We both inherited the house but she did minimal care of him. She is married and has a nice home. I retired early to move in with him and take care of him. How should I handle this without causing a fight? She was his POA and is the executor of his will.

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There is utterly no choice in this. The will is the will. Whatever it stipulates is what will happen, no matter what you did and no matter how unfair this seems.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Situations are rarely fair to those siblings who chose to do hands-on caregiving vs those who chose to be mostly absent. If the will says you both inherit the estate equally, then you have no choice in the matter and you should work with your sister to give her her inheritance.

But Glad has a good suggestion of billing the estate for the caregiving you have done. This is something you could talk to an attorney about, but... I think it's too late now, personally, though I'd still inquire about it if I were you.

Getting a Caregiver Agreement in place when you're starting, and doing, the caregiving is important. I wish I had better advice for you at this stage of things.

Would a letter outlining all the hardships and energy expended during the past 10 years be something that your sister would take into consideration, and perhaps she would be moved to accept less than an equal half of things?
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Reply to AliBoBali

Under the circumstances, u probably should buy her out. Or sell and split the proceeds. Not much u can do about it. If it was me, I would give you my half.
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Reply to JoAnn29

This really should have been addressed while he was still alive. How come she was his POA and executor if you were the one taking care of him?

I would fight. Of course fighting is not without cost. Can you afford a legal fight? That won't be cheap. People have given you many good ideas such as billing the estate for your time. That has worked for other people. Much of this depends on the laws in your state. Some laws allow for the child caregiver to continue living in the home after the parent passes. If your state does, then you may be able to keep living there indefinitely. You need to at least consult a lawyer.

I guess much of this will come down to the probate judge. Since you only mention will, it's going to probate unless the house isn't worth very much.
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Reply to needtowashhair

Did dad live in the home until he passed? Would he had needed to be in a nursing home if you were not there? Would he have needed Medicaid if sent to a nursing home?

You could bill the estate for the care you provided? Live-in caregivers do not share, usually, in household expenses. I would definitely consult an attorney.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to gladimhere

Your sister will probably get 50% of the house's value; however, you should consult with an attorney. There are some state laws that provide for someone who lived in a parents' home and provided care for a number of years to receive the home. You may also be able to file a petition with the probate court basically billing the estate for some of the care you provided.
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Reply to TNtechie

To handle this without a fight you can:

see what your mortgage options are, and whether they're affordable for you
agree to sell the house and take your 50% share of the proceeds.

Your sister is married and has a nice home. What about it? Lucky her. If you felt that the sacrifices you were making for your father should have been recognised financially, you should have said so at the time to him. Sorry, but tough.

H'mm... During your caregiving years, what were the financial arrangements then? Who paid for what, were you paid for providing care, did you contribute to utilities, taxes and so on or were you living there free of charge?
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Reply to Countrymouse

I am sure the law allows for the fact that you are dependent on living in that house and income you lost from working full time in order to care for your father. If you have any receipts or bank statements showing what you paid out of your own pocket you would be reimbursed

Get a good lawyer and prepare for a fight.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to PandabearAUS
MargaretMcKen May 23, 2019
I'm surprised that Pandabear is sure about this. My advice is to prepare to lose.
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I am sorry but if you want the house than you have to buy her out or sell the house.

Here is another way to think about it. You and your sister go into business together and your dad was the one who put up the money for that business. A contract (the will in your case) is written out that both of you own 50%. Your sister decides she no longer wants her half of the business (which is the house). You are left with 2 choices: 1 you buy her out and keep the business (the house), which in turn you get all the profits and problems or 2 you sell the business take your half and buy a new business (house).

Your dad's will says your sister gets half the house there is really no way around that. It may not be fair, but that is the law.

When a death happens in a family that has assets the gloves come off and the claws come out! It gets ugly!!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Shell38314

I will try to tell a brief story (hard to make it brief) to describe how unfair life can be with inheritances and how awful family can be regarding that issue. My grandmother died in 1968. She had 2 children from 2 different husbands. My mother was the younger one. My grandmother was widowed from the first husband. That union produced a son, my half uncle. There was a sizable estate about to be inherited. My grandmother had use of earnings from the estate during her lifetime but could not touch principal. My mother was to inherit a much smaller amount that my grandmother had been left by her parents. The relationship between mother and son had been tenacious. My half uncle decided to sue my mother for a portion of his mother's estate. My grandfather (my mother's father) fortunately was a lawyer but had modest earnings (he was divorced from my grandmother).He represented my mother in the suit against her by her half brother and his stepson. They settled out of court but it was ridiculous that this was happening in light of what my half uncle was inheriting. He had never really known his father as said father died from a blood infection when his son was quite young. For a good portion of his life he was raised by my grandfather as well as his mother,my grandmother.

The moral of this tale is that greed knows no boundaries where certain individuals are concerned and money can easily discriminate against blood. Oh and when my uncle died he left my mother nothing yet left various girlfriends money,art, and property.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Riverdale

It's harsh, especially if you are living there but legally speaking if the will says split the house then that is what has to happen.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to faeriefiles

I assume that you think you should get the house (or a larger share) because of the time you spent providing care for your father. You can try to show your sister the cost of the care you provided, and how it would have changed the amount left in the estate (maybe even that the house would have had to be sold to pay for assisted living) and see if that changes her mind.

However, if the will says you inherit equally, then that's perfectly legal.

This article may help others who are closer to the beginning of their caregiving journey:
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JenniferLeigh

If the house was left to both of you, it really doesn’t matter who took care of your dad. Half the house is hers. If you want the house, you have to buy her out. Or sell it and split the proceeds in half.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to worriedinCali

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