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My sister and I are close in age. We live the same distance away from my father, but I do 95% of caregiving and interaction. I have accepted it. It is the right thing for me to do.


My sister and I have little contact. I find she only reaches out when she wants something. She has always been the golden child. She also seems to have some kind of disorder I can only call “extreme cheapness.” I shouldn’t say “seems”, she does. She has gotten my parents to pay for many things over the years—education, things for her children, cars, vacations, etc. She can well afford it, but why pay for something yourself when you can get someone else to? I haven’t asked my parents for anything. I can manage on my own.


I manage my father’s financial affairs. Long story short, sister is wanting to retire early and is prying to figure out what type of inheritance she may get while my father is still alive. She pressures me for information; not him (yet).


I’m really tired of this ongoing tension and her fixation on money and what she can get. She is aggressive and can become explosive when she doesn’t get what she wants (hopefully for free).


Dad has saved well and in all likelihood has enough money to last the rest of his life. She will likely inherit something. However, I’m thinking of telling her that she needn’t worry too much about having to save or contribute toward dad’s care, and if she wants to know more than that she can ask dad. This would surely be followed by a tantrum.


I guess it’s one of those cases where I love her as my sister, but I really don’t like her very much.


Thoughts? What shall I say?

As Dad's financial POA, handling his financial affairs, you are required to respect confidentiality. You would provide only information that Dad told you to provide. This is a serious responsibility here - it trumps any relationship with your sister.
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Reply to rovana
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I agree that it will shut her down quicker if you focus on how much it will cost if Dad needs 24/7 care. It's so premature to discuss an inheritance when we don't know what the future holds for anyone. I would focus on that aspect. Many years ago, DH's brother asked us about "how much" he thought he would get from the parents at the time of their deaths. At the time, their father was only 59 and their mother was only 54. (Brother was deeply in debt and was looking for resources - I wonder how long he planned to wait?) We essentially told him there were too many unknowns to make such a prediction.

For the record, NH care in my area is around $260 per DAY. That does not include medications or any extras. If that becomes something your father needs, there may not be any inheritance to speak of. I was once in someone's will for a $10K inheritance, but there was no money left - no inheritance. Thankfully, I knew not to count on it!

If your sister is wanting Dad to gift her inheritance to her while he's still living, you will need to extremely careful with this and seek legal help before doing so.
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Reply to Mysteryshopper
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PoofyGoof Jan 18, 2021
Agree. To clarify, I have no intention of distributing anything in advance of his passing.
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Do not tell her to ask dad. Show her the cost of memory care and nursing homes in your area. Most likely his assets could very well be used up paying those costs. Maybe tell sis that if she pays for his care on her own then maybe there will be something to inherit.

In my area nursing home cost is in the 10-12K a month range. Twelve months 144K!
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Reply to gladimhere
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PoofyGoof Jan 19, 2021
Curious -- are you saying I shouldn't tell her to ask dad because it will upset him? Or that she should be satisfied knowing the cost of care?
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Sadly, all too common of a story. Sorry that you are in this situation.

My parents babied my brothers their entire lives. It’s sickening but at the end of the day, they will have to look at themselves in the mirror.

Consider yourself lucky, that you won’t see the same thing when you look in the mirror.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Boy I wish I had a Nickle for every time my brother who made a six figure income until retirement asked me for his inheritance after my dad passed. He too thinks of money too much. I told him the money is moms now and will need it for her future.. He caused me so much stress, it hurt our relationship. We were very close growing up into our adult years. Very sad, indeed. I love my brother too but difficult to be around him sometimes. I would not discuss anything with your sister what so ever. Good you told her to discuss it with your dad and keep it at that. The best to you. Not easy but you need to protect yourself and your dad from greedy loved ones.
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Reply to earlybird
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If your father is competent, you should have him set up a trust with you as the Trustee and him as the beneficiary. It's a lot tighter than a POA, and your sister can yap all she wants, but she won't squeeze a dime out of the trust until your father is gone and the trust is dissolved.

Your dad can revoke your POA anytime he wants, and if your sister pressures him enough, she might get him to do it. I wouldn't take any chances with that and get a trust set up instead, if possible. If not, get guardianship for your dad.
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Reply to MJ1929
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PoofyGoof Jan 17, 2021
A revocable living trust has been set up. I am the trustee. She is successor trustee. As far as legal actions, I feel like I’ve done the best I can.
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If she has equal access to your father, and he has not been diagnosed with any cognitive decline or memory issues (in his medical records) then I would be somewhat worried that at some point she may figure out that she can convince him to create a new PoA, with her in control. You may think your father won't ever do this but please remember that mental decline is often a slow slide, not a switch that is suddenly flipped. One day he's "his old self" and the next he is confused, gullible, even delusional.

If I were in your position I would have his doctor give him the cognitive exam every few months. You can pass the doc a note discretely requesting this exam. I think a lot of docs do it for the elderly as a matter of course, but not always. A record of his mental state may protect him and his assets from a family predator -- the worst and often most successful kind of financial predator.
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PoofyGoof Jan 17, 2021
I think I have things pretty locked up, if you will. I don’t care if she asks for some kind of an audit. I have nothing to hide. Plus, she would have to pay for it and that would never happen…
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Inheritances should not be 'counted upon' until after the death of the parent. Paying out an inheritance 'early' is rife with possible legal problems.

Now, having said that, my mom had her POA/executor tell each of us kids how much we would receive in an inheritance should she die at home w/o any special care.

I don't want to hurt her feelings, but it's not much and brother was actually embarrassed to tell us how little it was.

I like ITHRR's comment that you could tell sis she probably should be looking ahead to helping OUT financially. That'll shut her up.
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Reply to Midkid58
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I am glad you find it in your heart to still "love" this sister. Were she mine, I would not be so good.
I am thrilled to hear your Dad has saved so well as to have monies to take care of him for the rest of his life. Memory care, were he to need that, is extremely expensive. The money will hemorrhage out. You do not give his age, but he would need to be a millionaire to have enough for memory care for any amount of time.
I am also so happy to hear you are the POA. I know you understand fully the importance of now keeping filed every single bank statement, every single expenditure and every single asset incoming, so as to be able to put these in front of any enquiring entity. At worst, this sister, could bring you into court with some FAKE and FALSE accusation when her next explosion doesn't get her her way.
Now as to what you sister WANTS TO KNOW. That's tough, frankly. You are POA for your Father. Not only SHOULD YOU NOT, but you are not supposed to share his financial information with your Sister. She will find out what inheritance is coming to her when the Executor of his will or Trustee of his Trust distributes those funds after your father's death. Until then you are to act as he directs you if he is fully competent to do so, or as you believe is in his best interest --HIS best interest--when he is unable. This is not your sister's business. Her unpleasant explosions are her way of getting her own way. As Handel on the Law always likes to say, tell her to "go pound sand".
I am very much against greedy explosive siblings, and I am very relieved that you are the one in charge. Ignore her, and continue to do your best for your Dad. I wish you the best of luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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PoofyGoof Jan 18, 2021
That’s actually one of my favorite sayings, “pound sand”! I haven’t used it on her for fear of reprisal.
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I like the idea of telling her that she will more than likely, not have to contribute financially to dads care, if he is frugal with the remaining money.

Let her have a tantrum, who cares. Don't answer her or make yourself available to be dumped on.

She doesn't get anything while he is living and if you're clever she may not get much when he dies. You are entitled to be paid for all you do, even if you don't want it. At least she won't get if for nothing.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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AlvaDeer Jan 17, 2021
I love this advice.
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