My mother was placed into assisted living three months ago. My sister and I decided to start cleaning out three levels of a large house. My sister started claiming the property that was very expensive, antiques and collectibles. When the day was over I listed what she wanted compared to about a half a box of things that I had requested. I realized it was unbalanced and unfair. Aside from specifics bequeathed to us, all was to be shared. My sister threw a fit! She said mom knew that she always wanted those. There were three large boxes of expensive hand-painted Christmas ornaments and she was not willing to give up even one of them. It was insanity! Mother was very generous with her in the will. When I calmly explained that mom wanted things to be split she started yelling at me and saying that if I live in the house I'm living basically for free. She deserves what she wants. I only offered to live in the house because I didn't want it to sit empty. I can see what things are going to be like when Mom passes and I am the executor of the will. I don't want to be executor because my sister is manipulative and has always thrown big fat fits and gotten very mean if she did not get what she wanted, therefore she always got what she wanted. How do I change the executor? Mom has Alzheimer's and is incompetent to do this. My sister and I have dual power of attorney.

I'm chiming in to support the opinion to not allow her to bully you out of doing what your mother expressly wants you to do. Also "yes" to taking pictures/documenting and inventorying everything in and around the house. Not sure if your mom is very unwell and you anticipate her passing soon? If not, and she doesn't have unlimited funds, she will most likely needs the proceeds from the sale of her items (unless they are specifically mentioned in the her will to go to someone). If the cost of her care is high enough, she may need to go onto Medicaid, which may mean neither of you will be inheriting her home necessarily, unless it is already legally protected from that. I also ditto the suggestions to have an attorney handle some/all of it so that sister can't wield her will on them. I'm so sorry for you (or anyone!) who has to endure a sibling such as yours at such a time. Makes me not-so-sad to be an only when I read about the drama and disappointment. I wish you all the best in this situation!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Geaton777

Since there is a trust and that’s where your moms assets are, then you won’t be going through probate. If you are trustee upon one passing, who is your successor trustee?
If the house is in a trust then Medicaid can’t touch it. So I wouldn’t worry about that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to worriedinCali

The real problem with this is that Mom can no longer change it, so it is not changeable. NOW, when Mom passes you can REFUSE to act as executor; it is a simple process that any lawyer can assist you with. You simply do not file the papers to do it and sign a statement refusing to act; do not START acting as executor as it is much more difficult to resign after you start. DO UNDERSTAND that when you resign, your sister is in all likelihood next in line to serve and can easily be court appointed to be executor of the state. I imagine you two would continue to bicker.
I think at this point the best thing you can do is to accept that you are executor, and to serve as such but have a lawyer handle all the details for you. Would this COST the estate? Oh, my, yes it would. However, all questions from your sister could then simply be referred to the lawyer, who would know what letters must be sent to her when, and who would distribute the estate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Sadexecutor, your mom knew your sister, that's why she made you executor, she trusted that you would fulfill her last wishes.

I would do a complete inventory of the house and sell everything possible to provide for moms care until she dies. This will more than likely leave nothing to split.

You are not obligated to give in to a spoiled tantrum throwing female that is old enough to know better, unfortunately she has found that it gets her what she wants. But she is not entitled to take anything from mom's estate. I think it is exploitative to say the will says I get things, yeah but the person is still alive and wills only come into play after death.

Your sister could very well become the executor if you don't keep the position, I am not sure the procedure, but there is a way for someone to petition the courts to be executor if there is not one in place for whatever reason. Do you really want her making those decisions?

Best of luck getting this sorted out, it is hard enough without greed playing a part.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Thank you, I will consider that. We have a meeting with our Trust attorney who put moms assets in a trust. My sister is now wanting to sell the house.It was originally agreed that it would stay in the family. Now she is just being mean. The trust attorney said that I can be forced to sign over sale of the house. However, what my sister doesn't realize is that if we sell the house then all of the contents, other than mementos ,have to be sold. She is going to throw another fit. This is where our trust attorney can step in. If she becomes too difficult then I will certainly make him the executor of the will.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sadexecutor

You will need a lawyer when u probate the Will. Allow him to be the executor. He will get the Executor fee though.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29

You have absolutely no authority whatsoever to change any aspect of the Will.  Only your mother can do that.  

This may seem harsh, but your mother is apparently advancing in age and declining in health, yet the two of you are arguing over possessions.    You both need to step back, assess the situation and decide what's important:  supporting your mother, not only in hard asset disposition but in showing solidarity.

And as Techie notes, assets may be valuable, and if the Will had become operational (as in when your mother passes), you'd be bound by the mandate to address financial obligations first, before asset disposition.   

In addition, if you're living in the house and your mother likely will not be returning, perhaps you should be assessing the possibility of selling the house, or if Medicaid is in the picture, address that issue.    Are you paying the bills, property taxes, insurance?    Or are these obligations being paid from your mother's funds?   If so, your sister has a valid complaint.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to GardenArtist

I think you are both anticipating things a bit. Mom is still alive in LTC and "giving" away or disbursing valuable assets is premature. Anything of value needs to be purchased at fair market value and the funds deposited in mother's account to be available to fund her care needs. Disbursement according to the will is only appropriate after Mom is deceased and all her care needs and estate expenses have been paid. If you are co-POAs you could both be found to be financially abusing an elder if other family members or mother's friends decide to report you.

You sister throws fits because she has been taught that's an effective way of getting her way. The same behavior is very common with toddlers. Stop giving ground _anytime_ she throws a fit and eventually she will learn she gets more of what she wants with reasonable discussion. Walk out of the room, hang up the phone, or put in some earplugs every time she starts. I recommend shooting ear plugs as they reduce loud and shrill noises while still allowing you to hear reasonable speech.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to TNtechie

Your profile says mom is in assisted living with dementia and 54 years old.

Is mom competent? If so, she can change executor, and she may not want to. If not competent, she can't change it, nor can you. Possible solution, contact the attorney that prepared the documents and ask for assistance dealing with sis.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to gladimhere
Sadexecutor Jan 31, 2020
I am 54, mom is 85. After this incident, I called a meeting with our Trust attorney who put moms assets in a trust, scheduled for late February. My sister is now wanting to sell the house.It was originally agreed that it would stay in the family. Now she is just being mean. The trust attorney said that I can be forced to sign over sale of the house. However, what my sister doesn't realize is that if we sell the house then all of the contents, other than mementos ,have to be sold. She is going to throw another fit. This is where our trust attorney can step in. If she becomes too difficult then I will certainly make him the executor of the will.
When my Grandma went into a nursing home, my mother found a lot of items missing the next day..(silver jewelry, etc).

my aunt “helped herself” to the content of the house!

my Mom called her and her brother and told them that those items would be return immediately or she would call the police...grand theft.

the items were returned.

as executor you must itemize the entire content of the house and have it must force the return of those items or get the police to retrieve them.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Katiekate
AnnReid Jan 27, 2020
Sometimes I WISH I HAD DONE IT TOO, but there is an adult child in the midst of the dirt dealings whom we love dearly and cannot alienate.
Your mom made you executor for a reason. Stick with it.

This IS the hill you want to die on. Push back. Bullies cannot handle it when someone pushes back.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to XenaJada

I would not change the PR of the estate as it appears that your sister will not follow your mothers wishes. If your sister throws a fit, so be it. You can let her deal with the attorney, not you. I guess that you are afraid of her, there is no reason to be. In any case, your mother is incompetent to change her PR anyway.

You do not have to have a front row seat to her drama, interact with your mother, avoid her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to anonymous912123

Does your “dual POA” permit you to act independently, or must your decision making be agreed to by both of you?

If you are EACH legally permitted to act independent of the other, you have no way to stop her from doing whatever she thinks is right, but SHE has no way of stopping you either.

The moral high ground is doing WHAT’S OF MOST BENEFIT FOR YOUR MOTHER, and in THAT context, you will both be making your decisions independently about HER property.

If you will be having a sale to raise funds for her care, you will have to decide if there are some items of value that SHOULD be sold to benefit your mom’s comfort and security in her care setting.

Although this approach may not appeal to your sister’s sense of HER rights, I preferred to pay the sale value of the items I loved that belonged to the household of my late grandmother and grandfather, and for ME, the moral high road was to PURCHASE them at the values established by the team that arranged the house sale.

I will tell you that my decision did not sit well with my co POA, but I quickly learned how to figure out when that person was being helpful with my LO’s care, and when the person was being self serving.

With your focus on lovingly caring for your mother, you can be sure that YOUR decision making is in line with what SHE would want.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AnnReid
Sadexecutor Jan 27, 2020
I did try to calmly explain this to my sister. She would have none of it. In a previous reply, someone said that she knows how to get her way. Its always worked but I should not back down

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter