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My grandmother has 4 daughters, which she loves dearly. She has prepared her will leaving her assets equally divided between all 4 of her daughters. Over the last 3 years dementia has set in. In April 2012, she was so frightened and paranoid in the hospital CCU that she had to be restrained. A family member had to stay with her the entire time she was admitted due to her fear and confusion. Earlier this year, she was diagnoses officially with dementia.
One of her daughters lives with her in her home and acts as the primary caregiver. This daughter's daughter (granddaughter) lives on the property as weel. My grandmother pays both her daughter and her granddaughter to care for her. My grandmother also has housekeepers, lawn services, etc. that she pays for. to assist with healthcare needs, she has in home nursing care and has issues taking care is herself.
My mother lives in TN and was executor of her will and POA with a co-sister named as well for a check and balance with financials. Recently, the primary caregiver (daughter) had.the POA changed to her, her name put on financial accounts, and had the property surveyed. In addition to these changes, there was a change to the will allowing for a codicil to be attached as long as it was notarized and attached to the will. We recently learned through a friend that she was going to have my grandmother change the will so she (primary caregiver) and her daughter (granddaughter) would be the beneficiaries and the other 3 daughter would be excluded from the will.
Upon this news, the 3 daughters presented my grandmother with a deed of trust upholding the original intent of her will, which is everything divided equally between the daughters. My grandmother stated that was what she wanted, but now doesn't understand.
I'm concerned that the primary caregiver and her daughter are taking advantage of her fiances as well. Recently, my grandmother had to give them $4100.00 for concrete and a privacy fence for the area on the property where her granddaughter lives. Her savings have been depleted, and I'm concerned that her will is in motion for changes as well. Also the beneficiaries of her life insurance policies were also change to the primary care giver.
What can the family do to protect their portion of their inheritance? What can be done to protect my grandmother? What are the legal ramifications? At this point, my grandmother only trusts her daughter, which is the primary caregiver....

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The only option I see is to hire an Atty and go from there!
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The first question I see here is, were the decisions to change any of the legal documents made *after* she was diagnosed with dementia? If so, they may not be valid. You may have to consult with an attorney.

Another consideration is that as the need for care will likely increase with her age, having POA for healthcare for the primary caregiver is extremely helpful to the caregiver in providing necessary information and making decisions when the rest of the family is unavailable.

If the sisters are amenable, perhaps a family meeting is in order to set guidelines and agreements. Inheritance aside, grandmother's health and well-being are the first concern.
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I appreciate your opinion and food for thoughts. My aunt is getting paid and considers she draws $10,000.00/month after taxes she can afford care, and does pay her a salary, which I am thrilled she does.

There was NEVER a question regarding her integrity until recently when she had POA changed, a change was made to the will, and recently earned that a Quit Claim Deed was made, but not test registered. I hope you can appreciate the families concerns. More is being revealed daily.
The family does visit her and calls daily. One sister is there every week, the other two visit on different weekends since the are at a minimum 6 hours away.
Just a very sad situation.
Thanks again for sharing your perspective and another unbiased viewpoint. When you are close, sometimes your view may be biased.
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There is no evidence to judge whether money is being spent appropriately or inappropriately. If grandma wants to gift the caregiver daughter and granddaughter a fence, it may be a way to thank them.

I cared for my dad part time when he got sick for 3 years, I was very involved. Diapers, cleaning, errands, sleepovers to give mom a break, vacations for mental health, etc.. I was able to hold on to my job, which was very stressful, I am in sales, was way under quota, partly because of business realities and partly because I took my eye off the ball because of him. I was so stressed he offered me his ENTIRE savings, of course I refused. Frankly, it was not that much, but it was his lifetime savings. He knew exactly what he was offering, he was dad and was trying to protect me at any cost to himself. I eventually turned my business situation around and he beamed with pride. My dad expressed his gratitude to me every day. I made business decisions for my parents for years, always in their best interest, always with integrity. If someone would have challenged my integrity, I would have blown a gasket. Luckily, my family was supportive and grateful.

I hope the caregivers are being financially prudent and ethical. I do also believe they have invested the sweat equity that buys them the right to have primary vote on how things are done, you may not agree with some decisions, but as long as they are ethical, you should accept them. I would tread lightly on second guessing their decisions for the sake of conserving inheritance. I do hope the money is being well spent for grandmothers needs.

Do realize that with assets grandma would have to private pay for AL or NH, she is not eligible for medicaid. This is an average of $4000 a month, you can find the average online for your area. At this rate Cousin and Aunt are saving the estate $48,000 per year.

In response to your question what can a family do to protect their inheritance....be involved, do not suspect or opine from afar. Spend time with grandma
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