Give me a tax break!


When you read HOUSE ON FIRE later in the Sophie and Sam mystery series, you will get a glimpse of a sinking ship.  Sophie’s good friend Joan, former tennis champion, has a debilitating disease, and it appears her husband has run off to Mexico with all their money.

There are other sinking ships all around us with stories of their own.  Some are pretty common.  Dementia comes to mind.  By the time I woke up to the fact that my mother had never thought much about money matters, she was on the brink of not thinking about much of anything at all.  I had to quickly find a lawyer and set up a process for acting as Power of Attorney for her finances.

Eldercare is expensive.  I was lucky she had savings.  Sometimes it’s the children who pay.

This is the month we are all doing our taxes.  I got an email reminder from ElderCarelink that tax breaks are available to family caregivers.  You can claim a loved one as a dependent if you provide half their support.  You can deduct for costs to you of in-home care services, transportation of your elder to doctors’ appointments, and much more.

If your parent comes under your financial care, find a tax consultant pronto.

This is a an important consideration when you are trying to decide what living arrangements your dependent parent needs.  Even with money available, you will be advised to start a detailed accounting of all the expenditures relating to their care.  Your parent may not be able to live in the style to which they have become accustomed – as was the case in HOUSE OF FIRE.  But Sophie and her friend found a solution, which you will hear more about when that book is published.

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