Can I pay my son a monthly stipend to be my caregiver?

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I have the funds to do this. He would live with me.

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Ellena, I think it is a fine idea if you both want to do it. As mentioned before, draw up a caregiver contract outlining his duties and how much he will be paid. Decide if he is self-employed and responsible for his own social security and taxes. If he will be considered as your employee, then you'll need to do taxes and SS quarterly for him. The self-employed route would be the easiest way to go perhaps. But do tell him that he will need to pay taxes and self-employment taxes (SS) on the money quarterly, as well as pay estimated taxes. It sounds difficult, but it really isn't. Good luck getting things set up.
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Dear Ellena,

I can understand wanting to compensate your son for helping you. But I would have a heart to heart with your son. I can see this arrangement leading to resentment and anger as well. Its best to clarify all expectations or have them written down. I helped my dad with his showers and help change his adult diapers, but I know not every adult child is ready for the reality of this change every day 365 days a year. No matter how willing an adult child is willing to help eventually they might face caregiver burn out. There is a lot to discuss before agreeing to this. I hope everything works out.
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EllenaSL, is your son retired? Does he have a spouse who would need to move into your home? Any young or teenage children? Would he need to sell his home or does he rent? Would he be moving to another city?

If your son isn't retired, then he would be losing a lot of money that most parents cannot replace. Here are some things to think about... on average if a working person quits work to be a caregiver he/she will lose over the years between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary over those years......

It also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance coverage.... loss of money being put into Social Security/Medicare..... loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k).... profit sharing.... workman's comp insurance.... company sponsored life insurance.... vacation pay, sick pay.... tuition assistance, etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

Usually what happens when a grown child moves back in with a parent, there is the change in the parent/child dynamics. You will once again become the parent, and he will once again become the child. There will be a lot of resentment when that happens. If this will be short-term it might work. Long term it could breathe the life out of your son. You need to take into consideration and how tied he will become to the house.  And if he is leaving a job that he loved, and leaving good friends. 
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Stipend or no, there is not enough money in the world that could cover the damage to a mother/son relationship if he is required to later change your diapers, imo.

No offense to the brave sons who have done this, and kept confidentialty on behalf of your mother.
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Certainly.

If you have enough assets to see you through even if you get worse and need a nursing home, then pay what you want. It is nobody's business but yours.

If your health should get worse and you go through all your resources and need to apply for Medicaid, they will make it their business to see what you've done with your money in the five years before applying. Paying for your own needs is perfectly OK. Giving assets away isn't. Money paid to relatives can get questioned. Just make it clear that this is payment for services, by having caring contract in place that spells out what you are paying and what he is doing. Also make sure the amount is not higher than the usual charges in your area, otherwise it will look like a gift.

I think you would be wise to consult an attorney specializing in Elder Law to draw up the contract, suggest other things you should perhaps look at to protect assets, draw up a POA and MPOA and a will if you don't have one or it is out-of-date. What it costs for this consultation now can save you grief and money down the road.
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Sure you can, but if you do not have a written contract for this, or you do not declare the wages and send in the payroll taxes, you will be denied Medicaid when you need it.
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