may have. Talk to a reputable attorney licensed in your state, as to how your Dad's estate can pay for the necessary home renovation without the money ever being in your possession. Since you will be providing services to your family (care giving and power-of-attorney), talk to the lawyer about standard compensation for these services. You may be able to accept the property improvements "in trade" for services. Also, since he has the money, any bathing, feeding, dressing assistance should be contracted with an in-home care company. That way, your Dad's dignity is retained and your relationship can continue as loving family.
In my opinion, given the quality of care available from assisted living facilities, this is the way to go. The tradition of in-home care is left over from a time in the US when people were so poor there were no other choices. This doesn't seem to be the case for your Dad. It would make it far simpler to provide for his care without the added complication of a major home remodel. Having done it for my mother and brother, I can tell you it's the least disruptive for the family, provides the best chance of quality and social life for the senior, and allows your family to spend quality time with Dad instead of spending the time cleaning up his messes and helping him go potty.

I hope this helps!
It's really nice of you to take care of your family in their older age. It's hard to find people like you.
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