Question: Dear Luise: My son received a large sum of money from a Pa. Workman’s Comp. settlement. He owed me most of it for loans over the last 3 years. He gave me the remainder because he has a drug addiction and knew he would blow it on drugs. I have bought him many things with this money and put it in my name so he won’t sell it. In the meantime he applied for a medical card and food stamps because the money is gone. They want to know what he did with his settlement after they gave him the medical and food stamps and they also told him he can’t give money away. What should I do now?? We have to show receipts for the things that were bought and I do have most of them. Can I get in legal trouble for taking the money? R.
Answer: Dear R. I think you might want to talk with an attorney about the situation. I don’t have any legal training.
It would seem to me that he had every right to repay his debt, whether it was to you or to someone outside the family. And if you used the rest to buy things for him in your name, because of his drug habit, that makes sense to me, too. Unfortunately, I’m not the one who gets to decide.
If you belong to a church, ask your pastor if he knows an attorney that might be able to help. They often specialize and you don’t have any extra money to pay the wrong one for incorrect advice. A letter legal letter explaining your son’s rights and yours might go a long way toward clearing this up. He is without funds because he honored his obligation and used the rest wisely, it seems to me. Blessings, Luise