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2 sisters 700 miles away, rarely visit mom, never call to check on me. I've been primary caretaker of mom for over 8 years. I knew middle sisters and her husband were resentful about mom changing her will because she felt I was her only caretaker and in her mind, she felt that deserved "payment". I've expressed years ago and all along that I would be doing exactly what I'm doing if she had NOTHING to give as an inheritance. I said that I'm the daughter who lives in the same town, and I would care for her just as I've been doing no matter what. But my mother has never genuinely or freely (!) loved any of us and uses her money and property as power to control, always has... Nevertheless, I'm here and it's fallen to me to care for her. She changed her will to give me the house, and it's contents (to divide as I see fit with family members after she's gone, etc. etc. I never knew until last year how imbalanced her will is in my "favor". Frankly, I didn't care about what she'd changed in her will, I've been too busy trying to take care of her and eke out a semblance of a life for myself. I said that in front of both sisters in the past two years, saying that it would be more fair to all three daughters if she ever decided to sell her house and divide the sale money between us. I know that surprised my middle sister. My oldest sister used to be my only ally in my family and we were pretty good friends. She's the POA as my parents had set up before he died 8 years ago, but she never knew what that might entail. My sisters have deep emotional wounds because of mother, as I do, but at 70+ years of age, they've never moved out of those old pain and resentment patterns. They don't "love" mother, and I get it. I've had 58 years of abuse and manipulation AND I've had to live in the same town as her for most of that time. I function better with mother because I learned to, in part, distance my emotions and not take everything personally, impossible to do all the time, but I do it as much as I can. It helps. But I'm realizing that I am ALONE in all of this, and I'm just amazed, surprised that my sisters don't even LOVE ME or care about how I'm doing, if I need help, support or understanding.. after all, THEY KNOW our mother...! I'm realizing our manipulative mother has been using me all along, and now her power-plays have (irreparably?) damaged what little of a relationship I had with my sisters. Last year during another health crisis with mother, my eldest sister's son in law a lawyer told her she needed to hurry down from up north to get her name on papers and banking etc. She didn't tell me that was the purpose of her trip. I thought she was coming because mom was in the hospital and then in rehab and she knew I was overwhelmed and needed help. She visited mother ONCE at rehab, got mad at her, and spent the next two days at mom's lawyer's and at the bank and left. That's when she got HER feelings hurt and became resentful of me or maybe she doesn't trust me now, because she read mom's will and discovered (what I didn't know), about so much of mother's property was to go to me. I'm AFRAID of my sisters. I can't talk to them. I feel so alone! I'm such a Pollyanna, I tend to believe love and kindness is stronger than fear, anger or resentment. I'm just a sucker and I'm still being played like a puppet by my mother and it's cost me TOO MUCH for TOO LONG. But there's no way out. I won't stop doing what I can for her health and welfare, until she's finally gone.

Would any of you suggest I still try to communicate with my sisters? I don't see ANY hope they'll change in any way that will comfort or help me. But I appreciate being able to pour my grief and concern out to you here. I apologize that this is such a long, sad story.

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We've been through much of the same thing, my in laws ever changing their will, when either of their other two children disappointing them in one way or anothr. We fully understand that my only remaining in law, who has lived with us for 12 years, has changed his will, leaving less and less to his othe two kids, now slated to inherent only a couple of thousand dollars of what might ever be left of his estate, but we, my husband and I, have told him over and over, that his monies are to take care of his end of life care, and we don't expect anything in the end, but he continues to hold that carrot over his sons head, so that we don't force him out of our home to assisted living or Nursing home. We still point out, that there very likely will be nothing left, and that in most cases, the elder ends up using all of their resources on residential care, but he is adamant that we give up our lives, no matter the costs to our own health and well-being, and that is the bone of contention we face every day. He is all about me me me, with no regards to our lives. All I know, is that I will never do to our children, what he has done to us! He is declining rapidly, and believes he can force our hand at keeping him forever in our home, and will not see to reason, that this will likely not be possible. He's in for a rude awakening, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. His money means nothing, id we have to give up everything to ultimately receive it, in fact, we don't even care about his money! Making him see this is a whole other story. I just don't understand people thinking they can ruin your life, just to have everything their way. If he has truly thought this way, then he should have continued to live independently, but that ship sailed long ago, so now he tries to rule our situation out of fear, obligation and guilt. Our obligation is to see that he is well cared for, and we have nothing to feel guilty about! Your siblings are being unreasonable to think that there may be anything left, so treating you with no regard to your health or feelings is unfair, and plain cruel. Your Mothers desire to leave you more, has no bearing on the way in how they should treat their mother, but family dynamics are something that I will never understand. People can be so selfish!
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type away - many of us do. Part of the function of posting for people is to vent.

My mother is a control freak and narcissistic too. She has Borderline Personality Disorder. My one sis has some of those characteristics. She is concerned about getting mother's money - always has been. But she does not help and lives at some distance. Mother moved to be close to me 15+ yrs ago as she knew my sis would not help. Mother is now going on 104 and in late stage vascular dementia which was diagnosed a couple of years go. I live 5 hrs drive away but have been involved with her care and increasingly so in the past few years. She has been in several ALFs as I would never take her into my home. It has cost me dearly in time, stress, money, health... I knew it would but I chose to agree to be POA medical and financial as she needed someone. Mother is manipulative and always has been but went through a period when the dementia was starting when she particularly used her money to control, changed her will several times and so. My understanding is that she has, at the end of her machinations, split her estate down the middle, half for me and half for my sis, which is what she always talked about over the years. Whatever. I would do what I have to do anyway. My sis has alternately been charming and extremely nasty to me. She has never helped mother but visited her for a free holiday.

I tried for years but now know that I cannot have a non toxic relationship with my sister so, after the last accusations - that I have a vested interest in my mother's demise - I went no contact. I communicate info about mother through my niece and keep it very brief.

My points are - your sisters are not going to change so you have to do what you think is right.
I would not expect any support from them - seek it elsewhere. In fact you may have to protect yourself from them.

Your mother is well enough at present to be at home but may need to move to an ALF for in house services. or eventually an NH. Only the doctors can send her to an NH. She has to qualify.

If she goes into a facility her resources (house) will be used to pay for it.

I agree that a contract for payment for services rendered is a good idea if your mum wants to compensate you. The suggestions above are good. By the time she passes there may be no inheritance.. Or if she want to split what is left 3 ways - her money, her choice.

Be aware that money management or mismanagement is often the first sign of dementia developing. When mother started changing her will, at one point I was written out. What did I do? I suspect it was due to my sis's influence. However mother changed it several more times then back to what it was originally. At the time, none of us thought she was developing dementia as she had such a difficult personality anyway, but looking back, I believe she was. That was at least 4 years before she was diagnosed. From that time on she got more and more paranoid, had more difficulties with relationships and at one point, aged 100, tried to travel across the country without proper ID, was intercepted at the airport, taken to hospital but the dementia still was not diagnosed.

This is just a heads up as to what you may be dealing with. The combination of a control freak/narcissist and dementia is bad.

Typing things out does help. Good for you for learning to distance and detach. It is necessary for your survival. Keep posting! (((((((((hugs))))))).
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The blessed peace of resignation. I am still struggling with that. Just this morning I was thinking of the fateful day, March 2, 2011, when I said to my mom "if you go through with this everything is going to blow up and I'll have to be the one to clean up the mess". Mom replied (yelling) "you won't have to clean up anything"! But here I am going on my sixth year of taking care of everything. "It didn't have to be this ugly" - amen! Yet here I am, all this time later wondering why it had to be this way. Why she couldn't have listened to me. Why I've basically given five plus years cleaning up the mess. I know it does no good to think this way - that it's probably even harmful. I wish I could settle into resignation and let the resentment go.
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If your mother has to go to a nursing home the house must be sold and the proceeds used for her care. There can be no contesting the Will until your mother has passed Here in Canada anyway, that's the law.

Try to contact the law society. Sometimes they will have lawyers who will give half an hour of free advice.
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Thank you again for all your posts and insights... I have decided it's doing me more harm to continue to have hurt feelings about my sister's lack of care and concern for mom and me. So, they never call or text to check on how I'm doing or if I need help as the only child here that takes care of our mother. So they're unwilling (though financially able) to come even once a year and provide respite to me by caring for mom for a few days. They do call mom once a week or less, and I know they get off the phone as quickly as possible. They just don't like her and I get it. I asked them years ago if they could at least call her several times a week, as that would help ME greatly and would cheer mom up who is legitimately lonely... But... OH WELL. The next shoe will drop some day soon, and mom won't be able to live at home without 24/7 care. I'll need what mental, emotional and physical strength I have to deal with all that. And since my mother does NOT have dementia, and is a control drama queen, and wants control over EVERYTHING especially how her money is spent, I'll have more than enough to deal with (like always) just trying to get the care she needs while fighting with her about how to pay for it! Hahaaaa! *SIGH!*

My sisters wanted mom put directly into a nursing home five years ago and again in 2012 and again last year when mom had serious health emergencies (low sodium and uti/sepsis). I had to remind them that after every one of these serious events, our mother recovered to an amazing degree (more than anyone could have imagined if you'd seen her in her "loopy" mental state and physical pain from those health crises) and was able to go home and after only a few days of in-home care. They were ADAMANT that she "can never go home"! I couldn't understand why it was the FIRST thing they always said, "She can never go home!" they'd all say. She needs to go to a nursing home... (and a niece who lives in our same town, daughter of my middle sister, said the same thing ever time). I remember telling them, "Look, right now I need to deal with this emergency. We'll see how she is in a few days...! And every other crisis mother recovered to a remarkable degree and has lived safely and functioned again by herself at her house...." (with my help of course). And my mom has had one of those emergency call buttons she wears faithfully for years, since 2010. She's never had to use it. But she'll be 96 in July, so I know she can't safely live there by herself much longer. I'll deal with all that when I have to... I don't need to feel bad that my sisters just don't want to feel guilty about not caring for her, wanting her to just go somewhere so they don't have to help, and probably, undoubtedly, they want her out of the house so they can get busy with what they DO care about, contesting the will or pushing to get the house sold and money divided, or WHATEVER... *sigh* It didn't have to be this ugly.

Again, sorry I typed another too-long message... I think it helps me to write it out - and see my thoughts in black and white? And I KNOW it has helped to read your comments and hear about your experiences. THANK YOU.
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RainMom, I see nothing wrong with your communication skills. You articulately shared your opinion and suggestions, which I thought were insightful.

None of us are always going to agree with the others and those differences are what make posts valuable because of the different perspectives. But that doesn't mean that we're criticizing or attacking. That's why I premised my remarks with "Without challenging anyone's opinion, I'm going to offer a different perspective ..."
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Rainmom nailed it. Get compensated now on payroll and when and if she needs a nursing home, use up the rest. Then there is nothing to fight over.
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I am one of the VERY lucky ones. I have one brother (out of state) and have been caregiving for my 96 year old mom for the past 14 years. My dad was also a part of my caregiving duties for nine of those years. When my dad died, my brother told my mom to write him out of the will and give any inheritance to me. Do I believe that's fair? You betcha.

I've spent 14 years and countless hours doing laundry, fixing meds, going to doctor's visits, going to the ER, sitting bedside as a parent is dying... and on and on. I would have been doing the same thing whether my parents had any money or not, that's just how I'm built. But having an inheritance when this all ends makes it a bit less financially disastrous for me. So do what you think is fair, but don't discount the value of the work you've been doing for your mom. If she leaves any money, take it all and then decide if you want to split any of it with your siblings. And decide whether they're worth having a relationship with. From what you've written, I'd question that whole idea.
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Suzi I have to admit I didn't read your whole post.. We all deal with absent siblings.. Lol

Make sure you see lawyer for the caregiver agreement..
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I am so grateful... amazed and deeply grateful for every post and insight from you dear folks... just seeing that ANYONE actually read through my rambling post is amazing... I was embarrassed when I actually hit the Enter key and let all those words just GO OUT into the ether. : ) I will be slowly copy/pasting your words of insight and experience into a Word file.... so I can print it and read it and of course, re-read it. I'm so weary, I don't function or think as fast or efficiently like I used to... Anyway THANK YOU... THANK YOU.... - Suzi
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I am a firm believer that a person has a right to leave their assets to whomever in any proportions they choose - it's their money. My suggestion was merely one as a way to avoid friction down the road. Sheez - don't know what's wrong with my communication skills these days but whenever I make a suggestion as to a way to avoid conflict, to work with people rather than against them - to avoid trouble down the line - it gets misinterpreted and criticized.
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A&A, good insight into what can happen to the treasured inheritance that some siblings covet. It might be all gone!
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I want to add that my Mom inhereted $70,000 from Dad's death 15 yrs ago.. She has a will that says all moneys to be split 7 ways..

Been to the lawyer all done..

Well guess what!!! After 15 yrs she has only her monthly ss to live off of..She didn't work after marrying Dad 70 yrs ago. So it's not much. An extra 5000.00 a year only goes so far...

I DARE my no show/call siblings to ask about!! You'll be reading about me on Yahoo News!!
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I didn't see the other posts until after I just finished mine. Without challenging anyone's opinion, I'm going to offer a different perspective on the role of the caregiver in post-death distribution of assets.

I see nothing unjust, unfair, or wrong with the caregiver who sacrifices his or her life getting a larger bequest than other siblings who are nonparticipatory. It's far more than the time expended.

Even if the parent doesn't live with the adult sibling, there's still the issue of lost earnings, career interruption or lost potential from time off, and compromise of health, even under the best of circumstances. Then there's the stress and anxiety, which can accelerate the aging process.

I am firmly in support of anyone making those sacrifices having the benefit of compensation, if not during the caregiving period, then afterward, when sometimes the worst of the situation occurs because of family friction and caregiver burnout, leading to lack of emotional resources to deal with hands-out relatives.
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This is yet another story of sibling friction and focus on post-death inheritance. It's sad that your sisters seem to be preoccupied with this, and sad as well that, as you write, your mother apparently uses these issues as a manipulative tool.

This is what I would do.

1. Sisters don't participate now, and probably wouldn't even if they were close. So address that issue first by sharing with them what needs to be done and how they can help, but avoid respite situations because of the possibility that they force changes to your mother's estate plan.

2. If the possibility of "favoritism" exists because of the caregiving, allow that to be shared amongst all. Give them their chance to participate.

Be creative and think how they can help from a distance, or visit during a crisis, etc.

2. In other words, let them "put their money where their mouths are". If they resent bequests to you for caregiving, let them share by providing some caregiving. Make all contact in writing so that you have documentation.

3. Ask THEM how they can participate in caregiving tasks, turning the responsibility to them. I emphasize that - let them figure out how to provide care from a distance. Again, document.

4. When the time comes, there's going to be friction over the inheritance, so prepare for that. Start documenting what you do, what you spend of your own money, anything that the sisters could challenge.

5. If you have an estate planning or elder law attorney, it wouldn't hurt to consult with her/him, and especially discuss the issue of a caregiving contract which addresses your role. Cover yourself as well as you can, but be prepared for an explosion when the will is implemented.

And I assume you're named as Personal Rep of the Will?
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I agree with Rainmom.. See an Attorney get a caregiver agreement and change will to equal shares..

Get money now. You never know if Mom ends up in NH no one will get anything..
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Wills!!! They can cause so much damage in the end. Often the final word sending a hurtful message from a bitter parent. But - on a different note - in general how are your moms finances? Could it ever come to the house needing to be sold to pay for your mothers care in a facility should she require round the clock medical care? And then where would you be? I don't know if you can reason with your mother but here's what I would do: I'd point out the possibility of the house needing to be sold. I would ask mom if you could draw up a caregivers contract legally so you could be fairly compensated in the here and now. Then ask that the will be revised to a share and share alike even split between you and your siblings. JMO.
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