My father in law has lived all of his life with his oldest daughter. Now he is 96 and failing. Do other family members have to pay for him? - AgingCare.com

My father in law has lived all of his life with his oldest daughter. Now he is 96 and failing. Do other family members have to pay for him?

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My two sisters in law have completely taken care of my father in law after his wife died. He is now 96 and will need LTC. Their house is 50% his and 50% belongs to one of my sisters in law. They have never included us in any planning for Dad and now are looking at the rest of the family for money. What is our responsibility?

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I imagine everyone entered into this thinking that when your wife's parents needed to be taken care of SIL  would continue to provide care in the home and eventually inherit the other half interest in the house. Unfortunately your FIL now needs a level of care that she/they can not - or will not - provide, and their entangled assets will be causing major anxiety when it comes to funding long term care. If FIL needs medicaid to pay for care there will be a lien on his half of the house and SIL will be left having provided care for many years without any recompense. It's not anyone's fault, just poor planning. I would advise them to work with an elder law attorney to see if there are any legal solutions.
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Dear Patty,

I can identify with your sister in law because I was in this position. To be honest, as the daughter taking care of the elderly parent there is a lot of resentment and anger about managing all the day to day care and doing this over many years.

You can be upfront with your sister in law if you cannot assist financially but how about emotionally. Has anyone else in the family offered her a how are you? What can I do? Can I offer you some respite? What can we do as family to get more financial aid? Maybe an elder law attorney would be the best course of action. Your sister in law has done a lot for her dad and I'm sure this is a painful thing for her to ask. Try to have an honest conversation with her.
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So sorry for the loss of your daughter and all the accompanying financial loss.
Your SIL needs to seek council with a qualified elder attorney to help her get FIL on Medicaid and save her home, which she has clearly earned. FIL has enough funds left to pay for the attorney, pay for a funeral and pay for his care for a short while. If there aren't other problems they should be able to manage this.
Although you have felt shut out in the past you now have the opportunity to offer your support in a positive way for SIL to seek professional financial guidance to see FIL through his final illness. Your husband should suggest to his sisters that they visit the attorney together. This way he will be involved and understand what the facts are and give moral support to his sisters. FIL clearly has resources to pay his own way but the laws in some states will acknowledge SILs long term care and not attach FILs home. But that's why the visit with the attorney is necessary. To get a clear financial picture and ascertain just what is needed to see FIL through his final illness.
I hope you feel better soon. No one can blame you for feeling like here comes another calamity but take a breath and realize that the SILs are feeling the end of an era approaching and are frightened. No need for you to panic or be defensive. Solid action and professional advice is what's needed at this point. It's an opportunity to draw the family together and not further apart. I hope 2018 is a more positive year for you and your family.
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Depending on a number of factors, I think all the children have moral (not necessarily legal) responsibility, not just those who "volunteered". So, did your husband participate in decisions about long term care? Were there sufficient FIL assets and spent unwisely? No one is obliged to care for an elder in their or caregiver's home. Not legally, nor morally. Just to see that there is care as far as the children are able. So it would be possible to apply for Medicaid, and if the sisters were caregivers such that his going into a nursing home was postponed, then they may be protected against MERP recovery of the home. This idea that daughters are responsible for providing hands on care for parents is very unfair, because then daughters cannot be working and preparing for their own retirement. Also consider that sisters who cared for FIL for years (and he would not have eligible for medically eligible for Medicaid during this time) should be fairly paid for their efforts. I suspect the old-country idea here is that sons assume responsibility for welfare of unmarried sisters after death of parents. But really that is not a viable idea in contemporary American culture. So, sit down together and work out what is decent and fair.
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There is no legal responsibility that I’m aware off but your SILs have certainly done their part and may well deserve some financial help.

But having said that, is Dad on Medicaid? Has the family promised never to put him in care?
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Unless you live in a state that has fillial laws, nobody can make you pay for him. Have your SILs tried to include you in the financial planning or any kind of care taking? What is the family dynamic? You can always ask them why they need money now instead of getting LTC and ask why plans were not made a years ago.
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Thank you all for your answers. Both my husband and I offered to assist with Dad but SIL's said she didn't feel Dad would feel comfortable with me helping him with intimate care. I am an RN. For years we had no key to the condo until he started falling. Two sisters in law live out of state and simply are not near enough to help. When instances would come up when I was able to help by sleeping over so SIL could get some sleep when Dad got up repeatedly to go to the bathroom they turned down my help. We never once sat around and discussed finances. SIL's stated they promised Mom to keep Dad at home. We were never included in that decision. We were never included in any family conferences. They bought one of those pricey chairs that tip you up so Dad can get up more easily. We came over one day and found it there. A decision was made without our knowledge to pay an an agency CHHA to take care of Dad while SIL was at work. One day there he was. SIL's took Dad to Ireland early on when he just well enough to enjoy the visit. My husband and I were never asked if we wanted to come with them. The only times I have been asked to help is to sit with Dad when SIL needed hair done, a doctor's appointment for herself or grocery shopping. Both my husband and I repeatedly asked what we could do and were dismissed. Up until yesterday when he was hospitalized in ICU did they sit down for a family conference. He has $24000 in savings and $30,000 in stocks. His daily expenses exceed his income by over $750 a month. Times change. We had a tree fall on our house causing extensive damage. We have a lien against our home from the SBA. My daughter died during surgery on April 10th 2017 and the costs for travel out West for the funeral and paying for my other daughter and granddaughter to fly out ran into thousands and thousands of dollars. I had spinal surgery through Laser Spine. God bless them they fixed my back but we are still indebted to them as our insurance is out of network with them. I had reconstructive foot surgery (all due to arthritis) and the co-pays are still rolling in. If asked years ago before I had health problems we could have helped assume physical care of Dad and set up a fund. We have knocked on the door many times and been consistently turned away. We cannot force ourselves on them.
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I would let them know that you are not paying for his care. You weren't included in decision making and you and your husband made every effort that you were allowed to do. You have your own financial stuff that doesn't allow you to help pay for his care to begin with. You are going to tell them to pound sand.
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97yearoldmom nailed, dear. You have endured such tragedy, no wonder you are strongly reacting to Sils' requests.

They need a certified Eldercare attorney who understands Medicaid. Hoping your husband can see his way clear to go with them and offer moral support.
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Your are not financially able to help. If he gets out of ICU he will go to rehab. When that happens SIL needs to talk to the Social Worker about LTC, maybe attached to the rehab. Medicare pays fully for rehab for 20days. The 21-100 days only 50%. A supplemental may pay some of the balance. In my Mom's instance, she paid $150 a day. Like said, a funeral can be prepaid. This can include the flowers and luncheon. If he files for Medicaid, he will need to spend down the $24K, cash in stocks and any insurance policies he paid for. Employer covered policies don't count. With my Mom, she paid privately for 2 months and transitioned into Medicaid. He may need to do that then you file for Medicaid. I suggest SIL get a Medicaid lawyer. The money needed can be taken from Dad's acct. The house...a lean will not be put on the house till the death of ur FIL. The lean doesn't need to be paid until the house is sold. But a lawyer can help her deal with this.
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