Follow
Share

Mom left the house to my brother. Not good choice. He is on SS I and food stamps.He Will have $ 700 in his bank account when the bill is due. Payed in half. Almost $2000. Is due in September. The trust can't pay the bill I don't think. It's a housing expence. What am I supposed to do. He doesn't have intellectual disabilities. Really, he should be responsible for himself. He won't even think of moving.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
The trust can't pay for taxes. But the SSI isn't reduced or temporarily ended unless brother gets money directly. Or maybe they find out trust is paying for stuff not supposed to.I'm personally going to pay the summer taxes. And I hope by winter he is approved for tax credit. And can afford the taxes. If not he has to sell home.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Rainmom I was not referring to what the trust fund can or cannot pay for, but how his SSI disibility benefits might be affected by household expenses being paid for out of the trust. It could reduce his SSI benefits.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

ArmyRetired - I'm going to beg to differ regarding what a Special Needs Trust can and can't pay for. It can vary depending on how it's written. My sons trust has a somewhat vague clause that simply says the trust can not pay for anything that can be paid for another way. So if there is no other way available at the time of need... And I hate to say this out loud - but since I am the only trustee, who's really going to know what I use the money for - there is certainly no interested party looking over my shoulder when it comes to my sons care - basically the main reason the trust was established- so he has resources after hubby and I are gone. It is my whole hearted intention to never touch a dime of that money - and I haven't in the twenty years it's been in existence. I have complete faith that my sons trust is legally written as it was done by the premier law firm in Oregon - specializing in trusts, estate planning etc. Not bragging - it was my mother who insisted this firm was used and she footed the bill.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your brother's SSI benefits could be affected by the payout of real estate taxes from the trust. It depends on what type of a trust it is. Maybe that is why he is required to pay the taxes out of his SSI income. A special needs trust funds cannot be used for payment of bills for housing-related expenses like mortgage payments, real estate taxes, utilities and condo fees.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The lawyer tried to tell mom the realities about her house and the commercial property she owned. And tried to encourage her to sell at least the property. Mom refused. Partly she was scared of brother and partly was protective and didnt want him homeless and expected the property to bring in money for upkeep of home She couldn't see reality any better than brother. Running the trust is not an issue yet. I'm still in the settle the estate and figure out how to get things from mom run and paid to brother run and paid. Complicating the process is a trust that is not allowed to pay for housing or food. But is alowed to pay the telephone bill, home insurance and other stuff. But brother has to pay from SSI taxes, utilities, etc. Mom only died less than three months ago. It takes time to straighten every thing out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Barbara, the lawyer who drafted the trust must have taken the property taxes into account. Is the lawyer that you're talking to the one who drafted the trust? Did she forsee that your brother would be able to continue to live in the house and maintain it?

It sounds as though your brother needs for someone to be in charge of his life...and it shouldn't be you. Agreed with paying the lawyer (out of the assets of the trust) to manage it, and to be the one to explain the facts on the ground to your brother.

Barbara, your brother is mentally ill. This is neither his fault nor yours, but it IS a factor in this mess. You (along with any other human being) will have a limited ability to change your brother's mind about things, since he doesn't see reality the way most people do.

For the sake of your mental health, you need to get someone else, preferably a lawyer, to be in charge of your brother's trust.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Can you simply pay the taxes out of the money you are waiting to put in the trust?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

More money can be put in the trust as soon as the lawyer says you can. And that is likely to be ... ??

When more money is put in the trust, can the tax be paid out of the trust then? Or is this problem going to come up every year?

Can the lawyer simply manage this for you, for an additional fee, of course?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

She was afraid that she would need the money so she didn't want me to put a lot in the trust before she died. But almost all her money in her estate will be put in the trust as soon as the lawyer says I can. But I'm sure mom didnt think about property taxes. And I know she didn't know that the trust wasn't allowed to pay property taxes. She wasn't rich. But she kept her expences down so she would have more for my brother. A lot of her money was spent on things she had to the
last few years of her life. And she was constantly worried about my brother. Making herself sick. So I started telling her I would help brother. To keep her from a nervice breakdown. The trust can pay insurance and house maintenance.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mom planed to put all the money she had into the trust -- but she didn't? What did she do with the rest of the money?

I don't think this is your problem. Let a lawyer take over the trust management duties. If there is not enough money in the trust to cover taxes and insurance and maintenance, and your brother's disability income is not enough to cover those expenses, then your mother simply did not succeed in her intention to take care of him, did she? This is Not Your Fault. Given the nature of your relationship with your brother I think that you are justified in stepping out of the management role.

How did it happen Mother did not provide for him as she intended? What happened with the rest of the estate? Maybe that will provide some clues.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

The lawyer that drafted the trust was the one that told me I can't use trust to pay property taxes. Mom planed to put all the money she had into the trust when she died. It only has $1500 right now. The house is four bedroom house with two baths. The carport was enclosed and turned into a room and bath for grandma when we moved in years ago.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Lol - GardenArtist posted a second time while I was posting. I agree with her first post when I say 100 present on target.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If I'm remembering correctly the trust owns the house - otherwise brother would no longer qualify for SSI. GardenArtist is 100 percent on target. That aside - If the trust owns the house the trust is responsible for the costs. You've stated a number of times your mother wanted your brother provided for - surely with an estate the size you've indicated your mothers is - isn't there a way to pay the tax if the trust can't - which I just find hard to believe if indeed the trust is the owner. It's just too basic a consideration to have been over looked. You know want your mother wanted regarding your brothers care and regardless of how you felt he treated her - although how can you be sure of what actually went on between them since you only visited twice a year. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I've never understood how you can be so sensitive regarding your own anxiety disorder yet so unsympathetic regarding your brothers social disorder. Perhaps a little more compassion towards your brother would go a long way towards solving the tax issue. After all he is alone now and given his disorder is likely to remain that way - you have a life with your husband. Again - I'm sorry for being so direct but I'm wondering if perhaps appointing and paying an attorney to administer the trust would solve further anxiety which is sure to come your way if you remain involved in your brothers life.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Just saw your other post on needing someone to talk to and realized some of my questions were answered there.

I think you're just going to have to decide to step back and let your brother develop some responsibility or make some accommodations.

I DEFINITELY would not dig into your own finances to pay the taxes. Every time you accommodate him, you reinforce the fact that he knows he can get you to bail him out.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I might have missed something in your other posts, so let me recap and see if I have, b/c it seems to me the Special Needs Trust should have been funded to account for this.

1. Your mother created a SNT for your brother.

2. Presumably it was funded? How? I'm assuming there are assets there to provide for his continuing care as well as domicile after her death? Can't these assets be used for the property taxes?

You wrote that your attorney stated your brother has to pay the taxes. Is this a provision in the SNT? If not, on what is his opinion based?

3. Your mother willed the house to him; now he's responsible for upkeep and maintenance. But any income he has is insufficient to pay the taxes. Can he pay ANY portion of them?

4. Why can't the assets in the SNT be used to pay the property taxes?

5. I'm not sure what a "tax credit" means in your state, and I don't know the age of your brother. Michigan statutes provide that seniors or people with less than a stated income can apply to DEFER tax payment until February of the following year.

6. Check your state's statutes, or ask your lawyer is a similar deferral option exists for someone with special needs. If so, there's your answer until February, 2017.

7. If there is no deferral, there's a way to game the system, which I wouldn't suggest except that your posts indicate you're overwhelmed with the tasks of managing your mother's estate and dealing with your brother who doesn't seem to be very cooperative.

That solution is one I realized some people in my area were using. They pay the winter taxes, or pay a portion of the summer taxes, which apparently under Michigan statutes prevents the entire taxes from being unpaid and subject to foreclosure (after 3 years of being unpaid here in Michigan).

One family owed several thousand dollars but the county couldn't foreclose for delinquent taxes because only some of the taxes were delinquent.


I don't know how large this house is, but I agree that consideration should be encouraged for him to find a smaller and more manageable place, despite the fact that he won't move.

This is not a criticism, but as long as he's accommodated in his obstinacy, he's going to continue to expect your to accommodate him. I honestly don't know if I could be firm if this were my brother, so I can imagine that it's a difficult situation for you.

But from what you've written about the way he treated your mother, it would be hard to justify accommodating and stepping in to rescue him financially. And you're not obligated to make the financial or other arrangements your mother made for him.

You're well within your rights to tell him he has to find a solution for tax payment if he wants to stay there.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If he won't move and he is not realistic, I would dare say you will not be able to fix this problem. He is an adult, and as you have shared generally should be able to take care of himself (isn't disabled) then I think you should leave this for him to solve. It will only cause YOU stress since there are no good answers here. He has no money to pay, and the government doesn't fool around...they will auction the house if the taxes remain unpaid. I see that as the only conclusion...though he would be far better served if he sold to avoid this from happening...then he would have some money to find another place.

Angel
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

BTW, does he have property insurance? That's another big bite that he shouldn't do without.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You could help him get a small equity loan if you think he'd be able to pay a bit a month. This wouldn't be a very good option if he isn't responsible. I could see you ending up worrying about more than what he'll owe for taxes.

I do wonder what he'll do when it comes time for painting, roofing, and other maintenance. Keeping a house up is expensive.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My brother won't move. He is not realistic. The trust lawyer said my brother
has to pay the property taxes. That he should apply for tax credit. But what is he supposed to do for this year? This is very stressful for me. I really want to tell my brother. Your bill your problem. But I feel a little responcible for him. Even though he was verbally abusive to mom. And controled her life. And I have no relationship with him. Except for being executor for mom will and running brothers trust. Because mom said she had no one else to do it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In addition to the options above, perhaps this home is just too much for him to maintain. Could he sell and downsize? Either to a smaller home with lower taxes or to a low income apartment to rent?

Angel
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Has he taken a copy of his federal and state tax returns, along with letters of disability from doctors to the property tax office? Check with them to see what type of exemption he can qualify for. Often disabled, low income people qualify for partial or complete property tax exemption. Your county's tax office's website should have information about exemptions available and the steps to take to qualify. Unfortunately, the exemptions normally don't begin until the year after they are applied for. So this year he will have to find a way, even if he does qualify.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Owns not past tense.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

And - if the trust owned the house the trust is responsible for its upkeep.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Recheck the trust first. My sons special needs trust allows for costs "that can not be paid any other way". It's a wide window and I'd be surprised if there is not something similar in your brothers trust. Plus, your mother seemed fixed on ensuring your brother was provided for - I can't imagine this common detail would have been overlooked.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter