My mother in law lives lives with us and gets a good amount of money monthly. Can she pay a portion of the household bills? - AgingCare.com

My mother in law lives lives with us and gets a good amount of money monthly. Can she pay a portion of the household bills?

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Traci - take mom and her checkbook and go see an elder law attorney to see what are the options for mom's $$. Although mom may have the funds now and is healthy, one good fall or bad flu or pneumonia can change the picture overnight. You want to plan as far out a possible to maximize her assets.

Mom paying for room & board totally makes sense, but you need to make sure how to report if (if need be) or how the checks need to be written to cause no waves. If in the future, she needs to move to IL, AL & NH - well they all have costs. NH range from 5K to 15K a month, and even if mom has $, if she lives long enough she will run out of funds and the caregivers will run out of steam and she will end up applying for Medicaid. She would need mid 6 figures to be able to private pay for a NH for 5 years - it is just frightfully expensive. There is a 5 year lookback all financials on Medicaid, so you want to do whatever with her funds that will be within compliance for just how Medicaid runs in your state. Really an experienced elder law attorney will come up with options for you to consider.
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Room and board is not something that needs to be declared on your taxes ... Just make sure you call it "room and baord" and not rent!
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Have your mom pay you room and board. You will have to claim this as income, but it is the one way you can be paid for her care. Make sure it is comparable to what she would have to pay for rent in your area, then add an amount for board, her food, etc. Keep receipts for any home improvements that are made to accommodate her living there, and you should be able to use these as deductions at tax time. This is probably the easiest and most legal solution to getting financial help from her. Check with an elder lawyer. That is who gave us this advice. Good luck!
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