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I have a family member who will live with me in a house I just purchased. They want to make a bunch of modifications to the property and have agreed to pay for these modifications with their money. Some modifications will include things that are physically tied to the property (paint, faucets, ceiling fans, light fixtures, etc).

Should I have them give me the money directly or pay for the items/contractors themselves? And should I have an agreement that states that these purchases are indeed 'gifted' so that there are no disputes about equity/ownership of the property and assets therein?

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The issue of who pays directly for the items and/or to contractors is irrelevant. The important thing is to memorialize the agreement/arrangement in writing so as to preempt or solve eventual disputes.

A clearly written agreement signed by the parties would supersede any presumption of conditions and rights arising solely from the parties' conduct.

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