Nine years ago, my mother, now 94 yrs old, came to live by us when my dad went into a nursing home (Dad is now deceased). She has a small estate to account for and my mother has made it clear she wants me to have it. Her grandchildren, (my niece and nephew) have only visited her 3 times in these 9 yrs, and only called her maybe 2x a year. I have taken full daily responsibility of her care as she declined throughout these years and I have jeopardized my own health. Now my niece is calling her every Sunday and I am sure there is a method to this. I don’t want to alienate my niece and nephew, but I don’t know what to tell them when the time comes as to why I am not sharing $$ with them. They can have some treasures my mother wants them to have, but they will be expecting $$ too. They each have kids too. I have put my own health at risk to care for her all these years and they have not helped me one bit. What can I tell them when the time comes? I am dreading this day. I might add that when their mother died (my sister), and left her entire estate to my niece and nephew, they sold everything too and we didn’t even get a lamp from my sister’s estate. They made out very well and they are not hurting for anything in life. They invested the money they received from her life insurance - ($500k) each! I don’t want to be the bad guy and cut off communication with them ever, but I don’t want to hand over what little is left of my mother’s estate either (Maybe around $30k). What can I tell them? That I invested the $$??

Why stress about a conversation that may never happen? You have plenty on your plate as it is.

However, if it does come up, you can point out that traditionally children inherit their parents' estates, just as they inherited their mother's estate. You are the surviving child of your mother, so you inherit the estate. End of discussion.

I do hope your mother has actually written this down, not just "made it clear" that she wants you to inherit her estate. As her next of kin, sure, you don't really need much to prove you inherit everything, but you want to have all the Ts crossed and the Is dotted. It never hurts to do it the right way.
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Reply to MJ1929

TY all for your replies. I have been so stressed at the thought that I may alienate my sister’s children. They live about 5 hours from us and we’ve been close up until my sister passed away - almost 9 yrs ago. She was the glue. I’ve had my hands full with my mother all these years and I haven’t blamed my sister’s children for pulling back on dealing with my mother for the past 9 yrs. My mother was a force to be reckoned with when she lived close to them and had the energy to run their lives. They were relieved when she moved here (5 hrs away from them) 9 yrs ago.

I just know my niece. She is making it a duty to call my mother every Sunday now. My mother is declining pretty quick and she may even be going to our hospice facility soon. I see the manipulation in this and it makes me angry she would pull anything. I’m willing to wash my hands of them if I have to, but I pray I don’t have to do that. My deceased sister would never have wanted this, nor do I. I just want a quick answer should the subject come up and I can put my stress to bed once and for all. I’m also upset with the manipulation to come, and that I even have to deal with it when my mother passes.
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Reply to nymima

If there is no will FIND OUT WHAT YOUR STATE LAW IS regarding survivor’s rights.
Don’t tell them ANYTHING. They truly do not have the right to know. This is your business and YOUR BUSINESS ONLY.
If they have the TEMERITY TO ASK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS NONE OF THERE BUSINESS, murmur quietly “I’m sorry, I have to obey the law”, and drop the subject like a cold mackerel.
Your statement seems to be attempting to justify yourself. Don’t even try! YOU ARE RIGHT IN YOUR THINKING, and you deserve any remains from the hard work of your mom and dad’s life.
If they’re going to be “bad guys”, don’t make being a bad guy your job too.

Take good care of YOURSELF!
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Reply to AnnReid
nymima Sep 27, 2020
Thank you. This gives me some strength over the situation.
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You need not explain anything to them. Your mothers wishes should be fulfilled.
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Reply to earlybird

Don't tell them anything. They are grandchildren and not entitled to anything if Mom still has children alive. Hopefully Mom has a Will leaving what she has to you. This is how it works in my state if there is no will. You go to probate and be assigned Administrator. You will then do what an Executor does. Pay off debts, etc. In the end though, the state determines who inherits, which if you are her only living child would be u. Grandchildren are only considered if the children are deceased. Then theres a affidavit which covers estates under 20k. This needs no probate. But, debts need to be paid and you would get the rest.

I would hope you have something in writing from Mom. My MIL was suppose to make codicils to her Will if she wanted certain things to go to certain people which she never did. She promised the same thing to different people. And they came out of the woodwork after her death. Without something in writing, the Executor could give them nothing.

As I said, there is no reason to inform them they will get nothing because they aren't entitled to anything. Do you happen to be on Moms accounts, if so you may get the proceeds anyway. Depends on the Bank and state laws. I really don't think you have anything to worry about. She is with you and you have certain amt of control if they ask her for money. You can tell Mom she shouldn't because she may need it. (If Medicaid is needed, her giving away money would effect her receiving it) Or, they have enough of their own money, they don't need hers. You also don't know what the future will bring.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I'm constantly shocked when 'outsiders' suddenly step into a relative's live and start calling the shots. ESP when they have been MIA for years.

After my FIL died, my BIL was up in my DH's face about the disposition of the will. DH was executor and did a perfect job. Having said that, he kowtowed to BIL on everything!! BIL was a realtor and sold 2 properties that I had been caring for. He took his commission, happily and I was not 'allowed' to charge the estate one dime for the hundreds of $$ I spent fixing his condo, even though the WILL stated both DH and I (or anyone who worked for the estate) should receive $25 an hour for their time. I had a budget and BIL would often ask to look at it, and checked receits all the time. We were probably shorted by around $40K, not a huge sum, but it would have been nice to be made 'whole' so to speak.

In all honesty, it was none of my business nor BIL's as to what was in the will. I was trying to help DH, and that included keeping BIL at bay.

I was angry for a long time, as DH worked so hard to make this right, and anyone who has fulfilled a will's requests knows it takes a full year or more. DH was exhausted, I was exhausted and angry at BIL for some time.

At least we know what we're looking at for MIL's will. DH is the executor and BIL will sell her home, retaining his commission and I will clean and work and receive nothing. Knowing in advance, helps me know to prepare to NOT be upset and offended when BIL comes over with hands out.

My DH was not required to give an accounting to my BIL, but BIL was such a jerk about it, DH just gave in. BIL's family got EVERYTHING of value, cars, coin collections, appliances, furniture...right down to the recliner DH and I had bought for FIL 2 weeks prior to his death.

SMH. I will never understand some people.
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Reply to Midkid58

You tell them after your mom dies that you are only fulfilling her wishes and you have no say over who got what. It is mom's to do with as she pleases.

If they really are low enough to ignore her until they think they will get some money, do you really want them in your life? You will know where they stand when they hear the will or see there are no assets because she did transfer or pay on death title for all assets.

They may create heartbreak or walk away, you need to prepare yourself for whatever they might do.

Hopefully your mom is paying her way while living with you and not just creating a larger asset base to have them fight over.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Why do you feel the need to give an accounting of your finances to your neice and nephew?

Does your mom have a will that makes her intentions clear, or are her account POD?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Your Mom is now 94? But she isn't dead yet, right? She only has 30K left. I doubt that she will have anything left at all when she dies. Today we see people who are 100 years old on forum.
If there is little money left you can always start NOW telling them that, if you feel you must tell them anything at all. Just say cute things such as "Wow, Mom is one of the lucky few to live long enough to have out lived her money, but not our love".
Truly, there is no reason for you to discuss anything with them. I assume you are executrix of what Mom has left at this point, and will be when she dies. Simply say what Mom has left them. If you have any problems let them read the will which I also assume disinherits them with the exception of momentos. When they ask why "Oh, who can know Mom's mind" or "Mom understood what I spent on her care" or any of a myriad of sweet and gentle things. If they choose to walk away from you for the division of fewer than 30,000 dollars, then I think they never cared to be there, which seems actually to be the case.
I think you may be overthinking this. I congratulate her on your loving care of your Mom, and your care of others who seem to care so much less than you do.
I think I am not telling you anything you don't know, because above you told US everything in a well laid out, succinct and gentle way.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

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