My dad, who is 85 in Assisted Living for Parkinson's and dementia, is saying he's going to die soon and is telling me to use his money to pay off my house and donate large amounts to churches. My dad is financially comfortable, I'm his only child and his POA. He is in good health (except for the above conditions). He calls me 3 times a day asking me to do this before he dies. I don't mind donating some money to churches, but not the amounts he wants. And don't feel comfortable taking money now to pay off my house. Eventually his estate will go to me anyway. He doesn't understand or forgets when I tell him this so would it be bad if I just tell him that I did all that he wants to give him some piece of mind? As his POA, I need to make sure he has enough funds for the rest of his life. But as his daughter, I feel that I should honor his wishes. Confused!

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I think you could honour his feelings without specifically honouring the exact monetary details.

Sorry to bore anyone with babble but I find this stuff really useful...

'Erikson’s 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development':
The last stage is called *integrity vs despair*. He said that people in late adulthood reflect on their lives and feel either a sense of satisfaction or a sense of failure. People who feel proud of their accomplishments feel a sense of integrity, and they can look back on their lives with few regrets.

Sounds like Dad would like to feel he's contributed financially for good, to leave a legacy.

Confirm that he has. He can feel proud & at peace.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Beatty

You are so right in not DOING the things he suggests. As you already understand he isn't competent to make these decisions. You know your Dad better than we do; if this is causing him great anxiety, and you think you can relieve his mind, then a white lie is worth considering. If you on the other hand think he can absorb the truth tell him that this isn't allowed by law right now, but that the instructions are there to do this already, and it gets done when he dies. You cannot honor the wishes of someone incompetent to make directions. For instance, if he told you to flush the money down the toilet, would you feel obligated to do that? No, of course not. You, as POA would be considered under the law to be enriching yourself on an incompetent adult were you to carry out instructions for someone incapacitated and unable to act in his own protection.
As POA you are required to carry forth the stated wishes of a competent adult, and to act in the BEST INTERESTS of an adult no longer able to make competent decisions. As you say, the Estate will go to you anyway. Carry forth his wishes at that time, when it is certain that he will NEVER have need of that money in any way. Best to you.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Daughter1515, I agree with using what is called "“therapeutic fibs" which sounds like that is what you wish to do, is that correct?

I was doing the same with my Dad, making sure he had enough funds for the rest of his life, that was the MAIN thing, as living elderly can become expensive. One never knows what ailment will hit next. Donations came later, after my Dad had passed.

None of the donation requests were in Dad's Will /Trust, but I knew what he wanted to do, and carried out those plans.
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Reply to freqflyer

My dad had no dementia, but when he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and given a short time to live, we got his attorney over to the house for other reasons and my dad suddenly wanted to make an addendum to the trust to leave money to his grandchildren. Fortunately, the attorney talked him out of doing that, because even without dementia, a person who's just received a terminal diagnosis is not really in a position to make good decisions.

I finally convinced Dad to just let my brother and me give our respective children money later on once we inherit it, because that money still belongs to our mom until she dies. That satisfied him. I have since given all the grandchildren some money (Mom is still alive), and I've made a few donations in her name to charities she and my dad always supported, but by and large the funds remain intact and will until Mom passes.

If your dad can be reasoned with at all, tell him you're keeping a list of his wishes and you'll carry them out once he's done needing his money. If that doesn't work, then yes, the white lie is the way to go.
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Reply to MJ1929

I wouldn't do it without consulting an estate planner or accountant. Him believing he'll die soon doesn't mean it will happen. If he gives away money and then needs Medicaid, his gifting would most likely cause him to not qualify at a time he would desperately need it. Tell him whatever therapeutic story will keep him satisfied and keep a running list of who and how much he wishes to donate. When he passes the Executor can hopefully honor his wishes.
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Reply to Geaton777
jacobsonbob Jan 13, 2021
Ideally, Daughter1515 is the executor; otherwise, a lawyer or other outsider might end up getting a substantial portion of the estate. Sometimes the lawyer who helped to write the will may try to talk the elder into making him/her the executor. However, this would make sense if there are several children who are incapable of getting along with each other or are not honest.
I’ve read here that sometimes “therapeutic” lies can be helpful.

If he asks, you can even produce “receipts” that you’ve printed up.

You are a compassionate daughter. If something happened to you, you would have wanted to continue to have your Dad’s needs met. Good for you for having an honest heart.
What you tell your Dad to give him peace, might be a different story.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to cxmoody

If your dad has any level of dementia, you should not be giving away his money NOW. You have POA, so I guess legally, you could. But he needs that money to pay for the things he needs now.

My grandma lived the last 2 weeks of her life in a NH, and was running the show from there. My mom was 'commanded' to disassemble GG's house and begin the packing of all her things to make it easier for when she did pass. Well--we opted for a therapeutic fib and told her we were doing just that. (It was a total lie, we were sorting and cleaning, but not giving away ANYTHING.)

GG died with peace of mind that things had gone exactly as she wanted. We were prepared and so the final settling of her small estate was not so hard on mom.

As far as 'not being comfortable' with large amounts to churches, well, what does his will state? If it's in line with his verbal wishes, you really need to honor those requests.

In the meantime--and yes, he could still live quite a while--just organize stuff and box things up but do NOT give away his monetary assets. Then telling him you're working on it is not a lie.

You WILL honor his wishes. In time. Just not today.

I'm not positive, but I bet if you pulled out enough money to pay off your house and make all these donations while he's still alive, there could be serious ramifications when he does pass.

Good Luck. We're so programmed to do just what our folks ask us to do, aren't we?
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Reply to Midkid58

By all means, tell your father anything & everything he needs to hear to assure him that his wishes will be honored later, are being honored now, and you will see to it forever. No doubt about it.

I am an only child and the financial and medical POA for my mother; dad signed over all of his finances to me back in 2014 so there would be nothing to worry about once they both passed away. Hopefully, you're in the same boat so there is nothing to worry about with taxes, etc. Once your dad passes, you'll do with his estate as you see fit, taking his wishes into full consideration after making sure his bills are all paid in AL while he's still alive (which is what I've been doing).

When dementia is at play, the ONLY thing that matters is keeping them calm and peaceful, even when we use white lies to achieve that goal. Who cares? We can't apply rules of normalcy to a disease of the brain! All bets are off!

Wishing you the best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1

Perhaps make what you deem appropriate donations to his desired churches, and then you can "honestly" tell him that donations were made in his name. Hopefully that will appease him in some way. And you can just tell him that you're not comfortable paying off your house right now, but if that what he really wants, you will do that after he passes. And never underestimate, when someone tells you they will be dying soon. I believe that God does give some people a "heads up" in this area. Wishing you the best.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to funkygrandma59
jacobsonbob Jan 13, 2021
I had an uncle who told his daughter "I'm dying; I can feel it in my bones" when he was in his late 80s. However, I'm sure he had forgotten that by his 100th birthday, and his daughter, who had died several years earlier due to pancreatic cancer, was no longer around to remind him.
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Since he has dementia and forgets what you've said, I would just reassure him that you've taken care of it. That isn't really a fib, because you have in the sense that his wishes will be done when he has passed. If he wants proof, perhaps make some small donations to the churches he prefers and request a receipt or thank you note. If you prefer to wait, which is fine, maybe just make up some thank you notes for him, for the places that you will eventually donate to.

I'm with you on keeping all the assets in place for now. There's no way to know how long he has left, so you want to be sure there are enough assets to be there if needed. I managed mom's trust with a tight fist, not even paying myself for all that I did, because we had no way to know how long she might live! Well managed, there's enough left that it might have lasted another 8-10 years!

(I do kick myself a bit now, as there's no way to recoup payment for my time, 6 years, and all that I did from the trust now - you are sole beneficiary, not so in our case. Bros were pretty much absent, but they get equal share.)
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to disgustedtoo
jacobsonbob Jan 13, 2021
Hopedly, good karma will reward you for being this diligent and honest, including caring sacrificially.
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