Issue with sister-in-law about my father's money. - AgingCare.com

Issue with sister-in-law about my father's money.

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I've been posting on here about problems with my dad and sister. Now I'm having an issue with my SIL wanting money when I have explained he needs it to pay for his care.

When my brother found out he had cancer, he told my dad to give his inheritance to his wife. He was getting one account and one of my parent's life insurance policies. My father told her I think after he passed that she could have all the money in the account when she needed it. He told her this when he was of sound mind, there wasn't any kind of document created to make what he said legal. He was wrong in telling her this. He gave her a large amount in 2011 to buy a house which completely paid for it. Last week she called to ask for money again, she is moving out of state to be with her family. Before this phone call, I had not talked to her about what his happening to him (he has had a lot of cognitive decline). When my father handed the phone to me I couldn't say much as he wouldn't leave the room, which is one of his annoying behaviors, he hangs around and listens to conversations. I told my father that I was going to talk to her on my phone. I went into the bathroom and locked the door. She said how much money she wanted and when I repeated the amount, I heard my father on the other side of the door yelling angrily saying the money stays where it is, then he accused me of loaning out his money. I have no idea how long he was there listening. The conversation got very heated, she heard the whole thing, he finally went into the other room, then came back and calmly agreed to talk about it, he said that she could pay it back slowly, then he said maybe she should just have it, he wanted me to decided, I told him I can't do that, then he agreed to just give it. The next day we went to the bank to get the process started.

My issue is that after thinking about it, I don't think it would be a good idea to give her the entire amount. She lives in another state but has never done anything for my parents. When my mom had a brain aneurysm and I was the one taking care of her with my dad, she never offered to relieve me to take a vacation. I have financial POA. I contacted her and tried to get more information on what the money would be used for and found out that it's for repairs on the house being moved into and she wanted to have it all done by the time she moved in. I explained to her that my dad is going to need expensive care in the near future and that I need to do what is best for him and his financial needs have to come before ours. I explained that he would have to fill out a form for his taxes on this. I also said that I met with an attorney a few months ago and he said that the money is not ours until he dies. She basically disregarded what I explained and said that she really needs the money. Regardless of what he told her years ago, things change.

I feel that she is making me choose her over him. I would be willing to send her half which is the amount that you can give away without having to file the tax form and that would make a small dent in the remaining amount in the account. My dad has a good amount in investments and he may never need that account, but I need to make sure that it is there just in case and then what is left over she will get, just like for me and my sister. She must think that the account has a never ending supply of money. It pisses me off that she feels that because she was married to my brother, it makes her entitled to this money. I left a message for one of his doctors, told him my issue, and if they can give me an idea of the extent of care he will need and that I need this information to tell her so she will back off. I did this because she is not understanding what he has to have and if I tell her what his doctor says maybe it will get her to back off.

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My dad is 87, he will be 88 in August. Had a heart attack in 1998, had bypass surgery, put in a stent a few years later. The home care nurse didn’t provide good care and he developed a problem with a vein in one of his feet. It took years to develop, about 6 years ago vein was removed due to blood pooling in the foot. His doctor put him on Lovastatin, was on it for 18 years, I took him off of it last year as he developed cataracts in both eyes a few years ago, I believe the statin contributed to mental state. Hasn’t had any more heart problems. He had a brilliant mind, graduated with honors from UC Berkeley. Has borderline diabetes, in 2010, in about a week’s time there were some major things. He fell really bad, he was outside, wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings and tripped over branch he had just cut down, landed on cement, hit back of his head, blacked out, they took away driver license for a year. Had to take him everywhere. Developed a goose egg size hematoma on backside, couldn’t sit down very well. Was having angina attacks, went into hospital to see if he needed his stent replaced, they determined he didn’t, the night I got him home from that, he walked in the door, sat down, a few minutes later I was talking to him, he wasn’t responding, he reached out with his right arm for something, he started to fall over, caught him, sat him up called 911 as he still wasn’t responding. They got there and they were the same paramedics that took him to the hospital earlier for the angina. Asked him some questions, he still didn’t respond, they took his blood pressure, I think they gave him something, he came out of it they took him to emergency. Found blood clot on his brain, he’s been on medication for that ever since. First medication he was on caused a horrible reaction in his mouth, it looked like cancer and when they switched medications that cleared up. The day after he got home from hospital after finding blood clot his doctor had him come in for follow-up. When he was in there his blood pressure plummeted, they took him back to the hospital by ambulance and brought in his DNR. He was under so much stress from everything his body couldn’t take it.

He is not independently wealthy, or "generational money". My mom did an amazing job saving money. Not rich, but has some really good investments. It’s ridiculous how much it costs! I am not going to dispense his inheritance, I am going to protect him. Yes, the money should be safeguarded.

I am sorry about what happened in your family. Please don’t get upset, did the son want the money to spend on himself before he (the son) died? My sister has never helped and has never offered to relieve me. For 7 years after my mom’s aneurysm, I never took a vacation and she never told me thank you for everything I’ve done. She has recently stepped up after I told what is now happening. She and her husband came down beginning of June, we talked about it, she said maybe she should move in, I said not enough room, she said there were 5 people in the house when we grew up, I told her we are adults now. After the outburst about the money I called her, I told her SIL heard entire conversation, sister called SIL to see if I was exaggerating, SIL said no she heard it all, my sister then said maybe she should move in I WILL HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO LIVE AS THERE ISN’T ENOUGH ROOM! She is heartless and selfish, to even make that remark when she knows everything that I have given up and sacrificed for my mom and now for my dad. My dad is a very generous person and will not deny his children money and he never asks questions about why it is needed. He was of sound mind when he gave SIL the amount for the first house. He never foresaw what is happening now. Around 2012 he got scammed by a woman for a lot of money who used her children to get money from him. I found out because one of his banks called me and told me she thinks he is being taken advantage of and he had asked them to withdraw all the money from one of his accounts and he was going to give it to her, that was when they called me. I went to see him and I said this person is a thief taking advantage of you and to stop, he said she wasn’t a thief because it involved children. She stopped calling when he told her his daughters are very upset.

She can talk to her church for help, she needs to add onto the mortgage what the repairs will cost. Rent free from the first house for at least 4 years, she should banked the money for rent and have a substantial savings from that. She has also been continuously employed the last 6 years. I haven’t had continuous employment due to job market, had to quit a job to take care of my very sick cat who passed away in March, had to move back home and now this. I can’t get unemployment. What happened this morning, his mental state is worse. Trying to get that diagnosis, hopefully that will happen in the next month, but it is getting worse.
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Rainmom,
My SIL is one year younger than me, 54, our birthdays are 2 days apart.
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Churchmouse,
I talked to his primary care doctor this morning and asked him about the POA. I told him it says that it takes effect immediately, but it doesn’t say that it is contingent on having a diagnoses. He said that you need letters from 2 doctors with the diagnosis about his mental state. His doctor is helping me with this ASAP, my father has a memory test next month and his Neurologist told me this morning that she is going to get him in ASAP to get the diagnosis. The trust says that I can act in his best interests before he is deemed incompetent.

Yesterday, I had to have an exterminator come out to look at a bee situation we have. He put on some dessicant powder to kill them, told me the price, my dad was outside watering, I told my dad that we need to write him a check and told him the amount, I said that I could write the check and he would sign it, he didn’t say anything, I told him this is a need for his safety, not a want, he said ok. His reasoning ability is basically not there. When he writes checks for his bills it takes about 10 minutes, he has difficulty understanding what you write on the line below who you are writing the check to.

That would have been nice if he had set up accounts for my brother, me and my sister, but he never did. He probably thought it wouldn’t be needed, that nothing would happen until my parents passed.

I am not confident that he fully knew what he was doing at the bank even though he told them what needed to be done. This is based on the check he needed to write for the exterminator, he was very guarded about that amount - $135.00, and didn’t understand why it was really needed. I have not asked him about going to the bank as I do not want to trigger something. I have to be very careful now what I say to him. He has always said even when he was of sound mind that he and my mom would never need any help, that they will never get to that point and he still thinks that now, and based on his thinking that he doesn’t need help, even if he did understand what he was doing at the bank, I can’t let that much money go. He thinks that account where that money would be withdrawn from has more money in it than it does.

My SIL has never helped my mom or dad. I asked her a few days ago if she would come out in October to stay with him so I could get out of here for a week and she said that she has a vacation planned in October to take her mom to senior summer camp. She never offered to come out at another time to help. I would love to keep her on my side, but if it came to her making waves, that would change.
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Rocknrobin,
I told SIL last night, she understood although she still had the mindset that it was her account. I explained AGAIN that it wasn’t her account until he passes. She is not getting money. Just a note about the conversation that I have pasted below, I took away the car keys this past February, he does not drive anymore.

My father had an angry episode this morning. The tree he is speaking of is on the driver side and when he was driving he used to park it very close to the tree:
He demanded “I want my car put back where it always is, next to the tree”
I said “it’s fine where it is, there is more room to get in and out of it”
He said “I can get out fine”
I said “you don’t drive anymore, it’s hard for me to get out of it parked close to the tree”
He said “I can get out fine. I want your car parked next to it”
I said “it’s fine where it is, it’s on the street out of the way”
He said “it’s almost on the sidewalk”
I said “that’s ok”
I asked him why he was getting mad, he said “I am mad”.

I went out a few minutes later to repark his car, I came back in the front door was unlocked. I went to my room to get my car key, the front door was locked, he had locked the tumble lock and the lock on the doorknob. I asked him why it was locked.
He said “you locked it”
I said “no I didn’t I was in my room, you locked it”
He said “I didn’t lock it”

This was in a span of about 10 minutes and he was fine after that, like it never happened.
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Glenda, I don't see where you say how old your Dad is, or what sort of medical problems he specifically has, but unless he is independently wealthy, or comes from "generational money", he could live a long long time, especially with dementia, and those sorts of patients often end up in Memory Care/Dementia/Nursing homes, which are, as you know, very expensive! Why ever are you even considering dispensing inheritance out of his funds and investments, when he could very likely end up needing this money for his care? Shouldn't his money be being safeguarded for his care up until his death, that is what he probably worked his entire life for, not to see it used up by relatives, wanting and needing it before that time comes. A simular situation happened in our family. My FIL lives with my husband and I, and has for the past 12 years. He has 3 children, the other 2 are estranged. His other son thought it would be a nice gesture, if his Dad would distribute his portion of the inheritance while his Dad was still alive, so that he could enjoy seeing his son get ahead in life, at 60+ years old. Ya right, so if my husband were to help to facilitate this request as POA/CAREGIVER and advisor to his Dad, what's to happen if my FIL should need said money in his lifetime, what, my husband who has worked tirelessly caring for his Dad all this time, and with zero help from his siblings ends up with nothing, let alone his Dad need this money for his future life expenses and care needs? Your SIL, should never have received a penny of his money until his death, if this indeed was a part of her eventual inheritance. What if she ends up with a fully paind for home, repairs and all, and your Dad has a catastrophic injury requiring hospitalization, multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, and forever care in a Nursing home? She will have enjoyed all of his hard earned money, and you will end up with nothing, and you might anyways. This does not seem like a good idea to do, and she seems a very calculated and selfish person, to put that responsibility on anyone, let alone a fragile and vulnerable elderly person. I would back out of this situation very swiftly, hasn't she received enough already? Gee, I wish someone would buy me a house fully paid for, just saying! I think it's your duty to protect him from this sort of action, as he may no longer be of clear mindedness to make these sort of financial decisions. Now, if I'm way off the mark, I apologize, as perhaps your Dad is incredibly wealthy, but generally people don't receive their inheritance until death, and only then by being in that persons good graces.
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I'm just curious, how old is your sister-in-law?
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Your brother asked that his inheritance should go to his wife should he die before your father, as indeed he did - and I'm very sorry that such a terrible thing befell the family. So, your sister-in-law takes your brother's place as your father's heir. She will duly inherit, on your father's passing. She does not have any claim on your father's funds, which have not yet even become his estate.

So that's one thing: she has no right to the money at this point.

The next thing is your father's ability to make decisions about his money, and your duty as regards your Power of Attorney. This too is pretty simple: your father no longer has the intellectual ability to reach sound decisions about money, so you have the responsibility of acting in his best interests first, and of carrying out what you know for certain would have been his wishes previously second.

You're right to give it thought: had your father set up an allowance for your brother's family, or created some kind of fund for their benefit; and assuming he could afford to do that without getting into difficulty; then you could have allowed that arrangement to stand. But he didn't, and your primary duty is to protect him now.

So I'm sorry, and I realise it's going to lead to some very difficult conversations, but unless you are confident that your father fully appreciated what he was doing when he went to the bank to arrange this gift - in which case, hand it over, because it's his money and he can give it to his DIL if he pleases - then you can't give her any of his money.

So. If it's your decision, SIL gets nix until she inherits. If it's your Dad's decision, DIL gets what he has already decided. How deserving SIL is, how much she helped in the past, what she wants the money for, and even whether or not you would like to keep her on your side: these are not relevant factors.
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Glenda, You have to act in your father's best interest. His best interest isn't giving money away at this time in his life. Not knowing the age of your father, what happens if he ends up in a nursing home for 10 years?
Buck up and tell your sister in law the next time she calls that you are sorry her new home needs so many repairs, but she will have to figure something else out. End of conversation. You are not in a position to gift money out to her at this time. She will have to wait until your dad passes. Don't argue with her. The money is for his care, period. Come on! You can do this. Make a believer out of her.
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Rainmom,
Thank you for your response. I looked at the trust and it doesn't say anything about giving it away to a relative before passing away.
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Just be honest and say what you've said here. You've no idea what your fathers future care needs will be - the money that he has is all he's got and needs to be used for his care. Look at the trust papers - I'm sure it outlines exactly how your fathers money is to be used and I willing to bet giving it away to a relative isn't listed.
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