Multigenerational housing arrangements start with the best of intentions. However, there can be stress and problems that arise. These should be discussed and sorted out ahead of time. The child returning from college will be on "college time". That loud music at 1:00 AM may not be welcome in the parent's home. The senior moving into their child's home will naturally desire to assume the role of head of household, when their health and other factors make that unreasonable. Communication ahead of time can enrich the experience and reduce stress for everyone involved.
Beware of potential financial landmines with shared financing of improvements in a multigenerational home. It often makes good sense for sharing the cost of renovations or additions to accommodate multigenerational living arrangements. Mom sells her home and moves in with daughter, it makes sense for mom to contribute to setting up her living space.
In certain circumstances when a senior contributes funds to the improvements in the relative's home, liens can be levied against the home if the senior later uses some of the social services assistance programs. Other examples include ownership issues that can arise from divorce and estate circumstances. The bottom line is to first consult an attorney when funding is shared between different parties.For more information go to www.SeniorHomeSafetyNetwork.com