i recently found out my grandma's house that bought in 1965 for $6000 has an unpaid balance of $7000 because my mom has not paid off the second mortgage her and my dad took out on grandma's house in 1990.
according to my grandma's will dated 1989, the house was paid off and was to be left to my dad when she passed but in 1990 my parents asked to mortgage grandma's house to help them purchase a vehicle for their business and they would make mortgage payments and my grandma said yes. in 2003, my dad died which left my mom making grandma's house payments and mom has been struggling financially ever since dad's passing and the house still has not been paid.
i am now my grandma's caretaker and have moved in with her because she is 92yrs old. she is in good health but without me would be alone. i am trying to get my grandma's financial and legal matters organized and prepared and i have made an appointment to update her will but i am thinking should i pay off my grandma's house and have her sign it over to me? because it was already willed to my dad it will be left to my mom and grandma told us "grand kids" the house would be ours when she passes. i feel i have to hide what i am doing from my mom because she has her own plans for grandma's house. but if i'm her caretaker i shouldn't have to hide anything i am doing.

please help!!

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it looks like the situation with my gma's house is going to be resolved, after it's paid off. after talking to the mortgage company, reviewing gramma's monthly income and putting her on an allowance the house "should" be paid off in 12mo's.
she's not happy having to pay off my mom's loan but she understands its the only way the house will get paid.
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Yup, I'll bet a whole lot of us wish for a delete button. Most of the forums I have participated in over the years have had that feature, as well as spell-check, and also allow editing an entry (by the person who entered it, of course.) This site isn't the most sophisticated discussion forum I've seen, but it is easy to use and certainly attracts a lot of people.

I agree with you totally, gmaandsam, that you should not be spending money out of your own pocket on this. The bottom-line issue (as I see it) is, Is gma competent to make her own decisions? If she is (in the legal sense) then she can choose to not pay her taxes, to use all her money at the casino, and to rely on the kindness of others. Of course all those choices have consequences, but she is entitled to make the choices and face the consequences. In our culture, which highly values independence, adults are allowed to make their own mistakes.

BUT if she is not competent to make her own decisions (in the legal sense) then she is considered a vulnerable adult. Our culture tries to protect vulnerable adults from self-harm and from others taking advantage of them.

So it boils down to, is she fully in her right mind?

If she is, and she is willing to give you POA and to let you manage her finances, great. Lots of work for you, but problem solved.

If she isn't, but she is with it enough to understand the concept of POA and to give it to you, great, problem solved again.

If she is considered competent to make her own decisions and you cannot persuade her to let you help by taking over the finances, then I think that your hands are tied. It is very, very painful to watch a loved one do self-destructive things. My heart goes out to you.

I can't remember, and if I go back to look I'll lose this post -- have you talked to people at Social Services? You won't have any authority to insist on anything they may recommend, but I think it could be very helpful to have the situation assessed by an objective, trained third party. An inatke social worker would be a no-cost professional who could give you and gma some options and advice.

My heart really goes out to you, trying your best to take care of this elderly woman you love, and running into obstacles one after the other.

Take care of you, too!
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i certainly know about the NO DELETE. i tried doing that after my post got its first response that made me want to hide. but i'm over it. thanks to mr.bilMO i have once again regained any confidence i lost and put mine & gma's profile pic up.

i do see his point of view regarding legal aid. my first impression of the "attorney" gma was given was "CRACKHEAD" i'm sorry but the girl who's probably close to my age, looked like she just woke up after a good night of partying and put her hair in a pony-tail in hopes her dress suit would improve her appearance. it didn't.

i have looked into finding a lawyer to speak to about this matter concerning gma's house and the cheapest i have found is $600. excuse me while i pick myself up off the floor again.

one problem i have with paying for something like this is... why should any money come out of my pocket when gma has the money to pay it herself, but won't? yesterday i found out she is behind one year on her property taxes and when i questioned her about it she said she was depending on someone else in the family to pay for it because they paid the prior year! what? thats one thing about gma, you do something nice for her or to help her out and she expects it all the time!!

i went to staples and picked up 2 forms. one is a POA the other LAST WILL. i have not opened the packets, told her i bought them or even given any of this whole mess one single minute of my attention since friday morning when i spoke to her about property taxes on the house. i am still looking forward to that drink i so much need but i guess its like me waiting for my "night in shining armor" who still has not showed.

if bailing out on gma was an option, i still wouldn't do it. as much as i'd like to give this mess for someone else to take care of, i can't. nothing would be resolved.
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Sam I would call a lawyer and make an appointment -use your rent money and meet with him for an hr and get his advice when he hears the whole story he should be able to give you advice to get your started-I wonder if legal aid realizes she has dementia -which she must have by how she is acting-they might not realize it when you were not allowed to be in the meeting-it sounds to me you should walk away from this whole mess before you get in any deeper than you are.
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So Bill, how do you really feel about Legal Aid? lol You really must have had a disastrous experience with the organization to be a bitter as you are. I'm sorry that happened to you.

Ahem. I hope Sam isn't offended that you don't approve of her choice of assistance with a will. But certainly there are people reading this whose son or daughter or mother or father are lawyers who devoted or are devoting a part of their career to this charitable organization or who volunteer to take a limited number of cases in addition to their private practice. There are probably lots of different ways free or low-cost legal advice offices are organized across the country. In my county there is one available that participates in the United Way program. I looked up the pictures and biographies of the lawyers in another legal aid organization. None of them looked remotely near retirement age, and since they do not work for a government agency I don't know how they could be sitting around waiting for a goverment pension.

You could be right that Sam (or her gram) needs more specialized legal service than might typically be available from a legal-aid type practice. But that hardly makes all lawyers involved in such organizations plonkers or sea anchors.

Again, I'm sorry for whatever experience you had that brought you to this opinion, but I sure would like it better if you didn't paint with such a broad brush.

Anyway, this is all kind of off-topic, because I'm sure that Sam is not in this world of hurt because she chose to take her gram to the wrong lawyer!
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Sam: I feel for you. This is going to be a hard road. Your gma may not be agreeable to your suggestions. Let us know how it goes today. Cattails
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oh my gosh.....its getting worse!!! gma has not paid property taxes. when i asked her today how much it is she told me $450 but in fact she's behind $927.00
that's it! i am going to sleep and in the morning gma is getting grounded!!!
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thank you everyone. it's probably a good thing i'm not a drinker, otherwise i'd be drunk(this week) i can only imagine how much harder its going to be NEXT week. this afternoon i opened my gma's bank statement(without her knowing) in one month she deposited $1116.40(not including $350 i gave her for rent)
3ATM withdrawls from 2 casino's totalling $297 a $600.00 cash withdrawl was also made in this month and 4checks written totalling $232.oo(utilities)

i honestly had no idea. i did not think her "casino habit" was this bad and i am assuming that is where the $600 cash probably was spent? i've been waiting to talk to my siblings about gma and what "needs to be done" but this can't wait any longer. according to her bank statement by the 11th of may she was already overdrawn $35!!

not only that but one of the casino's she visited twice is 28miles from home and has a bus stop right in front! i keep asking myself "where was i the two days she was at this casino?" i know there was one day i was talking to my little sister in AZ(video chat) and saw gma walk up the sidewalk. when i told my sister to hold on to open door for gma the first words that came out of gma's mouth were..."i've been home for a long time!!"

i told her she hadn't because i had been home for hours then went back to video chat & told my sister what gma said. we both just shrugged it off & said, "omg...she's such a liar!!" when i asked her later on she told me she was visiting mrs. cora around the block which she does do from time to time.

I CAN'T LET MY GRAMMA DO THIS!! WITH ME LIVING HERE SHE IS GOING TO EXPECT ME TO FEED HER(buy groceries) or she'll expect me to give her money when she goes through hers. thinking about it, that's why she's been asking(bugging) about if i've gotten my check yet!!

i am so upset! i know the POA & the house are two seperate issues. i know the house doesnt have to be paid off, even though her bank statement PROVES she is capable of paying the $266.oo mortgage herself. she has no funeral payment arrangements made(yet)

i have to somehow take care of this and stop it now. forget my family...quit waiting for something to happen that's not going to happen and if they dont like decisions that i made/make that they're not aware of or dont like?? i'm just going to tell them tough shit!! i have to do whats best for my gramma and even though im going to be going through so much stress,bullshit, crying & whatever else is down the bumpy road i'm on....i'm going to have to ride it out because i'd rather do it myself then have any one else do it.

one more thing..... medicade is not the same as medi-cal/medicare?
i am still learning about this and all i know is gma is enrolled in SCAN health plan. its time for another break...good night all and thank you so much for listening to me rant & rave and helping me with suggestions and advice.
gma's SCAN healthcare is offering me information on a caretaker's support group to help me(they left msg on my voicemail today) the 2 ladies i've been talking with over the past few months have been so much help to me. i think they feel sorry for me but its ok,,,, i'll take any help i can get since i cant get it from my own family.
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Sam: I hope you realize that you can have POA for gma before the house is paid off. One has nothing to do with the other. Also, your gma can call her lender and speak with them directly about her loan and any mailings that may not be coming to her. She can also call them and tell them that she wants them to talk to you and then you can ask the questions. Just some ideas. Cattails
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Ah yes, that does bring up another issue. As a caregiver you absolutely DO need regular breaks. It may be gramandsam forever, but not without breaks. It is important to establish that pattern now. As the dementia progresses you may not even be able to run to the drug store without having someone watch her. While you are trying to think of what her care costs and how long her funds will last her, realize that you absolutely must be able to get away regularly and that may mean paying an aide or a caregiver or a personal care attendant or a granny sitter ... someone to keep her company and keep her safe.

This business of caregiving for an elder with dementia is more complicated than simply loving the person. There are all the legal issues (POA, hippa release of information forms, wills, medical proxy, etc. etc.) and the medical issues (reduced mobility, possible incontinence, difficulty swallowing or breathing, etc.) and the basics like food and utilities and home maintenance and RESPITE CARE. Also relationships with the rest of the family need to be factored in. Sigh. Caregiving is not for sissies! :D

If you need to be using free handyman services and legal aid, etc., then it sounds like it may make sense to apply for Medicaid sooner rather than later. At least look into it.

And take those breaks you need!
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jeanne, your words did not offend me. i agree with you, it IS sad my gma has a house that was purchased in the 60's by her parents for a total of $6000.00 and today there is a balance of over $7000.00 owed!!
today gma & i did some "serious talking" while coming back from her eye exam. we discussed the house & she told me she had not been getting ANY mail from the mortgage company for "a while". i explained to her i am not able to "take care of things" on my own. i have "no right" calling any place asking any information regarding house, health or what ever it may be because i need to have permission to do so & reminded her of POA and if she didn't want to give me the responsibility she needs to give it to someone who is willing to take it on. she mentioned updating her will and said legal aid had not yet called back and told me they "suggested" her consider signing over the house to me.
whether they did or not, i dont know. this is just what she told me today. i told her before she even thinks of doing that(if she chooses) WE need to talk to someone who knows whether it would be a good idea to do before house is paid off or not.

again, this entire situation is nothing but problems. there's already arguing between my mom & myself because she tells me to "stay out of it" i'm not asking gma for the house. all i am asking is that gma update her will and leave what ever she wants to who ever she wants that way when she does pass, i will feel better knowing she left things just as SHE wanted not how they had to be.

another thing we discussed during the extra long ride home was the fact that after she is gone, I DONT WANT TO ARGUE WITH ANYONE ABOUT ANYTHING! if she chooses to leave "us grandkids" the house, she needs to be specific. does sam move out? does sam stay while house is being sold? if my brother is part owner and wanted to move in, he would have every right to do that and if both sisters wanted to sell immediatly but sam and her bro want to keep it, then what happens.
i'm not saying any of this will happen, i just gave her different things to consider. the house is old. a lot of work was done without permits and my grandpa was a drinker who drank while "fixing" things around here. the brand new washing machine i bought almost 3wks ago STILL has not been connected. why? because grandpa had a hose gma used to drain the water during the rinse cycle. basically, if he needed a certain size hose or bracket for something he was working on, he was probably too drunk to drive to home depot and used what ever he could find. and 3wks later because sam doesn't know how or what to fix herself and gma only wants to spend money at casino instead of what is important, it has not been fixed.
the only person WE have to do these kinds of things for us(free) is my brother in law who was here last weekend fixing the leaky swamp cooler, installed a window unit, fixed a broken pipe and wasn't able to get past the middle of his "gma get done list" because he works 14hr shifts out of town and has his own issues at home with my sister.

(big sigh) i need a little break. im not a drinker but i think i'll pick up a 4pk of wine coolers and hide under a rock for a couple hours.
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About the house, etc.

Grandma should change her will to make sure it reflects her wishes. You said she wants the house to be for all the grandkids. If her other grandkids are fine with you getting it, they might talk to her about that so she wills it just to you. I think that would make everyone's lives easier. I can't think of any reason not to update the will now. Nothing else has to be done first.

It sounds like your grandparents loaned your parents money, to help them over a rough spot. That money has not been fully repaid. To obtain money to loan them, grandparents took out a mortgage on their house. It has not been paid off. The question is, should it be now? What is the interest rate? How is it that the morgage holder is not insisting on payments to at least cover the interest? What are the financial consequences of paying it off now as oppsed to making monthly payments? Is there cash available to pay it off? Make the decision on purely practical considerations.

Although there are exceptions, I think it usually makes sense for the on-site caregiver to have POA (both financial and medical). Move forward with this.

Let us hope that Grandma has many years ahead of her. Having early dementia now is a warning that she may need increasing care. She could also fall, or develop a chronic condition, or for any reason need more care than you can provide alone. More help is available; it just costs money. What resources would be available if this happens? What resources does she have? Would she likely need to apply for Medicaid? This is just a layman's opinion, but I think you will be better off inheriting the house later than having it put in your name now. Putting it in your name now can have serious consequences if GM needs Medicaid in the next five years. GM would be allowed to keep her home when she applies for Medicaid, and since you have been living with her and taking care of her, it may be exempt from the recovery program after she dies. As I say, that's a layman's view -- you may want to discuss it with a professional.

And gmaandsam, I am sorry that my original post upset you. I was not making accusations against you. And I still am sad that there is conflict over the terms of grandma's will to the extent you don't even want to have your mother know about it. I am sad that a loan generously made years ago is now the source of conflict in your family. As I see it, this is a sad situation. You are handling it bravely and by trying to gather information. Good for you!
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watching out for my own mother is nothing new to me. i spoke to my brother this morning when i picked him and his girlfriend up from the bus stop and gave them a ride to the store and made him aware of the "early dementia" then told him about the visit to legal aid yesterday. he asked if "we were going to update gma's will" and i told him "no, she is going to update it herself" then told him i had hoped to do the POA. he's response...."umm..i dont like the sound of that" then i reminded him i talked to him & my sisters a few weeks ago about it and everyone agreed it was to be given to me since i take care of gma. he remembered & thought POA meant giving an attorney all power over gma. lol... that's my bro. i wonder if it bothers his girlfriend at all that sam has 2 cars which she can choose to drive at any time while they are both walking.
oops...stick to the subject sam....stick to the subject.
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maybe i got a little carried away with the situation next door at mom's house with her and my brother. rather than go on & on about something i have no control over i'd like to try and get back to what's important and what i need advice with.... gma, her house, her health and doing whats best for her.
don't get me wrong, i enjoy hearing what you've got to say and the fact that you seem to see my side of things where others on here haven't have made me feel better about myself. in fact, when i joined this site i had a pic of me & gma but when someone commented about how "sad" it was to argue over a house that isn't ours, i took my pic off. but thanks to you "mr. bil" i will put our pic back up because i know i am doing whats right. i am taking care of my gma and am jumping into a huge problem head first that i feel needs to be settled and taken care of (meaning gma's house getting paid off) so that she can update her will and leave everything just as she would like to leave it.
i know this is going to be hard. its going to cause so many problems and arguments, mostly with my mom because she's already warned me to "be careful with what i do with gma's house". i love my mom and i love my gma but mom can take care of herself and make her own decisions and gma can't. i'm not gonna allow ANY family members walk all over gma again and it seems like the one i need to be most careful of is my own mother.
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DING DING DING!!! you got it BIL!!!

the only thing i'd like to correct is mom's "remodeled house". when her BF started the remodeling he never finished. not one thing. when i say half of the house is torn apart, i mean just that. the original master bedroom has no ceiling, no walls, exposed wires and was being used as a storage until bro moved back home. the hall bathroom has a tub but no shower, green board instead of walls and while sitting on the toilet you can check who's walking by on the patio! the kitchen ALMOST got finished but still needs a little work but nothing has been touched in a year & a half??

also, before i forget.... my 17yr old lives with my sister, 15min's away. when i lost my job, i went into a heavy depression & it was in her best interest she go to my sisters. she's been with her since late 2009 i think that was one of the best decisions i've ever made because my sister is a teacher & my kid is graduating with honors.

anyways.... when i lived at mom's i paid the gas,water,cable,phone & internet. she paid electricity. which were about the same amount( i think) since the house has no A/C. my mom was the one who suggested this arrangement because although i was living there & she wasn't, it was still her house so i was given the smallest room & lived in that room.

prior to my bro moving in he had my mom ask gma if he could move into her spare room but gma told mom she would "think about it" when i asked gma if she wanted him to move in with her she told me no because he never paid her for the $800 phone bill he ran up years before. why didnt gma just tell my mom "no"?? because that's how my gma is.

i told my mom it was wrong for her to even ask gma about letting him move in and i felt i should have a say so in the matter since i'm the one taking care of gma. which is why mom let him move back home.

as the months passed & weather changed bro was not happy being in the room that had no insulation. every time mom stopped by he complained. and the day i came home & saw my brother cutting my gma's grass, i knew he was going to ask her about moving in and sure enough, he did. when gma told me later that evening, the only way she was going to keep him out of her house was if i moved in and again, since i was taking care of gma.. why not.

was i forced into this position im in now??? YES!!! i had no problem taking care of gma & living next door. in fact, it was a lot easier and it gave me a place to escape when i felt gma was getting to me. but once again, i had no choice because the hotter it got, the more my bro complained to mom and accused me of "purposely taking my time moving out of the room because he was waiting to move in"

when i went to see mom yesterday(she usually stops by after work) we talked a little. i mentioned the mess on the patio that my bro couldn't clean up for her & after she got mad because i asked for the floor fan she borrowed from me, i asked if my bro has given her any money. she said no & got upset then started crying and told me she just wanted to be left alone. before leaving i reminded her that even when i didn't have money, i still gave her something and when i had big money, i gave her big money. twice in two years i gave her $500 to be used for the house.($1000 total) not because she asked but because she's my mom & i will always try to help her however i can. she knows if there is something she needs fixed, moved ,unlocked or towed that i'm the one who knows how to do it... not only was i "daddy's girl" but i was also the son dad never had.
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as for the pit.....he's been gone since i moved back home and heard about the insurance. he lives at a no-kill living free animal shelter in the mountains. my brother thinks it was my mom's doing,,,it was really mine.
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ugh!! i dont know what happen to the response i just wrote. i'm gonna make this quick cuz i'm on my way out.

i live in calif. gma gets about $735mo ssi
legal aid would not allow me in with my gma and when i asked gma about what they talked about, she said "silly questions"
the dog is gone. has been since i found out about it a couple years ago. my mom had a change in heart(or had a heart) and apologized for everything she had done to me. she said she "had no idea my life would fall apart as it did" she suggested i move "back home" to help me get my life together. the day i moved in, she moved out and into her boyfriends house.
living at mom's was not free(for me) i paid rent up til the day i moved out and reminded her of that yesterday when i asked if my brother has given her any money and she said no.
as for taking care of gma for the next 5yrs..... i have to! like i said, its going to be "gmaANDsam" till the end, no matter how hard it gets.
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Samantha: You didn't respond to my questions about where you live (state), your gma's monthly income, etc.

Here's what I was thinking. I'm in Washington state and before that I was in California. We have TITLE companies here. They can do a search on your grandmothers property and tell you any liens against it. I think it would be wise for you to have a search of property records done by professionals. It will tell you if any liens are against the property, if the property taxes are up to date and if the current lender on the loan against the property has filed for foreclosure.

From what you have said, I can not determine if your mom is actually making the payment on the loan. That sounds iffy, and you need to determine if any legal action has been taken against the property. It's important to understand what costs might be involved if the property is in your name. The lender might also decide to call the loan due and payable in full if your grandma transfers title to you.

The loan must be in your gma's name because, as owner, she is the only one who could take a loan out against her property. The fact that all mail that comes to your gma goes to your mom unopened is a big mistake. You and your gma need to start opening that mail and understanding what is being sent to your gma and if her home is in any financial jeopardy.

Do you still have the Pitt Bull and do you want to keep it? If you still have it and don't want to keep it, then check on line for Pitt Bull rescue groups who can take it and find it a good home.

Call the lender on the property and find out what the current state of the loan is. How much is owed and if payments are up to date. You need to take some action here to get the facts and your attorney will need that info to better understand your situation. A title search will also give you assurance that no other liens are against her property and taxes are up to date. You don't want any surprises.

I have no problem with your gma deeding the house to you, but there are somethings you need to consider.

1. Will the loan be called for payment in full. Can you pay it off before title transfer.
2. If your sibs will help you pay off the loan, it would be wise to get it in writing that they do not want any compensation from you (payback) and do not expect to have any legal interest in the ownership of your gma's house.
3. Are there any other liens or unpaid taxes against the property that have to be paid off.

The biggest issue where your gma is concerned is her future care. If she deeds her house to you then she has given you a gift of her assets. This will be a problem if her health deteriorates and she needs to be placed in a nursing home. If her monthly income is low enough for her to qualify for Medicaid, her nursing home costs will be covered by Medicaid. If, however, she has gifted her home to someone, she will be refused Medicaid benefits for 5 years after the date she gifted her asset(s), namely her home.

As you mentioned, care giving and understanding what is going on with your gma is new to you and you have already come to realize that more is wrong with her than you first suspected. If she is having signs of dementia, the nurse is absolutely right that legal steps need to be taken, a POA and medical POA determined. It would be nice if that person was you, because I don't think your mom is going to be a good advocate for your gma.

You have some homework to do. Let us know how the visit with the attorney went. I would also encourage you to get in contact with your local area on aging and speak with a representative that works with caregivers. They can tell you where you need guidance and what the rules are in your state for Medicaid acceptance.

I also want to say that I am sorry you have the mom you've been given. Any mother that would take steps to but her child out of business is no friend or anyone that has your best interests in mind.

Who do you work for now....I'm not asking for their name, but assuming it is in the same type of business you were in before. How is your credit rating? Take some inventory of what you are personally able to do financially and what your dreams are. You have a child who will be graduating from high school. What about college.

You are 38 now so you are young. Can you take care of your grandmother for another 5 years? Keep in mind you are answering a question that has many unknowns. She could be extremely difficult as her dementia progresses. You will at some time have to address the casino issue and set some limits. You may, in the coming years find that her mental status decreases, her demands increase and you will be dealing with a child in an old persons body. She could become bedridden and in need of help showering, going to the bathroom and many other things.

If you talk to your local area on aging, I would strongly suggest that you get into a caregiver support group. You will receive an incredible education there and also find friends to help you through what lies ahead.

Just my thoughts, Cattails.
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Good luck! Let us know what happens.
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after dad died i did my best to help mom keep the repo biz going. didn't work. although i was quite capable of doing repo's solo, she wouldn't allow it and after she didn't listen to my warning about the assignment who's name i recognized as my dad having problems with in the past, i gave up on her and got into the repo biz on my own which meant i was now my mom's competition. a few months later mom got out of the repo biz completely and didn't talk to me for several years while i was in it. eventually, my mom played a big part in "black-balling" me and i got out of doing repo's myself.
because of everything i went thru with losing dad, mom & getting out of the repo biz(which was a childhood dream) i went thru a couple of years of very heavy depression. its only been the last two years that i have now started "coming out from under the rock that hid me".
having to take care of gma since grandpa died a year ago has also helped me or maybe forced me to come out again. but its good..... i am ready to live again.

mr. bilmo...THANK YOU!!! i was started to regret even asking my question. i feel better knowing its not just me, gma & my sisters who believe my mom is selfish and greedy. she is miserable because her house has not been finished and with no A/C or even a swamp cooler inside, i dont blame her but at the same time, its her own fault.

ystrdy when she stopped by after work to cut her backyard because her 34yr old son wont do it for her, i asked for the floor fan i let her borrow. she got upset and said "here, since you need it more than i do" then slammed the door. did i take it anyways?? YES!!
i love my mom but i was a daddy's girl. her & i have always bumped heads and even though i have gotten passed what she did to get me out of the repo biz there are still some things i cant get over!!
gma knows exactly what my mom will do once she is gone. but for some reason gma does not understand mom is not going to pay off the house.

our appt with legal aid is today. i have gathered what ever papers i found including deed/title, house pmnt or past due bill, gma's old will as well as a few other things and will be taking gma down to see what they have to say.

i'm nervous. i hope i am making the right decisions and hope it doesn't backfire somewhere down the road. i did my best to have a meeting with gma & us grandkids before this day but it didn't happen and now its up to me.

wish me luck everyone and thanks again.
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Samantha, do you work for your mom's company? Just curious as it sounds like your part time work is similar to the business your mom and dad were in. Do you mind telling me what state you live in? Do you know what your Grandmother's monthly income is?

You have your hands full and I want to make some suggestions, but just need a little more info.

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SAMANTHA is 38,single with a 17yr old about to graduate. other then taking care of gma which almost seems like a full time job, i work part time on call towing. as for the truck mom & dad purchased when taking out the 2nd on gma's house. if i remember correctly it was about $60,000 and about a year after dad died a highly upset registered owner set fire to the repo truck.
as for my mom. she is not concerned about paying off gma's house at all. with dad gone, mom now has a new life. asking her for any thing isn't easy even if it has nothing to do with gma and when i told her yesterday what the nurse said about early signs of dementia and gma's appt with legal aid & POA, mom just made her usual face & reminded me of what will happen once i am in charge of gma & her finances.
we(gma & siblings) believe mom's plans for gma's house is to sell it after she passes and use the money to fix her house next door. although she does not live there she let her boyfriend get carried away with remodeling 2yrs ago and it still has not been finished. mom selling gma's house wouldn't be a problem if that was what gma wanted but its not.
according to gma, she wants the house to be sold and money split between the 4 grandkids. and we all agreed that its "whatever gma wants". at the same time, i can't help thinking gma's house is not paid off, i don't own a house myself, if gma is ok and agrees to it, why not pay the house off and put it in my name? my sisters already own their own homes and both said "it doesn't matter if gma leaves them a part of the house or not" the only one who would have a problem is my brother but its expected of him because he & i dont get along and he lives next door in mom's house "rent free"and without a job. asking him to help my gma or my mom with cutting the grass is asking too much.

thank you all for your suggestions & advice. it does help
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You are doing a noble thing to take care of your gma, and your heart is certainly in the right place! Very few of us knew what we were getting into when we began caregiving. I was fortunate enough to have advice from a social worker early-on to see an elder law attorney (which I had never even heard of) and take care of POA and other paperwork and apply for Medicaid. In the year it took me to handle all that I cried more over the frustation of dealing with lawyers and insurance companies and application forms than I did over the tragedy of my husband's dementia. Still, I got through it. Caregivers aren't born knowing how to do any of this, and as I say few of us even knew we'd ever have to!

So, don't feel bad if you're in over your head. So were many of us to begin with. Get help. See a lawyer. Talk to a social worker. Don't try to handle everything on your own. You are right that having the POA can be a tough role. With early stage dementia this dear lady needs someone to take action in her own best interest. It is kind of like parents insisting their kids can't eat candy all day and they have to wear their seatbelts and get vacinnations. Taking care of someone isn't just about giving them what they want. It is doing what is best for them, too.

You don't say how old you are, or what your social life is like, or whether you work, etc. No matter what, I hope you stick by your gramma to the end -- Sam and Gram make a fine pair! But give some very careful thought to whether that can be as her primary caregiver. Always be her loving grandson, whatever other roles you may play.

I wish you the very best.
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taking care of gma is new to me...i'm learning about it & often feel overwhelmed because if i had all the time in the world gma would easily take up that time & its frustrating.
over the weekend a nurse came to the house to do an "assessment" for gma's health care plan. after talking to the nurse and gma answering questions i thought my gma did pretty good. today the nurse called me and said it appears my gma is showing signs of early dementia. the step ladders, poor judgement....everything you just mentioned above is all correct and i had no idea.
the nurse suggested because i am gma's caretaker that signing POA needs to be done now. she suggested i start managing gma's finances and take the ATM card away when i take her to the casino and i just sat there listening... thinking...
i love my gma with all my heart. i want her last 5-10yrs to be the best years and i dont want to deal with the arguing that will come from handling her money!!
i told gma before i moved in.....its going to be "gma and sam till the end" and i thought i was capable of taking the job but now i think i'm in over my head.
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Sounds like your gran/aunt is the one on the mortgage so she is responsible. If the 2nd mortgage was done through a "finance company" rather than a bank, then it probably is a very predatory, non-consumer friendly loan. Getting it paid off and cancelled and recorded at the assessor's office should be done sooner rather than later. I bet the terms are horrendous.

"She is not sick" .....Diabetes is a major disease with lots of ancillary diseases related to being diabetic. She should be getting a full endocrinology work up each year and probably a retinal specialist every 2 years. At 92, she probably has some dementia - the allowing someone with a liability to live at their home (pittbull) and using step ladders is showing "poor judgement".I bet she also has "problems with abstract thinking" spending $ inappropriately like playing at the casino is a part of this. Both are signs of dementia.

If you transfer the house to you or others, either be prepared to take for her for the next full 5 years or private pay for any future care or pay a transfer penalty to have her on Medicaid at a NH. Remember all of her assets & history of ownership & her income is just keystrokes away from being reviewed if she applies for Medicaid or other benefits.
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if i haven't mentioned before, my gma is in very good health for being 92. i have put a pad lock on the lawn mower and hid all the step ladders because i don't, she will be using both of them even though i have told her not to. she is not sick, has no medical problems other than high blood pressure and is diabetic and if we were to compete in a walking marathon.....gma would do circles around me!
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wow... now i really want to stay out this mess!! the lady i refer to as "grandma" was really my dad's aunt. she raised him since birth and was never able to have children of her own. dad died when he was 53yrs old and as far as i know, he did not have a will.

i do have the deed/title to my gma's house in my "gma file" but the second on the house was a verbal agreement because it's in my gma's name and any mail gma gets regarding her house is sent next door to mom's, without being opened.

the conflict over paying off gma's house started when my brother who lived with gma for 2yrs had a pit bull. after brother moved out, his pit bull stayed. insurance was cancelled because of this dog and the finance company added on its own insurance. my mom says gma should pay half the balance owed because it was "her fault" insurance was taken off. i say mom is wrong because she should have been the one to tell my brother "take your dog or else".

the problem with gma paying off her house herself is she feels she "shouldn't have to" but if she doesn't pay it off herself, who will? she expects my mom to pay it off just like she expects my mom to pay for her funeral? all gma seems to care about is

she pays her utilities every month which is under $150 because she has no A/C, she spends a tiny amount of money on groceries and the rest she gambles away at the casino. i don't know what to do about gma's gambling problem but if i don't take her at least once a week to drop her off & let her play a few hours, she will leave the house without telling me & without taking her phone and will ride the bus for 2.5hrs to the casino!

i don't care if my gma wants to go to the casino ONCE a week but she doesn't understand that when she passes SOMEONE will have to pay her final expenses. even if the house is to be paid off by my two sister's and myself, we would have to wait until the house is sold to get our money back and that still leaves gma's funeral expenses.

i know gma needs to see someone who specializes in elder law but if it cost her money to do anything....she'll refuse and say she can't afford it.

as for my mother.... i have mentioned to her several times during the last couple months of needing the paperwork to gma's house but she ignores the question. two weeks ago i got mad at my mom for telling my grandma she needed to start making payments for her own funeral(this was said while i went inside the market & they waited in the car) when the subject of gma's house came up again my mom told me "be careful what you do with gma's house because one day she's going to be gone & you are going to be right back in my house" after that was when i called both my sister's and told them we needed to have a family meeting about gma, her house and updating her will.

and people wonder why i try NOT to tell my mom ANYTHING??
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I'd highly suggest you go to see a certified elder care attorney and not a probono type of legal aid office. There are a lot of issues here besides the 2nd mortgage - probate related to your dad's death (more issues if probate hasn't been done or heaven forbid he died intestate); establishment of lineal heirs - who is the child of your gran? - your late dad or your mom? do you have other aunts & uncles and what is their position on inheritance; the competency of a 92 yr old to do a codicil to her will.

You will have to involve your mom in this at some point. My gut feeling is that this will get ugly.I have to totally agree with Jeanne's view on this.

Whom is the responsible party on the 2nd mortgage? If it's just your gran, then mom isn't legally responsible no matter what verbal agreement was said. If your dad is listed on the 2nd mortgage, then his debt on the 2nd mortgage died when he died in 2003 unless it was included as a debt or discharge of his estate.

Do you have the paperwork (Deed of Trusts) on the home? For both the 1st paid of mortgage and the 2nd mortgage? If not you need to go either in person or on-line to the assessors office to get them. I'd also run a mechanic's lien review on the property just to make sure there isn't something else out there that could cloud the title on the property.

Why the need to pay off the 2nd mortgage - are there foreclosure or other legal issues out there regarding the 2nd that is a current problem? If gran has the $ to pay it off, then she should just go ahead and do it if she's is the legal responsible party. Your paying off the mortgage, unless you have a binding agreement as to the payment being a debt of the legal property owner to you, is nothing but a nice thing to do. If I paid off someone else's debt, I'd have the property served with a lien against it to protect my interest.

You have to be a hard realist about gran being 92. The probability is that at some point her level of caregiving will be such that she needs more than you: she will need to have caregivers paid to help out, how is this to be paid; OR she enters a NH and either the family is going to private pay for it; or sell her assets, including her home to pay for her care; or she can get her financial & medical situation to the point where she qualifies for Medicaid. If she still has a home it will be an exempt asset but subject to MERP - Medicaid Estate Recovery Program - upon her death & none of her $ (like SS) will be available to pay for anything on the house

If you sold your 92 yr old grans house today and she needed to go into a NH anytime before May 17, 2017, then there will be a transfer penalty imposed on all the $ from the sale of the house that was not used for normal living expenses and medical needs. All these issues are super sticky and a good elder care attorney really needs to work with your gran on figuring out what works for her state's law and approach to Medicaid. Good luck.
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thank you for your response. let me first say, paying off the mortgage is something my two sisters and i discussed recently. i informed everyone(except mom) that gma's will needed to be updated because it is her wish the house be sold and split up between us grandkids. i've made an appt with legal aid in hopes they can either give gma advice what to do in this matter or refer her to someone else who can.
i think its wrong for people to judge and comment about how sad it is fighting over gma's house when she isn't even gone yet... i thought this site was to help, support and offer advice to people who are caring for elders, not make them feel worse for putting their family problems in the open.
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Discuss this with a lawyer, preferrably one who specializes in elder law.

What kind of assets/income does your grandma have? Enough to take care of her the rest of her life, even if she goes into a care center or needs significant in-home care? (Please look into these costs if you are not familiar with them.) If GM can support herself no matter what for the next several years, you have more options. If she MIGHT need medicare, then signing the house over to you will backfire, and paying it off may not be best. You really need the help of an experienced elder law attorney. A crystal ball wouldn't hurt, either.

Ethically, would signing the house over to you be consistent with her wishes that the "grandkids" should have the house? How are you planning to share with the others? How is the will being changed?

Hiding this from your mother seems (to me) selfish. It is not like she won't find out when GM dies. Why let her continue to make plans assuming she will get the house? Shouldn't she know the will is being changed?

Lordy, Grandmother may live another five years or more, and already there is conflict over who gets her house. Sad.
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