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My Mom moved in with me and my husband when my only child was six months old. The doctor said since she had so much going wrong, she would need to have constant care. (Mom suffered from transient eschemic attacks (mini strokes), congestive heart failure, kidney and bladder disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diverticulosis, pancreatitis and then the hospital dropped her and broke her hip forcing her to walk the rest of her life on a walker) I had been trying to get Mom to move in for several years before this because her health was deteriorating, but Mom was a very independent lady and wanted to do for herself as long as she could. I checked on her twice a day for the ten years before she moved in with me to be sure she was taking her medicine properly and to take her to the grocery store, etc. She also always went on vacations with me and my husband because I was afraid to leave her alone. It was actually easier for me once she moved in. However, she did need care around the clock and I had to quit my job to care for her and my newborn son. I asked my brother to help financially which he screamed at me he didn't have the money (his job paid $22+/hour) so that wasn't true. He was divorced (again) and has three children now 19, 27 and 39 so he was always paying out child support but he never saw his children after he divorced their mothers. I helped raise all three of his children, including having these kids live with me at various times. The 19 year old is still living with me so he can go to college on a grant because his father disinherited him. Now, out of the blue, my brother calls to inform us that he has two - three months to live (terminal throat and liver cancer from smoking and drinking all his life) and that he's put back over the years over $2 million for his three kids. He tells me, "oops, I forgot I was supposed to pay for mom, you can sue me, but I'll be dead before you get it, you're screwed". After Mom died, I had to file for bankruptcy because I had loans against my house for Mom's medical bills. (She was in the hospital 3-5 times a year for 10 years and her insurance just didn't cover everything.) I was also the only one paying for her meals, clothing, and all her other expenses. In the twenty years Mom was sick, my brother paid for ONE MEAL - that's it. He never took her to a single doctor's appointment, sat with her in the hospital, paid for her medicine, NOTHING. Instead, he sat at home and drank and smoked and neglected his mother and children. Mom died in 2004 at the age of 85 because I didn't have anything left to charge the treatments against. I was just wondering if I have any legal rights to reclaim half of the expenses Mom had? We all live in Tennessee within 20 miles of each other. I'm not expecting much, I don't want to be paid for my time or care given, nor do I expect him to pay for my lost wages for 10 years, but I would like half of the $200,000 that I spent out of pocket on Mom so my son (whose college fund was also used to help pay Mom's debts) could go to college. Am I being unreasonable in asking for him to finally step up and admit he needs to be held accountable?

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Yes Jeannegibbs I did notice the date--but I think it would be good if the better Questions keep appearing, any way June 1 2013 is very recent.
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The most recent post on this thread was June of 2013. Why is it coming up again?
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Reading Your Post Unicornfairy was terrible sad, yet so beautiful to witness Your complete Love for Your darling Mom Who is now an Angel in Heaven. It's so difficult to understand how Your Brother could be such a selfish Brat. The circumstances You find Yourself in are inflicting terrible pressure on You and Your Family, through no fault of Your own. My advice is write a letter to Your National Radio Station stating Your case, and the hardship You and Your Family are having to endure out of Your Love for Your Mom, thus the Letter will be read out on Your National Airwaves and some kind Soul will come to Your aid, as there are so many really good People out there Who would Love to help You.
Please DO NOT SUE THE HOSPITAL, and forgive Your Brother so He can die in peace. You will be so glad You did. God Bless unikornfairy, You are an Angel and how Blessed Your Mom was to have You for Her Daughter. Heaven will be Your reward. 🇮🇪
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You can ask all you want of your brother, but he is getting his just reward by dying. You will not see a dime, so move on with your life! The 19 year old can get grants and pay them off like I did. Life is difficult! Make your own lemonade.
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Another very obvious amateur scammer - no professional loan company would have an outlook.com corporate e-mail address.

Reported as scamer spam, for deletion.
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Thanks to all, and the reason we had to pay back was that my brother wasn't paying and we had to take a loan out on our house and we put her medicines and items her insurance wasn't covering on a credit card. It may have been dumb on my part, but Mom was worth it to me. And all along, my brother kept saying he would pay, he just never seemed to have the money when I asked for it, always blaming "child support". But the fact is, he was squandering it on booze and loose women and I should have put my foot up his arse many years ago, or took him to court and sued him then. I just didn't want to believe my own brother would do this. It's a tough lesson, and one I regret, but in the end, I did what was right for Mom and I will never ever regret that.
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I hate to say it, but I doubt you can recoup a penny. You deserve it and a lot more for all that you have done. When someone dies you are NOT responsible for their debt so I don't know why you paid off your mothers debts. Collection companies try to make you believe you have to pay them off, but you don't....unless you were a co-signer on an account. I feel your pain and your brother is pretty much a jerk but unless you have a signed or witnessed agreement to equally pay these expenses, I don't think you will get it back. Such a shame that we try to help others and wind up losing everything. God Bless You! My prayers are with you.
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Thank you guys for your kind words and helpful suggestions. I have unfortunately had to sever ties with my brother because he keeps calling "demanding" that I help him with his problems, including he wants me to forgive him for not holding up his promises to help, but doesn't want me to sue his estate cause I would be stealing from his kids. He just isn't getting it, he stole from me which means he stole from my son, yet he wants me to forget and forgive him so he can die with a clear conscience and his kids not lose anything. Sad to think he'll be gone soon and still can't see the irony of his demands.
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You can sue the estate. A good civil lawyer will help you with this. When helping raise his children, I hope your good intentions influenced them as they grew into adults. And had more influence than their biological father's deceitful ways. You also might not make yourself so available for him, ough that doesn't seem to be your style. You are a good person. I am sure deep down he wishes he had 1/10000th of your goodness. You will be rewarded, I don't doubt that. Hugs and God bless
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I don't see it ever being overturned. More and more states are Passing these kinds of law. Why would the states reject it? It allows them to cut back on the funds for Medicaid and gives the responsibility to the adult children to pay for their own parents' cost. Then they can use those funds to spend over $60,000 on studying ants! or some other useless programs....
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There is definately a need to contact lawmakers and urge them to get this kind of law overturned. These laws are no better than telling a child, "guess what? you have just been born into indentured servitude."
If my FIL had just saved a portion of his retirement, he would have had enough money to have 24/7 private duty care most likely for the rest of his life. Not all parents are June and Ward Cleaver.
I read so many stories on here and have heard one just yesterday personally of so many of these adults who just refuse to grow up. Adult children who are trying to help their parents quit smoking, drinking, gambling, going to Vegas and in many cases spending money on boyfriends/girlfriends because they are lonely after a spouse died. Many have never given one thought to becoming elderly, so they never saved a penny. It's sad to take from adult kids and punish them simply for being born. :(
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Thank you ferris_1 for the information. And yes, the bankruptcy hurt us, but we are slowly recovering from it (filed end of 2004, we had no choice, we were still in debt $175 thousand, roughly the amount my brother owed for his half of her long-term care). It's far too late to sue the hospital, even if I wanted to. They were so good to Mom over the years (far more than the ten I had her in my care), the nurses on the Cardiac floor called her "Granny Goose" just like my family did. It was an honest mistake and one both Mom and I forgave them for and she was in the hospital many, many more times after that. As to suing his estate, it is unfortunate, but it looks like that is exactly what I'm going to have to do. And I still have all the documents pertaining to Mom locked up in my Safe Deposit Box for fear this would be the ultimate outcome. So sad to tear a family apart by this, and I know it sounds like bitter grapes and greed on my part, but he made the commitment and he was Mom's only other child. I wish the laws were fixed so each child was held equally responsible for their parent's care (based on income of course) and that the actual caregiver could be compensated fairly, especially when other siblings use "distance" as a means of getting out of helping. (And alcoholism and drug addiction should never be an excuse for allowing a parent to suffer and do without.) Thanks again for your comments. They've all been most helpful (if only to let me vent my anger and frustrations. At least, I am now at peace with my anger and have a game plan in place.
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My husband, who is a retired attorney as well as a pilot, just told me the laws to compel adult children to pay for their parents in time of need is true. So, get a personal injury attorney to sue the hospital who dropped your mother and broke her hip (although I think the statute of limitations would apply), and/or get an attorney who specializes in family law to find reimbursement from your brother's estate (if in fact he does have $2 million and he is dying so quickly). You have usually two years to file an action, so get as many documents as you can together for preparation in trial. The burden of proof will be on you, however, your brother's children can testify for you as well since your mother and brother will be deceased. Good luck with your cause. You surely have earned a place in heaven, but do not allow others to take advantage of you again to your detriment. Filing bankruptcy will scar YOUR credit rating for TEN years.
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The kids have the paperwork, there's no doubt he had/has the money. He was a liar and a cheat his entire life, lied to the court about his income in order to avoid paying his fair share of child support (he told me this himself). He is right now arguing with me that his offer to pay Mom $7000 for her house that was worth $60,000 and had a $50,000 mortgage on it was a fair deal. For whom I asked him?

Even at $22/hour and 2 divorces and child support, my brother lived in a three bedroom condo and owned two BMW's. Of course his money was tied up, he lived like a king while we struggled to support Mom (all her medical bills) me (and all my medical bills, I have a disease similar to Lupus which crippled me while I was caring for Mom) my premature son (diapers, baby formula, medicine for his undeveloped lungs - he still only has the upper 1/3 of his lungs that work and his esophagus and stomach hadn't fully formed) and my husband (who is diabetic). We did all this, and paid our house payment and Mom's mortgage payment on $2500/month. We drove used vans, he drove two BMW's, one the classic convertible, the other special ordered from overseas. He also had the second job that he hid from the courts in order not to pay the extra child support. This second job leased him a Jaguar that he still has, so he drove THREE cars. But again, every time I asked him to fork over some money, he was broke. Poor baby, living life as a pauper on the edge of a cliff driving Beamers and Jags while popping drugs, booze, smoking and dating strippers from the local strip joint. (Maybe now is the time to mention his second job was writing background music for porno films and yes, this is the God's honest truth, I've seen the check stubs and they're the ones who lease him the Jaguar.) I confronted my brother many times over the past 20 years reminding him of his responsibility and of what he was doing to my family. My husband also talked to him many times over the years, not just about Mom, but of neglecting his children. My brother always told us he was broke, just before he drove away in one of his luxury cars. We knew he was lying then, but he kept promising that he would come through when he was no longer paying child support. Well, I admit I was stupid and trusted him, thinking once he paid off his last child support payment he would start paying us back (like he promised) but that didn't happen and we've confronted him numerous times. He said he was in debt because he'd bought land in Mexico to retire to so he still didn't have the money. Yes, I should have sued him last year, I know that. I just kept hoping he was going to face up to his responsibilities. That was obviously a mistake. And I was willing to let it go, until he screwed me over with the inheritance. Now I realize he can't pay me back because that would mean he has to admit he was wrong all those years and he would have to die with that on his conscience. Well, I'm to the point I think he needs to die with that on his conscience.
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At $22 per hour, 2 divorces and 3 kids, even if he did not really sustain them, he likely does not have a large amount to leave them. He lied before, he may be repeating his beavior.

Get legal advice, if collecting is not likely, do not throw good money after bad. Court remedies are not fast or cheap, do not do this just on emotional principle, it may only worsen your position.

I think beating a cancer patient in court would be very unlikely.

If there is an inheritance of $2m for the 3 kids, since you helped raise them, maybe they will help with grandmothers past bills. Hope they took after their aunt.

Best Wishes to you,
L
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I don't understand your brother. He refuses to help pay for your mom for 20 years. He's now dying of cancer and tells you straight out that when his dies, his children gets lots of monye and you get nothing. So sue him, but he will be dead before the court ends. Then, why is he still asking YOU to take him to the ER? He just basically told you that your mom meant nothing to him. And now, you (who helped mom) is nothing to him but...a lackey? I know he is dying but he is not a very nice person.

He's a user. I know that you're heart is ruling you to do all these for your brother. Have you ever even thought of talking to your brother from your heart on how much he has hurt you? All the things you both went thru while growing up, the struggles with caring for mom (financially and emotionally, etc..)?

I think you need to open up to your brother - and Try As Much As Possible Not to be So Emotional (guys tend to view you as hysterical if you are too emotional and won't take you seriously). In your conclusion, don't hesitate to tell your brother what you really think of him. "I hated you for doing this or that...I hated you when I reached rock bottom and this hurt my husband, children...etc... And despite all these terrible things that I suffered because you did not do your end as you promised, I still love you or care for you very deeply." That is if you still do. You might as well vent to your brother before he passes away. But if you think this will make things worse, please disregard my advice...since you know your brother better than me.
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Because your brother lied about his finances, your mom didn't get the treatment she needed since you had already paid all you had...and so she crossed over perhaps before she had to due to the lack of treatment???

Am I understanding that correctly?

And your state is on that list?

Dang. What a jerk. Sorry.
I'd say...find a lawyer, you can get free advice even on line...find out if criminal or civil is the better court for your issue...and if not criminal, or if you want to avoid those particular consequences you mentioned for his kids...then still...why not sue him? You might win, might not, but personal injury lawyers often don't take payment unless they win. I am NOT the suing type. There are exceptions. For me, this would be one of them.

Good luck.
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I do believe it's a major contributing factor in the number of suicides of middle-aged caregivers. It's an exhausting and daunting task to care for a parent and to be forced to give up one's financial well-being after careful planning and saving is just unfair. I did it because it was the right thing to do (and my brother promised to cover half the expenses). But, in the end, I was literally forced into a situation far outside my comprehension and financial abilities. I wonder since I filed bankruptcy if the state of Tennessee literally robbed Peter to pay Paul?
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Amen skionna! We have an 8 year old child and FIL is 86. Unfortunately, we went to an elder care attorney (at FIL request) and he threw a fit and one year later changed thing around and then back again. Financial planners and elder lawyers work when you can trust each other. Sadly, I think it is some of the children who will wish for death to take them in their sleep.
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In regards to the laws being tested in court, the one that should scare the bejeeze out of every single living adult child with an aging needy parent(s) is this Pennsylvania case. The Nursing Home only went after one son, not the woman's husband or other children and left this one man stuck with the entire $93,000 bill. I don't see how this can possibly be fair, yet, it stood up in two courts of law.

While filial responsibility laws have rarely been enforced in the past, a recent case in Pennsylvania may indicate a new trend. In Health Care & Retirement Corporation of America v. Pittas (Pa. Super. Ct., No. 536 EDA 2011, May 7, 2012), the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a lower court decision which made the adult son of a woman who had received skilled nursing care and treatment at a Pennsylvania facility for a period of six months liable for the $93,000 bill. The court concluded that the state did not have the duty to consider the woman's other possible sources of payment, including a husband and two other adult children, or the fact that an application for Medicaid assistance was still pending. Instead, since the facility had adequately met its burden of proof that this particular son had the means to pay the $93,000 bill, the trial court was correct in holding the son responsible for paying it.

This Pennsylvania case demonstrates the importance of long term care planning from the perspectives of both elderly parents and their children. Without proper planning and legal advice from an experienced elder law attorney, children may very well be on the hook for thousands of dollars of care required by their aging parents.
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This series of posts really reinforces the need to seek financial advice as soon as things start declining with our parents, or preferably before. Consultiing with financial planners, elder law attorneys and the family are essential. It is money well spent. Also with more and more couples waiting until their late 30's or in their 40's to have children, the stress of young children and elderly parents can be tremendous, physically, emotionally and financially. Most families are ill equipped to handle this. Somehow we are all supposed to die peacefully in our sleep after a lovely day. Doesn't quite work that way. Facing reality isn't easy.
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Bless your heart. Your post reinforces how glad I am to be an only child.
I am wondering how sound the filial responsibility laws are. Have they been tested in a court of law? I am just curious of where this stops? I mean with the longevity of life extending every decade, we could be to a point eventually where we are paying for parents and grandparents and children all at the same time. And outside of a child's college education and retirement what are other circumstances? I went to my state's website and it was pretty vague. I mean, if you have a mortgage and your own health expenses every month -- are you forced to bread and water while someone 85, 90, 100 keeps receving medication that is costing hundreds per month? My grandparents saved for decades and kept up costly insurance doing without to provide for themselves in their elderly years. My mom is doing the same. It is sort of the ant and grasshopper story -- where is the planning for old age? Why are we pushing a generation who is more than likely looking for work, paying off loans (be it student or mortgages) and punishing them for being born?
According to my state's website, my husband could face jail time if he doesn't provide for a womanizing gambler who has wasted a small fortune. Someone who looks at the nursing home staff as his personal slaves and insist everything be done for him.
I want to thank you for this thread because it has been an eye opener. I am convienced no one should go into caregiving without a lawyer present, epsecially if siblings are involved. No one should have to go through this and put their kids through this too. My husband and I said after our meeting with the nursing home next week, we are retaining an attorney to protect our interests and that of our young daughter. You have definately opened the eyes of one poster tonight and I thank you. I hope everything works out for you. Perhaps you will have peace when your brother passes.
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I'm still open to more opinions/suggestions/ideas/thoughts on the subject. I've been doing a lot of research on "filial responsibility laws" and I have to admit it's scary what the law is beginning to do to children of needy parents. I had to fight the state of Tennessee over demands for reimbursement and won my case by proving I had saved the state $3,800 per month for ten years by keeping her out of a Nursing Home and absorbing as much of her care as I did. I still ended up with a mortgage on her house, but I didn't have to pay the state anything for the last six months of her life that she did end up in a nursing home (where the hospital dropped her and broke her hip, she began to fall constantly towards the end of her life, and while in the hospital recovering from one of those falls, they neglected to care for her properly and she got two bedsores that wouldn't heal despite Home Health Care, frequent Wound Care Doctor visits and Hospice Care.) I guess I should have sued the hospital (not once but twice since they dropped her and broke her hip and then three years later let her get the two bedsores. I still have all the documents regarding both incidents in my Safe Deposit Box as well as affidavits from the nursing staff stating they were understaffed and failed to protect my mother properly. The lawsuit would have been a slam dunk, but Mom and I didn't want to sue because she spent so much of her last years in that hospital and other than those two serious incidents, they were very good to her. (Actually three things, she got a staph infection while in Intensive Care that nearly killed her and required her to remain in the hospital an extra month.) But again, considering she was in that hospital 3-5 times a year, sometimes for a couple weeks at a time, they did some amazing things for my Mom.
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I want to thank everyone for their help in this matter. In a way, just venting has helped. As to some of your questions, yes, I do know for a fact he is dying from cancer and has only two to three months left. He has called me several times to take him to the ER and I have cared for him after surgery. I do know for a fact that he has the money as he had a family meeting with his children yesterday and gave them each the financial documents pertaining to their inheritance. I guess what started my "need to vent" was that he called me today demanding I buy two cemetery plots left him by Mom (she left me two as well) because he's being cremated and doesn't need the plots and Mom had it in her will the plots couldn't be sold. Still not sure why he thought I could/would/should buy them. But his reasoning is he has three children and only two side-by-side plots. I told him to turn the plots over to the cemetery and let the children buy four, splitting the costs between them so they would each end up with two plots apiece, or he could simply buy one more plot and let each child decide what to do with their own plot. I guess I'd just had enough at that point.
Thanks again for the help and for the kind words.
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Unfortunately you chose to take care of your mother due to free will to choose, and your brother, out his free will to choose, chose not to help. I doubt there is anything you can do about it. These laws were written so that NH's could recoup their losses not so children of elderly could recoup their losses. Everything you have said about your brother, sounds like you can't depend on on what he says so you really don't know that he has 2m stashed for his kids. I think your brother is bluffing you in order to push your buttons. He may even be lying about his health but you don't know for sure unless someone in the family is involved with his care hands on that is trustworthy. My heart goes out to you...it is not fair!! I think you will have to cut your losses, file bankruptcy and find a way to release your anger either by venting here on this site (which you will get support for that) or some type of grievance counseling. I am so sorry this has happened to you and your family, I hope you can rebuild your life with your husband and children...that is where you are at now and the primary concern. Hugs to you!!
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Only an experienced attorney can advise you of your chances of collecting and the best way of going about it. And even then you won't know for sure if you would win until a court case is over.

What is it you would like from AgingCare members?
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There probably is nothing that can be done. But, considering that putting Mom in a Nursing Home was going to cost $3800 per month, neither me or my brother had that kind of money. (And yes, I did take her in because I loved her.) However, my brother did at that time agree to cover half her costs. He did this in front of one of his ex wives, my husband, me and my Mom because he didn't want to go into debt for his share of the monthly cost. It's just every time I asked him to pay up, he had an excuse as to why he couldn't pay. Again, I now realize it was so he could get out of paying his share. And yes, I am bitter towards him. I wasn't, not until I learned of his deceit. It was so hard watching my Mom waste away for lack of treatment (even after she finally had to go on Medicaid they wouldn't pay for the treatments but they sure wanted to take her house when she died. They couldn't however because there was a huge lien against it that had been paying for her medical bills before I started trying to cover them.) I ended up "buying" Mom's house after the bankruptcy cost me my house and cars by agreeing to pay back the outstanding loan amount. My family is happy here, as we always are, no matter what life throws at us. Despite what happens to most families faced with the hardship of caring for their elderly parents, we saw it as a blessing and it made us stronger. We also cared for my husband's father for five years but my husband's brother was a stand-up kind of man who helped with the costs. We will soon be faced with caring for my husband's aging Mom (88 and still going strong thank God) but her eyesight is failing and her blood pressure is out of control. My husband and his brother check on her several times a day and we bring her groceries and help be sure her bills are paid on time, etc. We have been blessed with three parents who lived long lives (both my Mom and husband's Dad died at age 85) and I pray that my husband's Mom lives as long as she's happy.
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Just recently more states are Passing Those Laws requiring that the children pay for their parents medical costs. I have mentioned this several times on this site. I saw it on the HLN News. They showed all the states currently having such laws and the states NOW passing those laws. It's spreading. I wonder if the states are passing this law because they are overburdened with Medicaid costs. So, they are now turning to their legislature to pass laws which would make the children responsible for their aging parents medical bills. The states who do have it are just not enforcing it. But I'm sure if the hospital decides to go after their aging parents unpaid bills, the hospitals/clinics have a right to go after their children to pay for it. It's The Law! ..well if it's in your state.

Unikornfairy, if you go to court, it will be a he said-she said kind. A civil suit. To me, you took this on out of your conscience and love for your mother. You did it willingly. I cannot see how they can force your brother to pay up. As for using that law, I think it was for the medical institutions to go after the children. However, maybe a lawyer can tell you if you can use it too...Don't know.
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those fillial laws sound as ignorant as they sound. our manufacturing base is gone as are the cradle to grave jobs, benefits and decent wages. laws that cant be enforced make governments look innefectual and dont last long.
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Again, the reason I've waited so long is I didn't know about his deceit. I was unaware of the second job until recently when he accidentally let it slip. I did not know how much money the second job had paid (as that's where all the money for the trust funds for the kids came from according to what my brother told me). I told him then that he had promised to pay his fair share for Mom's expenses when he had the money and he reluctantly admitted that he had made that promise when she first moved in with me. That's why the "oops, I forgot" statement I listed in the original post was there. Yes, he knows he owes it, but until he let it slip about the second job, I didn't know he had the money and that's the reason I never went after him legally. And again, all I'm asking for is half of the $200,000 that I paid out of pocket. I don't think that's being unreasonable at all considering how much he lied and cheated and the fact that had he paid his fair share, Mom could/probably would have lived another five years at least. (She was a great person and I miss her everyday)
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