Mom going into nursing home. Step-dad handling her rentals. What can I do?

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My mother is 92. Right now she is in a nursing home for rehab after getting pneumonia. Her husband is also 92.....he is totally blind, and believe it or not still works as a realtor. (this could be a comedy series) He became a realtor after becoming blind. He has lots of people who drive him around and do stuff for him. He really has no business working at all as he has the beginning stages of dementia. My mother has dementia. Now, here is the problem: My mother has about 9 rental homes. Right now my step-dad is managing them for her which scares the heck out of me as I do not trust him for one minute!! He has pulled some fast ones on my mother financially several times in their married life. My mother knows it, forgives him, and tries to trust him. My mother doesn't know that she will be in this nursing home permanently yet. I don't like the idea of her husband managing these rentals for my mother at all !!! It makes me soooo nervous. I am an only child so everything is all on me. What I would like to see is that a management company be hired to manage my mothers properties, however, I cannot talk to my mother about this......she wouldn't understand, she gets so confused. My mother and my step-dad have a prenuptial agreement. They do keep their monies separate. I am still very concerned that my step-dad is going to do something he shouldn't be doing with her properties, like pocket money, etc. I've had people tell me that there is nothing at all I can do at this time as I have no power of attorney or say regarding what she does. I'm a nervous wreck.

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It's chaos. Why do you have to get involved?

The thing is. You say "My mother hates me and has for a long long time. I have accepted this fact."

If you've accepted this fact, accepted that your mother has intentionally, deliberately and consistently excluded you, why can't you just leave it be?

If I were to ask: "is it because you aren't prepared to stand by while your stepfather and his staff rob you in advance?" I'm not accusing you of being mercenary; just of being quite rightly unwilling to be taken for a complete fool.

But then that returns you to square one: a hopelessly chaotic situation in which you have no authority to intervene.

This is your mother's doing, you don't have any rights because she hasn't given you any, she and your stepfather are in a muddle of their own making. And if you end up being the loser...

I just don't see what you can do about it.

And even if the worse came to the very, very worst and your mother's care fees started going unpaid and she herself were destitute...

Well. Again. It would be her choices leading to her consequences to bear.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Oops, Yes, I mean Living Trust.
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Reply to Willienme1950
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I assume you mean a Living Trust?
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Reply to GardenArtist
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My mother has a living will. At this moment in time I will inherit all that she has. Her husband will only get her life insurance policies. The homes that the two of them mutually have, after my mother is gone, then my step dad will receive all of the income from those rentals until his death. Once he passes, then all of the properties are to be sold and I will get 1/2 of the proceeds from those properties.
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Reply to Willienme1950
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Willen, thanks for the explanations. Something that occurred to me, which you might be able to address now if your mother agrees to your access, is to determine how the investments pass at death, i.e., if they're titled with your mother and stepfather jointly with survivorship rights, he'll inherit those investments. If they're in trust, the successor trustee would segue into the management role of those assets.

Given her wealth, I think this is worth investigation.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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My mother actually is a millionaire, and she has done that by scrimping and saving all of her life, and the most money she ever made was $17,000.00 per year. She has made very good choices when it comes to investing.
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Reply to Willienme1950
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In answer to some of your questions. My mother has more than enough to cover the cost of her stay in a nursing home. Not only is she a hoarder of things, she is a hoarder of money. She is also tighter than the bark on a tree! The reason I care is this: I hate to see all the effort that she has put into saving money, not spending money, and the effort she has put into getting rentals in the first place, to wind up losing it all to a thief.
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Reply to Willienme1950
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Willen, thanks for the update. Good grief, this is so complex.

As for the rental property, if they look like "slum lord properties" no quality property management will take over said properties..... because the commission received by the management company comes from the rent.... and if the rents are not paid on time or at all, then the management company is out of funds. Default Notices would be flying out of the management company left and right.

Trying to convince your Mom and Step-Dad that it is time to sell some of the properties will probably fall on deaf ears [no pun intended]. These places would need to be sold "as is" and probably some are classified as 1031-Exhanges, thus tracing back to the cost of the original rental and the sale and buy, sale and buy, sale and buy until it is traced to the current house can be a tangled web, not counting the Capital Gains IRS taxes involved. I hope they have been using a CPA to keep track of the income/expenses.

And the hoarding, what can I say. This is very difficult to control as everything is valuable in that house to your Mom and Step-Dad. I am surprised there isn't more sickness from this.
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Reply to freqflyer
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See an attorney who specializes in Elder Law.

Please take this as a serious question. I don't mean it sarcastically:

Your mother knows that her husband may mismanage her finances or even steal from her. She doesn't care. Why do you?
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Willen, thanks for the explanation. Ideally, a management company would be hired to manage the properties, but it doesn't sound as if this is going to happen.

I do think legal counsel could offer some advice, and perhaps insights on how to proceed to take advantage of what the rentals may offer, although I suspect a lot of work would be needed to bring them up to standards.

Other than that, at this time I can't think of good suggestions. But I do appreciate your explanations.

Something Becky asked is important though, and that's whether funding exists for the rest of your mother's life in a nursing home or other facility. I have a feeling it doesn't, but with the rental properties, I doubt she'd qualify for Medicaid.

An attorney could help guide you through either getting control through guardian and conservatorship, or other potential options.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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