Hello, I have quite the situation here:
My father is 84, currently living in CA. No Assets, no savings, only $2200/mo SS. He is married but he and the wicked witch of the northeast are not in contact and haven't been in over 7 years.
He has been living in the house of his cousin, who passed away in Jan 2016, as my father was the executor of the estate and is one of the named beneficiaries (~20%) but the other 4 beneficiaries have forced the sale of the house that he has been living in rent free (go figure) since my father moved to CA in Jan 2016. So there's some expectation of money but there's yet another wrinkle.
See a long time ago, my father had a failed investment in commercial real estate and the construction loan never was closed out and eventually he declared bankruptcy and the outstanding balance was 'forgiven', but sadly was not forgiven as part of the bankruptcy proceedings and now that is treated as income by the IRS. So my father has a $400k+ lien from the IRS against him for back taxes on the forgiven loan amount and State is also trying to get $130k for the same reason. He has been trying to get the IRS to expunge that debt due to insolvency but so far, it hasn't happened.
So now, he has no money in the bank but may (who knows based upon the tax situation) receive approximately $70k from the estate and no place to live in CA.
So I'm currently out here getting him ready to vacate the house and the only option for a place to live is to move him in with me in Maryland. Oh, yeah, my situation is also a dumpster fire as I'm currently going thru a divorce.
I love my father and I do not want to see him homeless so this appears to be the only way.
He has some health challenges but is there mentally and has decent mobility but not great due to issues with a hip replacement.
My current house does not have any bedrooms on the ground floor and no way to put one if there was money to do a renovation.
It's just me in the house as my daughter is in her 2nd year of college.
Am I biting off way more than I can chew?
The more I get into this process, the more I'm filled with fear and doubt but I don't see any other option. SSI isn't feasible because he's still married, the estate money is suspect due to the marriage and tax situation, gifting any of the money to me is suspect due to my divorce situation and there aren't any other family members as my sister passed away several years ago.
Filled with doubt
I'm hoping this arrangement works for her and if you look into it, perhaps you can find a good fit for dad...somewhere that has other individuals who are in the same boat perhaps. Best of luck to you!
Your Dad still is financially obligated and intertwined with his spouse, she may even be his POA or something. She may be handling the marital income.
Stay out of that hot mess.
I know its hard. Its only natural you would want to help your dad. He is your dad after all, but at the same time there is so much on your plate. We women always want to be the superheroes and do it all, but sometimes we can't. We have to look out for number one if possible. I would have your dad talk to a social worker or elder law attorney and make sure he has all his options. There are resources in the community and through church, so hopefully he will be able to get the help he needs. In the end, you have to do what you feel is right, but just make sure you get all the information first.
Does he have a lawyer? That's what he needs right now. Legal advice on IRS, divorce, housing assistance, probate.
Call SS in his area to get them involved. He made his choices. He can't "bob and weave" himself out of this. Time to pay the piper.
Help him, yes, but don't let him move in. You don't need the extra stress.
Your daughter is in her second year at college. That's a) quite expensive enough, and b) puts her at the stage where although she's nearly independent she's not quite and she still needs you as a functioning parent.
Your dad, Lord love him and bless him, is a train wreck in a whole different league from anything you already have to deal with.
You can love him dearly, you can care about him, you can help him assess his options and be there in his corner; but his problems are not your doing and not your responsibility.
I can always feel a quizzical expression coming over my face when I read of people (usually men, not always) who seem to be beset and persecuted by misfortune, malice and bureaucratic disapprobation. Wicked stepmother, seven year separation and no divorce. Cousin's estate not sorted despite his having been executor, with beneficiaries on his tail. Bankruptcy and liabilities unresolved. Yes, quite the situation. Actually - quite a number of quite the situations, over what must have been quite a number of decades. And the one factor they have in common? Daddy Dearest.
Seriously. Do not invite him over your threshold.
Where does he belong? Where was he before he moved to CA, for example? Is anywhere "home" for him?
I know he's 84. I know you love him. I expect lots of people have loved him. But you want to go on loving him - you don't want to add yourself to the (long?) list of people who have loved and trusted him until they broke. I am glad you have already come to your own conclusion that his diverting his legacy via you to avoid losing it is a non-starter as a plan. The fact that he put the idea on the table at all is not a good sign. Still hunting loopholes, hm?
Get on to social services and get information from them about resources he can access. He needs his whole life sorted out, professionally, and it is beyond the skills of even the most dedicated daughter.
Few people can withstand the scrutiny of the IRS and the state-all this comes along with your father if he moves in.
Since you are divorcing, the financial equations necessary to account for your real income will become blurred-you may end up being ordered to pay more support if you
are sharing rent/mortgage, or helping Dad in any way with marital assets. imo.
You have enough troubles of your very own.
Wrong. That is never the "only option." What if he didn't have any living children? What would his options be then? That is what you need to be exploring. If he hasn't been paying rent for more than a year, what has he done with his $2200 monthly? Having him move closer to you may be a good option, but not into your house.
Show your love by helping him clear up his various financial and legal messes. Show your maturity and sanity by not moving him in with you.
Read this article https://www.agingcare.com/articles/living-with-elderly-parents-do-you-regret-the-decision-133798.htm Maybe consider doing a short-term live-in with you until you can find Dad a place to live. I see from your profile that Dad was living in independent living, maybe you can find a nice place nearby for Dad.
Have Dad talk with a divorce lawyer. Since he and his wife have been separated and without contact for seven years, divorce should be fairly easy. That would eliminate one future complication should he Mrs return.