Yesterday I learned that good ole Mom wants to sell her home, which is secure in our family trust, and take the proceeds and either buy a different home or condo, or, build a "granny's room" on the side of my sister's house. My wife and I are moving out of state in the next several months and Mom doesn't want to move to where we're moving, she said she'll never live in our future State. So she's thinking about moving 50 miles or so away in a new living arrangement with my sister and her husband in a room she plans to build next to my sister's house.
Our problem with all of this is that we have a couple of real difficulties: 1) If she sells her house, which is my sisters and my only inheritance, then it seems that the family trust will no longer be valid or needed in reference to this house. 2) During the past 10 years or so she has been scammed out of at least $$90,000 (or more) from telephone scammers and phony foreign lottery schemes. Just 6 months ago she let a door to door sellsman con her into painting her house for $20,000! She even had to go to the bank to get a loan to pay him! Since she shares nothing with us about her finances or bank accounts, we're always in the dark about her secret get-rich-quick losses to persons unknown until she loses the money and then gripes and groans to us about the dirty rotten scoundrels who robbed her, but good! Gripe, gripe, gripe. It's ALL their fault, you know. She's just an innocent victim of it all.
I'm afraid if she sells her home, which is worth today around $400-$450k on the market, that she'll keep the sale secret and will squander or be scammed of a vast majority of the money within 40 days or so. I'm sure it will "burn a hole in her pocket." And since seniors have the legal protections today to do as they please, we children feel we're about to be scammed from our inheritance that Mom and Dad set up some 25 years ago when Dad was alive and they both were somewhat in their right minds.
A couple of years ago her regular MD wanted her to go for a psychiatric evaluation, but she wasn't going to have any part of it and refused to go. She insisted she's normal and is living a normal life. But all she does is watch TV, write e-mail to her friends and some relatives, and dreams of striking it rich someday with her various gambling attempts from the con artists who write her or call her with their sure-fire get rich quick schemes. She's ALWAYS bringing something over to us to tell us that this plan is the one we need to strike it rich. This happens at least once a week.
What should we kids do to fight this complex problem with our VERY independent Mom? Have we any recourse? Must we go to court and legally take control of her legal and financial affairs? We probably could do it, but she'll only go "kicking and screaming" about it and will threaten to cut us out of her will if we do!
Frankly, if she sells the house and squanders away her money, I'm just about ready to tell her, "We'll help you with groceries and the like, but otherwise, we just going to live our own lives and just keep to ourselves. You've made your decisions about your resources and money, so, good luck and God bless."
I know that sounds harsh, but why should we help her if she becomes just a poor as she and her family were during the Depression?