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Can I get paid for the care I gave my aunt before her death?

Posted on Tue Oct 20, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: New Jersey Elder Care Reimbursement

Most Recently Updated July 31, 2018.

“Before she died, my aunt lived with me in Burlington County, New Jersey for several years. My wife and I took her to the doctor and cared for her when she became bedridden. She died without a will and all her assets are being divided between my cousins. They never helped with her care. This is not fair. Can I make the estate pay me for my time?”

New Jersey Elder Care Reimbursement

New Jersey Elder Care Reimbursement

Under New Jersey rules, your Aunt could have made a will and given you the entire estate, or had a will that said you would receive some of her estate to reflect the work you did. Because she did not make a will, the New Jersey intestate rule divides her assets between all her children, equally. Prior to the assets being divided, all her creditors must be paid. This includes her funeral expenses and final taxes.

Had she made an agreement with you and your wife that you would be paid for the care you provided her, then you would also be a creditor. It sounds like — from what you described — you had no such agreement. Because family members regularly provide each other with care, this care is considered a gift unless you can prove otherwise. Your cousins could agree to give you more of the estate to reflect your work, but that would be up to them.

More Probate Questions?

New Jersey Elder Care Reimbursement is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: New Jersey Elder Care Reimbursement

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining New Jersey Elder Care Reimbursement. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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