My husband has dementia, prior to going to Assisted Living, he purchased vehicles which he can no longer drive.

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These vehicles must be sold, they are not being used and we need the money. The car he drove exclusively, practically lived in it, hoarded many legal documents, car titles, bank statements, etc. is now being sold. I have told him numerous times whenever he asks (over & over again) me to bring him his "papers" from his car that the car is empty, the papers are no longer in it. Today, once again, he asked for something out of his car. I then told him the car is no longer here, it's in a car lot and being sold. He was infuriated!!!! His response was "That's the limit". I talked with the salesman who told me that my husband called him and told him not to sell the car for less than $16,000....(it's worth between 10,000 - 12,000). He told the salesman that "we are having marriage problems" (although he continues to tell me he loves me whenever we talk on phone or in person) and do not tell my wife I called. This salesman knows the situtation....that my husband has dementia. Salesman then said, now I'm afraid to sell it. I gave him the ok to sell it, the car is listed in both of our names with "or" not "and" so either of us has the right to sell it. I also have P.O.A. It's also a fact that the worst thing you can do with a car is to let it sit and not use it, which makes it foolish and financially irresponsible to buy license and insurance on a car that is not being used, and we definitely need the money.

This is the total disrespect I get from him, he is constantly insulting me; I've overlooked it because I realize he is ill; however, this verbal abuse and constant insults are getting more difficult each day. I'm not sure how much longer I can continue. Additionally, his sister, who insists there's nothing wrong with him and seems to think she has the right to make remarks about the amt. of money being spent on AL and seems to be nosing into our finances in one way or another. Whenever my husband talks to the bank, or an attorney, or anything financial or legal, the phone log shows that he always talks with her either before or after his calls. I'm concerned she may try to convince him to change to P.O.A. to her name, so she can control the finances. Additional problems started with him when she picked him up and took him to the bank so he could withdraw money and now, after kicking the smoking habit for four months, he is now smoking, which is incredibly dangerous for his health and finances.

I'm at the breaking point, wondering if a divorce would be the answer, although, I'm afraid each of us would be financially devastated. If there were a chance I could keep the house, perhaps each of us could make it. Anyone else ever have problems similar to these? Please advise. Thank you.

2 Comments

Actually, the idea of divorce popped into my mind when you wrote. I don't know how good that would be, because I don't know how the assets would be split. If they were split in your favor, it may protect the assets from loss should he have to go on Medicaid. You would have to talk to a lawyer about that, because I do not know how it would work.

Are your and your husband's assets separate? If they aren't, I wondered how his sister could have POA over finances. That would be messy. I hope some people here can give good advice.
Yikes! What an awful mess! And Sister is definitely not helping matters.

I am afraid that catastrophic diseases, like dementia, are often (I'll bet usually) financially devastating. That is just a fact. It is expensive to have him in AL and to maintain your home. How long can you continue to do that, before running out of assets?

Before you consult a family law attorney about divorce, I suggest that you consult an elder law attorney about protecting assets for your use, and preparing to minimize the financial devastation as best you can.

I also suggest that for any joint accounts you remove all funds and put them in a new account in your name only, so that he cannot withdraw any with Sister's help. If you have POA it is your duty to protect him financially -- to act in his best interests. He has dementia. He cannot act responsibly with money. You have to do that for him.

I think that you are not getting "total disrespect" and "insults" from your husband. You are getting behavior that stems from the dementia. Unless this is how he has always treated you (?) you should not take such statements personally. Just as he cannot manage his own finances, he cannot behave responsibly in his social relationships.

You may want a divorce to distance yourself from the pain his illness can inflict. You may want a divorce as a strategy to minimize financial vulnerability. But first, get top-notch legal advice so that whatever you do will not make matters worse for you financially. Protect yourself.

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