Many adult children today take care of their elderly parents
so the parents can remain in their home for as long as possible. To do so, the
caregivers often drop everything, quit their jobs, and devote themselves full
time to providing for all their parents’ needs – often paying their expenses
out-of-pocket so the parents don’t worry about running out of money. In return, their parents might promise, upon
their death, to compensate the adult child, offering ownership of the house,
or an increased proportion of their estate.
This is known as “quantum meruit” and “in the absence of an
explicit contract, the doctrine of quantum meruit will infer a promise to pay a
reasonable amount for the services.”
Unfortunately, unless there is a written agreement or the
proper estate planning documents have been revised, the other beneficiaries
could take the position that if the parents wanted to provide for the adult
child caregiver, they would have changed their estate plan.
Click here to read Patricia’s entire article, including the
eight steps caregiver clients can take to avoid becoming mired in a quantum