Of the three siblings who cared for our father, only the Executor, who has the charge card connected to the Trust, charged gas and meal and other incidentals when he would give care time to Dad. For clarity, he had a 300 mile round trip, so that does involve some gas. He would drive up once per week. I had an 80 mile round trip, I cared for Dad 4-6 days per week, and never charged for gas or my food. It did not occur to me to ask for reimbursement from the Trust, I was just caring for dear Dad. When Dad was hospitalized and given 24-28 hours to live, the Executor drove up to be near Dad's hospital for the last days, getting a modest hotel room. He then charged his hotel and meal expenses for those final days to the Trust, more than $700. The only reason I knew this was because another sibling at the hotel told me, the Executor did not. The Executor is definitely not a poor person, he is retired from a high-paying job and living on a substantial pension and savings. Because this money was taken from the Trust, it is taken from our inheritance and becomes expenses shared by all of us siblings. This pains me for several reasons. First and foremost, it just would not occur to me to charge Dad's account for staying by him in his final days. It seems grossly unethical. Second, if I had not asked about the charges, I would not have been told. Third, it makes me wonder how much all of those gas-meal-incidental expenses added up to over three years of care. I have asked for 'transparency' on all those charges before the Executor distributes the funds, which has predictably caused a furor. The truth is, the money is not so much an issue to me as holding this person accountable for everything they charged to my father's account for which they held the checkbook. Holding the Executor accountable for what they charged on the account does not seem unreasonable to me, whether that person was wealthy or poor, its a matter of accountability and being forthcoming to the family. They are livid,that I asked for this, and expect they I should simply trust him and accept the final check distribution as it arrives. Opinions? Was I wrong to ask for this transparency?
AlMarch, you absolutely were not wrong to request transparency. I expect it would be shown that your brother has not done anything against the rules.
Then again, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. There is nothing to stop you compiling a schedule of expenses you have incurred in identical ways and submitting it to him for reimbursement. Whether or not it will get you anywhere is a different issue, but the worst that can happen is nothing.
My sister had a similar attitude on her. If you asked her, however mildly, how she was going about managing mother's funds she would bridle and begin to talk fast, and often tangentially. It just wasn't worth it.
I trust my sister to the extent that I don't believe she would take any risks, and she would consider doing anything illegal a major risk. If your brother is an experienced financial operator of a conservative frame of mind, I would guess that you can similarly trust him. But I feel and share your annoyance at his punctilious protection of his own interests combined with his dismissive attitude to your perfectly reasonable questions.
He should have mad sibs aware of his intentions.
Your idea of moral or ethical behavior is obviously different from his but again, that doesn't automatically make him wrong. And his getting angry doesn't negate his responsibility to answer your questions. Try to keep emotions and accusations out of the conversation and just stick with the simple request. If he didn't answer my request, I would put my questions in writing and copy in the other beneficiaries. Still no satisfaction, then consult an attorney. If he were in the clear, I'm not sure why he would need to get upset. Perhaps a copy of the cc statements for the past three years would bring all to light. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I might say to you is it worth it to have a problem with your family BUT also to be considered is that the problem is not of your making, it is already a problem and could possibly be cleared up with a thorough examination of the paperwork. I'm sorry for the loss of your father.
Who are the Trustees? When does the Trust meet to approve bills?
As the Executor of the Will--those payments are spelled out by the probate laws of your state and will include transportation and billable hours for legal or accounting services at the going rate. Meals, that is a bit iffy.