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Caregiver Agreement

Minimum Features To Include In A Caregiver Agreement

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There is no one size fits all caregiver contract because the laws are different in each state. The law of your state needs to be checked before drafting and executing such an agreement.

Keeping the above in mind, following is list of the minimum features to include in a Caregiver Agreement

Identify the parties.

Make it easier to write a simple document by giving the parties a shorthand identity. For example, call the patient the "Care Recipient" and the caregiver the "Care Provider"

Identify the nature of the relationship.

Is the relationship employee/employee or is the caregiver an independent contractor? If the person is an employee, Social Security and other payroll taxes may need to be withheld.

Describe the Care Provider's duties.

  • The description should cover all the duties that are anticipated. Include duties the Care Recipient may reasonably be expected to need because of his or her health condition, family history or age, even if he or she doesn't need the services when the agreement is written.
  • The description should be written in terms that are understandable to other people who read the contract.
  • It helps to describe the duties broadly, and to also include specific examples which help clarify the meaning of the broadly stated duties.
  • If care will be given at home, in an assisted living facility and/or in a nursing home, say so. Include duties in both places.

Include a term - how long the agreement is meant to last.

For example, number of month, years, or even the Care Recipient's lifetime.

Describe the compensation

  • Compensation can use any method that is reasonable under the circumstances, such as an hourly payment or a lump sum payment. (The lump sum payment is the most useful for purposes of decreasing assets).
  • Wages should be comparable to those paid in the community for similar services.
  • Reasonable expenses (such as mileage) can be included.
  • It helps to include in the agreement how the compensation is calculated. For instance, if compensation is for a lump sum, include a projection of the average number of hours per week services will be needed/provided. Include what is reasonable in your community to pay for such services per hour, and what is agreed to for purposes of the agreement. Multiply the number of weeks by the number of weeks the patient can be expected to live according to a reputable outside source (for example, a prognosis from the patient's doctor or a general life expectancy if the health condition isn't likely to impact longevity). Keep in mind that if prognosis is used, it relates to averages etc., and does not determine what will happen to any particular individual. (For more, see: Life Expectancy).

Cover the "What ifs"

Describe what happens if the patient dies and the contract ends prematurely or the caregiver otherwise stops providing services. If there is a real possibility the caregiver won't perform the contracted for duties, consider putting the lump sum into an escrow account not under your control and having payments made to the caregiver periodically).

Signature of the parties and date.

The agreement does not have to be notarized.

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