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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2007 / 8 Teves 5768

Pat on head no compensation for caregiving

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We recently responded to a question from a nurse who stopped working at a hospital to care for her mother-in-law and father-in-law for four years, and to enable them to die at home after long illnesses. While putting in 12- to 16-hour days for no pay, she lost her income, retirement and contributions to her Social Security.


While her in-laws intended to take care of her financially, they put nothing in writing and she had no contract. Then, after the second death, her husband's siblings came in to claim their equal shares under their parents' old wills. Her question: "I was not going to ask for anything, but now that the sibs are torturing my husband and me and not being thankful for the sacrifices we made, I would like to know if I can make any type of claim for what I did."


A: As we said in the last column, there are two ways to make a claim: a contract, which wasn't the case here; or a claim for services that allows one to recover the value of one's services, based upon work.


To recover any money, the daughter-in-law had to prove that she provided a benefit to her in-laws, which they realized, and that it would be inequitable to allow the beneficiaries of their estates to divide the estate without paying the value of your claim.


Now, to elaborate: Without a contract, a person who renders valuable services can still seek the value of those services by filing a claim against the estate in what is called "quantum meruit." In order to attempt to collect, the claim must be filed against the estate during the statutory claims period, which may vary from state to state. For that reason, it is imperative that you retain an attorney to handle this for you because if you miss the filing deadline, you won't be able to collect. While the post-filing procedure may also vary from state to state, an experienced attorney will be able to shepherd you through the process.


How far back can you go to make a claim? According to the law of most states, there is no statute of limitations when it comes to making equitable claims like this. Otherwise, beneficiaries like your husband's siblings would be unjustly enriched by the inheritance because, had you not performed four years' of service to keep their parents at home, their estates would have been diminished by the cost of a nursing facility or round-the-clock care.


Since you, as a daughter-in-law, did not owe a legal or moral obligation to provide these services to your in-laws, you should be able to secure compensation for what you did. But how do you prove the value of what you did?


First, calculate everything you did on a daily basis, including the number of hours that you spent each day — either at your in-laws' home or that you were available. Then, determine, based on the marketplace, how much per hour your in-laws would have had to spend to pay individuals to do what you did. Remember, however, that some of the tasks you performed would be compensated at the same hourly rate as a private duty nurse, while other tasks would be compensated at sitters' or aides' hourly rates.


Since your calculations should include interest that could have been earned on the sums you should have been paid, it is probably a good idea to enlist the services of a forensic certified public accountant to make these calculations for you.


Taking the NextStep: Remember that if you are successful, every penny you receive will be taxable income to you and, as such, you will be required to pay not only income taxes, but also FICA, Medicare and possibly other expenses, so try to have all of these deductions built into the calculations. Finally, a word to the wise: If you are going to provide assistance to individuals who say they intend to compensate you, have a contract prepared up front.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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