If my mother moved in and is helping me out by paying some bills should I draw this up in a contract to protect both of us?

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I would check with an elder lawyer because if she needs to ever go in a nursing home there will be a 5yr. look back period of how large amounts of her money was spent and you may have to pay the money back to her he or she would be able to address all the problems it almost sounds like taking her in in the first place was not a good idea for you -it made your financial needs increase remember you may have to pay this money back you really need legal advice fast.
I have the name of a good attorney but finding the time to organize all the papers and then actually sitting down with the layers is another problem. I had no choice but to take her in. I am an only child and my dad is gone for 11 years now and most imprtantly - SHE IS MY MOTHER. I am raising two teenage sons on my own though, dealing with a vindictive ex spouse who desstroyed me financially and am SERIOUSLY underemployed. Paying the money back is an absurd thought. I did not STEAL it or use it for luxury items. It was used to keep a roof over our heads and buy food to eat. She knew of, approved or suggested the way every penny was spent.

I thank you for your response, I know I need some legal advice (and to update her will to the state we now live in as opposed to where she was) but finding the time and energy to do it is my biggest obstacle and I am completely overwhelmed at times.
ReallyTired, my heart goes out to you. You are in a very stressful dilemma, but keep in mind, that God does NOT give you more than you can handle. You are doing the right thing by taking your Mom in and if she is helping you out financially, that makes it better on you AND her. NOBODY will take as good of your Mom as you can.
God forbid, if she ever has to go into a nursing home, they can go back 5- 7 years, (depending on what State you are in) and get monies back for ASSETS that she owned. In other words, if she owns a home, they can put a lean on it to get money for her care after her departure from this earthly plane. If she is giving you money to live at your place, and you can call it "helping out" if you want to, but think about it, if she was living in her own apartment or house, she would have to be paying to live there as well. You don't have to worry about them coming back to get the money she has been paying to help out, it is actually her responsibility to pay her own way.
I wouldn't add her name to the mortgage, because assets can be taken. But if you are worried about the legal aspect of it, maybe you should write up a lease contract for rent, you don't have to take the money that is on the agreement, but there is a legal document stating she was paying you rent and utilities. But I would talk with her and get your name added to her banking accounts, trust me, if need be, it will make things easier on you if she is unable to go to the bank. I wish you the best and in my opinion, you are a Saint for stepping up and taking Mom in, God bless you and your family.
Thank you. What you are saying makes sense and is kind of what I was thinking too but it is good to hear it validated. She has to live somewhere and nowhere is free. It is just that everyone (on this board and elsewhere) talks about how they "look back" etc and it is frightening. I have been made to feel like a criminal by some people for using her money to help us all survive. Although, one attorney I know did say off the record "You are an only child! I'll leave it at that."

It truly seems as if they want our older folks to be destitute and to make sure they are not able to pass on ANYTHING they worked so hard for all their lives. Are we all better off living for today and the heck with tomorrow, the government will take care of me if I have nothing?

I have come to belive that we are all exactly where God wants us to be and it is all in His plan. I just wish He would let me in on it so I could know that I will come out the other side of this darkness.
I agree with sylvester18. I dont think I would get her name on the mortgage. I also think you do need to get your stuff together and go to an elder lawyer. Besides the rental agreement you also might draw up a contract for providing care to her and get paid that way.
Good suggestions. Thank you.
If you are an only child when your mom passes everything will go to you if you have she has no will. I dont know why you would want to draw up a contract if you are her only heir. I am a paralegal but I need some more information, At your moms age I dont think that the mortgage company would consider her as additional income. Give me some more details and I will try to answer your questions
I am hoping they will consider her income and assets because my credit is bad because of the way the ex handled the divorce and filed bankruptcy including joint accounts I was negotiating to pay off. Long, nasty story. I am not very hopeful but pray someone will see the common sense of letting me keep paying a loan I HAVE been paying for over two years since the divorce and just put it in my name!

I am her only heir and she does have a will (albeit from the state where she used to livr) and it does name me as beneficiary. Not that she has all that much, but she gets really upset when she thinks about how they could force her to use everything and not be able to help my sons and I at all. We are a family, I just don't get it.

I guess a main concern (if the assumption of the mortgage goes through with her as a co-borrower) would be if they would make us sell the house to use any profit even though my sons and I live in it and I would be an owner too. So far she is in great health so who knows how long a window we are looking at. Also, she has been paying their parochial school tuition as a gift to them since they were in preschool and they are now in high school. How would that be looked at?

Thanks for any advice. I will get to an attorney but, as I said, time is at a premium and we are in survival mode here.
I am just trying to follow what I think your question is. I might be all wrong but here goes. If I understand you right you initially thought you might need a contract because she was giving you money. But she would have had to pay that money anyway to live so I dont think that would make a difference with medicaid if she has to go to a nursing home. They do look at large gifts I think. For example if she gave you money to build a swimming pool on your property and she never swims I think they might delay her medicaid by that amount. If she gave you money to add a room on your house for her then they might think that that is ok and not delay anything. I dont think that if you both owned a home that they would take the home away from you. I dont know if the joint ownership rule applies to husbands and wifes only but as far as I know if you both own it then you both own it equally. It is not 1/2 your or 1/2 hers it is 100% both of yours. As far as the mortgage is concerned I think that that situation is a win win for the bank. If she dies and you cannot pay off the mortgage then they get the house and they will already have gotten whatever you paid into it. I dont know if they would be able to easily sell the property in this market but their loss would be less because of the money that you put in so they could afford to sell the house for less. I would think that as far as the school goes that medicaid would not consider that a device to spend down her income since she has been doing it over 5 years. This is just my logical look at things and as we all know ---- logic does not count for much these days. Who knows what would happen. I am working with a elderlawyer for my mom's guadianship and she says that it depends on the judge or the person handling the medicaid or the climate at the time. Of course she is a lawyer and nothing is really hard and fast for them as far as I know.
I have a feeling the whole world is shades of gray.
I agree with yoiu about logic not having much place in this world any more. Very confusing for me. I think I have a bit of "Mr. Spock" in me.

You are verbalizing just what my train of thought has been, so just maybe someone else can see it that way instead of telling me all about protecting myself and getting contracts and such for doing what families SHOULD be doing.

Thank you for confirming that I am not totally off the wall for handling things this way. I will get to that attorney though as soon as we get settled into a "school year" routine and I can think again.

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