Combining households could be helpful for extended families.
Many Americans reside in nuclear family households.
What does this mean?
Parents and children reside in a single home without extended family members.
According to a recent The Mercury article titled “Moving ahead during coronavirus,” combining households may be wise for some as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout history and in many other countries to this day, living with extended family was and is common.
Having three generations in a home (or combining households with a sibling and his or her family) can help lower the expense of living in challenging times while also providing a relational support system.
Although this may be a wise step, combining households requires careful planning and communication.
You will need to discuss who will be responsible for what bills.
You should set rules and boundaries together.
You also should arrange a backup plan in case living with extended family does not work.
Are the parents funding the household if adult children are not employed?
Will the adult children have a re-payment plan?
Do the parents expect to apply for Medicaid in the future?
If yes, gifting assets should be carefully considered to avoid unintentionally disqualifying them from this long-term care alternative of last resort.
If you choose to move forward with combining households, be sure to have all expectations and agreements reduced to writing to avoid misunderstanding and relational conflict.
Working with an experienced elder law attorney can help avoid many of the pitfalls when it comes to combining households.
Reference: The Mercury (July 28, 2020) “Moving ahead during coronavirus”