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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26854
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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For over six years I have been caring for my parents 24/7 without

Resolved Question:

For over six years I have been caring for my parents 24/7 without a day off, which means I had to quit my job to care for them as dad was no longer able to assist mom in certain daily tasks such as after she used the bathroom. Mom died two and a half years
ago, dad now has severe Alzheimer’s. I do not have power of attorney over my father because he refused to allow that, but I do have the legal authority to write checks with my signature on his behalf because I am the successor trustee named in his will (my
brother is listed also as the other successor trustee but because he lives 600 miles away he has decided to not assume this responsibility). My brother, who is retired, refuses to help in the care of dad, which would relieve me so I can have time to myself.
Am I legally allowed to deduct from dad’s account a reasonable salary for myself?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the chance to assist. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can assist with your legal question
I am sorry for this dilemma. If you father has dementia, at some point he will no longer be competent (able to understand what is going on around him), if that has not already happened.
Can you tell me his current mental status...is he competent? Or has he passed that point?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The XXXXXXXXXXX’X XXXXXXXXXXXX publishes a pamphlet describing the seven deteriorating steps of this insidious disease. Our primary care physician and a physician specializing in geriatrics both agree that dad’s mental faculties has deteriorated to step six. It has been well over a year since dad has been mentally competent.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. That makes it difficult (for you)...since if your dad is not competent, he is not able to make decisions that affect himself (decisions that can impact his person...his health, and his estate...his money)
If he is not competent? He truly needs someone to make these decisions for him.
So lets get on to your question
Am I legally allowed to deduct from dad’s account a reasonable salary for myself?
The answer is no.
You are not. Not legally.
Not without a court order.
If you did so, you would open yourself up to charges of fraud...either in civil court (perhaps from your brother) and conceivably in criminal court.
Under the law, when a person has a the responsibility of trustee, they have a fiduciary duty to the estate. That duty requires they place the interests of the estate over their own interests. If you pay yourself, you are setting yourself up for a charge of violation of your fiduciary duty.
Now...clearly your father needs care. And there is no reason you should be working for free. What you may want to consider doing is to go to court and have yourself appointed as guardian to your father. At that point, if you are appointed guardian, you would be able to take steps on behalf of your father to protect his health and his estate. And paying for health care would be one of the items you would have power to do (in he role of guardian).
But what you describe, since you are not in the position as court appointed guardian and since you do not have power of attorney, you do not have this ability.
Sorry to have to bear bad news
Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26854
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
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