How to thank a caregiver with a donation or bequest

The proportion of caregivers has continued to increase in recent decades. The phenomenon is not surprising given the increase in life expectancy. According to one study published by the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees) in February 2023, 9.3 million people provide regular help to a loved one with a disability or loss of autonomy.

It is often natural for a child, a daughter-in-law, a nephew, a friend, a neighbor to support a loved one in difficulty by providing domestic help, moral support, regular care, assistance with travel or even by hosting it. Without these caregivers, many people losing their independence would no longer be able to continue living in their home. And all these gestures also have economic value.

If caregivers act selflessly, out of affection or in a spirit of family solidaritytheir contribution to society is estimated at 11 billion euros per year by the Laboratory of Economics and Management of Health Organizations at Paris-Dauphine University (estimate carried out as part of the Share study of 2018).

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It is not expected that the services rendered will ever be remunerated. However, as the beneficiary of this precious aid, you may, at some point, want to reward it. A “Remunerative generosity”, whether it is a donation made during your lifetime or a bequest taking effect upon your death, can be used to do this. Your gesture can relate to a sum of money, a painting, a piece of jewelry, etc., and even to real estate. Provided that the services rendered are equivalent to the value of the property given or bequeathed…

From a tax point of view, the act is very interesting. Since remuneration is not giving, remunerative donations escape tax. A considerable advantage when the caregiver is not a family member – this would be the case for 20% of caregivers, according to the French Association of Caregivers. Indeed, remunerative generosity makes it possible in this case to avoid taxation (through gift or inheritance taxes) up to 60% of the value given.

Justify services rendered

“It is in a way a false donation or a false legacy since there was a quid pro quo: you are paying the caregiver for work they have accomplished. This is the reason why it largely escapes the regime of liberalities.explains Me Marlène Thebault, notary in Mauges-sur-Loire (Maine-et-Loire). “For example, the rule of inheritance or the reduction of gifts does not apply even if the heirs believe that their rights have been infringed. The gratified caregiver will not have to return anything [à la mort de la personne aidée] »she explains.

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