I have shared a house with my mother and step-father for the past 20 years. My mom passed five years ago, but our living arrangements stayed the same. Currently, my step-father, husband, daughter, grandson, and I share the house. My step-father has a biological daughter who lives 7 hours away.
My problem right now is my step-father seems to feel the household account money is being mismanaged. I have not deviated from the way the account was handled when my mom handled the account or the way she instructed me to handle the account when she became too ill to manage the account.
What has changed is my step-father's employment status. Two years ago, it became apparent he needed to retire from his job as a physician. Unfortunately, he never saved any money. Currently, his entire income is my mother's pension check and his Social Security. My husband and my circumstances also changed as we both retired. I took another full-time job, and my husband took a part-time job. We have assumed additional responsibility for the household accounts. However, my step-father seems to find fault with everything. Quite frankly, the bills could easily be paid with what is received through my mother's pension (which was her wish). However, he removes almost half of that pension and puts it into a private savings account. He does not have to touch his SSI...but, again, he takes most of it and puts it into a private savings account.
We attempted to get him to visit a financial consultant when he retired so he would have some additional interest income. Instead, he just bought gold...and has it stored around various places in the house. I know he is frustrated that my husband and I have some flexibility in our income...but we DID visit a financial consultant upon retirement to receive advice as we still had one daughter in college and are also helping our other daughter who is a single parent raise her son.
My step-father often grows frustrated when he sees a balance under $1000 in the household checking...but he has already removed money from it. He also frequently gives my step-sister $800-$1000 every three or four months in addition to giving her a vehicle.
Honestly, I could handle the money if it weren't for 1) his questioning on how the money is spent...even though I have offered to turn over that entire process to him so he could track the expenditures himself; and 2) his calling his daughter constantly to complain how low on funds he is. He is NOT low on funds...he's just not as high as he would like to be when he was in medical practice.
This balancing act is difficult. My step-father has been a part of my familiy since I was 16...so over 40 years. Until after my mother passed, I didn't really think of him so much as a "step." But after my mother passed, there seems to be this division to which his biological daughter adds. As I said, my step-father had to step away from his medical practice. His health was failing and mistakes were being made. I lived in fear he was going to commit an egregious malpractice error...and he, in fact, just avoided litigation for malpractice. I was very upset with my step-sister, because that particular situation could have been avoided had he retired as had been arranged. I was out of the country when she came back to our home and decided "Daddy will just be so lonesome and without purpose" if he wasn't practicing. So she hired a receptionist and my step-father continued to practice...for two weeks when he had no office nurses and had to do all the vitals and charting himself. My daughter ended up closing out the practice...and my step-sister offered to do nothing to help close out the practice. It was frustrating...and, as I said, during that two weeks he was accused of misdiagnosing a patient which resulted in unnecessary lawyer's fees.
I'm concerned, because right now, no one has POA. I do have control over most finances and the house where we reside will TOD to me.