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Can my 94-year old dad, who just sold his home and moved in with my family, contribute to bills without financial penalty?

1 Answers. Asked on Apr 19th, 2017 on Elder Law - Pennsylvania
More details to this question:
My dad is 94; he recently sold his own home for less than $80,000 profit. He is lucid and physically able. Besides the home profit, he has maybe an additional $75,000 in savings. He moved into my home 4 months ago and would like to contribute financially, but I don't want to endanger my home / savings in case he may eventually need managed care / Medicaid. Can he pay for modifications to the house for his benefit - like a new shower on first floor, or redo front steps for easier access? Can he contribute / pay for "service" type bills, like electric bill, water bill, gas bill? Can he pay for repairs to the home, like new roof, new windows? What limitations, if any, on cash gifts to the family? I do not need his assistance financially for the house mortgage or bills, and the house was paid for with my money. He just wants to help.
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Answered on Apr 20th, 2017 at 8:24 AM

Yes your father can contribute financially.  The concern is that his financial contributions may be deemed as gifts and result in a period of ineligibility for long term care medical assistance if he eventually needs skilled nursing care in a facility.  So his contributions should be done w/in the context of a written agreement.  It's entirely appropriate for him to pay something for his room and board.  You should consult with an Elder Law attorney to assist you with this process and to give you additional advice on how to preserve his assets and plan for the potential need for medical assistance. 

I recommend that you seek out a local attorney for a more in depth discussion of the matter. I do not recommend that you take any action steps without such a consult. Act quickly because by waiting, you may lose certain rights and remedies available to you.

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Elder Law
As adults age, they often lose some mental acuity while also facing more physical limitations. These health conditions put senior citizens at greater risk of exploitation and abuse. At the same time, the elderly need to think about their long-term medical and financial needs, and make estate plans to ensure their legacy after they pass away. An elder law attorney can work with seniors and their families to address issues such as advanced directives, powers of attorney, living wills and last wills and testaments. Elder law lawyers can also help families intervene if a guardianship or conservatorship is necessary. And personal injury law firms with experience in elder issues can help victims of elder abuse and nursing abuse take civil and criminal legal actions against their abusers.
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