I care for my father-in-law and he has shared what his "will" is with me. How do I begin to address this to his son and daughter?

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I care for my father-in-law. This man means the world to me and when he became ill I did not hesitate for one second and knew that I would stay home and care for him. Sadly, he has a daughter who visits every 2-3 months and a son who checks in more frequently... 2-3 times a week but doesn't stay longer than 10 min. The rest is up to my husband and myself mainly since I quit my job to care for him full time. My struggle is how do I address the fact that he is telling me what his "will" is. I know that there is one written and his daughter has it but its been written many years ago and its outdated. The man really doesn't have much, a small life insurance policies and some cash from a savings acct which he chose to keep it at home and monies from another savings acct which his daughter closed and placed in a CD acct. As you can all imagine they are going to be ready and available very quick when we speak money terms, right? I'd really appreciate your insite.

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Naheaton nailed it. ... If he doesn't put it down in black and white it never happened; and forget about discussing what his "will" is. In the overly-litigious American society of today, what you say isn't as important as what you can prove. Good luck.

-- ED
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I agree. I also believe it is a good thing to be as equitable as we possibly can with our children and grandchildren. Greater blessings in the long run.
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My parents tried to create a fair and equal will. I am receiving their farmhouse because I am the main caregiver and the only person living in the area. Also, I will be the person, in my father's opinion, that will have an open house for all future generations. As a result, I don't think anyone is going to be angry. A will is essential even if it is handwritten and witnessed by people who are not connected to the situation. As people age, they seem to know what really matters.
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When a person dies, the law has to go by whatever is in their will, even if the will was written many years ago, and their wishes have changed since then. If the person who passed away did not put their revised wishes in writing, in a legally valid will prior to passing away, the law has no choice but to honor and uphold the last legally drawn-up will. If your father in law wants to make changes to his will, he needs to make them in writing, with his attorney. Whatever he tells you verbally will count for less than nothing after he passes. Remember that. If he wishes to make changes, tell him he has to make an appointment with his attorney, and take care of making those changes in a way that the law will honor. If he cannot leave the house, the attorney can send his paralegal to the house with the paperwork. If he wants to provide for you, he has to do it now, with his attorney, in his will, or you will get nothing. Same goes for the life insurance beneficiaries. Whomever is listed as the beneficiary will get it all. Speak with him about that, too.
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I would advise you to see an eldercare attorney. There are a lot of things that you can do to be compensated for caring for him or to protect his assets. Is he a veteran, as he may be eligible to receive Aid and Attendance benefits. Please help him to honor his wishes. Good luck! ~Sharon
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Whomever he has put as beneficiaries of his life insurance is where that money will go. A will does not control what is in his life insurance policy beneficary statement. Same goes for beneficiary statements with retirement plans and annuities. The will covers only what is in his name alone. Joint accounts will go as per that account is titled, again, unaffected by the will. If there are bank statements that list a joint name, find out if it's with rights of survivorship or joint tenants in common, talk to the bank about what this will mean. You'll save yourself a big suprise during what will be a tough enough time. Don't be shy about this. State law will superimpose itself if things are not set up properly and this may not be what your father-in-law wants. Get an elderlaw attorney asap
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As far as a will it only becomes outdated if I new one is made-he really needs to get a new one done ASAP with a lawyer-your husband can be there but I do not think you should but see an elder lawyer and get it done
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How can a will become outdated? My mother wrote hers in 1979 and has never had another one written.
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I loved the way my late father-in-law handled this. His will left everything to his four children, divided equally. In his opinion, to give one child more or less will only set hostilities for the future. A truly caring parent doesn't want hostilities between their children over a will. This also would affect grandchildren down the line. In all families one child spends more time caring for the parent than others, usually it is a daughter. Some can not care for the parent, some are not included (I know this first hand) and, of course others are just too selfish. To leave a "clean plate" between the children is a wonderful gift. if the children choose to screw this up, so be it.
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I was in the same position with my grandfather who lived with me. Had will and never signed it. He just kept saying you know my wishes. Well, when he passed I couldn't fulfill them. His children took everything and us grandchildren who he wanted to have something didn't get a thing. My Mom and Uncle did the same. Came and visited once a month for an hour if their time permitted. The courts told me that since they were his children everything went to them as I was only a granddaughter. This hurt for awhile, of course, but I am so thankful for what I learned from him and was able to care for him that monetarily it really didn't matter. Yes, it would have been nice to have some compensation but just what I learned and having him with me everyday was all worth it in the end. He knew he was loved by my husband and me and the time we spent together you couldn't put a price tag on.
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