Another great article in Paul Premack’s San Antonio Express-News legal column asks,  “Can a caretaker/child get larger share of estate?”

If a child or caretaker takes care of a parent or elderly person for years, it’s only natural to hope for reimbursement after the person passes away.  After all, caretakers often devote years of their lives and spend thousands of dollars caring for elderly loved ones.  Shouldn’t the child get paid back for all their trouble and expenses in caring for an elderly parent?

As Mr. Premack notes, after the parent dies, there is not an easy way to force the estate to pay back the caretaker.  So, if there was a Last Will, and the Will splits the estate evenly among the siblings, the siblings will get equal shares even if one of the siblings cared for the parent for years.

This outcome seems unfair.  On the other hand, from the lawmakers’ perspective, if the parent had wanted the caretaker to receive more money from the estate, then the parent could have said so in the Will.

So, if you’re taking care of an elderly parent right now, what can you do to make sure that you get reimbursement after your parent passes away?

  • Mr. Premack provides one excellent tip:  Ask the parent to sign a promissory note with you.  This way, any money you pay for the parent’s care will be considered a “loan” from you to the parent.  This way, after the parent dies, you will have a legal claim to get reimbursed from the estate.  Your inheritance would be in addition to this legal claim for reimbursement.
  • You could ask your parent to keep all of your extra efforts and expenditures in mind when he/she goes to the law office for the Last Will.  This way, in the Will, your parent can acknowledge your extra efforts and expenses.  You can explain that if your parent doesn’t make any extra provision for you in the Last Will, then you won’t get paid back for all of your expenses.  Hopefully, this conversation will encourage your elderly parent to provide an extra gift to you in the Will to compensate your efforts.




Visit for more information on reimbursement for the care of an elderly parent, how to distribute property after the death of a parent, estate administration, probate, or how to avoid probate,  contact Richardson, Texas lawyer Isaac Shutt at

Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.


You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you need letters testamentary, division of an estate, or a probate lawyer in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX or surrounding North Texas area.


DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.