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If you loaned your car to someone, and they trashed it and wouldn't give it back, you could have them arrested for "theft by control"....that is what my stepdaughter is doing with my MIL's house and my husband is in compliance.

MIL has lived with us for 6 years. Her house (has a mortgage) was empty for a year and then my stepdaughter (during one of her many dramas) was given permission by my husband to move in. Fast forward to now: What was once a pristine, clean house is now squalor. There is a boyfriend, 4 dogs, 4 cats and a snake. The place reeks of pot and animals. One of the dogs chased the postman one day...and the house looks like hell outside. Stepdaughter has also started a "business" there: a hair salon without the proper licensing and my husband and she are hatching plans to make it "legal".... of course stepd. has no money for this enterprise but "Daddy" always seems to pay her way. Has anyone asked the OWNER if this is OK? NO! Who pays the mortgage? MIL does, and the payment is exactly the amount of her SS check each month. Stepdaughter is supposed to pay utilities but often skimps, while her BF pays $300 a month (the mortgage is $753 a mo). My husband won't let them put the utilities in their name (he thinks this will prove that MIL doesn't live there and that will have tax implications, blah blah...he doesn't know what he's talking about but whatever! MIL doesn't file taxes). The house can't even be refinanced unless my MIL gets involved and she is very confused these days. I pay her mortgage online and I pay the utilites...doing constant battle with stepd. to pay her share (too lazy to work full time....always giving her so-called salon as an excuse). I am tired of this arrangement. If I were MIL and of sound mind, I would kick SD out and sue my son for what he has allowed to go on at my property. Any opinions? I have even thought about calling a lawyer myself to make this stop, Not really do-able but that's my fantasy these days. SD is a leach and refuses to grow up. My husband is probably tired of dealing with her and just thinks she's a late bloomer who needs help. Wrong!!

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Wuvicecream: When MIL was about 92 she came down with the flu and my husband brought her to our house. My mother was already with us and a caregiver was here all the time. My husband decided that since MIL was no longer able to take care of herself that she could move into what was my mother's room after my mom died. Now a lady comes twice a week, plus cleans the house. The months became years and I think MIL has dementia. She thinks she just moved in....but it's been over 6 years. Asking her permission to do anything is pretty much moot. She still gets around without help and manages to be here alone a few hours 3 days a week. My teenager gets home in the early afternoon so MIL is not totally alone. My husband is now her POA (thanks to me because he won't lift a finger to do anything about her affairs). My husband is her only child and just figures what is hers is his already....thus letting SD live in a house she can't afford.
Ed: I have taken recent steps to sit down with SD and make a budget...to help her pay off bills...and cleaned parts of that house many, many times. She is the unfortunate person who did too many drugs as a teen and it shows! She was a rebellious one and regrets that now, but has been slow to mature. My 17 year old is far ahead of her in that regard. Slowly, slowly, slowly I think I can turn her around and get her off the launching pad. I am hoping that if she acts less needy, then her dad will be less enabling. We have discussed this at length: "You have to act like a grown up and solve your own problems without telling your dad....because he just tries to throw money at the situation". At times this works to her advantage, which is a tough cycle to break. She's an extremely talented hairdresser, but she sells herself short and sinks back into the comfortable position of getting handouts instead of really pushing through to make it on her own. It's as if MIL's house is an extension of ours...she's still living with us in her messy bedroom that's a few miles away, right? We were at odds until lately when I helped her bury her dog. We finally bonded. SD never sees her real mom, which is a shame. She's constantly needy for attention and can be a drama queen, which is exhausting and always took attention away from our other children. It's been a struggle.
Thanks for your advice.
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LADY:

Daddy needs to love her tender and love her tough. Stated another way, he must be strong enough to protect her from her surroundings -- and at times from herself -- yet sensitive enough to hold and hear her when she needs his tender touch. Your husband's idea of good parenthood, however, isn't allowing this so-called "late bloomer" to grow up, take full responsibility for her Bohemian lifestyle, and do something to prevent that house from turning into a hovel. Until that happens she'll always be his Little Girl.

Get it out of your system and have a candid talk with your man before the house is gone. Then pay Daddy's Girl a visit and give her a hand with the cleanup as you talk her ear off about responsibility, cleanliness, and going to school so she can get the proper licensing to run a budding business which might be her ticket to self-reliance so she can be completely weaned from her father and become half the woman I'm sure her mother was.

If things don't work out for the best and Daddy's Girl loses the house -- and the boyfriend --, at least you'll have the peace of mind of knowing you did the best you could to help. ... And the courage to put your foot down and let her know she's going to have to play by your rules should she happen to knock on the door one Sunday afternoon asking for a place to stay. After all, she's your husband's daughter.

A man's home is his castle until the Queen arrives, so let them both know who's really in charge.

Good luck.

-- ED
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You seem to have good intensions but your focus is clouded by a toxic mess. Why is MIL living with you? If she needs 24/7 care, who's providing that and who pays for it? If MIL owns the house, how did your husband have any say in who lives there? The owner is responsable for bills, mortgage, taxes etc. Has anyone asked MIL's permission or is anyone POA?
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I have tried to help my DH with as much as possible (legal stuff) regarding my MIL because I know that come the day she dies, he'll be useless. She will need a cemetery plot....unless I win the battle to have her cremated because that will be all she can afford. Her mortgage will still be there...waiting to be paid off and who will do that? My SD?? No, I will have to arrange to sell MIL's stocks and then pay off the mortgage. My understanding was that when i sold my parents' house, my share of that inheritance would go towards our mortgage..and DH would follow suit with his mother's house. However, it looks like SD will leach forever living over there and DH is doing nothing to stop it....as the only asset that MIL leaves behind is trashed. I admit I should just look the other way, but the financial loose ends have to be thought out by someone and at this point that "someone" is me.
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I am a caregiver for my mother in law as well right now she has been living with us for 3 years. The other siblings dont want to care for her, they just want their inheritance, or what is left of it after they ran up legal bills having her declared incompetent. I am currently not being paid to this mess of caregiving, I love my mother in law, she does not deserve what her children in another state have done to her, however you have to reach a point like I have ...this is not your mother, this is not your job and you neeed to quit taking care of you MIL and move on with your life and let the chips fall where they may...that is what I am in t he process of doing. I know what you are going through I am walking in your shoes the difference is I am stopping the maddness and resigning the caregiving and my MIL children can figure out how THEY are going to take care of her from now on....OVER and OUT! Be happy for yourself day. Love your self and Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Joy
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I would go directly to her lawyer and let him solve things and remove myself from all that mess-if she goes into a N.H. within the next 5 yrs. the mess will be worse and since you are the wife the mess will get more messer -did you ever think about getting a legal seperation-being on your own can not be worse than this mess -ask her lawyer about that at the same time-if something were to happen to him who do you think will be up to your ears in debt-a word to the wise,
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I also have the same situation. My Aunt (maternal) developed Alzheimer's and her son became POA after she was diagnosed. I didn't suspect anything until his wife called me crying and saying he had become his brother who had all ready taken advantage of her in her early stages. My Aunt worked for a large Co. her whole life and invested her money wisely. She had the means to stay in a nice assisted living home. My cousin was upset because it was so expensive and he told his wife "there goes my inheritance". The wife also told me he was living off of her money. I would have never suspected anything until the wife called me. It was then I turned him into APS. That was two years ago. It was supposed to remain anonymous but APS told my cousin who reported him and now he or his wife will not talk to me. On Nov. 29th 2010 he moved her out of assisted living in the middle of the night and oweing them money. I have not had communication with my aunt since Nov. and I do not know where she is. Does he have the right to do that? APS is absolutley useless.
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UPDATE: I checked the zoning laws: my city prohibits home hair salons...problem solved, except that SD already knew that...I don't think hubby does. Go figure!
SD's BF moved out last night....can't say I blame him but she's already crying that she won't be able to pay rent. He took the tiny dog and left her with the other 3 big ones and the cats. The BF works for us...AWKWARD!! (He is a great employee..too bad he has such a ditz for a GF.) Hubby does not know about this yet. I'm hoping it will blow over. Happy Holidays!!
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My whole problem is this: the property still belongs to MIL and should be disposed of properly so she can have money for her end of life care. SD's career is of no consequence...yet 2 hair cutting booths, chairs and a shampoo bowl have already been installed in what was once a really nice glassed in porch. There goes the home's resale value right there. Who paid for this? My husband without my consent. The list of requirements for a LEGAL salon is pages thick and would require more expensive improvements...and who knows if the area is zoned for this business?? And who cares?? This is not my husband's house...yet. All of MIL's furniture has either been ruined or forced on us to deal with. Two of the four dogs occupy the living room...two dogs, two dog beds and a bare bulb is a really great look, right? Most of the carpet has been pulled out, one bathroom is not functional and there are mice. I refused to help SD with the mouse problem and she didn't speak to me for a month (that was actually pretty nice!). There are mice because A.) they keep a lot of pet food there and B.) insufficient maintenance like caulking holes that lead inside. The mortgage is at 8% interest, which is a travesty, but how to get an appraisal with such a mess going on over there?? If MIL did not have a mortgage she could help with caregiver expenses and household expenses that WE are paying for....while SD whines that she does not have my "support". I'm about ready to drag hubby to a counselor and make him see the light. I am certainly going to get the POA for my MIL no matter what. Thanks for all your comments! I know that backing off is an option but I have been doing that forever and things are just getting worse. I am also going to consult MIL's trust attorney and see what he has to say about all this. Thanks again.
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ur right tucsonlady thats ur and ur husbands future- does he think she can take care of him or u not!
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LOL, Lilliput! The BF IS the only "adult" in the group! Good call! He's the best "babysitter" we ever had! SD is 24 and even in these hard times, has walked away from TWO or THREE healthy, full-time jobs....so she can deliver pizza for all I care. The house has a lot of equity...the mortgage is small....we could sell MIL's stocks, pay off the mortgage....sell the house and have money for her. Oh, one problem: SD has trashed the house and husband seems unconcerned with all the paperwork it would take to get all this done. His mom may end up getting buried in our backyard because no one will have thought about a cemetary plot. I, for one, want to advocate fo this poor, old woman that these two are taking advantage of and ruining our future retirement....not to mention that we still have to send little sis to SD to college. SD and hubby need to face reality: SD is just playing around. She buys $100 in Starbucks a month...one-fifth of her salary. And, when the mood strikes, gets a new tattoo. AND she is ditching her student loan. Time for a change. I will not see her set up this stupid little business on our backs or that of my MIL's. What they are doing is as close to elder abuse as you can get without actually slapping the poor woman.
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I agree with oqt...just take a giant step back and hand over the books to the hub. He is making this a HIS family situation and obviously he does not value your input. So I would let him have it just the way he wants it. Also, let him be more involved in the everyday care of HIS mother. Take a spa day every week, hand him all her bills, let him worry about how to make ends meet. Perhaps the house should be sold and the proceeds used to care for the MIL. I have a firsthand experience with the enabling personality. My Mom constantly bailed out my sib financially until I finally put an end to it. Do you think she sees the errors of her ways?? Nooooo.
Bottom line is your hub won't change, the sd won't change, sounds like at least the BF is pitching in a bit....wouldn't it be funny if he were the most responsible of the group? :o(
Take care and get yourself some quality ME time.
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There is a big problem with your complaints, and that is that you are not evaluating the situation in the context of current economic reality.

First, our government long ago figured out how to "cheat" on unemployement figures. If they say, for example, "9 miliion", the truth may well be that there are 20 million people who would be glad to start tomorrow on a job that pays 2/3'rds of what they earned formerly.

So, in light of that, your SD's desire to create a "legal" hair salon does not seem all that evil.

Second, due to the decimation of the housing market, so many people have lost their houses outright that having a plan to hold onto your MIL's (possibly underwater) home may actually be the best option. Or at least a competitive one. After all, you said the house was empty for a year.

You have to remember that right now as congress works hard to give tax cuts to the wealthiest 1%, many of the people who actually work, used to work, and want very much to work, are getting creamed. Not just your family.

So, while in normal times your story would seem like a clear cut case of sloth and mismanagment, in these times it could be just one more case out of millions of others where people are doing whatever they can to hang on.

Regardless of everything else, It sounds like your husband needs to impose some rules on property maintenance. Unless SD and boyfriend are physically disabled, then the "squalor" is just inexcusable.
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This is your husband?? His mother?? Sounds to me he cares about no-one but himself. Daughter, happy. Mother, happy (has free caregiver,you). Husband, happy (daughter out of his hair,mother being taken cared of). If only you were happy. Stop taking care of his mother (use her SSI to pay for caretakers not her mortgage), stop being an accountant for his mother (doing online banking) and arguing with step daughter. Not your job! Once you stop enabling the situation things will change (or if they do not just do your own thing and see what happens.) If they are foolish they will loose the house to foreclosure
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