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Everytime I try to talk to husband he gets angry. Complications with property taxes due in two months on moms house. Brother has deed now. But is on SSI. Trust is not supposed to pay this expense. Husband angry through whole conversation. Don't have any friends to talk to. Feel like crying right now. So much stress and problems.

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Thank you, Jeanne, that clarifies a lot!

I couldn't agree more a) that it is unfair and unkind for this difficult responsibility to be foisted on Barbara and b) that Brother would be better served, in any case, by a professional who can steer him through this specialist territory.
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CM, in a May post Barbara told us her brother "has a life estate deed to mom's house," and in this thread she explains that Mom "did a special deed for brother. She had control of the house while she lived and he got the house automatically when she died." As I understand it (kind of fuzzy) in a Life Estate Deed the property passes immediately upon death of the Life Tenant (Mom) to the Remainder owner (Brother), without going through probate. It is pretty much a done-deal when the deed is signed, and generally cannot be revoked. Mom couldn't have changed her mind after she set it up this way. Brother was living there because she allowed that (she did not have to) and once she died he was the owner. (He was the Remainder owner before that, but he had no control over the house until Life Tenant died. Now he does.)

Barbara had agreed, under some duress, to be the executor of the estate and to manage the trust. It seems to me very unfair to expect Barbara to do these things.

That Brother was declared Disabled and is collecting SSI convinces me that he isn't able to support himself. I've seen several of these claims processed and it can be a very challenging status to acquire. Barbara doesn't seem particularly sympathetic to his plight or even especially believing of his disabilities. That is OK. She has her own handicaps. I think it would be better for both Brother and Barbara if a professional took over managing whatever of his affairs Brother can't manage on his own. His mother did the best she could to provide for him, but dragging Barbara into it was a huge stress for Barbara and really not fair. Brother and sister were/are not close.

Just as there are attorneys specialize in Elder Law, there are those who specialize in Disability Issues. I think someone like that should be handling this whole mess, including managing the trust. Poor Barbara should not have that responsibility on her plate.

But the house belongs to Brother. It is not part of the estate Barbara has to shepherd through probate. If it is sold, he gets 100% of the proceeds (after expenses, of course). That boat has sailed.
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Does he? I thought he lived in his mother's house? It's here earlier up somewhere '... left him the house and the money.' But if it was already his house and his mother was his tenant, then yes obviously it isn't part of the estate and obviously no one except him can decide to sell it.

The SSI and strict rules bit...

Are you and brother thinking that if he has been left a sizeable legacy he will no longer be able to claim SSI?

But that on the income he has from these allowances, he cannot afford the upkeep of his house?

I don't know what to say about that, if that's so. Other than to recommend you find a good financial planning adviser for someone in your brother's position.

You're not intending to conceal the inheritance or mislead any authorities, are you? Just to be absolutely clear.

You haven't - you don't have to, of course - been very clear about the nature of your brother's disability. If he's in receipt of SSI, then it is fair to assume it's substantial. But does it in fact prevent him from doing things like understand money and bills, or be able to calculate budgets?

You either are in charge of your brother and able to make decisions for him, or you are not and your responsibility is solely to see he gets whatever money and assets it has been left to you to administer. It seems to be the latter.

Assist him with the property tax issue - I still wouldn't pay them for him, I'd find him the right numbers to call and tell him what to do about it - deal with the estate, and thereafter take a kindly but distant interest in his wellbeing.

Seriously. Otherwise you will make yourself ill.
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YoooHooo ... Being the executrix of the estate isn't related to the house. As I understand it, Brother already owns the house. He has for years, with the provision that Mother could continue to live in it.

So I don't understand any of this talk of "spliting" the proceeds or "buying it for $1" or brother "probably" getting most of the money from the house if it is sold.

Brother will get ALL of the money from the house. It is his house. He will have to pay taxes and other creditors. But the house is his. I do not understand any talk to the contrary. He is mentally handicapped. Even if you don't want to be the one to help him, for heaven sakes, you would not stoop or allow your husband to stoop to cheating this man, would you?

Your brother needs to pay this year's property taxes on HIS house, and to register for the discount, exemption, whatever for next year. If you can loan him the money for this year and get repaid out of the estate that would be wonderfully helpful. Awesome.

Beyond that, try to bow out as quickly as you can. Being your brother's keeper is not a good role for you. Set up a meeting for you, Brother, and Case Worker. Explain that you do not want to have an ongoing role in managing your brother's affairs. Perhaps the state should appoint someone to do that. When the estate is settled, you are outta there!

Meanwhile, from everything you have told us, the house belongs to your brother. Help him out on a one-time basis this year, for your mother's sake, if you can work up enough generosity to do that. But that house is not yours, not partially yours, not in any way shape or form yours. It was your mother's. Now it is your brother's. End of that story.
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Barbara- my son has a case worker, here they call it a Personal Agent, through the Department of Disabilities through the county in which he lives. Given your brothers age and if he hasn't had a caseworker for a while he may have to start from scratch- which given his social disorder may be a problem. Also - at least in my experience it's a "squeaky wheel" thing. Also, my sons had at least six over the years and only two were any help but - the one we have now is outstanding. On a side note - as you get advice here, don't let what people say stress or pressure you - including me! You are the only one who has all the details and experience of what you have and haven't had to deal with. Pick through what is helpful, consider ideas that seem uncomfortable but could be helpful and disregard the rest. It's a crap shoot - seeking advice from anonymous strangers.
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It wouldn't be so much of a problem if he wasn't on SSI. They have strict rules. None of moms money can be used for housing, utilities, or taxes. So it doesn't matter how much money mom left. She only left enough for several years living. So brother doesn't want to loose SSI. I think he has SSI caseworker. I told him to find out who is his caseworker. Then he could go see her. But a caseworker for his life, no. How do I find a caseworjer. And how do I get him to go and so listen to someone. When his oppinion of people is not good.
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Then...

You must know exactly how much cash your mother left, and exactly in what proportions her estate was to be divided between you and your brother (assuming there are no other beneficiaries).

It remains only to add up, and see whether or not the money left to him will allow your brother to live in and maintain the house, taking into account his likely outgoings - property taxes, but also utilities, groceries, the normal expenses of daily living - and whether or not his legacy and his income together will cover them.

If they will, then fine: you tell your brother what to do to ensure that he does not incur unnecessary penalties through late payment of bills, you hand him his legacy as soon as you've got the will through probate, and that's you done. Anything else is his problem.

If they won't, then as executor you have the power to enforce sale of the house at market value: the sale proceeds are then divided as your mother instructed, and your brother can use his share of the resulting capital to buy or rent accommodation that he will be able to afford. So you see to the sale, you divide the estate, and again that's you done.

Avoid overcomplicating your life from now on by involving yourself in impractical and improbable projects. I expect your husband's intention with his dollar purchase idea is that you and he then own the house and allow your brother to rent it from you? That is charitable of your husband, but it will leave the two of you as landlords to your brother - and a resulting lifetime of chasing him for rent and trying to help him to manage his budget while he resists you, passively, every step of the way.

Does your brother have a caseworker or other support team? If not, are you going to find him one?
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Yes, I'm the executor.
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Darling, are you or are you not executor of your mother's estate?
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My husband said if brother cant pay taxes. Sell to us for a dollar. But he needs money to live. I didn't know how much money husband would let me give to brother from sale of home. I think the years of my mother telling me she had to leave as much money as she could for brother when she died got deeply pushed
into my brain. I'm starting to think I must get brother as much money as possible.
Taking on my mothers perspective and fears in my unconscious.
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I understand your husband's indignation, but I disagree with his reasoning. Your brother was your mother's dependant until the end of her life, wasn't he? - so it makes sense that she has left him as much as she could to continue to protect him (some might say "enable him") after her passing.

What do you mean, the majority of the money from the home sale will *probably* go to your brother? Don't you know? Are you not your mother's executor, then?
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Yes, you described my brother well. Husband was angry that mom left practically everything to brother. All her money and her home. And I get almost nothing. And husband thinks the house is worth something. I guess it is. So we may be able to get some money from home sale. Instead of a complete loss of house and nothing left. Of cource the majarity of the money from home sale will probably
go to brother.
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Of course I don't know him, but from earlier threads I don't get the impression that this brother is the kind of person who learns, realises, gets messages or indeed cares much about anything except having his own space and pleasing himself. He is highly resistant to change and entirely unmotivated when it comes to fresh starts.

To check: Handnuff? Would you agree that those comments are fair? I am happy to stand corrected if you don't.

Your mother left him the house. She also left him money which it will take a little time to remit to him for his use. She left you an undefined commitment to "take care of him won't you."

Well. I think you'd better define for yourself what you're prepared to do to help your brother. And I wouldn't start with loaning him money. And I'd make very sure that it's a level of commitment that a) you can cope with, given your own needs; b) is therefore not going to drive your husband to drink; and c) is workable given your brother's dislike of interference.

Why is your husband so keen on acquiring the house? It surely can't be for sentimental reasons?
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Sounds fair and compassionate to me. Gives your brother a little breathing room for now. Also, now he is fully aware that property will be due once a year and since he now owns the house he'll need to plan accordingly. Who knows maybe he'll come to realize - after spending some time alone in that big house that it's too much for him and sell willingly. I think when you tell him about how the taxes will be paid this year, it would be a good time to tell him this is a one time bail-out and he needs to start thinking about expenses that routinely occur for a home owner. With your mother still being alive three months ago this was not on his radar - now it needs to be. If he messes up from this point on you will certainly be able to "let the chips fall where they may" and feel absolutely guilt free.
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The trust does not own the house. My brother does. That makes things harder. My husband wanted to buy the house to keep it from being taken for unpaid taxes.
I suggested the split of money. But niw husband is saying we can pay taxes for one year and brother has to sell house if he cant come up with way to pay taxes after that. Believe me, husband won't pay for more than one year. And will want money back from estate.
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Your husband wants to buy the house from your brother. (But the trust owns it, right? So would he be buying it from the trust?) And then who would split what money? If he buys the house from your brother (of if anyone else did if that can be done) then your brother gets all of the money. What is your husband's idea of "split" ?? This is so muddled I can't follow it.

Whether your husband likes it or not, your mother made her choices about what to do with her estate. I wish he would leave you alone about it. It is not your fault your mother made the decisions she did.

But I think the sooner you get out of this stressful role, the better it will be for your mental health.
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I wouldn't. If brother wants to stay in the house, you might as well start as he'll have to go on - in this instance, get in touch with the relevant tax authorities and ask to defer payment until he has access to the estate money. He'll have to do this, not you, with the help of anyone he will allow to help him. Note: you can't help him because he will not let you.

If you are not careful, you will end up in the same position of having responsibility without power as regards your brother as you endured for so long with your mother. It is pointless, it helps nobody, and it costs you dear. I'm not surprised your husband is at the end of his rope. This time, listen to your husband.
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So pay the taxes as a loan to your brother - to be paid back upon closure of the estate. If it will make you and hubby more comfortable about the loan, write something up and charge him interest. Pay yourself back after the estate is settled.
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The kind of trust mom set up is called suplimental needs. Not allowed to use trust to pay for housing or housing taxes. S S I money is for that. But you hardly get enough money just for housing expences. Not enough to cover taxes. Not realistic.
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I would get advice from an attorney on any issue involving real estate and especially losing that real estate. Is your brother disabled? In some counties, disabled land owners may receive a discount or waiver of their entire county property taxes on land. In NC that is possible if you complete the form and it signed by the doctor stating the disability. I would explore to see if that is an option in your state.
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Mom died April 7 this year. She did a special deed for brother. She had contol of the house while she lived and he got the house automatically when she died. She was afraid of him becoming homeless and also he wanted the house. The trust is for my brother. Has very little money in it. But all the money left in the estate after expenses goes in the trust. My husband is adamant that I don't loose the house. If my brother can't aford it husband wants to buy it from brother. Then we split the money. So brother can pay rent at an apartment. I'm pretty certain brother would never agree to sell to me. I feel a little responsible for brother. Cause mom kept saying you'll take care of him when I die, right. Last few years. She ment financially help if he needs it. I wont spend my own money unless I get it back crom estate.
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I seem to recall that Barbara's mom died about 2 months ago. Brother has special needs; was house in a special needs trust, Barbara?

This is a question for your mom's attorney. No, you DON"T use your money to pay for the taxes. If brother can't pay the taxes on his own, then he needs to sell the house, take the profit and get himself someplace affordable to live.

Why can't the money in the trust be used to pay the taxes?

Does brother have a case worker?
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Do not use your mother's trust to pay for that house. You will need that money to pay for your mother's care. And do not use your own money to pay for that house because it would be a huge show of disrespect toward your husband.

You are not helping your brother by paying his house bill. You are enabling him. Can you help him find a realtor to look at the house and give you an estimate for how much it would sell for?

If you can sell the house, you can use the bulk of the proceeds for your mother's future care and set aside some in a trust for your brother through which he would get an allowance.

Does any of this sound feasible given your situation?
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If your mom left most of her estate to your brother surely there is cash somewhere to pay the tax.
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DO NOT PAY YOUR BROTHER'S PROPERTY TAX WITH YOUR OWN MONEY. DO NOT DO IT.

What are your legal responsibilities towards your brother? Do you have any?
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Hadnuff, whatever you do, do NOT bail your brother out on the property taxes. It is his responsibility since he has the house. Otherwise, when the time rolls around to pay the taxes again, he will look toward you to pay them.

Can you get us up to date... why did your Mom give your brother the house? Is Mom on Medicaid? How is the nursing home being paid? Will Mom need the equity from the house to help pay for the nursing home?
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My brother is liable for the tax bill as his name is on the deed. He wont sell the house. He is not realistic. The lawyer said apply for tax credit. But bill is due in two months. Not much time. I'm going to pay with trust money. Just realized there isnt near enough money in trust. Was afraid to put much in because mom might need it. Husbands going to get mad again when I tell him we have to use our own money just this once. Hes going to want to get the money back from the estate. Hes angry that the house and most of the money went to my brother.
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Hugs, Hadnuff. I hope you're doing okay in yourself. This is still a very hard time, though, so I'm glad to see you on the forum.

Um. Could you call whoever will bill you for the property taxes and ask who is liable for them? If it's your brother, could be he'll have to sell the house if he can't afford to pay its expenses, do you think? But anyway, someone is liable for the tax bill - at least this is a question with a cut-and-dried answer.
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