Question by becky21292: Financial/legal advice?
Need financial/legal advice
Here is the background to the issue:
I have a family member lives with his parents since his divorce more than 10 years ago. He is almost 50 years old and has a good job making about $ 2,800.00/week. He tends to bit a bit sneaky and usually only does things to benefit himself.
We recently discovered that he is paying rent every month. However on his checks he write “loan” as the memo. He says it is because he does not want it to show as income because they get financial assistance from the state.
Do you think he will try to get his money back after they pass away, and take his share of the money “owed” to him off the price of the house? If so, how can we protect the family from this happening? He tends to be very defensive and gets angry when he feels challenged, is there a way we can approach him and ask him to pay in cash from now on?
Any advise would be appreciated.
Answer by Rithy
If I were a son living with elderly parents, and I wrote them a check every month, I would not want them to have to pay taxes on those checks. There are two ways: “loan” or “gift”.
But let’s step back a second to identify a core question: given that he is living with his elderly parents, *should* he pay rent? Arguably, than is a question that is between him and his parents, and nobody else. If there is no argument about him living there without paying rent, then it’s pointless to go on about the manner in which he issues checks to his parents.
For some reason, if there is a consensus that he should be paying rent, and what that monthly rent should be, then make note and move on. It’s not worth at this time to bother with the mechanics of the transaction, because there is nothing you can do in this matter.
Focus on areas on which you have real influence. You have implied that you have a good relationship with his parents. Focus on expanding and benefiting that good relationship rather than these financial transactions.
What you haven’t said was: “the son doesn’t want them to spend time with other relatives”, or “the son takes advantage his his relatives”.
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