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My sister has historically shouldered the brunt of my mom's care because she lives so close to her. Recently my sister's health has declined and I am now assuming more responsibility for my mom's care, 3-4 days per week 24/7 including meals and the scheduling of doctor's appointments. My brother does absolutely nothing for her, and doesn't offer or inquire as to what needs to be done. He calls on Mother's Day and holidays and visits once or twice a year. He only lives about two hours away. He used to live much closer, still did nothing and moved without the slightest care as to how she would be cared for and by whom. Is it fair for him to receive an equal inheritance? I ask because my mom insists that we should all inherit equally, but does not insist or even ask that he contribute anything to her care or needs which are extensive due to her age and hearing impairment which requires that she be accompanied even when she is visited by home health care practitioners. I feel resentful of this but don't know how to express this without sounding like a greedy little b******.

How about you and your sister get paid for the jobs that you are doing?

You need to work out a caregivers contract which should be vetted by a lawyer. It should lay out your duties and the rate you are paid.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 17, 2019
This is a good suggestion if you feel it can work, Salutem.
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I’m not Little Mary Sunshine about the unfair treatment of women. For women of my parents’ generation sons were their icons & daughters their servants. I raised my voice when I learned that my bros. & I
would be inheriting equally from my
mother. I “suggested” to her that maybe the boys should be participating in the caregiving (they couldn’t; they live 2K miles away) whereupon she decided that maybe she should see to it that I get a bit extra. Don’t put up with it, girls; the days of unpaid “women’s work” are OVER!
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gdaughter May 20, 2019
AMEN! But then what of TWO SISTERS, one with the elders, one 2K miles away who does nothing? ANd not to say that I have not been helped by my family, so I feel this is payback as well...but still...heck, while I feared my sister would kick me out of the house my parents and I live in, even SHE thought they would leave the house to me. I think I am the keystone in holding it all together for the best outcome for all of us...helping mom and dad stay in a clean and safe environment they are familiar with and gives Dad what to do, which is clearly how he has stayed engaged and made it to 102; keeping mom with dementia in the familiar not sending her off to a nursing home or an assisted living that would ultimately split them up based on need; and for my sister and I, whichever of us survives the other will still hopefully have some inheritance to help live out their lives or benefit others (neither of us have kids).
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At the risk of getting drawn into an argument I'd like to add my two cents.

My mom passed four yrs. ago. The last ten years of her life I became as she called it her "lifeline" It started out with getting her groceries, her prescriptions, escorting her to doctor's appts. and then just grew from there. When she got into her late eighties/early nineties I became responsible for everything. She lived five minutes from me and we were always close so I guess I was the logical choice. My five living siblings just let me. They barely did anything. When it was time to transition mom into a nursing home I made all the arrangements, decorated her room, bought her a new. t.v., made the place feel like home. Mom and I were very close but I was never under any illusions that when the inheritance was divided that I would receive anything more than anyone else.

I never hoped I'd get more. What I had hoped for was a special acknowledgement in the form of a personal letter or something similar when she died. But no, there was a letter for all of us that spoke of us as a group. So even though I'd cared for her more she always thought of us as equal. She loved us all equally and that was that. She didn't keep track of who did what and if she had I still think it would have been the same.

So salutem, maybe you are hoping for an acknowledgement that you are special and maybe the money isn't the important thing at all. Maybe you will get that. But if you don't, don't be surprised cause I think a lot of mother's just love their kids unconditionally and that's that.

I was mildly hurt that my mom didn't write me a special letter but knowing my mom I also know that she maybe thought that it went without saying and that I knew she appreciated me. Maybe that's why she said I was her "lifeline"

I hope you get what you are hoping for in the end but if you don't please don't let it seize you up inside cause it would be all for naught anyhow.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 19, 2019
Gershun,

I found this response very touching. You are a kind and understanding, compassionate soul. Take care.
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So here's how you handle that situation. You do up caregiver contracts for you (and your sis). In those contracts you are paid for your services. Doesn't have to be a lot but it should be something. You are using your time, your gas, your food, and missing out on your life. You have every right to be paid to be there. Drop your pearls folks if you are clutching them... and be realistic. I think that minimum wage is realistic if it's 24/7. So, say $10 an hour for the hours she is awake and with you. or some flat number like $100 a day even. Over time you will have gotten "more" than the neglectful brother as there will be less left over all to divide. Also, talk to a lawyer but having a caregivers contract will help you with any issues if she does end up in an nursing home and there is a look back for medicaid. I come at this from experience. We cared for my MIL for 3 1/2 yrs and used every dollar of our 120,000 401k savings and stupidly thought his siblings would pay us back. Nope. They took their share and ran and we had to downsize and now retirement is looking dire as I became disabled caring for her. Always, Always, look out for your own interests first. Always.
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cetude May 20, 2019
Estate planning with an eldercare attorney. That's the only way. and yes caring for my mom has caused me injuries.
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It's your mom's money to do with as she pleases.

It's your time and labor, to do with as you please.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 18, 2019
I agree, Barb. Whoever said all is fair in life anyway? Fair means different things to different people. In the end, it is mom’s money. Hopefully it will be spent on mom’s care.
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This is all you need to know:

" my mom insists that we should all inherit equally"

That's shot the fox, as we say. End of discussion.

If your sister is not able to continue to provide care, and you resent providing care as long as your brother won't do his fair share, then the obvious solution is to use your mother's resources to pay for care either at home - if she's incredibly rich - or in a facility.

Or... would you feel better about it if your mother agreed to pay you for your time now?
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anonymous840695 May 17, 2019
I would not accept payment because I do it from my heart. I just feel that it should be acknowledged that some have made great sacrifices, while my brother has been completely selfish. Even if my mom would just tell him that it isn't fair to make us shoulder all the burden, while he does nothing. He's always been spoiled and has always done exactly as he pleases.
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The person who needs to be told that it isn’t fair for you & your sister to shoulder all the burden is YOUR MOTHER. Not your brother. A parent has no right to burden to their children. If you are burdened by taking care of your mother then she needs to lessen that burden, don’t you think? Hire home care? Move to assisted living?

When one or more siblings chooses to take on the role of caregiver, it does not obligate everyone else to help. And those who chose not to help are neither self nor bad people.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 17, 2019
Cali, I agree.

Yes, it shouldn’t be forced on someone to care for them. Some use emotional blackmail, etc. Awful to do to a child.

Should be a personal choice. Sometimes it’s complicated. Mom was left homeless after Hurricane Katrina. Crime is high in our city. Total mayhem after the storm. Very emotional time for all of us. Of course, I took in mom.

Had I had time to think about it fully without the emotional baggage of a major storm, I would have considered other options.
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salutem - here are some of your own words in quotes:

"My sister and I care for my 91 year old deaf mother. My brother does absolutely nothing for her. Should he inherit equally?"
"I would not accept payment because I do it from my heart. I just feel that it should be acknowledged that some have made great sacrifices, while my brother has been completely selfish."
"All that I do for her including protecting her from isolation and feelings of abandonment I do without reservation."

You don't want to accept money from your mother, and you help her without reservation from your heart, yet you want your mother to give more money to acknowledge your help.

I think you need to get it straight in your head and heart what you really want.

If you just want to be acknowledged for your help, will a thank-you suffice? If you want to be paid for your help, then ask for it. Be honest with yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting paid for your time. Your mother would have to pay someone to help if you weren't there to do it.

As for the inheritance, your mother obviously loves all her 3 children equally without condition, that's why she wants to give equally to each of you. She doesn't put a condition on your brother to help in order to get his share. She just gives from the heart.

So, to answer your original question, yes, your brother should inherit equally because that's how your mother wants it. That doesn't mean she shouldn't pay you for your work. But then you say you don't want to accept her money.

Uh... so what is it that you want?

I think I know. You want to get paid without having to ask. Well, that's not going to happen the way it's going. So, you're resenting it. If you want it changed, you need to make it happen. Like I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with getting paid for your WORK.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 18, 2019
Great answer, Polarbear!

You explained that perfectly!
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Asking an innocuous sounding question without doing any research on this site if it's been asked before (which we all know it has been and many times at that), and then getting defensive and angry when someone answers bluntly. Trolls want to start fights. That is troll behavior.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 18, 2019
You could be right. Markings of a troll. Thanks for pointing this out.
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This is your mothers decision.
My opinion is that no one should EXPECT to be left an inheritance. If it happens great.
My feeling is the money that has been saved by your parents should be used for their care. This is what it was saved for.."we will save for our old age"..is usually how a conversation starts when a couple starts saving.
People now also have the option to purchase long term care insurance..if you can afford it. But in the past you saved for what was necessary when you were no longer working.
The money that your Mom has saved use it for caregivers.
Use it to get a better mattress for her bed so she is less likely to get pressure sores
Use it for what ever she needs to make her comfortable.
Prepay for her funeral and enough to have a nice luncheon after
If there is any left be grateful for what there is...it is more than you have right now.
Your Mom does not see that one child is doing more than another all she sees is you are ALL her children and she loves you equally.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 17, 2019
Grandma, I get what you’re saying.

Care should come first. Who worked hard for that money? They did. So technically, bottom line, it’s their money.

How do I feel personally? I would reward the people who did more for me when I was living, if there was money left over after my care.

I would not necessarily shut out others if I still wanted to give them. If I did not want to give to certain people for my own reasons, I wouldn’t. Simple as that.

It’s not like they could argue with me after I am dead! 😂. Hahaha. Sorry, I have a twisted sense of humor at times.
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