My sister is broke, owes every CC company, has 2 mortgages on her house and owes the IRS for 10 yrs of back taxes. She started having dementia with hallucinations about 6-9 months ago. Physical health very poor. Several falls and hospitalizations later, finally agreed to go into IL with extra care. Only way I would contribute to her care was if she signed POA to one of my 3 sons, her choice who. We finally got her moved in, but the son with POA seems to be doing all the work and the other 2 aren’t doing their share. My husband has Stage 4 lung cancer and I have a host of health problems, so there isn’t much we can do physically. I am paying her IL and med mgmt costs, hoping there is enough left from sale of house to reimburse me. My concern is that the POA is drowning 1 son, and the others only help when asked directly. Their excuses are family, work, etc, but everyone has the same issues. I am seeing their relationships deteriorate because of my sister’s spend-thrift ways, which makes me mad at her! Feel like I’m caught in the middle of a tornado!

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JMO. Why are you willing to sacrifice your sons lives/families for your sister. She IS NOT their responsibility.
Helpful Answer (9)

This has the potential to drag you and your sons down a rabbit hole.
Have you applied for Medicaid? That might help
Has she been declared incompetent?
(also with the dementia and hallucinations I think she would be better in Memory Care NOT IL. In IL she can leave whenever she wants, MC she would be in a locked unit so she can not leave without someone with her.)
I would discuss with an Elder Care Attorney that she needs a Guardian appointed. Tell the Attorney that there are no family members that can take this on and a Court Appointed Guardian will be put in charge. the great disadvantage to this is you, the family will loose control and will not have anything to say about where she is placed. BUT I do not think you are physically, financially able to take this on. And this should not be the responsibility of any of your sons.

Sorry if this is not the answer you were looking for but to answer that...
You can not "make" them or "get" them to be equally responsible for your sister. Particularly when what is probably going through their mind is "she got herself into this mess now we have to worry about her AND mom and dad." I am sure they are more concerned about the two of you NOT their aunt. And the other thought is are spending money on your sister that will be needed for YOUR care and DAD'S care.
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Why are you putting the care of your sister on your sons? She is NOT their responsibility in any way shape or form! Their "excuses" are FAMILY and WORK???

Your decision is appalling to me and I feel sorry for all three of your sons especially the one who got roped into being POA.

Your sister made a bunch of bad life choices, and now it's hers to deal with, not your children!!! Or you for that matter.

Let the county take over. They can manage her mess and get her placed.
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Bridger46146 Jan 2021
Great Answer! I share your thoughts exactly.
Your not the one who is caught in the middle of a tornado - the son who took POA is the one who is caught in a tornado and you put him there. That's probably not the answer you were hoping for but, if you step back and look at the situation objectively, I believe you will see that it's the truth.

Unless you are a gazillionaire, you probably don't have the financial means to care for your sister AND for yourself and your husband. Because you are hoping that you will get reimbursed from the sale of your sister's house, I suspect that you are not a gazillionaire. And with two mortgages on her house, how much do you realistically think will be left for you even if you were able to recoup some money?

Please do right by your son and take this monkey off his back. Get yourself a consultation with an elder law attorney. Your sister cannot sign new paperwork given her dementia. Your spendthrift sister made poor choices about money and it is unfair of you to expect your sons to take her on on top of whatever responsibilities each of them already has.
Helpful Answer (5)

To answer your question on how to get your sons equally involved in your sisters care,---YOU don't. That's something that they have to decide for themselves, if they want to help at all, and I think they have made their decision quite clear at this point. And quite honestly, why would they want to get involved in the hot mess she has put herself in? Yes, she now has some mental and physical decline, that probably requires more attention from someone, but that someone does not have to be your sons(even the one with POA)nor you. You need to get her on Medicaid, and place her in a Medicaid covered facility, as you should not be paying for her care. Your ONLY concern right now should be your husband, who needs you like never before right now, and not your sister. She has made her choices in life and now she sadly must suffer the consequences. I know she's your sister, and that you love her, but there has to come a point where you put your family first, and quit bailing her out. Wishing you the best.
Helpful Answer (5)

I agree with the objective wisdom that has been pointed out to you. Your first obligation is to your husband. Your sons' first obligation is to their families. Your sister is NOT independent, since everyone is orbiting around her to prop up her current living arrangement. Your son can and should resign as PoA. Your sister is in so much debt, her financial PoA should apply for Medicaid for her and hopefully she'll qualify. Based on your own description she is delusional and therefore needs Memory Care. I understand that you love your sister but for some problems there are just no perfect solutions. Giving guardianship to the county does NOT mean you don't love her. Your sons were "assumed" into this rigorous responsibility by you -- and I'm pretty sure they had no real idea of how strenuous and stressful it would be. You have enough on your own plate and you need all your faculties to care for your husband, as you would hope he would do for you in the same situation. There is a pathway to help your sister. Please take it before there are 4 burned out people. I wish you peace in your heart.
Helpful Answer (4)

If you’re paying for her IL now... what will you do in your old age? Do you expect your sons to care for you or pay for it?
Helpful Answer (4)

If she has diamonds and paintings worth money, Medicaid will demand they be sold for her care. Have you made the lawyer aware of these things? May want to ask about that house trust too. The Medicaid look back period is 5 yrs. Medicaid may not allow setting up a trust for the house now. Again, those proceeds can be used for her care. It looks like she is hiding assets. Her trust for the overage money no problem. Seems to me from the proceeds from her house sale (which by the way has to sell at Market value) and all her jewelry and paintings, sister would have enough to support herself for a while. Seems sister has been spoiled and now expects everyone else to support her without giving up something.

If you have a lawyer, your son could probably resign thru him. The lawyer may also be able to become her guardian. The money from the sale of her house can be used for guardianship.

Its not fair to your son to have to deal with all this. And u have enough with ur husband. You need to do what you need to do.
Helpful Answer (3)
mstrbill Jan 2021
It isn't a given that Medicaid will discover she has diamonds and valuable paintings. Those can easily be hid.
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I have to agree with everyone else. My sister passed but I could see this happening to her. She was never good with money. And we think there may have been some BiPolar mixed it. She was an impulsive buyer. Since ALZ runs in Dads family that may have been an issue if she had lived. She would never have been able to live on her government pension. Would I have supported her, NO. She made better money than my husband and I and with 2 children we saved. Help get her services she needs, yes.

Your sons are not responsible for their Aunt. The son with POA can resign. I know, its ur sister but there is just two much for you to deal with. I think your money would be better spent on a lawyer who understands Medicaid. Thats what your sister needs at this time. Her SS and any pension she receives will go towards her care in LTC. The creditors cannot come after her. They will have to eat the debt. Let the Mortgage company have the house. As said, you will not get reimbursed anyway. Medicaid doesn't allow it for one thing. Let someone else take over the responsibility of her care. You have enough on your plate. This may sound uncaring, but your sister is where she is because of the choices she made. She just kept putting bandaids on her problems. Its not ur responsibility or ur sons to now solve them. DO NOT try to pay her debts. That is neither yours or or sons responsibility.
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Thank you all. Believe me, I have thought the exact same thing you all have said -she created this mess and it’s not my (or my sons’) responsibility. Just having a hard time reconciling her be a ward of the state. And yes, my husband and I worked hard and saved for a comfortable retirement. She and her husband traveled to Europe, bought a boat, a time share in Hawaii, etc. while we did without so we could send our sons to college. But that’s then and this is now. The reason she’s in IL is it is cheaper that AL and she’s not bad enough for MC. Saw an elder atty who is setting up a trust for proceeds from house sale and SS deposit so she can qualify for Medicaid. She makes just over threshold right now. Late husband was vet, but wasn’t in during declared war time, so no A and A. He had no pension. We are selling her stuff, but she took anything that’s worth any real money with her, including at least 15 diamond and semi-precious rings that don’t even fit on her fingers. If you say something about selling her jewelry or paintings, she says they are her “treasures” and she can’t give up everything! And we MADE her move out of her house! I am so done with her. But I know my son won’t give up POA if that means a court appointed guardian. I’m getting nauseous just typing all this. You have all been very kind with your comments and suggestions. Gives me something to think about. Definitely going to talk to POA son to see how he can get out from under this burden. It’s waaay more than he ever expected.
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