We are getting older. More and more people are allowed to enjoy their retirement over many years. But there are also dark sides. These, as so often in life, have a financial background. Often the pension is not enough to bear the financial burdens of old age. If parents have to be housed in a home, their disposable income is often insufficient to pay the cost of housing. Then usually also the Children in duty and have to pay for parenting. This conflicts are inevitable.
Inform yourself early about parental maintenance. Whether you are a parent or a child, the right information saves unnecessary conflicts and enables you to understand any liability notice of the social assistance worker and as a parent to assess your right to parental maintenance or, as a child, your obligation to parental maintenance. Regardless of your typically moral obligation to support your parents, the Knowledge of the legal situation always advantageous.
The most important
- If the statutory long-term care insurance financially does not cover a home stay or a home care in old age, the difference must be paid out of pocket. If your parents can not afford this additional payment, the social service providers usually jump in, with the consequence that the social service provider tries to reclaim the caregiver’s children.
- It is generally required that only those who are unable to maintain their own lives and those who are dependent on maintenance be able to provide for their relatives without endangering their own adequate maintenance.
- A recourse claim can not be enforced against your person. Rather, the social service provider is dependent on the maintenance claim in court to sue against you.
- Before you need to pay for parent support, your parent must realize all income and assets.
- If the parent is entitled to basic benefits in old age or because of reduced earning capacity, he must apply for the basic pension. The basic security takes precedence over parental maintenance.
- If you have siblings, all siblings are liable to their parents in proportion to their performance.
- Maintenance obligations towards your own children and towards your spouse or registered partner have priority.
- Parental maintenance is calculated based on your “adjusted” net income. From the resulting amount, you need the half pay as a parent. This amount marks your efficiency. Your adjusted net income is made up of your income less expenses.
Table of Contents
Relevant parental maintenance statistics
Many retirees, the pension is not enough for life. In 2013, 370,000 persons received social assistance for their livelihood in Germany. Their number had increased by 8.1 percent compared to the previous year (source: Federal Statistical Office). 67% of these people lived in institutions such as residential or nursing homes, 33% lived outside such facilities, mostly in one-person households. In 2013, there were 36% more beneficiaries than in 2005. In 2013, 5 out of every 1,000 people were dependent on livelihood support. As the overall trend is rising and pension benefits continue to decline, the issue of parenting is likely to be increasingly in the focus of future generations.
In 2016, 750,000 people requiring long-term care were cared for full-time in nursing homes. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 2.9% (Source: Federal Statistical Office). As people grow older, the trend is soaring.
If you consider that a home stay in care level III incurs an average of approx. 3,000 EUR per month in 2013, whereas nursing care insurance only receives 1,612 EUR per month for nursing assistance in care level III, the carer will receive 1,400 EUR from the pay your own bag, which has not changed until today. This additional payment can only be made by parents if they have private complementary care insurance or if they have their own corresponding income or equivalent assets. If these conditions are lacking, as a rule the social service providers jump in, with the consequence that the social service provider tries to reclaim the caregiver’s children.
Information about parental maintenance protects against the regress
If the social service provider announces the recourse, or if the decision is already in your mailbox, you must prepare yourself for a difficult dispute, especially if you believe that you are financially unable to pay the required amount , Experience has shown that many demands are exaggerated and do not adequately take into account the financial capacity of a child on parental leave.
“Do not let it unsettle you“
The guiding principle must be that your own livelihood must be guaranteed and you must be able to provide reliable care for your own family. For this you must know that a recourse claim as such can not be enforced against your person. Rather, the social service provider is dependent on the maintenance claim in court to sue against you. Only a corresponding judgment, in which you are sentenced to pay parental maintenance, would be compulsorily enforceable. But until it comes to that, it is usually a long way to go.
So do not be intimidated if you receive mail from the Social Welfare Office and are asked to disclose your income situation or even make payments. It is important for you to know which stations are important on the way and how you can set the course correctly. Conversely, if you can assess the situation and find that you can not avoid parental maintenance, regardless of your moral attachment to your parent, you can save yourself unnecessary disputes.
Parental Maintenance (Overview)
The condition of relatives’ maintenance is generally that only the person who is unable to entertain himself and the person who is dependent on maintenance is able to pay, without endangering your own adequate maintenance to provide support to his relatives (in particular, parent maintenance).
Who is liable for parental maintenance?
According to § 1601 Civil Code (BGB) are Relatives in straight line obliged to give each other maintenance. Straight line relatives are blood relatives directly descended from each other, so in the case of parental maintenance, children are children towards their two parents, but may also be grandchildren towards their grandparents.
Would you adopted, equate to a physical child and are liable for parental maintenance. On the other hand, you are no longer dependent on your biological parents. With adoption, your relationship with your biological parents is extinct.
Daughters-in-law and sons-in-law are not required to be parents. As such, you are not related to the parent of your spouse. However, you have to expect that your income will be taken into account when assessing the income situation of your spouse, and thus you indirectly still be liable as a son-in-law for the in-laws.
What does neediness mean??
Neediness means the inability to entertain oneself. This requires that the parent concerned can not adequately meet his or her needs, either from reasonable work, from property income, from the reasonable utilization of his assets, or from other income.
“Forfeiture of parental maintenance“
You can only defend yourself in extremely exceptional cases by claiming parental maintenance because your parent has neglected his or her own maintenance obligation or is guilty of serious misconduct (cases of forfeiture). according to § 1611 BGB). Such cases are absolute exceptions. Even in a case where there had been no contact between father and child for 40 years and the father had disinherited his child by will and put it on the statutory compulsory portion, the child had to provide parental support.
On the other hand, § 1618a BGB makes it clear that parents and children owe each other assistance and consideration. If a parent has denied contact with the child, it is quite possible that they infringe the assistance and consideration requirements. The prerequisite is that the parents or the parent have profoundly impaired the interests of the child that are worthy of protection. At least this is missing if the parents fulfill their parental duties until the child is of age and only then have their contacts broken off.
What does efficiency mean??
Efficiency means that you need to be able to provide parent support to your parent without jeopardizing your own reasonable maintenance. Before you are taken advantage of, it is clear that you must have the funds for your own reasonable maintenance. Your obligation must not lead to a disproportionate burden. In addition, you basically do not need to accept a noticeable and lasting reduction in your occupational and income-related standard of living. Their performance is to be examined in each case according to their specific income and assets.
You only need to attack your wealth base, as long as it remains possible for you to permanently satisfy your own reasonable maintenance from the remaining assets. In doing so, your interest in a suitably personal pension plan must also be taken into account. In particular, you can claim a personal deductible and only need to use half of the excess income for parental maintenance. For this purpose, you have a certain amount of protection, as well as the value for your own property.
Parental maintenance from the perspective of the parents
What is the right to parental maintenance??
According to § 1610 BGB, the “measure of granting maintenance according to the life position of the needy” is determined. The maintenance claim of a parent thus does not depend on what he originally earned in the profession, but depends on his current financial conditions. The lower limit for adequate living needs is at the subsistence level and currently stands at EUR 800. This amount includes the cost of accommodation and utilities in the amount of 360 EUR, but not the contributions for the health and long-term care insurance.
What is the right to a parent? Grandparents?
Grandparents can also claim parental maintenance. The same principles apply as in the relationship between parents and children. The claim is initially directed primarily against their own children. If one’s own children are not capable, the grandparents can also claim the grandchildren for parental maintenance. If the social benefit provider helps, the grandchildren will not be recourse.
Apply for basic security!
From the age of 65, parents are entitled to basic security in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity, provided that they are unable to meet their income from their income and assets. The monthly standard rate for singles is 404 EUR, for spouses additionally 364 EUR. In addition, reasonable expenses for accommodation and heating as well as contributions for the sick and long-term care insurance will be reimbursed.
If you earn more than € 100,000 a year as a dependent child, your parent’s entitlement to basic benefits is void. The law initially assumes in your favor that your income does not exceed this limit. However, the competent social assistance institution can request information about your income and assets from you. You are then obliged to submit the relevant documents. Under certain circumstances, it may be better to forego a salary increase than to earn more and to have to invest the extra income in the parents’ maintenance. Instead of a salary increase would be thinking about benefits in kind of the employer.
Asset exhaustion precedes parental maintenance
Before you need to pay for parent support, your parent must realize all income and assets. In particular, he not only has to use the investment income (rental income, interest income) for his own livelihood, but also to use up the wealth base itself. Property stating means that, for example, an apartment building or a block of shares must be sold. At best, the parent may keep a small amount as an asset reserve. The fine is: 2,600 EUR. (01.01.2016)
Basic insurance is available before parental maintenance
If the parent is entitled to basic benefits in old age or because of reduced earning capacity, he must apply for the basic pension. The basic security takes precedence over your obligation to pay for parental maintenance. If your parent then receives basic security, you are not required to reimburse the amount to the social benefit institution.
If your parent needs to be accommodated in a care facility, the basic security will be provided by the Help for care added. Only if both aids are not sufficient to cover the costs of accommodation, the social welfare institution will take over the rest and will use the children within their capacity.
Parent maintenance from the children’s point of view
Parental maintenance is calculated based on your “adjusted” net income. From the resulting amount, you need the half pay as a parent. This amount marks your efficiency. Your adjusted net income is made up of your income less expenses.
Which income is decisive??
First, your total disposable income is added up. In detail:
- If you are an employee, your income is calculated on the basis of the average of the last 12 months. Also included are Christmas bonus, holiday pay and bonus payments.
- If you are self-employed, your income is calculated according to your average income over the past 3 to 5 years.
- If you have only earned income in a few months, this income is to be extrapolated to a notional annual income.
- Rental income
- investment income
- Residential value of own property as “fictitious rent saving”
It is not recommended if you conceal your income or hide assets abroad. They are obliged to provide information to the social service provider. With false information, you risk being prosecuted. Things are different when you actually live abroad. In this case, the authority would have to sue for parental maintenance against your person abroad. Because of the associated bureaucracy, the effort (depending on where you live) is enormous and not very promising.
Which deductions can you claim??
If your income is fixed, you may make certain deductions. Your gross income is “adjusted”. In detail:
- Payroll tax, church tax
- social security contributions
- Occupational costs as work-related expenses (e.g., travel expenses)
- Cost of your health insurance and any illness-related expenses
- Your private pension will be credited with up to 5% of your gross income, or amounts up to about 100,000 EUR depending on the state.
- Interest and principal payments from loan liabilities (especially for your own owner-occupied property)
- Expenses (travel expenses, accommodation expenses) for regular visits of your parent
- Maintenance obligations to your own children and to your spouse or registered partner. These maintenance obligations take precedence over parental maintenance and therefore reduce your gross income.
- Childcare costs
- Your rent and ancillary costs up to 480 EUR (plus lump sum spouse 380 EUR). If you pay more, you will have to prove the additional expenses and then deduct the excess amount as well. So you do not have to expect that you have to give up your apartment, just because you live in a particularly expensive apartment.
Your deductible secures your own existence
If your adjusted net income is fixed, you can additionally deduct a deductible. According to the Dusseldorf table, which uses the courts for the assessment of maintenance obligations, your deductible (as of 1.1.2017) is EUR 1,800. In addition, EUR 1,440 will be added to your spouse or registered partner. This results in a family self-retention of a total of EUR 3,240 per month. In addition there are the maintenance allowances for your own children according to the Dusseldorfer table.
Make sure that you are well protected
Even if you are, in principle, obliged to pay for parental maintenance, your obligation has limits. Beyond your deductible, you are entitled to a certain amount of protection. There are no fixed amounts.
To protect your own pension belongs. You do not need to use what you have saved in an endowment or annuity insurance or retirement plan for parenting. The background is that the legislator wants to avoid having to rely on social assistance even in old age.
If you are the owner of a property, you do not need to sell the self-used property or even to pay a loan to finance the maintenance of your parents’ home. Also for vacation, repairs to your property or the foreseeable new purchase for your decrepit car, you may reserve financial reserves. Since there are no fixed amounts for protection, in the case of claims by the social service provider, you must explain exactly why you need your reserves.
Residential value of your own property
When it comes to real estate ownership, the social welfare agency usually counts the housing value of your own property as a “fictitious” rent saving. This should take into account the fact that they pay no rent and so far one financial benefit to have.
Interest and repayments, however, reduce the fictitious rent savings. Although their capital repayments serve the accumulation of wealth, but also represent a meaningful pension and are recognized as a burden.
The housing value is determined “subjectively”. Approach is the rent that you would have to pay if you wanted to rent an apartment that suits your circumstances. The subjective housing value is not necessarily equal to the rent that you actually would have to pay.
If your “subjective” housing value is EUR 650 and you have to spend EUR 350 on interest and principal payments, the value of your property exceeds your debts by EUR 300. Your gross income increases by 300 EUR. On the other hand, if you pay 800 EUR for interest and principal, the charges will exceed your housing value by 150 EUR. Your gross income will be reduced by this 150 EUR.
Your siblings also have to pay for the parents
If you have siblings, all siblings are liable to their parents in proportion to their performance. If you pay for parenting alone, even though a sibling would be effective, you can claim a proportionate financial compensation. Siblings have to inform each other.
Parental maintenance is a tax-exorbitant burden
Maintenance payments are, as long as your parent lives in your household, deductible up to a maximum of 8,820 EUR from 2017 and reduce your income tax burden. Your parent’s own income is to be counted towards the maximum amount of maintenance, if it exceeds 624 EUR. In addition, the parent would have to use their own assets, unless it is minor. A market value of EUR 15,500 (EUR 31,000 for married couples) is considered minor. A single-family house or a condominium, which the parent lives in, remains out of consideration as a fortune.
A restriction arises from the victims border. Your maintenance payments are only taxed up to a certain fictitious limit. So, the limit of sacrifice is the limit up to which the tax office recognizes your payments for parental maintenance. Your maintenance payments must be commensurate with your net income. This sacrificial limit is one percent per full EUR 500 of your net income, but not more than 50% in total. This percentage shall be reduced by 5 percentage points each for the spouse and each child, by a maximum of 25 percentage points.
You support your impoverished father monthly with 490 EUR. They are married and have two children. Her father has 2000 EUR of own income per year. Of this, EUR 624 will be deducted. There are 1,376 EUR, which are credited to the maintenance ceiling of 8,820 EUR. You could claim EUR 7,444 for tax purposes.
In the next step, the tax office checks the victim limit. For example, if your adjusted net income is € 17,286, the sacrificial limit is = 1% per full € 500 = 34% less 15% (5% each for wife and children) 19% of € 17,286 = € 3,284. So you could only tax for 3,284 EUR as an extraordinary burden. Ask your accountant!
Alternative to parent maintenance: Care in your own household
If you maintain your parent in your own household, you can get nursing assistance. Under certain circumstances, the care may be cheaper and more advantageous for the parent than having to pay parental maintenance on a regular basis (as of 1.1.2017). So far, the classification is in one of the three levels of care, which is performed by the Medical Service of the health insurance (MDK). From 2017, the legislator wants to adopt the new Nursing Welfare Act II (PSG II), in order to ensure a comprehensive improvement for the care of dementia patients. This stipulates that the previous three levels of care be replaced by five levels of care. Geneaue payment amounts are not yet known, so that currently the rates of care level are still relevant
|care level||No limited everyday skills||With limited everyday skills|
|0||0 EUR||123 EUR|
|I||244 EUR||316 EUR|
|II||458 EUR||545 EUR|
Instead of the nursing aid, you can have the care carried out by professional nurses. In the outpatient area, the benefits take the form of long-term care benefits. For example, in the care level 0 the non-cash benefits amount to EUR 231, in the care level I EUR 468, in the care level II EUR 1,144 and in the care level III EUR 1,612. If the caregiver in your household loves you, you will receive up to 4,000 EUR per measure for renovations such as wheelchair ramps, walk-in showers or common doors.
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