My mother passed away 2 weeks ago. My father lives with me. My father in his 94 year old crazy brain has over the last 3 years developed an unjustified hate for my brother. None of my family can understand this. He has made an appt with an atty to change his will. He rambles on and on and on about all the horrible things my brother has said to him. I can't change his mind. I have tried and tried in many ways - he is crazy.
My brother is socially awkward, an introvert and uses sarcasm to interact with people - it is funny and sometimes hurtful. BUT he is not doing what my father claims. He is not mean or hateful to Dad.
All I can think to do, to keep the peace in my home, is let him change the will. Give me the money and then I will give my brother 50% to keep a promise to my mother and treat my brother fairly.
Does this make sense? Is it legal? what about taxes?

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Unless your father has an estate
over one million dollars - there is no
“death tax”. If over one million the estate only pays taxes on the overage.

In addition, if you gift your brother half of your inheritance- if your dad does leave it all to you - then you can gift a yearly amount of about $12,000 with no tax consequences. If you gift a larger amount you will need to report it on a “gift return”
but will not have to pay any taxes at this time. Gift taxes are paid at the end of ones life - and only if you have gifted a total of several million dollars over the entire course of your life.

I am aware that a very few counties do assess a death tax but it typically isn’t a significant amount - and it is paid by the estate. So, it is wise to consult an accountant if you do go this route.

My mother was always threatening to disinherit my oldest brother. He did very little to help in our parents final years - and in fact, in spite of living locally only saw my parents two or three times a year. My mother was always saying “I don’t know where I went wrong with B...”. But I knew - B knew and I’m pretty sure deep down she did know as well.

Anyhoo - I was always talking her out of it. The time she came the closest - had the lawyer appointment - I was able to talk her out of it by reminding her how important it was to my dad that the three children inherit equally - which was true. I added that half of what she had was my dads money and that she would be disrespecting my dad if she changed what they had agreed upon together regarding their wills.

If mom had gone through with changing her will my other brother and I agreed we would give from our share - to see that oldest brother received an equal amount.

Its just the right thing to do. IMO.
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If he's really incompetent, I'd consult with an attorney and see about informing the attorney who is preparing the new Will of this information. I would suspect that any attorney would make inquiries as to why this man is making the change and if he is still competent. He may have trouble finding an attorney to do it, especially, if they are on notice of his condition. Plus, he'll need witnesses to the signing of the Will that attest to his competence.....who would do that for him? It might be difficult.
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Is your dad of sound mind and body? As in, can he legally execute a new will? If not, you need to prove it so he CAN'T change the will. Can his doc declare him in competent? Otherwise, there is nothing you can do.

If he's not of sound mind, I guess you could "let" him think he changed it even if it's not binding. Don't know if that would but MIGHT be a possibility.

If you were to get 100% of the estate and gift 50% to your brother, there would be taxes involved. I'm not sure of exactly how that would shake out, but you could consult a professional (attorney or accountant?) for the details.

That's really sad that he thinks your brother is doing things he's not. I would chalk it up to disease talking not your real dad. Your poor brother. Hopefully he understands??
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Ask yourself if you are willing to deal with the promise to pay your brother equally, AND pay the taxes first as the recipient when your dad passes, while you do no know the future for yourself, your own health, or circumstances. Getting involved now, making $$ agreements now with family is the germ of a future nightmare. Just a commonsense observation of seeing family members of mine and my DH -solid Catholics all- lost it completely when evil lucre' came into the picture.

If you feel strongly on FAIRNESS to your brother, determine a $$ number with him NOW, then start paying him some amount every year, in a written agreement,notarized, whatever legal method needed, and then ask him to pay you back the estate taxes, or allow you to remove them before payment. If you are willing to do that NOW then you may have an ideal situation.

the truth is, it is NEVER anyone's money, only dad's.
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If your dad is not mentally competent I do not believe he can make a new will. A will is a legal document and has to be signed by someone who is competent.

You state Dad is crazy, has he been diagnosed with dementia by his doctor?
Helpful Answer (1)
Bosscat8899 Feb 2019
No my Dad has not been declared incompetant by a doctor. I have observed radical changes in his behavior the last 5 or so years and he is not the pleasant jovial even tempered Dad I knew. He distrusts everyone, he thinks all people are trying to steal or cheat him out of money, he was verbally abusive to my mother many times and that is one reason I moved her in with me, plus her multiple medical problems. He rants about miniscual problems. He hasn't bathed in months. and tells me it's not important. He is incontinent and hangs his underwear to dry in his bedroom and then re wears them. He wears the same clothes for weeks until we insist he change. There is no doubt he is of an unstable mind. He has awful OCD and anxiety. He worries so much he has nights where he cant sleep. He refuses medications to help him sleep, His Dr. has suggested he see a therapist and he refuses and laughs about it.
Im an RN and I understand a lot of this behavior, I love him, I dont want him in a facility feeling forgotton and I try to tolerate it and want him to live in peace his remaining years. He is 94 with a severe heart condition.
After reading all your comments, which I appreciate, and thinking about all of this, Im not sure the atty will do what he asks. He may see that Dad isnt clear mentally and refuse to work with him. My Mom only died 2 weeks ago and were both still heart sick about missing her. My husband is wonderful support for me and we both just want him to be ok and relax, but he cant do it and refuses medical help, UGH!
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