Daughter came home with 2 babies. Because of childhood health problems her body and mind were strained during pregnancies. She is described as progressively disabled. In mind and body. She's had several operations and implants) Very good person but needs progressively more structure and support. Her father recently passed. We, as a family, stood before the judge as daughter gave her children into her sister's full custody. Her ex is out of the picture (extreme abuse). The state can't find him for child support though he is sole owner of a mechanic shop in business for several years with 1 employee. She so appreciatively receives disability payments and medical.
Her sister and I bought an old home iwith excellent schools. All 5 females live happily together. My son took time off from work and remodeled as was needed. He then bought a home 15 min. away and helps out.
She may never need all of the estate. She may, at some point, live with her brother or in a facility. She cannot handle her finances alone. She has children. Both siblings are committed to her and hers. She isn't dumb. Her mental and physical health deteriorates under stress.
I can trust her siblings if I split the estate between only them but is there another idea? Also, how do I preserve her dignity when it's so clear she doesn't get much of financial value? As for her girls?

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Assusmptions, no oversharing of information - actually quite the opposite. A few more comments:

Baking pans: you might want to check at thrift stores if you can't get all you want from the lending library. I, for example, no longer do the baking I used and plan to donate mine. I wouldn't even think of selling them - it's not worth the time. But now I'll also check local libraries and senior centers to find out if they have lending pan libraries as well.

Selling baked goods - she already has that experience; support it and as her business grows so will her self esteem. It can also be a family project with her children helping her, getting out the ingredients, greasing and flouring the pans, etc. Good bonding time for all of them.

Perhaps do some research on small businesses if you need some financial advice. In my area, there's a group called NAWBO - Natl. Assn. of Women Business Owners. You or one of your daughters might want to explore options of joining to leverage exposure and network with other women businesses.

As to your daughter's social life, well, actually it's more than some caregivers have! I say that not to be sarcastic, but it is a social life with her daughters, and that might be all that many people would want. I still think these are bonding activities and good for both mother and children.

(Many caregivers really have sacrificed a social life because of the demand of caring for ill and aging parents.)

As to being "left out of the estate", I wouldn't necessarily view it that way. You're making what I equate to a good business decision - evaluating the situation, assigning/delegating/asking for assistance from those who can provide it for those who need it. Think of it as teamwork.

And it's the goal and end result that's important.
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Oops. Lots of misspellings, typos and the 1st "lemonade' should say 'lemons'.

Also I speak about our dynamics not only to get the best brainstorms but also so those who are swamped, and smothered so throughly that you can't see each other much less any silver lining might see a crack of fresh air. I'm very afraid I've overshared. Sorry if I have.
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Thank you both. Regarding an attorney. Yes. Having raised his, mine, foster, and adopted children ( what were we thinking :o) I have experience and will follow your thoughts on a specialist. Still, many a time in my complexed life, I have found a better option - had the specialist brought it to my attention. So. Here I reach out for all your brainstorming efforts most appreciatively knowing that so enlightened can turn a cookie cutter solution into a solid elevated work of art.
And that which most worries me is her dignity. At one time she was a great baker and cook. She had special equipment and baked at home for profit. She howled in distress when the SSI judged asked what sshe fed her children because she realized she was down to microwave and no cook foods. Since then she is much improved with her medical care in place. She now does bake for others. Your suggestion to support it again is well taken. Our library is closer to a community center and loans specialized cake pans. I'll organize a permanent baking center and support this again. Thank you. As for her girls, we are imperfectly looking for and supportting the interests and talents we see. I am embarrassed but still I ask for lower fees for swim team, and YMCA membership where they take robotic and science centered activities. ITo compensate their mother and I volunteer. This is essentially her social life. This and her church that respects our home's verying spiritual thoughts and practices.As I write I realize she might benefit from a craft store cake or art class. Ummm... Christmas gift? Thanks !
Back to indignity of being left out of my estate and being fair to her siblings so it doesn't seem as if I only cared for her. They have on their own accord, drawing on their own savings andresources such as calling in favors cared for each other without my involvement. In big and small ways. You may not be able to wrap your head around my family but there are those few that, having been given lemonade strive and succeed at making lemonade. This constant inclusion, acceptance, and trust by each of us gives us our dignity. Our friends, neighbors, and extended family do notice and are as amazed as I am grateful.
Thank you again. Both advisors have contributed good reminders, new info and spurred more ideas.
Sorry that I overwrite.
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Please see an elder care attorney. New tax laws have made special needs trusts a planning tool that keeps disabled individuals protected as regards their Medicaid eligibility, keeps honest folks honest with money distribution (despite what you see now, money can make a huge difference if circumstances change later - trust me after painful experience with "close" sibling). What a great situation and supportive family.
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Complicated issues, but the way your family has pulled together to provide support is really impressive.

I think there are enough issues regarding preservation of assets that a consultation with an estate planning attorney who has experience in special needs planning would be helpful. There are options, potential options...something that needs to be carefully thought out not only in terms of provision for your family but in terms of asset protection and tax minimization.

Special needs trusts are a breed of their own, so an attorney who's reputable and experienced in that area would be helpful to suggest various alternatives and incorporate them into documentation.

If you need help in locating and attorney, just say so. (Some areas are near law schools, which sometimes have clinics that provide free consulatations. Metro areas have large law firms with estate planning practice areas).

As to helping your daughter preserve her dignity, I have to say I'm so impressed by your approach! There are so many posts here of families feuding, accusing each other, refusing to cooperate, and here is your post showing so much compassion that's it's really very moving.

What does your daughter enjoy and/or excel in? Does she cook, do crafts, garden, send cards, write letters? Think about what she does that pleases her, emphasize that, and build her self esteem in that area to offset any feelings she may have about not being financially self sufficient.

Figure out how to maximize those areas in which she does have strength and have the other siblings encourage her, as well as emphasizing the roles these strengths can play in the family dynamics. E.g., if she enjoys cooking, encourage her to be the family chef. Get recipe books for her, perhaps encourage her to enter 4H or country fair or other competitions, IF that doesn't cause her stress.

Perhaps she could also bake and donate to PTA get togethers or bake sales for her children's school.

Learn to capitalize on her strengths, build on them, and make her proud to have those skills.

Same with her daughters - focus on what they enjoy, raise it to a level of pride, and encourage them to explore and go farther in those areas.

If you can offer some insight into what they do enjoy, it might be easier to make more suggestions.
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