In the face of my mother's increasing mental illness, how does the life estate note of "cannot be forced from her home" come into play?

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This is likely a case for an attorney, perhaps the same one who drew up the life estate plan. If she is so ill she is a danger to herself or others, then some legal action may need to be taken. Alternately, an elder law attorney may be able to help out. Social Services will likely need to be involved.
I'm sorry you have such a complicated situation, but you aren't alone.
Carol
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LRoye,

I can relate to your situation. I don't have a life estate in my mother's home but she would work me (or anyone who comes near her) to death with maintenance. Everytime I visit she has a list of chores for me to do.

She has recently gotten involved with a neighbor who has a great deal of influence over her. The neighbor (unemployed man of 40 something with working wife and children in high school) is over every day to do things for her. He tells her what a bad job I'm doing. I'm concerned about financial abuse, but the other side is she is so tight with her money she may be all right while exploiting this man.

He took her to her lawyer and she cancelled my POA but did not appoint him (to my knowledge). The DA's office said I don't have a case unless he makes a move on her money. I'm backing off for now and letting her work this jerk to exhaustion.

There is nothing that can be done in this situation but cope. The BPD/NPD syndrome creates selfishness that is impossble to comprehend. Be glad you have some ethics even if your mother doesn't. My advice is to do as little as possible. Make sure she has food and a warm place to stay. But as for yard chores, I'd let it go. She'll find someone else to do her work for free.
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My mom also has a "life estate" on her house to me. But there comes a time when they are no longer safe at home. This became the case for us last September. Even with help coming in 18 hours a day, myself included, her safety was still a concern, and I being an only child had to make the decision to put her into assisted living. You do what is best for your mom's safety. It will be her house until the day she passes, but you must think of her safety first.
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I have suffered fro depression since the age of approx; 27 years, my youngest daughter was onloy 18 months old, when a I had a complete Breakdown. I suffer from Major Panic Disorder, high anxiety but all is under control and I know I will have to take Medication for the rest of my life. To any others out there who suffer from Depression, I would like it to become more recognizable. When I pass away, in my Eulogy, I will ask the mourners, to that in lieu if flowers, send donation to Beyond Blue. My dear Mum passed away from Dementia aged 91 years in 2009. A very difficult illness to deal with. I believe that I already have My Cross to Bear. To all you lovely people out their who suffer from Depression, their is always light at the end of the Tunnel. One has to accept their illness and understand it. So good luck to you all, Fondest regards, Bev
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Ok - now second question - how much personal involvement on my part is required in her care? Can I oversee things, or must I be the one to personally clean up her yard, fix the thigs she breaks, etc? She lives in her own home with my husband and I handling the chores, bill-paying, etc, and she is becoming more difficult to tolerate (BPD or MPD - doctor opinions vary). She is insistent that since the life estate says we'll care for her, we have to be the ones doing the work (because we "owe her since she gave us the house" ...she doesn't acknowledge that we paid her for it and have the papers to prove it). I'm 53, work 2 jobs and my husband is physically disabled. We have 50 acres of our own to maintain, and we're wearing out.
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Now you're second question,I really do not know the answer to. When my mom first went into assisted living, I took care of her yard myself, I left the electricity/gas/water..ect. on and I deducted that from her checking account. I am 55 and quit my job 3 years ago to take care of her. I understand it's wearing you out as I got to the getting ill point last Sept. Do you have Power of Attorney over her? If so then I suggest you do as I've done, deduct those bills from her checking, and try to do the yard yourself or hire it done every couple of weeks. Does the "Life Estate" say you will care for her? I don't think it does, I believe this is just for the transfer of her home, to keep it safe from the government. It sounds as tho your mom is trying to play the "guilt trip" on you, she's ill so just let it go in one ear and out the other, they don't intent to be like that, it's the illness talking. Take care, Jan
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If my mom were in assisted living, it would be easier actually. We could maintain on a more realistic schedule. Basically, she believes that she is entitled to our "sevices" and says she does not need assisted living or a clean up crew because she's already got one. Reminding her that I'm her daughter, not her employee, goes in one ear and out the other. She also firmly believes that she should not have to pay for anything out of her pocket....all bills and repairs are to come out of Dad's money ( less than $900 a month) "because that's what the judge said and that's why medicaid is paying for his nursing home...so I can continue to live in my home. He has a place to sleep and food to eat and people to take care of him and listen to him all day long so his money should take care of me."
The life estate simply says we'll keep the roof over her head, but she interprets it as "we'll take care of her". I've really worked at trying to make her life easier and handling things so she wouldn't have to worry, but it's backfiring. In many ways, she seems to believe that she's competent because she believes she's "supervising" my work by delegating it to me. How do I get out of this and tell her she's got to come off of some of that nest egg to take care of herself...and am I allowed to do that without being considered negligent? Somehow it's become a crime for me to have a life of my own. I've tried discussing it with her calmly, tried hiring someone to do the yard work, tried discussing it with her doctor, tried doing it all and tried letting the work fall behind. Somehow it all ends up biting me in the nether-regions of my anatomy. I'm about ready to do some biting of my own.
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I'm sorry LRoye that she is making this so difficult for you. My mom has never been that way, when we put her house into Life Estate she was still thinking very clear about everything mentally, so she never pulled that card on me. My dad has been gone since 1995, he was retired military, so she has a very good income which is still taking care of everything, at the end of this year her assisted living will go up, to about 300 m,ore than her income is........I'm still wondering what we are going to do about that, I've filed for extra help through the VA, maybe they will come through for us. I wish I could be more help to you, I'm sorry I couldn't be.
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"My advice is to do as little as possible. Make sure she has food and a warm place to stay. But as for yard chores, I'd let it go. She'll find someone else to do her work for free."

That makes sense maggiesue. I do know from long experience, that with many BPD/NPD folks, the person who helps the most just means they're the ones in closest striking range, and unless you've lived with it, you really can't believe it - just as I find it hard to believe that all parents aren't like that. I've discussed your post with my husband and we're going to try setting some maintenance boundries since "we're getting older too, Mom". (And when other family members criticize, we'll tell them we're sure Mom would be glad for their help...'See Sis run. Run Sis Run'....LOL)

JanInTexas, thanks so much for your repsonse and concern. Sometimes we need a hand to hold in the darkness just as much as we need pathways to get to the light.
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You're welcome, if you ever need to talk let me know, I'm sorry I could not be more help. If my mom was still at home, she'd still be paying all of her bills herself.
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