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Dad now lives with us, is it fair to ask him to help with expenses?

After mom passed away a couple of years ago we realized that dad wasn't able to stay alone, he doesn't cook or clean and we were worried about his health and safety so we brought him to live with us. As the time has passed we are realizing that him living with us has added to our living expenses. He is always cold so our heating bill has doubled and he hates being in the dark so the electric bill is also much higher. My husband and I are talking about asking him to contribute her share of living expenses, especially for utilities. I have a full-time job and my husband is retired. Dad receives a small pension and social security but has no other expenses besides occasional personal items, medical co-pays and prescriptions. It is unreasonable for us to ask him to pay his share of living expenses? This is an awkward conversation to have since I feel like they took care of me when I was young and I should take care of him when he is old.
Status: Open    Dec 19, 2015 - 04:48 AM


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Dec 22, 2015 - 01:32 PM

While you do not have an obligation to care for your father in his old age, kudos to you for doing so. It is not uncommon for everyone who shares a living space to contribute to expenses. You and your father may consider discussing your situation with an elder law attorney who could draft a family care contract enabling you to get paid for things you help your father with, like laundry, grocery shopping, rides to the doctor, etc. This money could help to pay the expenses, or to supplement your income. If your father is a Veteran, this care contract could lead to his eligibility for certain benefits. Again, an elder law attorney in your area could discuss any additional planning options with you and your father.
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