From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Before she died, my mother lived in my Philadelphia home and required around-the-clock care, which I provided. My brother and sister did not even visit. Now that she has died, her estate is being divided up between us and my siblings refuse to compensate me for all the work I did caring for our mom. Can I make a claim to be paid?
Your mother’s estate is to be divided up between the heirs as her will dictates, or through the rules of intestacy if she had no will. Prior to the division of the assets, all creditors will be paid. If you have no agreement showing that you were doing the work for a fee, it will be difficult to prove that you are a creditor.
Family members regularly take care of other ill family members without compensation, so you would need to prove that this work was done under an agreement with her where you would be paid. That being said, the heirs can always agree to give you some of the estate as compensation for your work. But if they would agree to that, I imagine you would not have needed to write this question.