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I cared for my mother for five years in our home. I dispensed her medication as well as her insulin. She offset some of her expenses for special needs like depends, and personal care, some specialized food for her diabetes, but it was no where near what it cost to care for her full time. My siblings could not be bothered for those years nor did they come to visit her. Now that she has passed they have taken over the estate. Because they join together I am left without any recourse other than to go along with what they choose to do even when I suggest otherwise. I feel like the reason they have any inheritance at all is because I always stayed within her budget and took out of my own, rather than spend her money, or ask to be paid for providing full time care for her. Providing full time nursing care would have cost approximately 200.00 a day. I would have gone through her whole estate by charging her just within the first year alone. I can't seem to get my siblings to understand that fact and they act as though my services were worth nothing. Actually they don't even acknowledge that I did anything for those five years. Now that she is deceased they have come out of the woodwork to center in on her money and are suddenly oh so helpful. It feels like a slap in the face. Would love to know if there is anything I can do. I really don't want any money for the job provided, but would love to make the point that the inheritance is there because she was taken care of with minimal taken out of her pocket and that the services provided were worth more because they provided her the opportunity to be in a home environment where she was loved and she thrived.

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Cub - are you in probate & are you the executor?

If the answer is yes & yes, there could be things you can do both within executor fees & MIE aspect of probate and in placing an unsecured claim against the estate.
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Cubpiper: Although it's a moot point at this juncture, financial professionals will tell you to never spend your own money on the care of your elderly parent(s). Your question was "can you bill an estate for elder care once the parent has passed?" But it seems like you are mainly angry at your sibs, who did nothing to help/nor did they visit their elderly parent...it seems to me that that is your real question/concern? Also, the topic of "getting paid to take care of your elderly parent" has been brought up on this site A LOT. There are several schools of thought on the topic. #1 If you elderly parent was just about eking out a living, then why would you even consider taking their funds?, #2 many caregivers have lost their jobs due to caring for their elderly parent....just for starters.
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What I was thinking about the absentee relatives is the possibility that they probably didn't want to be saddled with any responsibility, which is probably why they stayed away. I mean look at the rest of us when we face situations at times we most need help. Where is everyone when we need them? It seems strange no one wants to be bothered or get involved, sad but true. If you want to know what's really wrong with this world, that's just one thing among many because people just don't seem to care anymore. I know that the tables will turn when people who don't want to get involved most need help, but no one helps. It's one thing to dish it out and another thing to be on the receiving end of the dirty end of the stick.

Finally, a suggestion to get around the lack of editing on the site is to try working on what you have to say in a writing program. Try to do as much editing on what you have to say on here before copying and pasting into the comment box. Try proofreading and editing as much as possible. I can't say you'll catch every typo, but you can catch more of them
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Has the estate been closed out, e.g. all banking accounts closed out? CC, DC accounts closed? if so, then your answer is no.
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Agreed - I edited this to use "senior" throughout but the edits were not made when I posted it. Hope you can fix this flaw - it is annoying, and no one who posts wants to look foolish or illiterate when a post comes up without the edits. Also, my dad and stepmom were upset when they were stuck with taking care of arranging my uncle's affairs, then my grandmothers, affairs when they died, because they did not do a will. Did he do one? No! My stepmom was upset that my dad hadn't done a will (why she didn't take the initiative so they would both have wills is beyond me, given how adamant they were that everyone else should have done one). Does she now have a will? You guessed it - no, she doesn't, even though my family all signed off so she could have what little he had, and she promised that when she died our "shares" would be given to us. Not that we wanted anything - that's why we signed off. I told her if that was her wishes, she would need a will. What did she say? Oh no - her kids from her first marriage would take care of things. Yeah, right - they couldn't even help her with an obituary, nor making the calls to let relatives know of the death, and I was the one who took her back and forth to the probate court and convinced all my siblings to sign off. But even after all that, and all her spouting off about how everyone else should have a will, she did nothing. So much for learning from experience. Fortunately, our family ties are strong, which is why everyone signed off without any issues - and it's not like there was a lot of money at any rate. But a small piece of me is very annoyed that after all that, she continues to be in denial, and I am not anxious to be the peacemaker again.
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I am constantly telling people - seniors - that if they don't want to see the family torn apart, they need to make a will, just so things like this don't happen. If someone has uprooted their life to move in with the senior, or move the elder in with them, and they are taking good care of the elder (and in some cases, putting up with a lot of "stuff" from the elder), they also deserved renumeration - often they may be entitled to it over and above what the senior gets, as there are several programs that pay caretakers and it is not taken out of the senior's benefits. So as difficult as it is, it is better to at least broach the subject. Maybe by mentioning one or two of their treasured items and ask them what they want to happen with their keepsakes when they are gone - if they have a favorite niece or grandchild, maybe mention them, so it doesn't appear as if you are trying to get their things. Then suggest that they wouldn't want their children/grandchildren to feel bad if one gets something and another gets nothing, so how do they want to handle that. At least get them thinking about, then bring it up again in a month or so if the opportunity presents itself, and tell them you love your siblings and fear that if there are no directions, it could create problems and you don't want that, and you are sure they don't, either. Some people will just not listen - either because they don't want to deal with their own death, they don't want to "choose" which children get what, or they are so convinced that the kids will do the right thing. When it all comes down to it, if there is no will, hope that the probate court will be equitable, although I have seen judges lambaste an heir that spends years fighting and dissipating the assets until nothing is left - yet the judges, who see this all the time, are also guilty for allowing this to happen, imho. The bottom line is you can suggest it but if the senior doesn't want to deal with it, then you have done your best. The important thing is that you were there for your parent and you should pat yourself on the back even if no one else does, because your mom knew who was taking care of her.
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Same here, good question, I am exhausted, gave away my life, all to try to keep mom's health together as comfortable as possible at home, helping the caregiver that I alone had to select, find and hire, with a budget that I imposed to balance best quality of care with funds available.
I am receiving no help whatsoever from my sister, who comes to see our mother very seldom, only when family and friends come and visit, to show she is present (average 2 days every 2 months), to add more things on my list and to abuse me; so it's worse than if she was doing nothing.
How can we possibly respect a sibiling who is completely absent when there is work to do for our mother and who, I expect, will be very much present after mum will sadly pass away, when there will be something to gain and profit from the hard work and many (4 so far) years of life I've put in?
At least we have a heart. Knowing this makes us proud, unfortunately elevating us to a higher dimension.
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I know 100% where you are coming from. Same as for I. Took my mother from my brother who would lock her up like a dog and run the streets for scrape did not know this was happening until she had fallen. She was really bad taken care of long story short I had to hire lawyers to get guardianship of mom and all her affairs. She had nothing as the other siblings gaffe-led all her possessions like thieves in the night when she was in the hospital and in my care. She recently passed away 2-14-2016 in the hospital and even on her death bed the vultures were not satisfied and wanted more torture to mom seeing her in such pain pleasures the other siblings I saw. She had a real happy time while with me she was clean and well nourished and seen by doctors every 3 months, up til the end. She went in her sleep and was very much at ease too. I had to find funds for funeral expenses which I am still paying on with the help of my husband. The siblings 2 daughters and her only son are still posting s#@t over FB. Her oldest daughter and husband helped with the wake the only one I consider a true sister.
They did not bother to help, call , or visit mom. Oh boy while she is past away they are talking as if now they care, such BS. and all the boo who.....It costed me alot of out of pocket for lawyers to keep mom safe and the necessities she very much needed. So yeah I feel your heart aches very much so. I took care of mom for 2 long years 24/7 and ran my own business. I am still feeling the physicals wear and tear it had on me. I am trying to get my life back. As it was always looking at the clock for when my rest time away from aides looking at her while I get away. Best of luck. Relax now and thank Jesus for taking our love ones out of the pain and suffering they endured.
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I am the one that originally wrote this post and thank you all for your comments. They have all been very helpful, and truly have helped keep me grounded and reminded of what was the importance in all of this. It is sad to hear that there are many other cases like my own, and it IS very good advice to have something in writing when a family member does the caregiving. While my siblings weren't concerned all the years that Mom was cared for, and couldn't make time to visit her, they are very busy in her finances now that she is gone. I am astounded at every turn that they act as though my husband and I never spent any time, would never be experts at her care, and that we must have never talked to her the whole time she lived with us. They are now the experts. I would have never thought it would turn out like this in the end. It is in that "never thinking" that I was wrong. I should have worked with Mom to put something in place. It felt awkward to me to have that talk with her, and to come up with a plan. It felt weird to talk about a wage for caregiving, and in doing so it felt like if we did it was a statement that I loved her less because I required reimbursement for caring for her. It was the main reason I avoided it all those years. I also never thought we, as her children, would ever need anything in place. I thought we all understood that it was very expensive for care, especially as she declined from Alzheimer's, and I thought they realized I had given up a job so she could be cared for by one of her own children, and by someone that loved her. I never had all the answers. We fumbled along the way. Some days I wish I could have done better. Everyday required humor, but in the end I could tell she was happy and she loved the simplicity of her life. She was part of a family and in that she thrived. This is a warning to those about to care for a parent, and a lesson learned the hard way. This has actually fractured everything we, as siblings, were to one another, and any kind of connection we could possibly ever have in the future. Lesson learned, and something, if given the chance again, I would do different. So lucky to have forged the relationship that I had with my Mom and to have had the last years of her life. Much "richer" because of it.
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Cubpiper I'm in tears right now. My heart breaks every time I read stories of mean, nasty, evil, selfish, greedy, deadbeat family members. My family was close now its horrible.
Maybe talk with a lawyer who's sympathetic with your situation.
THIS IS FAMILY! !!! (me shouting) WHY DO WE NEED LITIGATION? ??? Very sad.
I wish a happy ending to your story.
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DANG...this forum needs to allow editing. In that first sentence above I meant to write that older brother and I were eternally grateful for little bother and sis in law who happily took 85 yr old dad in after his health declined to the point he couldn't live alone.
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My older brother and I are eternally grateful to our younger brother and his wife for Dad in when his health took a turn and he could no longer live alone. It's been two years now, and it's not been smooth sailing, by no means. I try a couple times a year, and am going to shoot for three times a year now, to drive the 7 hours to give some breaks through the year, but it's not enough. My older brother doesn't help, not because of not wanting to, but because his wife is also sickly and really needs him to be with her and they live four states away.

I was, after 6 months, able to convince my dad to pay my brother and sis in law monthly for not only his share of the groceries and bills, but a decent amount extra as salary (with sage advice from this forum). He's also given them money to put in a new septic and a new roof on their house.

When dad dies, we'll probably all be in agreement to then split what's left equally after expenses, since little brother and sis in law was compensated while dad was alive.

However, it it comes right down to it, if my little brother and sis in law should feel their entitled to more, neither my brother or I are going to protest. If it weren't for Bro and sis in law, Dad would have nothing to give and would have had to live out his live in a nursing home rather then living with those who really love him. Both older brother and I are eternally grateful for little bro and sis in law and if Dad ends up living another 5 more years and they get all the money he has, I'll say they earned every penny. I'm dad's POA but my brother and sister in law has all the say so as far as I'm concerned as long as they are his caregivers and I know they have only his best interest's at heart.

Your siblings are looking at this thing in all the wrong ways. Could they have taken mom in? What would their lives have been like for the last five years if they had? Shouldn't you be entitled to recoup some of your costs, time, effort, now that mom's gone? I know exactly what your saying, and how you feel. Too bad your siblings don't. Maybe you need to see if you can get them to read this thread. Maybe the thoughts of others will help. You might try printing it off and send it to them.... Just a thought....
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Dadisavti.. Your story is so sad. I know the pressure you are under. I cannot explain how difficult it was for me at the Memorial and they surrounded me and were free with their hatred toward me. They should have loved me for what I did for their dad. The sister spoke only German and they would NOT LET ME talk to her. Lord only knows what they told her. For 9 months I have waiting for a letter from them None!. You cannot handle this. You must get Mental Health involved, There is no way a person can do health care for a loved one and survive unless they have help. You will always be the enemy. They THINK all you want is the money. Good Lord what money? You cannot just walk out on these that we love. Not like they did. But, if they fail to come around, they do not understand what they can walk away from. Unless you allow them to watch your dad for about a month, they will never know what you are giving from your own life. Please be careful. I was so exhausted and depressed that I had tyo go on meds for depression and I have not watched one TV program in my living room. The minute I come home, I hit the bed. I am exhausted. BE CAREFUL Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Ask friends and church members to come and help you so you can rest. You only have so much stength,
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I would definitely have to say yes on this one just from what you described. With the way people are hurting financially these days, you may face a situation where you may actually be in dire need for the money you spent on your mom. I'm actually very surprised you never used her money for her care because this is exactly how it's supposed to be anyway. I would definitely go after the money and get all that money back because you may not want the money now, but there's probably going to be a situation at some point where you're going to regret not getting that money back, because it will most likely be a time when you most need that money for an emergency
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I feel you oh so completely. First I was taking care of mom 7 yrs ago once she got stage 4 cancer. We battled that back with 2010 being a year with over 200 doctors visits, labs, chemo, surgery, ER 6+times, inpatient numerous times when not outpatient. Just when my mom started stabilizing my dad crashed through a medical mistake at the VA and was inpatient and in ICU for over 3 months. Prior to this I was still working full time and going to every single appointment and coordinating with all of her doctors. Dad was the chauffeur but really was not interested in being more involved. I thought I could cut a break with mom going into remission but after Dad crashed I quit my job. I stayed with him nearly 20 hrs a day and slept in a chair. HOUSTON VA does everything it can to discourage families. He had a 17% chance for survival. My only sibling insisted I find a job and criticized me every time she saw me at the hospital. I have been caring for dad and all of dad's personal, health and financial affairs since his release. He had to relearn to walk and eat and was still weak as in 3 months or more in bed and your leg muscles atrophy. But I went back to work for two more years and juggled caring for them both full time and worked full time giving at least a third of my pay for meds, supplements, food and incidentals. Until mom got vascular dementia, I really tried balancing everything but they called me constantly at work. I could never sleep more than 4 hrs and fell into a deep depression. I confided in a coworker who told management and they fired me "as it is company policy to threaten to harm anyone, including yourself". I had already been a caregiver for 6 or more years by then. I had already used all my money, cashed in all my 401k all to keep us barely afloat. My only sibling, a prosperity gospel millionaire (ex husband)LVN went on vacation while dad was in ICU. She spent one night and visited for a week and a half before she presented papers for them to sign their assets over to her. Dad refused, she has not lifted nary a finger since. Two dinners (holidays), a few clothes, usually from resale and a 2 or 3 hundred bucks and she is done for the year. Yet I know she will fight the estate. She said she already has a lawyer. We redid the will recently, Dad made me executrix but still left my sister 50% of everything. No worries, there will be nothing and noone left in the end. Even mom with her dementia saw how cowardly and outrageous his actions were. Yet I still care for them. I am down to nothing, literally, and he still expects me to help pay for moms needs and he can call me every day to come over, help eith mom,bathing, feeding, giving med, calming down etc. And also take care of her legal, financial,tax, insurance, resource, health issues as they come up. Oh and his as well. I cant not see them for more than a day without some crazy crisis appearing. Police called etc. If there is reincarnation I pray fervently to never see any of these miserable son of a b :-) itches ever ever ever again. (except for my mom). Because of them, but mostly my sister, I really seriously question if there is a God.
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This is a lesson to all caretakers that are relatives. The time to negotiate a fee for your time and expense (which you deserve) is BEFORE you start being a caretaker. Otherwise do it out of love and expect nothing in return.
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I drew up a contract of care with my partner. If his kids gave me any trouble, I was going to produce that document. It covered the duties and the pay. Check with your attorney, but I will tell you, my attorney thought I had thought this out and did a good job. If nothing else, if they took me to court, I could produce his signature on a document hiring me.
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First, is there a will. Who is executor? That person must carry out the provisions of the will or u can sue. If no will, thenthe state will appoint an excutor who will then have to do what the state says. After all debts are satisfied, then the remander is divided amoung her children.
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Did she have a will? Who is executor? If no will then the state steps in. They will appoint an executor. In my sisters case, a lawyer. All bills will need to be paid. Then the money will be split among her children. Th executor must carry out the terms of the will. I feel if the parents have money than the person caring for them should use it but keep records.
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As a lesson to others, when you are doing things for a family member, especially if you take a family member in to care for them, it is always good to get a written understanding and agreement, including entitlement to reimbursement for expenses, and pay, if that is to be included. That saves a lot of misunderstandings as well as this kind of situation where what you contributed goes into the pockets of uncaring siblings. Happens time and time again. With a written agreement, and receipts, you would be entitled to recover whatever the agreement calls for. As for expecting them to appreciate you, sounds like that is not going to happen. I would be oh so tempted to hire an attorney to write a letter to each of them with a bill detailing all of your services and things you bought, saying that you intend to seek reimbursement from the estate, but will waive any reimbursement you are entitled to for any sibling who writes a sincere note of appreciation and recognition for the sacrifices and expenses you incurred, thanking you for your contributions to the estate and to them. I don't know how sincere the letters will be, but it would be interesting, to say the least.
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Sister in law (attorney State employee) made visits to valuable (at least in my State) land and had it surveyed, divided, and ready to sale with a nice bonus to her (all hidden from my Dad, who died under the very suspicious control of sister in law. We had a trust with the attorneys doing everything to keep my sister and I quiet. Sister in law had already expressed "They have lived long enough" (to our primary nurse); "We don't care if he doesn't wake up" (my brother, brother who has full blown Parkinsons); " If you don't change the will, you will be sorry" (the same brother married to sister in law). He was gone 12 days later. Lawyers covered up our options when I learned land sold for 400
% by our buyer. Law in my State called "Legion Law" protects this sort of R/E transaction but our lawyer lied to us several times on that transaction which he did nothing to help us, just sat on his rear and billed the estate. Land was in the trust. Trust was worthless, not at all what was told to my Dad by the lawyer.
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Thanks to you there is an inheritance, and the best thing you can do is forgive your siblings for being so greedy and disrespectful of your mother. You are just going to have to let this go, and "the point" is, you know what and how you cared for your mother, and karma will eventually get all your siblings for being uncaring. I am sorry for your loss.
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If you had a valid contract specifying what you would be paid and proof that you weren't paid, yes, you could bill the estate. And your siblings would assume you are a greedy parasite who only did it hoping for the money.

Sigh.

The time to explain how much mom's care would have cost if you weren't providing it, and how your caregiving made an inheritance possible was while you were doing the caregiving.

You spent your own money on items Mother needed, even though she had enough funds so that there is some left now? Why? Presumably as a gift. It is sad that some of the beneficiaries of that gift are not appreciative. Very sad. But all that is water under the bridge now (or over the dam or whatever the water of regret goes.)

I think your story is a good lesson for others who are caring for their parents now.
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One of the most important things I've learned from this site is that the time to get paid for caregiving is when it's done, not after the fact from the estate. In my case, it will be my mother who will expect me to be the free caregiver. If she is still in charge of her finances at that point, it will get ugly. If she is not in charge of her finances at that point, it will be one of my brothers and it will be much easier. (Either I get paid or the three of them can figure out how to make sure sure my mother is taken care of, and they will be doing it from states away.) I don't think my brothers would even object to my being paid...but my mother will!

P.S. After our pre-Mother's Day argument, she is contacting me MUCH less now. Seems to be once a week. So that is good. I can still see from my Great Call phone app when she goes out and where she goes.
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My wife and I looked after my mother in our home for 11 months until we could not do it anymore due to severe dementia.She was admitted to a long term care home and lived another four months.My mother was receiving care and attendance allowances from VA and it all went into her bank account.Due to my brothers greed who thought he should get his "inheritance" now I had the bank account frozen so no money could be taken out except for small amounts to meet my mothers needs.Seeing that the account was frozen I(I had the POA) could not take any funds out to pay ourselves for taking care of her 24/7 even though the money was there for that purpose.In the end we lost 12k in attendance fees and spent another 26K on lawyers to fend off a greedy sibling off that wanted a guardianship.All in all no good deed goes unpunished.
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You did the thankless job!!! If they didn't appreciate you taking care of your mother while she was alive, they certainly won't appreciate you now! Your siblings are heartless for not visiting her and now the sharks are swimming. Don't waste your time or energy, they have a warped perspective and it won't change. Many here feel your pain, including me! Just know, that your mother would be proud of you and you have a lot to be proud of. God is smiling down at you and that's all that counts!
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Cubpiper

Give a Hug
If you're not lookin for reimbursement, let it go, and live your life.
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I would use up all the mother's money to provide for her care. It is a great thing that you did to care for her and stay with her. I would never expect my siblings to understand the personal sacrifice aspect of this. That is why your mother should have written a will stating that while she loves all her children equally, the personal sacrifice of time, energy and money given by you will be a larger part of the inheritance. That is why people write wills.
Believe me- I have seen it all. Your siblings will not part with money they are not legally required to. After all, they did not even visit or say thank you. They says it all.
It is very important for people to write in their will what they want. Even siblings with much more money will take take their share, regardless of the sacrifices you made.
As I said, it is eveident they really don't get it as they didn't bother to even help.
Be grateful that you were a better person and they are never going to understand it - ever. Perhaps you could run it by a lawyer. But from what you have written, it doesn't sound like the will was worded to award you anything extra for laying out your time and money.
It was very good of your husband to assist. Perhaps he can hold sway with your siblings.
I lost a loved one 2 and a half years ago. I took care of her as best I could. I was awarded a certain amount in her will. Others had much greater means than me and still took their share. When it comes to money, don't expect anyone to "reward you" except the person who writes the will.
When my aunt was sick, people suggested I take care of her so there would be more left for me. She had already written her will and the same share would be left to me whether I dropped everything and used my own money or not.
Spend down the loved ones money for their care. That is what it is there for. Don't expect a reward for shelling out your own money. That seems like a very tough battle.
God bless you for taking care of your mom. I am sure you would have done no less. However, if there is no clause in the will awarding you expenses, it sounds like you will not collect a dime from your disinterested siblings.
Maybe they will pay the funeral expenses with the tie share. Sad but common story, I regret to inform you.
No one can ever take away from you the truth- that you cared for your mom and she gave you a special love for doing so. That is the inheritance your siblings will not get.
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If you are only doing this as a statement to your siblings don't waste your time and effort. It will not be interpreted the way you wish. That plan only makes sense to you. It is too subjective to be comprehended by other people. It also looks like other things, like your objective is something else and generally people are attracted to the negative especially if there is any conflict in a family.
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It isn't the reimbursement that I am looking for. Just a realization from the siblings that had my Mom been in assisted living, or really anywhere else, what is left in her estate would have been gone in that first year. My husband worked to provide a gift for me...to be able to stay at home with her for 5 years. I really was the lucky one. To have a relationship with her and a friendship was worth more than any money, and will always be. I just don't think that it has even crossed my siblings minds that the reason they have an inheritance to fight over is because of the sacrifice everyone else made. They act like they are entitled and will do whatever they can to get whatever money is there. It's strange how ugly people can get in the end.
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