How do I get my grandmother to contribute financially to our housing?

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I have been using my savings for the past two years to care for my grandmother, on the agreement that she will provide a down payment and I will take care of the mortgage. My savings is almost exhausted (by October) and she has refused the last 17 properties I've shown her that will accomodate us both and our pets and allow us both more independent living. (She wants to live alone, but that is entirely unreasonable). She now says she's going to buy rent in a senior-living situation. I have no doubt that her yappy dogs will get her kicked out in the first week. I have done EVERYTHING for her these past two years and now she's leaving now that I've exhausted my savings. What do you suggest I do?

Answers 1 to 10 of 13
To expand - she has considerable liquid assets, yet refuses to spend any of her money.
Kate47, how old is your grandmother? It seems like you might have to accept that she is not 100 percent on the same page with the plans that you had. Do you think there are other family members who are influencing her decisions? Maybe she is not understanding how her change of heart has affected your financial situation. Is it possible that she would be willing to reimburse you for your financial loss? Whatever happens, she may have another change of heart once she gets into or even finds an assisted living environment that will take her dogs. My bottom line suggestion is that you get back to your life and accept that your Grandmother is going to continue to change her mind and you don't want to put yourself in jeopardy financially.
Thanks for responding! She is in her early 90's. She has health issues, some absent-mindedness (unattended cooking, leaving doors open, keys in locks, faucets running, etc.). She does have one daughter that is able to get large sums of money from her from time to time to pay her credit card bills (yet her daughter is always in financial trouble). I have explained many times and in several ways the benefits of our buying a home together instead of renting which I've been doing. I would not be renting a house this large or for this amount of time if she had not come to live with me. I can then make whatever changes in the house to help her - walk-in bathtub, grip bars installed, structural changes for her privacy, intercom. She's happy about it if it costs her nothing. No one in the family believes she can live alone and no one can get through to her about her hoarding her money and essentially living off all of us. We love her, and I am still willing to help her, but she has gone back on an agreement we had and I am feeling used. She and I need a home to call our own and need not be paying for her favorite daughter's spending.
I don't suppose you had that agreement in writing?

Grandma can spend her assets any way she wants to, including on financially bailing out one child while sponging off others. Her money, her choice.

You are feeling used because you are being used. Perhaps that was not Grandma's original intention and perhaps she does not understand it that way now. But if she has been living off your savings, on the promise that she'd pay you back in the form of a downpayment on a house you'd own together. She has changed her mind about that, so the only decent thing for her to do (in my opinion) is to pay you back. But she didn't write in for our opinions, alas.

So ... what I suggest you do is
1. Try to get her to honor her agreement by paying you for your expenses on her behalf over the last two years. Would the whole family support you on this? Is there any leverage they could exert to help your cause?
2. If you get some compensation, great. But whether you do or not, get on with your life. Move into something smaller and suits just you and start building your savings up again. Chalk this up to a very expensive learning experience and move on. I hope it was at least rewarding to bond with Grandma and learn more about your heritage.
3. Contnue to be loving toward your grandmother, but avoid ANY financial dealings with her -- not even I'll buy lunch this time and you buy it next time. She cannot be trusted to hold up her end of any bargains. Whether this is due to the age-related befuddlement or a basic personality trait, don't get burned by it again.
Thanks jeannegibbs! Our family has always been close - like seeing each other almost every day close for always. It never entered my mind that she would go back on our agreement. Why would she? It was win-win. She's been lying to me about her savings. I reminded her that she's told me everything and therefore I know, so don't lie to me. I am taken aback with this hoarding of money. Is this a common thing? Won't she lose it all anyway if she has a prolonged medical problem? She also gets several thousand dollars each month in SS and pension. The family is with me except for the favorite daughter. She feels if her mother's money is tied up in a home's equity, then nothing will be available for her if she should need a new car or whatnot. The more relatives talk to her, the more she lies about her finances. She's expressed the desire to live with her favorite daughter - again. Okay, what happens is that my grandmother ends up calling me in a few months to come get her because she's fed up with her favorite daughter and she's out maybe $30K. Enough of that. Prior to her needing a caregiver, I'd always told her to die broke - spend every cent on yourself, she needn't feel she had to leave us anything. Just be happy. Now, I've left my job and moved my family to help her - and now this. Frankly, I can't believe this is happening. Thanks to everyone for listening. I've done a lot of crying this week.
"Gramma, I want you to be happy. If living with Aunt Moocher is what you want, or if you think you'd like a senior community, I wish you well. Be aware that I will be moving to a smaller place, and all of my savings have been depleted, so I will not be able to take you back in if you change your mind."
As the old saying goes,"no good deed goes unpunished." So sad, you were trusting and grandma is probably not 100% together to make any of these decisions. Don't spend anymore on her, especially if this is going to put you in a hardship. Jeannegribbs advice about AL or Aunt Moocher is 100% correct. Just have to stand up for yourself. Good luck
Top Answer
Kate47, It sounds like Aunt Moocher and Grandma have a lot in common. Maybe that's why she is the favorite daughter. You said you moved your family. Do you have children, a husband? You gave up your job to take care of your Grandma so if she would have put a down payment on a house, who would have been making the monthly mortgage payments?

I hope you can get your Grandmother to reimburse you for your costs. I think she really took advantage of you and I can understand why you have done a lot of crying this week. I agree with Jeannegibs, but I would offer this one last bit of advise: If Grandma decides to call you up again and have you rescue her, (1) Get the money she owes you upfront with a written statement explaining that it is money she owes you. Make it a detailed statement. (2) Get another agreement as to you providing care for her, and that you will be purchasing a house together. Get the down payment in your hands and in the bank before you pick her up.

Let me be really clear, make sure you have the money in your hands and deposited into your bank account before you pick her up. You might need some legal guidance in putting the written agreement together.

If you do all of this and she is living with you again, you must be prepared that she will might decide she wants to live elsewhere again, so things have to be structured so she can't leave you holding the bag again. For example, can you afford to make the house payment on your own AND it's not solely in her name so she can't sell the house out from under you.

Having said all that, it might be best that you leave Grandma behind and just take care of yourself. I hope you can at least get the money back that she mooched from you.
Does anyone have Durable Power of Attorney, who could oversee her funds?
Kate: Let her go. Let her live wherever she prefers, by herself. Someone else can handle the dogs, or they can be given to a shelter.
Do not expect monetary compensation of any kind. Get on with your own life and stop sizing up everyone's financial assets. The best you can hope for is that she will give you some money via her will to take care of the money you've already spent on her. At age 90, she won't be around forever.

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