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My 57 year old sister was a caregiver to our mother until her death. The last 5 years of caregiving were tough for her as my mother needed assistance to get on a pot to use the bathroom, with bathing, etc. She did this task on her own (with limited help from my dad) as she divorced and moved back in with our parents at age 22. I married and moved 900 miles away with my husband due to Hurricane devastation in my hometown. I appreciate her care of my mother so much and regularly express it.


My parents’ paid for home is worth $200,000 and I have never felt that I should have any portion of it. She deserves to keep the house. I have my own home and a working husband. I also feel she deserves a larger portion than me of the $600,000 cash portion of the estate.


My father is now 80 and so far in good health. I have suggested that she sell their home (with her keeping the proceeds) and they move in with me (previously my mother could not be moved as she did not want to reestablish doctors). Then, I could assist with my father’s care when it becomes necessary. I truly want to do my share.


Having the upkeep and bills related to one home rather than 2 would enable my father’s 600k to go further in caring for him. Upon his death, I believe it is fair that she receive a larger portion of the remaining funds for her care of my mother.


My sister does not see it this way. She is willing to move in with me and accept my help (albeit my father is not on board yet because of it being so far away for his hometown), but she believes she is entitled to the entire estate and any decisions with respect to it. Whilst I receive nothing and no decision making ability.


Of course, everyone desires to receive money, but I truly feel unloved by her and, more damagingly to my emotions, by my parents, more than I care about the money. My husband manages a hospital...I am not exactly in need of anything. But, the fact that I have been disinherited by both my parents (with whom I have never had a problem with) makes me feel invisible...I was not given so much as a lamp personally by them in their wills. The entire estate is left to my sister and she gets to decide whether or not I get anything even down to a lamp. While I do believe she would give me a lamp, as my parents’ child this is hurtful beyond words.


When I asked my dad about it he says that was to make sure my sister gets it and not my husband if I die. However, my husband is not that type of man. Even if my husband was a greedy individual, both states (my sister’s and mine) view an inheritance as separate not community property. The will also could have been worded that I receive some smaller portion, but in the event I predeceased my parents my portion would go to my sister.


As I mentioned my mother recently died. My sister gave me one of her rings. Before I could even place it on my hand she felt the need to tell me that momma asked her if she wanted it, but she decided I could have it. I could not help but feel sad. I asked my sister if she thought telling me that made me feel good. She said well how could momma give you anything without asking me since I am the caregiver. Really? The woman gave birth to me and I am a decent human being. I am disinherited from everything and I cannot feel good about a ring. I could not be left to believe on some level my mother truly wanted me to have it?


We then went thru some personal effects like clothing and costume jewelry. I took about three dress, a few shoes and a few pairs of earrings. With each item I asked if she wanted it as told her I did not feel entitled to anything she wanted out of respect for her care. I did feel, however, that if she did not want something I should be given first choice of my mother’s things over my sister’s friend. She gave a broach to her friend without so much as showing it to me,


Am I wrong to feel pained in this way? I would love to hear from caregivers.

To answer your question, no, I do not think it is loving and fair for you to be totally disinherited from your parents' large estate. Not for one single minute.

I do not believe this is about 'entitlement'......what you are 'owed' versus what your sister is owed, financially, as your parents' care giver. I believe this is instead about you feeling invisible. As if you don't matter. As if only your sister matters as a human being because she did and does the care giving and that, somehow, makes her more important. More visible. More entitled to make all the little decisions, right down to which of mother's brooches she should throw to you, like a dog, rather than giving to her friend.

Right?

I hear you. Your sister is petty. Your parents made some unfortunate decisions about their estate, probably egged on by your greedy-sounding sister. Yes, it's their money. And yes, they can and should do with it as they wish. But they should also take YOUR feelings into consideration as a daughter and as a human being. And so should your sister, but it sounds to me like she's too self-righteous to even consider doing such a thing.

Fortunately, you do not need the inheritance to live a good life.

Fortunately, you will not have to take on the role of care giver to your elderly father, which is more than most of us (me included) could bear.

Don't ask your sister for anything specific at all; don't give her that satisfaction. Tell her you'd love to have some of mother & father's personal belongings once they're BOTH departed, and leave it at that.

They will always live inside your HEART. That is where the memories are. Not in the 'stuff' or in the money. Leave your sister to those worthless things. She deserves them.

P.S. I forgot to mention something.........my first husband said he 'gave me a lot of money' in the divorce, which is nonsense, of course.......we split everything 50-50. I got remarried 10 years ago and now have 5 stepchildren. My ex called me last week to 'make sure' I'm leaving 'the money he gave me' to OUR children, and not the second-class citizens aka my stepchildren! Isn't that rich?! I told him this: I WILL LEAVE MY MONEY TO WHOEVER I DARN WELL PLEASE, BUT NOT BEFORE I SPEND IT ON MYSELF AND MY HUSBAND FIRST!! I have every intention of leaving the $$$, if there is any, to ALL of the children!!!
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Jada824 Jan 2, 2020
Lealonnie1,
Your answers are always spot in. The parents ARE making her feel as though she doesn’t matter at all. It could be that the greedy sister also had a hand in all these decisions.

Situations such as this ruin relationships forever!
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Your sister should be paid for her caregiving from your parents' resources, not from their estate. She should be getting paid now, with real money, not with the promise of a house.

I would not move dad in.

Your sister and your parents sound like they have some sort of unhealthy and enmeshed relationship.
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I don’t even slightly understand why you’d want a sister who clearly resents you, and an unwilling father to move in with you. Your home would become toxic in a hurry! They have a long established pattern and you’d become the intruder to all of that. Your dad, instead of properly paying your sister for his care, has chosen to dangle the carrot of inheriting all that is his, it’s a poor plan, but it’s what he’s chosen and I doubt you can change it. I’m sorry for you in this, it’s not right, but please reconsider bringing this into your home
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I am the executor of my mother's estate, and I was also her caregiver for 71/2 years. I'm looking at this from your sister's point of view, then. The longer I took care of my mother, the more I resisted the idea of sharing my mother's remaining assets with any of my siblings. Thankfully, there was virtually nothing left at her death, except her house, which I had helped her buy and was already the joint owner of. But in your sister's position, I would feel worried about how I was going to maintain myself after the parents' death, and I would want to conserve every possible cent for my own future.

Caregiving takes you out of the workforce while you get older and your job skills become obsolete and stale. That's one thing. But it's also hellishly hard work, physically and emotionally draining. It breeds resentment, especially if you're doing it alone and there are siblings who could be helping. From your perspective, it's unrealistic to expect you to help from 900 miles away. From your sister's perspective, she may feel like she's been left holding the bag. From your parents' perspective, they can become very self-involved as they get older and more infirm. They can stop thinking about anyone who isn't helping them at that moment. Sentimental feelings for people who are far away, even their own children, may become a thing of the past.

Your sister may be harboring a lot of resentment towards you. Maybe not. But it's easy for the person in her position to feel that you weren't there and you don't deserve anything. You say you love your family, and I don't doubt that. But I wonder if they know that. I wonder if it's been demonstrated to your sister in ways that would be meaningful to her.

I'm not judging. I'm just wondering out loud. You're entitled to your feelings. So is everyone else in the family.
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Why on earth do you want to live with the person who disinherited you and the person who acts like a goody two shoes? You dodged a bullet to be rid of them and I'm having a hard time understanding why you want to alter your life now with two roommates who you may love but probably don't like.

Let your petty sister and hard-hearted father sort things out for themselves. You cannot control their choices. Your sister chooses to caregive for free; she chooses to keeping running after the carrot that your father dangles in front of her. And your father chose to not leave you any money. Don't bring them into your home; that idea has disaster written all over it.

Be grateful that you are financially secure. Enjoy your life with your husband. Keep your distance because what they both have done is understandably hurtful to you.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 3, 2020
There is wisdom in this answer. The OP cannot cause her sister to feel differently. If the OP is not close to her sister she needs to somehow learn to accept it.

I wanted a fair and happy life with my siblings and parents ever since I was a kid. Didn’t happen and never will. Recently I turned it around. I have declared myself as an only child now, make that an orphan because I don’t have a relationship with my mother any longer either.

Enough about what I don’t have though, I got my life back since I am no longer mom’s caregiver. I have my husband and daughters without any interference from mom! That is priceless to me.

I certainly wouldn’t want someone to live with me that I didn’t feel close to. Doesn’t make any sense to move her dad and sister in. Dad should pay caregiving sister.
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Pasha, I confess to being a bit confused.   The first portions of your post were interpreted as wanting to help your sister, to step up as you have the resources.

But the shift to bequests made me wonder if this is a ploy, notwithstanding statements that you don't need the money, to gain some access to your parents' remaining assets and bequests.

Sorry, but I think there's more to this situation beyond offering your home to your remaining parent.   And I think you sister views the situation that way.

I do understand the need to redeem oneself by extending care, but perhaps you can think of some other way than moving your father at his age.   

If balancing or assuming more obligations is truly your goal, think about how, and ask your sister, what you can do and contribute from your home, while keeping your father in an environment with which he's already familiar.

I don't intend to be critical or blunt, but I cant help interpret your potential plans as a method of getting back into your father's good graces, and gaining some personal objects as an inheritance.

My situation isn't entirely different, and I interpret (with good foundation and examples) my sibling's attempt to now help as too little, too late, and solely for personal gain.   Limited help was provided during my father's lifetime, but more help as was really needed was also denied.    It's too late to change the ill will created by those refusals to help when it was desperately needed.
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I walked away from mthr's millions and went no contact. I wasn't particularly enthralled with my husband's parents either, but at least they were not abusive to me. I found the Boundaries book by Townsend and Cloud and started to rebuild my foundation from that point.

Life is not fair. You were dealt a poor hand, but look at how well you have done despite the horrible people you were born to. Success is the best revenge.

I would not have dad move into my house with the way you have been treated. Let them all have their money since it means so much to them. Happiness is much more valuable than money. ❤︎

I will add that I did rescue mthr when she was endangering herself and others. As a result, I will inherit the money she should have spent on me instead of charging me for her trouble. I did not expect this at all and am surprised by myself. I did spend a chunk of her money to give her house to the church next door (which she hated) and to bring the property up to their standards. It's still not fun and there are days when I wish I'd walked, but then bad people would have taken her money. It's better that her victim be recompensed in part than more evil people profit.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 3, 2020
Happiness is more valuable than money. The OP could learn a huge lesson in this sentence expressed by Surprise.
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Your sister should be paid by your father for caring for him, right now, day in day out.

Assets should be preserved for if and when he goes into AL, not distributed to anyone at this point.

My mother told me flat out that she was not leaving me anything as I had enough. Yes, I do and I worked 48 long years and hard for what I have. On top of that I was the one who did everything for her, even as a child. She is leaving my brother everything....the golden one!

Well, that cut me to the core, not about money, but she showed me yet again that I do not matter to her. Because of that and other abuse issues I no longer talk to her, it has been 8 years, and I will never do so again.

The bottom line is that it is your fathers money and he can do whatever he pleases with it, inheritances are a gift and obviously he wants to gift it all to her.

Don't have them move in with you, this will never work, this is fantasy thinking. Go about the business of living your life, there is nothing you can do about this situation right now. When he dies, if you are not included in the will, you can legally contest it.
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Jada824 Jan 11, 2020
DollyMe,
My MIL did the same thing to my husband...........she left everything to daughter & BIL. Her reasoning is that we had a house & she didn’t but I worked 65 hours a week & still had a mortgage, her daughter didn’t work at all & they didn’t know how to handle money.

After MIL passed they lived in the house for maybe 5 years & the mortgage company repossessed it. The house was fully paid when they received it but they kept taking out equity loans & gambled it all away.
KARMA!
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Bottom line - the money is your fathers to do with what he wants to - whether or not you think it is fair. Move on.
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Let it go. She did take care of Mom and now she can take care of Dad. Do not move them in. I can see the writing on the wall. You are going to be made to feel less than ur in your own home. She is going to throw it in your face how much she has done for Mom and Dad all her life. In their heads, sister is the one that stayed and cared for them and you chose to move nine hours away.

I know that 600k sounds like a lot of money but caregiving cost a lot of money. An AL at the minimum is 60k a year. That 600k would be gone in 10 yrs. Not a good idea to sell the house and give sister the proceeds. Not that Dad would need it but Medicaid would look at that 200k and count it as a gift. If Dads money is investments, he could lose it or a big chunk of it.

In your sister's mind she gave up her life for her parents and she deserves something for it. Maybe she does. I agree, Dad has two daughters and you should be left something but that is not how he sees it. He sees a 57 year old daughter who has been there and will need to be for him too. At 80, I would not take him away from what is familiar.

Now, please don't get mad at me. Just trying to see things from sister's side. She may have looked at your suggestion to sell the house and keep the money a little condescending.

I would be hurt to but your Dad probably feels you have done well in your life. He sees his other daughter as having nothing because she chose to care for her mother. He feels he owes her something. Let it go. You r just going to ruin any kind of relationship you do have with Dad and sister. At least when he passes, sister will have the house and whatever money there is. If she did not work while caring for Mom, she will not receive very much SS. Cost of living is high and getting higher. 600k sounds like a lot but she will need that to live off of for the rest of her life. If Dad lives till 90 she will be 67. She had to work to get Medicare. Can't get a job at 67 and hard at 57 with no work experience. So at 67 she could live 20 more years. Divide that into 600k and that is only 30k a year.
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