Non-family member caregiver has been written into will; she will receive 25%. Is this legal?

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Most don't fully understand how and when a Will operates and under what circumstances.
A Will only governs those assets subject to probate.
If assets pass to another by Operation of Law (such as jointly held) or by Beneficiary (such as life insurance or IRA's where the beneficiary is not the estate of the deceased) THEY ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROBATE PROCESS AND THEREFORE NOT SUBJECT TO THE TERMS OF A WILL.
The administration of a Will upon one's death is conducted by the Probate Court that has jurisdiction. The process is time consuming and usually relatively expensive.
As a result, most chose to do some form of Estate Planning that avoids the probate process.
This planning is accomplished, as suggested above, by holding assets jointly with the intended beneficiary, naming Payable on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) beneficiaries on financial accounts, naming individuals as beneficiaries on life insurance/annuity policies and IRA's, or by creating a Revocable Trust and titling assets in the name of the trust (upon death of the grantor the trust becomes "irrevocable" and assets are devised according to the terms of the trust by the trustee named in the document).
There are, however, instances where one might actually prefer that their estate be subject to probate as then the administration of the estate will be supervised by a Probate Court thereby assuring assets subject to a Will are properly devised.
Proper estate planning and proper titling of assets to accomplish same is a crucial if one wishes their assets to be distributed as intended.
Seek proper legal advice.
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Reply to Ralph Robbins
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Hlhensley123, with my own Dad, I wished he would have written into his Will leaving some amount to his two favorite caregivers. They both were a Godsend to him and to me. Both worked for an Agency and I know they only got around half of the hourly rate that my Dad was paying to the Agency. They both made my Dad's life so happy, and both had been with him for over a year.

Now that Probate is finally finished, I plan to write both of them checks to thank them for all their hard work and friendship with my Dad. The checks will go directly to their home address and not through the Agency. And for making my life more manageable during that time frame.
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Reply to freqflyer
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If the person writing the will is competent, then "YES", it is legal.

We need more information about your situation. Apparently you, a family member, are upset that a caregiver hired to take care of your loved one has been written into your Father's?? or Mother's?? will. How long has this person been caring for your loved one? Has the caregiver been living in the loved one's home while giving care to your loved one?

How many family members will be sharing the remaining 75%? Is there some HUGE amount of money or property to be inherited? Will that money possibly be needed in the future to pay for your loved one's care during their final days or has the loved one died and that is how you found out about the caregiver being written into the will?
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Reply to DeeAnna
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The person making the will can leave her money to whomever she pleases.

Points to check:

Was the person (the testator) of sound mind when she made the will?
Is there any suggestion that the non-family caregiver applied any sort of pressure or influence?
If the caregiver was employed by an agency or company, does her inclusion in the will breach any terms of her employment?

But assuming none of the answers to these questions is cause for concern, then what you have is generous acknowledgement of devoted service, and God bless both of them.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My mother's best friend left a half interest in her house to her caregiver and half to our friend's daughter. The daughter and caregiver are now close friends. The caregiver had been utterly devoted, 24/7 for a long time.
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Reply to realtime
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Of course it's legal. They can give their money to anyone they want. It's their money.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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Why do you question the legality? Do you think there was something irregular in the change?

Has the person died? If not, have to asked them about this?
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Hensley....I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but, you seem to have gotten several hostile answers. I’m so sorry! Maybe some of these caregivers are feeling extremely stressed & you’re getting the brunt of their emotions. Usually responders are a lot kinder in their replies so I hope you haven’t been hurt or offended. Or, maybe it’s just the topic...money. Anyway, if it’s possible, I’d suggest you talk to the owner of the will & see if it all sounds legit to you. But like others said, if competency isn’t an issue then yes, it’s be legal. Good luck!
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Reply to heysilky
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I chose to not to respond to this post before but I have to laugh every Time I see this post. Your parents are under no obligation to leave you anything. It bothers me that parents feel they should leave something to their children. Parents should enjoy their money and spend it doing things and buying things FOR THEM. It makes me so mad that my Dad chose not to sell off property when he could. That money could have been spent on remodeling the house. A house that is now falling down from neglected. No, he wanted to save it for his kids. We didn't want it and then the wetlands law came in. Now I can't sell the property.

It boggles my mind when I read on this forum, where POAs feel they can sell a house and take money from their parents with no guilt. Its not their house or their money. That one person does all the caring but those that did nothing are right there when parent dies wanting their share. They talk about the Mellinium kids but Baby Boomers are not doing bad.

My brothers could have done more when it came to my Mom. But, they have allowed me to make the decisions regarding her care without complaint. Actually, I have gotten thank you's. Yes, I kept them in the loop and appreciated their input. But none of us felt we were entitled to any of her money. We actually told her to spend it,

A will is a personal thing. A person can leave his money to his cat. As long as a child is mentioned in the will, the inheritance can be a $1, the will cannot be contested. Our parents owe us nothing.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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No further details yet...I know a home caregiver who worked for a quite wealthy patient (male near 100 yrs old) for ten years. She’d try to resign and he’d talk her into coming back. He definitely had an ‘old man crush’ on her. For a few years I was wondering if he’d leave her something but I don’t believe that families ever allow any interlopers to get $1 extra and would hire the barracuda lawyers to get it back.

My friend had no aims to be written in the will. She did finally quit, abruptly and she’s glad to get away from him!
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Reply to HolidayEnd
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