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Leaving Inheritance for Your Home Health Aide


 
“I want to leave an inheritance for my home health aide. She helps me out a lot through the later years of my life. She is family to me. My children hardly ever call and almost never see me anymore, but she is here every day. She takes care of me so I am going to take care of her.”

Now, in my opinion, the reason the home health aide helps you is because it’s her job. Try letting her go and then see if she’s still around to smile at you and bring you coffee. Besides, she might have the inheritance on her mind, especially if you told her about it.

But then again, what do I know? I was never in a situation where I needed a home health aide. You may say, it’s her job to take care of your health, but it’s outside of the boundaries of her job to give you that special Mona Lisa smile. You be the judge of that. It’s your money.

You are allowed to leave an inheritance for whomever you want. In this country, you may disinherit your children completely if you so please. Your children may try to challenge your will, but ultimately your home health aide is likely to prevail, even if by offering your children a settlement.

I am presuming that you have the capacity to make a will:

  • you know who your relatives are
  • you know what your assets are
  • you understand what a will does

It’s best to document this capacity by contacting an experienced estate planning attorney, who will

  • meet with you on multiple occasions
  • assess your capacity
  • discuss your relationship with your children
  • discuss with you the steps you need to take to make the strongest possible will or trust to have your home health aide receive your inheritance

Albert Goodwin, Esq. is a New York City wills, trusts and estates attorney. He can be reached at (212) 233-1233.