Be Careful When Leaving Monetary Gifts to Caregivers

Elderly people who receive care in their home or in a nursing facility sometimes have a desire to leave a monetary gift to a caregiver. While this is a perfectly reasonable and understandable desire, if done in an incorrect fashion, certain snags can arise that prevent the caregiver from ever receiving the funds.

What is a Certificate of Independent Review?

California has several laws in place to protect vulnerable and mentally incompetent elders from fraud and undue influence. As such, professional caregivers are prohibited from benefitting from the estate of the person under their care without clear evidence of the donor's mentally sound intent. In order for a person to leave money to a caregiver, the drafter of the donation papers must seek a certificate of independent review to ensure the donor made their decision without any sort of undue influence.

A certificate of independent review is a document signed by an impartial attorney who has reviewed the terms of the transfer and vouches for its legitimacy. If the attorney who drafts the transfer does not seek to obtain an independent review, the transfer will be presumed to be invalid.

A certificate of independent review must be sought for gifts given from dependent adults to any of the following parties:

  • Non-family attorneys
  • Nurses and in-house caregivers
  • Non-family persons involved in caregiving and social wellbeing
  • Relatives or employees of non-family attorneys and caregivers

Contact a Skilled Estate Planning Lawyer in Orange County

If you are looking to leave a gift to any of the above parties, a knowledgeable Orange County estate planning attorney from P. Arnsen Blakely can draft the terms of your gift and make certain your funds reach your intended recipient. With more than 40 years of experience, we know the intricacies of estate planning law and can help ensure your wishes are honored.

To get started, call (714) 908-4230 or request a free case evaluation today.