I’ll add some details tomorrow, but I am wondering if anyone has dealt with this.

We are dealing with an executor who is aging and shows many signs of dementia. It has been over two years and the estate is still not closed out and there has been zero movement on selling the house. The executor has basically been living there, letting the house fall into squalor and using estate funds to pay the bills.

This person is difficult on a good day and has the generosity of spirit of a flea.

Since I am not one of the executors, just a beneficiary, I was hoping not to have to get involved. Some of you know the back story, but I have been dealing with dementia care, deaths, multiple estates, and a difficult compromised sibling in assisted living.

I should have railed at the executor using the house early on, but frankly, I was just worn out. Now, I find myself having to decide if I should involve our attorney.

We often hear stories of problem elders. Has anyone had the Alz elder die only to find out that one of the executors/trustees may need to be removed because of similar issues?

I don’t need legal advice, necessarily. DH and I have a terrific estate atty. It’s more the interpersonal stuff. Or maybe this is just a vent, lol. This is beyond exhausting.

How is this for a situation.

Mum was POA for a husband and wife who were living in two different facilities 30 minutes apart. The wife died, her husband, for whom Mum has POA is named executor. Their two kids are, jointly back up executors, one lives in the UK, the other 1000km away.

The husband does not have dementia, but is obstinate and does not have the capacity to deal with the funeral home, paper work etc. Mum wen to talk to the lawyer who prepared the Will and the POA documents to find out what she could or could not do in this situation.

What Mum does is all the leg work. She gets all the documents that need to be signed and takes them to the husband, she made all the arrangements as needed on behalf of the husband, but as her POA authorization does not extend to her acting as Executor in his place, she has to go through him for everything. But some of the paperwork she can do as POA. Because she is his POA. POA for the wife ended at her death.

Mum records all the time she spends, mileage, shipping costs and more than that is charged to the estate.

It is
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Reply to Tothill
499HopeFloats Feb 14, 2021
Wow, your mother was in an awful position!
A friend of mine told me that after his mom passed (she was single) that it took him 4 years to finish executing what was required (he also was working full time). It is a lot of work for the most capable of people. But, it may help your mental and emotional state to invest in a 1-hr consult with an elder law attorney to see IF anything can and should be done to light a fire under the current executor. Maybe if this person understands that they are now under the microscope and the law may be involved, they'll ramp up their game. I wish you a speedy outcome!
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Reply to Geaton777
499HopeFloats Feb 14, 2021
Thanks. And, do know that this little outburst is not representative of how much influence this situation has on my well-being;) Most of the time, DH laughs at how I am the white sheep of my family. We find the humor. Last night, I just got some news, and I was tired. I had a little rant, lol.

It is actually better that he added fuel to the flame. I was really trying to be kind and patient. But, as we all see often... there is no “nicing” this guy into doing the right thing. He is miserable and angry and that is his stance no matter how one approaches him. I have to listen to my own advice, it would seem:) There is no making someone happy who is so determined to make others unhappy.

Nothing will make him happy and helpful and competent to do this job. But, the reality is the job needs to be done. That is the goal I am now focused on. I have a responsibility to the disabled sibling I coordinate care for.

With that clarity, I feel confident pushing the matter and am decided on this course of action.
I would go to Probate and tell them that you feel the Executor is not competent in carrying out his duties. I wonder if he has even filed the Will? Just because someone has assigned someone to be Executor in their Will, I don't think Probate has to except that. An assigned Executor can turn his responsibility over to a lawyer.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Thanks, Geaton & JoAnn. Geaton, you hit the nail on the head... we are hoping it will light a fire under his butt. I have a feeling we will have to evict him from the house. Good times.

I think in writing this I may be looking more for other’s stories. My DH and I have been trustees/executors on more than our fair share of estates, so we know the legal ins and outs and have an excellent estate attorney. I am meeting with him this week to get an idea of our options and seeing how far we want to go to get that fire lit.

The estate also has an attorney who has kept me in the loop since the beginning because their office has had a hard time getting any action out of him. That attorney and ours will sort it out on a legal level.

As far as time goes, I hear you, JoAnn on the time it takes. We have done this numerous times. My Dh’s parents’ was FAR more complicated and took less time. This estate is not large and if it weren’t for one of the executors dragging his feet, it would have been completed within a year... easily. This is one of those people who is constantly “SO busy” but never actually does anything. Conspiracy theorist, hoarder, hater of females and anyone who isn’t from the mother-land. Sits around on short wave radio ALL DAY and then says how much he has to do. Not ONE thing in the house has been gone through, although he has SO much stress from all of the work he does. But, he is disabled and can’t move and has caregivers come in to cook for him. But, he is so mad that no ones helps him. But, he is the master of all things. So many contradictions.

Not one closet, not one drawer. He has been living in this house rent-free, doing NOTHING. My gfather’s place is deteriorating into a wreck. The toilets have literally not been cleaned since my mother passed away in 2018... vomit. He thinks I should come over and do it... lol, think again, buddy.

I really regret not kicking him in the -ss earlier on in this process. He has trained others in the family to fear his wrath, which doesn’t make this easier.

Basically, we have to encourage him to “resign”. The other executor also sees the futility of the situation and is ready to get some help, so that is a definite step in the right direction.

The very sad thing is that he is alone. No family, no friends. He is a complete pill. But, he wants the niece (me) to take care of him and do his bidding while he sits on a throne and gives (very questionable) instructions and sticking his nose into my brother’s care and pot-stirring with other family members. I have no problems handling it. I just stay away from him. He may talk about me to others, but he will NEVER do so to my face. He knows better.

I know I sound terrible. I am just done with my family. I am SO tired of family care needs. I know that many of you can relate. I know what I have to do. I guess advice isn’t so much what I am here for so much as solidarity, lol.

Sometimes, it is just nice to hear the experience of others and how they may have handled a situation:) It helps to just have vomited this stuff up so I can declutter my head. And to know that I am not the only one whose family has a disproportionately high number of nutters, lol.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats
jacobsonbob Feb 15, 2021
I can relate to you. My parents are both gone (my mother died last April), and we still have the estate to handle (essentially all stocks and some money in accounts). My sister is the primary executor (I'm listed as the back-up), but she admits she knows very little about financial matters. (I suspect my father chose her because her husband is quite knowledgeable, but he generally keeps out of matters that don't directly involve him.) Meanwhile, I'm the one doing most of the work. I asked my sister if she wanted me to take over as executor (at my BIL's suggestion), but she didn't. Although the estate is of substantial value, my sister and BIL are so well-off they don't need it (thus my sister feels no great incentive to get it done, because from her perspective, money "grows on trees"), while my half would be of definite help to me. Along with this, there will be taxes to pay from the income it generates.

FWIW I sympathize with you, and understand what it means when someone says getting a certain job is like "herding cats"!
See 4 more replies

This is so true and brought a much needed smile to my face tonight...

”just takes more effort and time than birthing an elephant to get him to do anything!”

I have an appt with my own estate attorney next week and got in touch with my grandfather’s estate attorney today, who thought uncle had closed everything out by now.

So, I am moving this along.

jacobson, so frustrating. Hopefully, now that some months have passed, your sister will get things moving.

We have had more drama from uncle even since I posted last. But, I spent a great deal of time separating out his bullying of other uncle and his very disturbing ways, etc. from the legal issues at hand. To focus on the goal, I basically need to have my atty roll out. So, that is what is happening.

The interpersonal stuff throughout this scenario is the nightmare. It makes the legal stuff pale in comparison.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

One thing to clarify. This person did not live in the house previously. My mother was my grandfather’s caregiver. This person would “visit” for weeks on occasion, expecting my mother to cook and clean for him and say he was “helping” with elder care.

He has at least one other residence. So, this situation isn’t a caregiver who use the house as a primary residence before the death.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

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Reply to 499HopeFloats

If it has been two years the heirs WILL have a court case, but would need some evidence. If this person is undiagnosed, then it would be difficult to accuse without evidence. The amount of time is good evidence. If notification of beneficiaries wasn't done, that is good evidence.
In short they would need that good Estate Attorney you have. For myself, the trinkets and memory things are not worth the bicker; we will all soon enough be dead and no one will want them. They have only nuisance value to me, but I cannot say I have ever put much sentiment in objects.
If there is only a rickety falling down house it would not be worth it.While the Estate can recover fees IF ONE DOES win in court, if there is not a lot at issue in this estate the heirs would have little net gain for their trouble.
I am more a walk away girl unless there are very large issues.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Wow--this all makes me really glad my OB passed away before he could have stepped in to ruin mother and dad's estate. He didn't have dementia, but rather a BPD and was really impossible to work with.

He was not POA or executor or ANYTHING--due to previous misdeeds and actual theft from mother and dad---but I can see how easily he would have slid into that place and just lived in their home and kept on supporting himself by stealing and pawning their stuff.

My DH and I could not agree on a POA and executor. Our son is an attorney, but has lived far away for the last 18 years and not really involved in our family at all. DH felt that as the only son he should be in charge. I refused to sign any documents with his name as being 'in charge' of ANYTHING. I'm not mad at him, but he'd blow into town and try to execute our whole estate in 2 days and return home to never be seen again.

I wanted our oldest daughter to run things. With the middle daughter as 'co'. They are both bright, intelligent, honest women and I expect they will do a stellar job and when DH FINALLY said "Fine, whatever you want', we were at the attorney's within a week.

He's too lazy to change anything and I basically drew up the will and the attorney did all the legalese.

When I read about families like yours, I want to cringe. It's hard enough to deal with the probate and execution of a will without the drama of a nutjob in the middle messing things up.

As it was--when my grandma passed, my OB moved right into her condo and expected it as 'his' b/c he was the oldest great grandchild. Well, he wasn't, and spent only a month there, busily unpacking all the stuff we'd separated and packed and pawning anything of value. Mom made ME kick him out.

Unbelievably, in that month he did more damage to this place that gma's previous 30 years in it. Incomprehensible to us, but that's how he was.

Just another cautionary tale about whom you choose to carry out your final wishes!
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Reply to Midkid58
499HopeFloats Feb 17, 2021
Oh my goodness, I could hug you.
That is a very good understanding of what we are dealing with.

I am SO happy for you that you have the right fit in place to handle your own affairs. People don’t realize it isn’t a popularity contest or a sign of love, lol, and it doesn’t give them powers of the monarchy.

It is so often an albatross. That’s why I waited and let him run the show for so long... I just wanted them to do their job and send the checks. I was willing to help and offered, but I didn’t want leadership responsibility... again.

Skills, integrity, day to day knowledge and experience should be the defining traits for that type of role.
Thanks, AlvaDeer.

I hear you on the walk away. I want nothing in the house. Honestly, problem trustee thinks there is a gold mine in there, which is so far from reality. That isn’t unusual in these situations. But, there is almost nothing of any value in that house, unless the mice crap gold, lol. That is why we were considering a sale “as is” two years ago. The buyer would haul it all away for us.

It is now worse. No a/c, no maintenance done at all. Toilets have probably a year of filth on them, no exaggeration.

I am sure there may be some minor nostalgic things that might be nice, but NOTHING there is worth the stress of dealing with him.

Unfortunately, I can’t do that with the actual house or the other account he kept from other trustee. I would be much more inclined to that if I were not

1) responsible for my brother’s care... his is disabled with MS, I took over his care after my mother passed. I manage a special needs trust for him that cropped out of my grandfather’s trust. So I have a fiduciary duty here to him as well.

2) going to have to deal with this anyway. Our family is tiny. Even if we decided to just wait until first brother died (which could be 25 years from now as we all know, lol), he is basically going to drain what is left of the estate for all benes. And we will have to clean up his hoard and sell the house then anyway.

Non-action right now (and as has been evident for the past couple of years) will just defer the work, increase it, and cause heaps of stress in the meantime.

As much as I have no doubt there are major cognitive issues going on, no one has access to uncle’s drs, etc. No one is interested in having him declared or anything. He just needs to do his job or resign his position. Basically, make sure he can do no harm. One minute, he is too “disabled” (age and back issues, but not disabled) to do anything... like send a form to the accountant or read correspondence from the attorney). But, he will not “allow” other trustee (his brother) to make anything happen without “his permission”.

None of the work involved is very onerous, believe me. I have done this myself. My grandfather made things as easy as possible. And the estate pays for attorney, accountant and financial advisor. He doesn’t have to do much.

Even if it *was* too difficult, the simple solution is he resigns. He gets pretty vicious to younger trustee if that is even hinted at.

As disgusted mentioned below, that is the goal right now. That is what I am hoping a push from my attorney will bring about. I really don’t want to go to court over this. We just want to be done and move on.

Years of situations like this with multiple people have just drained me, my DH, and younger trustee’s family. There comes a point when it just needs to be done. And I can’t walk away because of my trustee duties for my own brother.

The trust allows either trustee to act. They both know this, although older keeps saying it isn’t so. But, the years of family dynamic at play here are interfering. Second brother trustee is pushing back a bit, but dreads first brother trustee’s displeasure. I have no such qualms:)

First brother’s cognitive situation makes it almost impossible to have a reasonable conversation with him. He is not a good person. I don’t say that to be callous. I have actually gotten along with him well enough because I don’t engage with him and didn’t see him much growing up. Like my YB, he is MUCH better with people he is not familiar with. I also have never had any reason to full on challenge him, other than taking opposite sides on his white supreme day/conspiracy/patriarchy stuff (not political Reps vs Dems). He doesn’t even fully fit into one of those categories. His beliefs are toxic and, frankly, nuts.

He lacks logic in ways I can’t really convey in the word count available to me here. But, he was the oldest boy in a heavily old country family, so...

Going forward,
problem trustee, PT
younger trustee, T2
my sibling, YB
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

Just to be clear, I do not want to become a trustee/executor. I am trying to help my other uncle, T2, get the job done. He asked me to step in because I have a great deal of financial/law/estate experience and, more importantly, I have no fear of PT’s wrath, lol. He understands his issues with PT, and I am proud of him for trying to set boundaries, etc.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

Actually, Mid, from what I know from my mother and a few cousins, I think your OB and PT have very similar personalities. Mental illness coupled with age/drinking/cognitive decline is no walk in the park.

I am glad, with all you have been through, you didn’t have to deal with that.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

499, so as probate is open, I’d suggest that you ask the judges office to schedule an “in chambers meeting” & in person if at all possible. You as a heir have “standing” in what happens as with the disposition of the assets of the estate, so you can request this. & in turn if your assets affect the funding of the SNT for your brother with MS, that $ affects him as a vulnerable adult, so he too might also have standing. In chambers is more casual meeting usually with the in-house staff atty for the judges court. The judge ime won’t sit in on this.... might say hello but not sit in. In chambers is a way to discuss something that is stalling settling probate that poses problems for heirs. Like if Executor is MIA for response to letters from heirs, or used in atty goes MIA. Bigger probate courts have full time staff attys; smaller ones maybe not but there will some way to do an in chambers.
before this, you discuss with your own estate atty the situation and get them to find you a probate atty that does litigation. Most probate guys do not do litigation. It’s specialized work and those that do tend to maybe share a practice or share staff with litigation oriented divorce atty as they both use forensic accountants in their discovery. The forensics will be able to do a deep dive and find how Senor Squalid Potty has channeled estate $ to his own self dealing, which is a big no-no. Finding stuff like this gets him removed as executor.

Squalid has his own home as well, right? I’ll bet you a case of Prosecco that he’s funding his nasty house from the probate estate. The litigation atty will find it and Squalid will get removed as Executor. If litigation guy is a real pit bull, might file a civil against Squalid for mishandled funds and Squalid has to repay (so he sells his house). Litigation guys go for the kill, it’s why you hire them. Charming killers tho’.

For personal dramarama experience, it was for my first time being executor, was estate for an “Aunt”, multiple marriages, no kids, property across state lines. Everyone assumed loads of $$$ but was illusion. Came as a total surprise to me to be named. She had a nephew that assumed it was to be him. Learned a lot, spent quite a bit of time sitting on bad benches in different courthouses hearing incredibly sad stories & gave me an appreciation of how heavy emotional load on probate judges & staff. Biggest takeaways were to me that you have to keep meticulous records; send everything certified mail with the returned receipt card; be patient as things just can move glacially. And biggest (& scariest) was that it’s pretty easy to have the illusion of having $ as most folks don’t understand how debt works.
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Reply to igloo572

So the first question to ask is has ANYTHING been submitted to probate? If not, NO ONE is executor of the will/estate. Even if people are named in the will, until the court reviews the will, they won't be appointed, therefore they have NO power to do anything.

EDIT: I was thinking (ow) about you said 2 years this has been pending. Did a lookup and found this:
"Most states impose a deadline of ten to 90 days after the death, or after you receive notice of the death. The filing of the will starts the probate process."
Clicking on the link, there was more:
"If you don’t file the will, it’s possible that you could face a lawsuit from anyone who suffers losses as a result of your failure to promptly turn the will over to the court. For example, a creditor or someone who is supposed to inherit under the will could be harmed if it’s not filed until the deceased person’s property has already been distributed."

So, if your brother has need, he IS being harmed!

I would be concerned that this clown is draining everything. and hasn't filed anything Work with the other uncle, gently pushing him, suggest using your or any attorney, to do what needs to be done: get uncle #1 bounced. I wouldn't worry about getting any Dx for cognitive issues - he has NOT performed the duties that he was named to do - that should be sufficient argument for uncle #2 to get himself appointed and if the other has been appointed, get him removed by the court.

Even if uncle #2 is reluctant, push him as much as you can to get this ball rolling. The longer it waits, the more problems will occur, house deteriorates more, draining any trust funds or other assets, etc.

Currently our estate isn't even set up yet. I filed online over a month ago, sent in the will and DC, had to get an atty statement (will was done in next state, not the one mom was living in when she passed) and waited... Then came the request for my YB to decline, as we were both named, not co or alternate, just named. Thankfully he signed off. This isn't the "bulk" of mom's legacy - that's in the trust... but finally the "mating ritual" was over for that (another dumb move, name all 3 as trustees!) Just waiting for the largest portion to be moved to our individual accounts. Still more work to get taxes done for 2020 and 2021, but the worst of that is almost over... The estate isn't that big, but needs to be done... I think I mentioned somewhere, perhaps not in this thread - the EC atty who set everything up, first for dad and mom, then for mom, told me to just deposit the checks and don't tell the bank she has passed!!! Ummmm, NO. THAT'S not legal!

He's on my nasty letter list, for after everything is done and the ink is dry. The good news is the list isn't very long...
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Reply to disgustedtoo

Have you talked with executor lately and mentioned - we need to get this estate finished up. Blame it on other health problems and people within the family aging as the need to get it resolve. The sticky issue here is the executor living in the house? Where is that person going to go? Would seem that issue alone has created the delay in completing the process. Why would I be in a hurry to sell a house I live in and have money, that doesn't belong to me, to keep the house going??

Was there a timeframe in the will? Or is there a timeframe in your state? In Texas it is 3 years from time it is begun.

If you can't get any where with this person, it's time to get an atty involved. You might ask your atty if you can take a copy yourself to get the ball rolling, set court date where executor will need to appear. Your atty can probably help you with a little advice since a will exists and just needs a little shove in the right direction.
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Reply to my2cents

I hate to say it, but talk to a lawyer. An executor can be liable for wasting an estate.
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Reply to Oskigirl

If he has been living for 2 years in the home that is supposed to be sold and divvied up among the beneficiaries, he is not going to suddenly get a jolt of ethics and reasoning.  You're going to have to get your "terrific estate attorney" to give him a wakeup call and or letter.
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Reply to Jamesj

Appt is set with attorney for early next week.

Probate isn’t an issue here, but I know those posts will be very helpful to others reading this thread. I hope things get ironed out for disgustedtoo... it sounds like you are swimming in this stuff too, lol.

my2cents, I am not sure if I mentioned earlier, but PT (problem trustee) moved in to the house *after* my grandfather passed. He kind of ended up staying to “take care of things” but never actually did anything. Just started living there. He has TWO other places to stay. He needs to go back to his own home... this guy isn’t homeless and wasn’t a caregiver living with his elder parent.

He really need AL, but that isn’t something I can force. Another family member has offered to help with getting him to ALs to visit. Which sounds like a smaller job than it is, lol.

jamesj, that is exactly the plan.

The family dynamics at play will be the most challenging piece of this. They make the legal stuff seem like a walk in the park, as the additional posts I added indicate. It will be interesting to see how people have handled communication and relationship issues in similar situations. And whether they have preserved relationships.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

Update: Without adding detail right now, this is now in the attorney’s hands. A letter was sent from the atty office last month demanding action. NOTHING has been done. It is truly bizarre. So, the Petition to remove as trustee is in the hands of the court. I’ll try to shoot out another update... I can’t believe I posted this in mid-Feb. The last almost 2 months have been exhausting with no forward movement at all.

Yippee. Because the last 10 years haven’t been enough of a PITA, lol.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

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