Mom lives at home with mild Cognitive impairment. Dad passed 2 years ago. Seems mom is worse, maybe dementia now. MCI diagnosis was 8 years ago. There are 4 daughters. When the Will was made, the 2 sisters who lived in same town were named executor and co executor and POA. Before dad passed, 3 daughters lived close. All 4 daughters were taking week a month to help out. After dad passed, mom decided to change POA to another sibling. For a year and a half we all took care of mom.

The oldest siblings husband had a serious heart attack, so she started caring for him, and Covid 19 prevented her the 4 hour drive to mom's, she stopped caring for mom. Another sibling caring for mom, has fibromyalgia and husband whose had 2 types of cancer decided to move out of state. She being exhausted and always in pain and no sleep and drained financially, flew back and forth for 6 months, then stopped caring for mom routinely, she was given POA because mom didn’t want to die at hospice like dad. The two daughters who have always lived close as executor and co executor want to save the money to have the larger inheritance. They do not want to hire caregivers. They did hire their son and daughter who have been layed off because of Covid 19. They are being payed by the hour and one goes in A.M. for 2 hours and one in afternoon for dinner and meds. It’s perfect. My sisters who are there do not have to go daily or sometimes just some hours on weekends.

They still want to charge the other 2 siblings 350.00 a week for each week missed monthly. One is also POA. I agree with paying sisters who handle financials and care for mom. They still want to charge the sisters who live out of town $350. My dad left enough to take care of mom. Can my sister who is also POA and executor of will charge siblings for not caring for mom and take money from them and subtract it from inheritance when mom passes? Dad and Mom in Will stipulated it will be divided 4 ways. Is this legal? It’s a mess.

Legal issues aside, I'd like to comment on the expectation of inheritance. This, unfortunately, seems to be driving some very poor decision-making in your family. Many on this forum (including myself) had the hope/expectation (verbalized by their LO) to inherit a house, property, assets, etc. What people didn't know (or expect) was the burnout caused by the ever-intensifying care needs of their LO. Going into a facility is very expensive. Outside help starts out more affordable but then becomes very expensive as her care needs increase and requires a lot of management. by the PoA. Hiring a private person is "cheaper" but makes you an employer and again, requires a lot of management and legal oversight.

Many countless participants on this forum have been witness to the fact that very hard-working, responsible LOs thought they had saved up enough for the retirement and care they were hoping to receive, only to be shocked at the immense cost -- especially now that we are all living to such old age.

My point is that your family can jump through all these hoops, ruin familial relationships and become burned out, and in the end you may desperately WANT to transition her into a facility when everyone is tapped out. Then guess what? She will need to pay with her assets, including her home. And if those assets don't cover the cost of her ongoing care, she will need to apply for Medicaid, and heaven help you if your family hasn't consulted with an elder law attorney regarding estate planning -- what would happen if she doesn't qualify? All this contortion in order to preserve an inheritance is all for nothing. This is a cautionary tale for you to consider.

I was raised by my mom and 2 aunts who never married nor had children. They always told me I'd get their home (I never asked for it). But they are living to 98 and 101 and are running out of money and their care needs are not even that great...yet. I have come to peace that they may require Medicaid if they do not pass in their sleep. That means selling the house. I'm now totally at peace with this. Please adjust your expectations for your family's situation so that your mom gets the best care and not at the cost of burning out her children and incentivizing them to do illegal (or at the very least, foolish) things just because she has burdened you all with a request you may not be able or willing to carry out. I wish you peace in your heart as you look at reality.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Geaton777

I think it’s important to state the obvious: any money or property that your mom has while she is living is HER money, and HER property and to be used to support HER care which is expensive and will become more expensive as she gets older and needs more care. Any consideration regarding how much money will be left for the siblings inheritance is secondary. For anyone to even consider their inheritance before considering whats best for their parent is simply very, very wrong. We’ve had 24-hr care for my mom and stepdad since 2017. My mom passed away at the end of 2017 but we still needed 24-hr care for my stepdad so he could stay in the home. Longevity runs in his family and all of his siblings are in their mid to late 90’s so whatever money he has must last that long to go to support HIM. We had to move him to senior living with memory care and it is also very expensive, but its still less than 24-hr care. That decision was made because we needed to make sure he has enough money to last another 5-10 yrs not because we were worried about an inheritance. Other family members in our family may be worried about “their inheritance” but too bad-its his money; whatever money is left as an inheritance must be a secondary consideration. Everyone needs to take a step back, put their hands back in their pockets and come to grips with this truth: as long as the parent is living that money belongs to the parent, period. That money is to be used to support the parent, period. Inheritances are of secondary concern. Any money the parent has regardless of the good intentions of their parents to leave money to their children becomes a moot point while the parent is alive. That money belongs to them not their “heirs” and the cost/quality of their care should absolutely not be cut short simply because people are worried about how much is going to be left for them. The care and wellbeing of your mom comes first. Whatever money and assets are left AFTER your moms passing would be distributed to those in the will after debts are settled. This is why who you choose as your POA is so very important.
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Reply to Babs55
disgustedtoo Jun 8, 2020
EXACTLY! A POA's duty is to manage the person's income and assets as if they WERE that person. The duty is NOT to nickel and dime everything so that there is something left "for us".

As for charging those who can't provide care any longer, how heartless is that? They did what they could while they could. The reasons provided thus far to me seem reasonable enough for bowing out. What's the plan, burn them out, kill them off, so that the rest get more? Geez, mom has assets, USE THEM FOR HER CARE!

So long as there are assets and income that belong to mom, they should be used for her care, period. The assets and income are HERS. Were she still capable of taking care of herself, she would be using those funds anyway, so what's the difference? She might even be using MORE, if she were able to get out and go shopping! So, that is exactly what the POA should be doing, using her funds for her care.

As others commented, there might be issues regarding payments to family who are providing some care. Agreements in place? Taxes being paid? Or is this all "under the table"? If Medicaid is ever needed, they WILL be looking under that table! IF and ONLY IF the non-caregiving siblings wanted to chip in, THOSE funds could be paid to the others, but not mom's assets, unless there is a legit agreement from mom. But no one should be requiring ANY of you to "chip in" funds while mom still has assets.

Thankfully our mom and dad were savers. Once mom couldn't manage finances anymore, I took over - and believe me, I am cheaper than she was, at least when it comes to HER money! Set it all up in a trust to protect it from her and/or nefarious people. Nothing frivolous, just paid the regular condo bills before and after move to MC, found a nice private pay place and keep tight tabs on what is spent. If she needs anything, she gets it, otherwise, no dice. Her monthly "rent' for MC covers most everything, so for the most part it is that rent, some personal items, prescriptions, etc.

Because her condo was set up as a Life Estate, most of the proceeds were given to us when we sold it (per IRS regs), but we all agreed to put it ALL back into the trust (minus some to cover the cap gains charged to us). Anything left would be split between us, but it is better where it is than trying to leave it with each of us and collect as needed. It's also earning money and "harvesting" losses to help with trust taxes (the bulk is pre-trust money, plus the proceeds from the condo, so most of the money is principal, not interest income. If there's some left when she passes and everything's paid up, great. If not, mom's money was used for mom's care! No regrets for me.

NO ONE is guaranteed an inheritance (even a few rich people refuse to leave it to their kids, so they say...) If you get something, great, but no one should ever be "counting" on it, nor should they skimp on mom's care to ensure some/more is "left over for us".
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Seems most are in agreement here - no one should be "charging" the 'children' for not providing hands-on care. For the most part, children are not held responsible for a parent's care (the filial laws are usually brought up when a facility isn't paid - too much to go into here.) When able, nice children chip in for the care. However, given aging, increasing medical issues as we age, etc, this "plan" can go awry.

The other consensus is about mom's assets - they are hers and hers alone and should be used to cover her care and needs. The POA should be acting AS mom, doing what MOM would have done. The POA's job/duty is NOT to preserve assets for inheritance, the POA should be USING the assets, as needed, for mom and her care.

Billing siblings for being unable to participate? Pshaw. What if there were no siblings? Also seems very heartless, esp since the siblings have what seem to be legit reasons for backing off. If my brothers sent me a bill for not doing hands-on care for mom, I would either rip it up and throw it away, or send it back, with no such addressee on the envelope!

Our mother had a good amount of liquid (bank) assets and a condo that we finally sold, and those funds are HERS and HERS ALONE until she passes. They provide a very nice MC place for her and cover any incidentals and Rx needs as well. We don't have to contribute anything - if there's some left at the end, great. If not, we never earned it, so what's the big deal?
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Reply to disgustedtoo
JHarris Jun 10, 2020
My sister is treating it like the inheritance is hers now!
Absolutely not legal.

Mum is responsible for paying her way as she has assets available to do so.

If my brother sent me a bill in the mail suggesting that I help pay for Dad's care I would rip it up. As it is we both contribute towards the maintenance of a family property, but that is a very different situation involving a trust.

Executor sister cannot legally change Mum's Will. If she does not divide up the remaining estate based on how the Will is written, she will be breaking the law.
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Reply to Tothill

No she cannot charge you. She also cannot pay others under the table for care. That needs to be setup legally with a caregiver agreement and all taxes, social security, workmen's comp, etc deducted. Then that would cause problems with the kids unemployment, wouldn't it.

She needs an elder law attorney now to negotiate the legalities of all of this. Any payment for care is mom's responsibility with what dad left. Your sis is on a collision course with many legal problems and Medicaid qualification (if it is ever needed).

Paying for mom's care is mom's responsibility and must be done legally. Then, if, just if, you did pay for it mom and sis are off the hook for Medicaid qualification because the funds for care are coming from you, not mom. Then what if you have a mAjor medical event and need Medicaid? Then you would be denied because money paying for mom's care appears to be a gift to the kids from you.

What a tangled web we weave.
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Reply to gladimhere

There is no basis on which you two non-participating siblings can be charged for your mother's care.

The POA is of course at liberty to *ask* (nicely) for contributions towards care costs; but given that your mother has ample assets I can't see the justification.

If they want their caregiving contribution recognised financially, through a caregiver's contract which would compensate them or anyone they hire for their time, then of course that's understandable and reasonable. Only it's a pity they didn't think of it before, when they were dealing with powers of attorney and the like.

Possibly, what the four of you among you might agree, is a variation by which caregiving time is paid into a separate bank account which remains accessible (and the money not spent) until such time as mother passes. The non-participating siblings could then accept a smaller division of the total estate, while the nominal "wages" are divided between the two participants.

But pay out of your own pocket now for caregiving expenses that your mother is amply able to meet herself? Nonsense.
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Reply to Countrymouse
JHarris Jun 10, 2020
Thank you!
Did siblings sign some sort of contract to agree to take care of mom, and if they couldn't they would pay? Assuming, probably not.

Your mom and dad had a plan for old age and dad, as you say, left enough to care for mom. That is what THEIR money is for. To use for care while alive. The remainder is/may be inheritance. I will never understand children who go after money before someone dies - money that they did NOTHING to earn.

You might need to remind sis that being an executor of a will means that job does not begin until mom has passed. Being POA means she will manage MOM's money to ensure she is taken care of. Sis is not considering the money as belonging to mom.

If some siblings are in agreement to paying the $350, that is on them. If any can't afford it or choose not to, mom's money should be used for her care. In the end, the instructions of the will have to be followed by sis. If it says, divide it equally by all the children, that's what has to happen. That is the reason it is best to use their money now to pay for mom's care and what is left when she passes is the balance to divide by kids.
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Reply to my2cents
JHarris Jun 10, 2020
My oldest sister cannot pay. She has too many medical bills.
Thank you. i appreciate all the information about this issue of being charged for mom. As being the other POA, I suggested my sisters get compensation from her assets. She is great physically, but her mind is not so good. I am having guilt issues by not being there for mom. I will go back in July, Aug and Sept. to stay with her as much as I can. My Executor, POA sister is not recognizing me for my duty as a POA also. Shes making all the decisions on her own. She just put in $1500. video cam in moms house. She did not discuss buying video equipment with me, but when i saw them, I thought what a great idea. But she will not give us two sisters access so we can watch mom along with the other 2 sisters. Its really frustrating, Its all about greed and control. I am willing to pay, like I told her, when moms money runs out. Please pray for me.
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Reply to JHarris
cherokeewaha Jun 12, 2020
You may need to check on the will and make sure your sister hasn't had your mom change it. We went thru this and lost our home that we were renting to own from inlaws. Over 30 years of payments, upkeep, maintenance wiped out by getting the surviving inlaw to sign new papers (will) even though they had dementia and could not make rational decisions. Good luck.
No, the POA does not have the authority to charge siblings that don't care for a parent. Seems like they have legit reasons that they can no longer do the carrying.

The POA can hire someone to care for Mom but she better be keeping records. And she can not deduct what she feels as the cost of care from your inheritance since that cost should come out of Moms money anyway. I am a big believer in using parents money first and then using mine when theirs runs out. My Moms care took every last cent she had. The house sold for just enough money to pay delinquent taxes and the 6k owed to Medicaid. Mom was only on it 3 months. 10k was left split 3 ways. Because I used Moms money, I never had to ask the boys for anything.

Just tell Sister she needs to use Moms money for her care. Thats what it is there for. And, if I needed to contribute, I would want an itemized bill of what I was being charged for.
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Reply to JoAnn29
JHarris Jun 10, 2020
I do hope all the money for mom is used so there will be none to inherit!
I love how children somehow think their parents' money becomes their money once the parents get old.

Uh, no, it's the parents' money UNTIL THEY DIE. That means their money is to be used for their personal expenses JUST LIKE IT WAS BEFORE THEY GOT OLD.

Sorry for all the caps, but sometimes folks don't understand the most basic concepts.

It is not the job of any of the siblings to pay for Mom's care unless there is inadequate money in her own accounts. It IS their job to make sure she is properly cared for, so some oversight is needed to make sure POA Sister isn't squirrelling away the money for purposes other than the benefit of Mom.

Some people have a hard time with the concept that they're responsible for someone else's money, and POA Sister sounds like she's one of them. I'd check with an elder law attorney to make sure she's doing her job properly.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MJ1929
JHarris Jun 10, 2020
Thank you!
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