Can I ask my mother-in-law to pay rent?

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I know this has been asked alot, and I've read many responses, but the reason I would like her to pay us a monthly rent/care amount is because she has nothing but SS payments to her name. She has no assets, no valuable possessions, no life insurance. My husband and I are in the "Sandwich" generation. Trying to help our kids start their adult lives, and having to support his mother. (So far my parents are doing okay) We normally can handle financial issues, but it is getting harder and harder, and I have to say, I know we are not saving enough for our own elder years. I would put the rent payments in a seperate account, to be saved for her funeral expenses. I wouldn't want the money saved under my MIL name because of Medicare/Medicaid issues. Not trying to get over anything, just trying to prepare for her passing. This is all new to us, so we are just beginning to try figuring out all these issues.
I know this might be a hot button for some, so I ask for curteous replies or suggestions only please.

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You are certainly entitled to ask MIL for rent. What else is she going to do with her SS check ... save it for her old age?

I suggest that you have a formal, written agreement about what she is paying you and what it is for. Then if she applies for Medicaid at some point it will be clear that she was not simply giving you money as a gift.
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