How do I work through my hurt feelings after meeting with Father-in-Law's Attorney?

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My FIL is 91, and still lives in his own home. He is generally a wonderful man, and my husband and I love him and do quite a bit to help him along. I accompany him on Dr's appts, stay with him when he his hospitalized (not often), and make extra food for him when I can. I work a flexible job partially so I can be available to do those things for him, and part of the reason I'm sticking with that is to make sure we can be there for him. At his request, we spent part of our Chrismas holidays looking at independent living places for him, and now he's not interested in seeing them, so we anticipate his needs for us to care for him will continue to increase. We went to meet with his attorney (at his request) yesterday, and reviewed his POA, living will etc. We added me as a backup to my husband on those documents. Then the attorney brought up his will, and asked him if he'd like to designate me or someone else as his heir should something happen to he and my husband at the same time. At that point he talked about how he had some favorite cousins (who never visit even though they live close). As that went on and he seemed ill at ease, I said it sounded like he needed to take some time by himself to think about it. Anyway, I don't want his money, but am finding myself hurt and resentful that, apart from my husband, he seems to value his unseen cousins over me. It is 100% his decision, and I will not interfere, but I've been in tears today just feeling hurt. In the meeting, he also brought up (again) that his wife had died on my birthday 12 years ago. That is also hurtful to hear over and over again, but I've always felt that his grief trumps my feelings on that. Anyway, I guess I'm just looking for some validation (or not) that feeling hurt in this type of situation is normal. I'll be continuing to pray through this, and I've confessed these feelings to my husband. But I don't feel it would be productive to express them to my FIL, and that I would just come off sounding to him like I'm "after his money". Any thoughts on working through these hurt feelings from those who have been there/done this?

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Squirt,
Just wanted to jump in and recommend everything Austin suggests. I am also an ONLY and my father treated my wife as a stranger and also thought more of my cousins. If your FIL outlives his income and requires Assisted Living, this burden will fall on you and your husband. Even if your FIL decides at the 11th hour to "gift" some of his money to the cousin before he passes, that money can be clawed back for his care by the Institution that provides it. If you and your husband provide 24/7 home care, this will exhaust you both physically and financially. I strongly urge you and your husband to seek help from an Elder Law attorney and a Financial Planner (not for your FIL but for your own situation. ) He/She may propose solutions that will require your FIL's participation but that is a better place to be than trusting your own financial well-being to a 91 yr old's understanding of current financial reality. Trust me on this: decisions made today can have major impact on your life style 20 years from now.
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Does your FIL realize if he goes into a nursing home instead of assisted living medicaide will go after every penny they can get and he will have to pay down much of his assests and will not have any inheritance to leave to anyone and there is a look-back period of at least 5 yrs. right now and may go to 7 yrs. This is the time he needs to consider his next move and his attorny needs to point this out to him -many elders do not realize how things go these days and usually there is no money to leave in this day and age and at his age there is not a lot of time to go on as usuall-and I am very glad he understands how important you are to him and am very glad your husband spoke to him many husbands would not do that.
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Thank you for your continued concern and well wishes. My husband did talk to my FIL in a less stressful moment, and my FIL did indicate a desire to include me and told my husband he "thinks the world of me". I really don't care whether he actually changes it or not, but hearing that made me feel better. I have a feeling this journey is just beginning. My husband and I check in on him to the extent possible living in seprate houses, but we both see a day coming when that just won't be enough. It's too bad he is not interested in looking at the independent living places we found (after he asked us to look into it for him). They were really nice, and I think the social interaction would be a big help to him.
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I surely sympathize with you.... only in my case, it's my husband and his siblings that feel I'm "not really family" in regards to anything dealing with my 90yo FIL. Did you ever resolve that issue?
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i know it hurts but he is 91 and like the perso wrote earlier he is remembering some fun time he had with the cousins and remembers his wife died on your birthday - just do it for god and he will reward you
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Hey Squirt how's it going? haven't heard from you in a while and we're checking on you. Don't forget about us, as we are thinking about you.
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Thanks to you all for sharing your experience and perspective. I know we're only in the beginning phases of this, and many of you have been and are going through so much more. Although the attorney explained things very well to my FIL, he does tend to get confused about some things, like what doctors ask/say. Although his attorney is a long time family friend, I think whenever an "authority figure" is involved, he tends to lose it a bit, which is why I take him to Dr's appts. I don't know that I'll address this particular issue with him directly because it can so easily be misconstrued. But I may let him know that it is hurtful next time he brings up that his wife died on my birthday. Don't know if it will do any good, but he needs to know I have feelings too. We were of course with him throughout that ordeal years ago, and I wish that is what he would remember instead. May also let him know that we won't be visiting retirement centers again unless he agrees to go along and see them too. He asked us to do that, we gave up our VC time to check out 5 of them and narrow down to 3 for him to see, and now he's not interested anymore. At least it gave us some ideas for when/if the time comes.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experiences. It helps just to know others are dealing with this type of thing...and so much more. So glad I found this site.
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Tee Hee Bobbie that last statement is so very true!!!!
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Squirt,
Could it be that he does not understand that you need to be separate on the will. He may not understand that. You need to explain to him that if something was to happen to his son before your FIL passed, you would be left with nothing because you were not named separately. I am sure with all you do for him, he doesn't want to exclude you over some distant cousins.
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Don't be sad, Squirt. I know it hurts so bad, but try to let it go. Pamela is right: he's 91 and probably remembering some short great time he had with these cousins a million years ago.

Get him in a great facility so you and your husband don't get stuck and I mean STUCK taking care of him. If you think you have hurt feelings now, wipe his butt for a year and then listen to him go on about his cousins.


good luck,

Bobbie
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