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I trusted my son and signed over the deed to my house to him and daughter-in-law in exchange to take care of me. I am 62 yrs and paid off my house 15 yrs ago. i thought i had pancreatic cancer and given 3 yrs but surgery saved my life and its been 5 yrs now. My son moved in to take care of me after surgery but now things aren"t going well. my son's wife takes everything I say or do negatively and now my son hates me. They twist my words and actions and have become the 'thought police' accusing me of things I don't do or think. I think they are planning to kick me out of my home since legally my name is not on the deed anymore. I stay in my room all day to stay out of their way and only come out to cook around 6am before they get up so i can eat. my son pays all my utilities and even cable so i know he loves me but i am scared. I'm independent and actually learned to care for myself which made me strong and survive. From a wheelchair, I am walking and now even driving and caring for myself. I'm on social security so I could rent an apt but this is my home even if its not in my name. I bought house from my grandmother who lived here 47 yrs before me and I have been here 26 yrs. How do I make peace with a daughter-in-law that doesn't and do I have a legal standing in staying here?

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DebraJo, I'm so sorry to hear of your sad situation. It sounds like a vicious circle that has gone on for too long and is now very hard to halt and reverse - hard, but not impossible. I agree that you would be wise to consult an elder law attorney and see what can be done to shore up your legal position; but then there is the human side, which I think is just as important.

TALK to them. Say, literally, "darling son, lovely DIL, I really need to talk to you. When can we make time to talk over what's happened, where we are, and where we want to go?"

There are lots of sore and angry feelings at play; but the thing to remember is that your son DOES love you; his wife, even if she doesn't love you, probably IS a decent human being who wouldn't set out to be horrible and vicious; and you ARE right to trust your child and regret that things aren't going well. So, you are all three on the same page - just at the opposite edges of it!

Open the conversation. Be careful about it: pick a good time for everyone, and have a code word that anyone can use that means "I'm getting upset, I want time out here," or maybe think about having a neutral mediator in the room; but, seriously, in whatever way best suits the three of you, you need to talk. Your current situation isn't what anybody wanted to happen. Good luck xxx
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It is very difficult for two alpha women to share the house, and the son is caught between a rock and a hard place. Offer them the option of either you moving into Independent Living or they find their own place. Thank them for all they have done, but tell them sincerely that you need to part company. They may actually be relieved, you never know.
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Debra, is there anyway that you, your son and dil could consult with a mediator or couselor and work out boundaries? You feel that your dil takes everything the wrong way, she may be feeling the same about you! You really need a neutral third party to help sort this all out!
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Thank you for your response. At the time of name transfer I forgot to add proviso and intended to make appt with attorney afterward to protect me but my son was upset that I would question his intentions so I trusted him and didn't go further with it. I will follow your suggestions to investigate the elder abuse org and lawyer. I'm also going for orientation to volunteer my service with the Senior Gleanors to get out of the house. Thank you again...
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Did the deed provide that you could live in your house until death? I recall from working for elder law attorneys that sometimes parent(s) deeded a house to (usually) adult children, with the proviso that the parent lived in the house until death. The understanding was that the adult child(ren) would care for the parent. There were other tax and financial implications as well.

Regardless, I think you might want to consult an elder law attorney as this situation has gotten very complex, and unfortunately frightening for you. You can contact the bar association in your county to get a list of potential lawyers, contact them first to get a feel for how their firm responds to new clients, and most certainly ask what their hourly rate is.

Something else you might want to consider is checking with your county or state to determine if there is an elder law abuse organization in your area. You could also call your local Area Agency on Aging, or even an elected official.

I don't wish to seem less than charitable, but even if your son pays your utility and cable bills, he still is living at a much lower cost than he would be if he had to pay rent or a mortgage payment.

I really feel for you - it sounds as though your son and DIL have made life miserable for you, and you most certainly don't deserve that. I wish you the best of success in making this situation more tolerable - for you!
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