Older sister is trying to coerce our mother into changing her mind about decisions she has made. Anyone else faced this? - AgingCare.com

Older sister is trying to coerce our mother into changing her mind about decisions she has made. Anyone else faced this?

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Evertime my older sister comes to visit from out of state, she tries to get my mother to change the decisions my mother has made regarding her future. It includes the will and how my mother should be taken care of when she cannot live independently without help. I am the executor of her will, have durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy and joint ownership on her checking account mostly because I live the closest. My mother is 82 and competent, but somewhat vulnerable to dealing with my controlling sister. With the will, my sister wants to exclude our step sister as an heir. My sister is also trying to take control of how my mother will be taken care of when she will not be able to live indepenently without help. All this has been discussed and decided between my mother and I. Yet, my mother calls to discuss with me my sister's suggestions. My sister is the type that will help, bu only if it also benefits her. I am ready to just turn it all over to my sister if my mother doesn't stop allowing my sister to interfer. Has anyone else had similiar problems and how they handled it?

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You must be so frustrated with your mother for listening to your sister. I bet your sister was mean to you when you were kids.

I'm not sure your mother is able to resist your sister. Have you talked to her about it in a calm mood? Not "Goddamn it, Mom, why do you always do what Susie says?" But "Gee, Susie is kind of forceful in her opinions, isn't she? What did she say to you to make you reconsider X?" Ask her if she felt guilty, or afraid, or just too weak to resist. Ask her what she would prefer to do.

Could she say, "Susie, if I do that without talking it over with Debralee, she'll be angry/hurt. She is the one I have to trust these days, because she is here all the time. Would you discuss it with her, because I don't want to get in the middle." That makes you the bad guy, but then you can be the one who faces your sister.

Maybe you can negotiate it so your sister will get a SLIGHTLY larger inheritance than the stepsister, just to shut her up. Maybe you can agree with any suggestions she makes that actually make sense, again, to shut her up. Then you can stand firm on the other stuff. If you are calm and reasonable, she might be embarrassed to pitch a fit.

I would suggest asking your sister not to do these things because they upset your mother, but I suspect that would be a waste of breath. Try not to blame your mother. She's another victim.

One last thought. Does your sister feel left out of the planning? Could the THREE of you have a discussion of what you have decided and what your sister thinks would be better? Again, she might have a good idea or two, so listen to her ideas and reasons respectfully and with an open mind.
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I suggest you have a long heart-to-heart talk with your mom to discuss whether she is having any doubts about trusting you over your sister in taking care of her - both financially and medically (which I'm sure she doesn't). If she says no, then I would politely point out that you love her and only want what's best for HER; therefore, she's GOT to quit taking your sister's advice because it is causing problems for you. Such as, she talked her into buying a car that she didn't need that she's now paying insurance on unnecessarily as well as it's depreciating as it sits in the driveway. So now you have to deal with selling it so that she's not out of money for the insurance, etc. If she's already got things set up the way she wants - assure her that you promise you will do EVERYTHING in your power to ensure it is done her way. But that your sister has already tried to exclude your step sister as an heir even though that is the way she (your mom) wanted it done. Ensure her you love your sister (if you do), but that she's not here dealing with everything from day-to-day so she shouldn't really be doing things like this unless she wants to take a more active role in her caretaking. Good luck!!
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I am not interested in any inheritence. I would rather she use her assets for her future care needs. It is difficult when an elderly person is competent to make their own decisions, but then make a bad financal decision just to please another person because that person thinks they are helping the elderly parent. My mother just purchased a second hand car because her old one is no longer safe to drive. Previously she had decided not to buy another car, but because of sisters influencial need to help, she made the purchase without even test driving the car to make sure she was comfortable driving the car. My mother is totally clueless about the features of this newer car. Most likely this $3600.00 decision will sit in the driveway. She is lucky if she drives 100 miles a year. She will also be paying on insurance for a car she may never drive. The problem is not so much the decision she made, but who will have to deal with the aftermath of that decision-me. My mother usually consults me on my advice before making any major decisions which works out for her. When my sister gets involved it turns into disaster then she goes back to her home state to her own life and I have to deal with my mother's regretable choices. Just tired of dealing with her emotional fallouts that I did not help create. I would gladly give up the legal responsibilities and maybe consulting a lawyer to see how to go about it is a good idea!
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I would not turn it over to your sister, as she may try to cut you out of the will, as well. Sorry to say, but sometimes people will do pretty crappy things to get more money. Tell your sister to stop her financial over-reach. Your mother is competent, and it is your mother's decision, how the inheritance is divided, NOT your sister's decision. It is arrogant and totally unacceptable that adult children try to exclude one sibling (or in your case step-sibling), to benefit themselves financially. If they do it legally, unfortunately they can pull it off. I would keep close tabs on your sister. In addition, I would consult an attorney.
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