How can I persuade my very traditional father that he cannot trust his sister and her children who are taking him over? - AgingCare.com

How can I persuade my very traditional father that he cannot trust his sister and her children who are taking him over?

Follow
Share

Hi, this has been really worrying me for over 3 years and I'd massively appreciate any advice anyone can give.

My family is jewish. My father is now in his mid 80s and physically ailing, but remains the most authoritarian and driven figure in our family, which he has provided for through a highly successful business career.

Fairly wealthy, and capable of bestowing sums taht can transform lives forever, my father has always insisted that his children will always be his priority and that they will always be provided for; indeed from early on he's always insisted that all three of us will be left affluent for the rest of our lives.

But life is I think never as straightforward as that, and I am now in a difficult situation due to the way in which family politics have gone over the last 10 or so years. I have two older siblings who are no longer in contact with my parents, but who have made sure that my father has long provided for them and their families such that they should never be in ned again.

I am probably more naive than these 2, more successful in a professionals sense but not in high-income areas, which was partly a choice made given my father's many financial promises to us. He is a very charismatic, almost hypnotic figure who it is very difficult to disbelieve, and until recently, despite his many appalling tempers and other maishaps, I trusted him implicitly.

Unfortunately it now seems that other relatives in the extended family, especially my father's sister and her children, who are not well off, have moved in very sharply to gain my father's favour and (not unlike children in an unpleasant divorce case) turn both my parens against me. This is especially sad given that in spite of his flaws my father and I were for decades extremely close, and my mother and I have hardly had a disagreement in our entire lives.

Money does seem to be the motivating factor andn my father is now starting to say that they no longer have adequate funds and that he will not be able to keep his earlier promises. In addition, my aunt's family have persauded my parents to leave their comfortable home and move far away from me and very close to my aunt and her children. My father is selling very major assets as a worrying rate, which is a huge change from most of his life, when he would never sell anything for cash, and when he is giving in acts of generosity, he will make presents of physical heirlooms rather than anything from his bank account, which my aunt's family has power of attorney over and in effect monitors and controls.

It's 100% fair to say that most people make their way in life without significant inheritances (and also have challenging parents) but what is really upsetting here is first that there's every sign my parents are being bullied by some very forceful people who are in need of financial help, and indeed my parents have regularly commented on how bullying and controlling my aunt's family are. Second, having concentrated on careers which bring satisfaction and prestige I have made assumptions that my father's many promises will be kept, and so at the age of 50+ I am now having to change career extremely rapidly to give myself a shot of providing for my old age. If my father had told me I was on my own at 18 then there would be no problem! I think I can be ok financially, but the real tragedy is that I don't have the time or emotional steam to keep in touch with my parents and work my hardest to have the new career that will do the trick. Third, my aunt's family are saying all sorts of the things to my parents to much up our relationship, which is really hurting me - I love my parents very much and when we speak now there is so much hostility in the air that it is nothing like the life we used to have.

I am very unhappy about all of this - the lost money I can just about come to terms with, but the way it's been done and the effective demolition of my friendship with my parents is just appalling. Talking to my parents simply doesn't work (it always ends badly, and they won't hear a word against my aunt's family) and my aunt's family also appear to have made sure that any potential intermediary figures who could mediate have also been turned against me. My two older siblings will not help. And yes, I've talked to lawyers, but to escalate to that and have perhaps to servce notices on members of my family seems impossible to countenance and it would destroy I think any remaining friendship with my parents.

If I manage to focus totally on something else, then i'm ok, but when I wake in the morning and at other rogue times the whole thing just descends on me and I fear it's making me bitter and just perhaps, permanently altered. This I really don't want but apart from simply blocking the whole thing out, I totally don't have a clue what to do. If anyone can help, I'd be incredibly grateful.

Josh

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
12

Answers

Show:
I can't imagine the pain, anger, sadness, and bitterness you are dealing with. Family is supposed to be a source of trust and love, but your situation is completely the opposite.

I don't know if you're open to the Judeo-Christian faith. If you are, talk to God about all of your thoughts and struggles. It's hard to describe, but when I do that, I am moved to put my struggles in the context of eternity, gaining some relief from the hope that all things will be eventually made right and whole. You don't even have to believe it entirely... just treat it as an experiment, as an action of hope.

The effect will most certainly be that of your emotional well-being, your perspective. People who can seemingly overcome extreme suffering are those who have something within them that grounds them in spite of their situations. I sincerely hope you will find peace in yours.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You should see an attorney because it looks like these relatives are taking advantage of dad.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Josh, I feel for you; I really do. I grew up in a family where my parents told us early on that parents' money belonged to them and that we needed to make our own way in the world. In part, this was instigated by in-laws that we watched manipulate family members with their promises of "pie in the sky" that of course never materialized.

I can understand your disappointment and anger. Your dad sounds as though he is grandiose and possible mentally ill. Move on.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There's nothing traditional about a patriarch who's estranged from two of his three children and doesn't trust the third with the family finances. So I've got no idea what's gone on here, but I can say it's nowt to do with tradition.

My guess, for what it's worth, would be that your father has had delusions about his financial wizardry and your aunt is doing her best in terms of damage limitation. Quite possibly she also has stern views about what you should be doing for your parents now or what you've expected them to do for you in the past; but that's more than I can glean.

Robert Maxwell was very charismatic too. He "owned" a whole media empire. Look him up, if you like.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sorry about your situation, that really sucks. And, since someone has POA, there is nothing you can do. Whether your father is throwing or giving his money away, unless you can prove he is unstable and get POA I'm afraid it looks bleak. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Forget about the money; even if your father has promised it to you many times, it is still his until he gives it away (in life or death) and he can change his Will at any time. I'd be more concerned about being cut off emotionally from him. The best advice I can think of is to talk to: 1. a lawyer specialising in elder abuse to see if you have a case (very hard to prove but a good lawyer will give you tips); 2. a psychologist / good psychotherapist who can give you an insight into the family dynamics and help you take care of yourself (this sounds like a very stressful situation for you and you might even have the wrong idea about what is happening - it will do no harm to find out from a detached observer); 3. a family mediator (since your father is Jewish, he might respond well if you got a Rabbi to talk to him); 4. an elder-care worker (they come across situations like this all the time). And, regardless of what happens, look after yourself; you only have one life, so don't waste it fighting a futile battle or wishing things were different.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

In postings like Josh's, I often find it hard to separate the elder-related issue from the financial aspects of the posting. Josh made decisions based on the future, seeming without recognizing that his father would/could not deliver on his promise.
Furthermore, in this case, we do not know all the facts, especially about the father's current state of mind. Perhaps he is suffering from a personality disorder.
I also wonder if the father is a narcissist. I know a person who keeps his sons close by promising them money. Perhaps the father feels more cared for by those closest to him, rather than Josh.
Undue influence is a perception and often difficult to prove, but expensive if one attempted to do so.
I think this posting reflects an extremely complicated, emotionally charged situation that involves a senior and money. As readers, we don't know the other sides of the persons mentioned.  I recognize that my words might be perceived as unsympathetic,but I distinctly feel that the poster is seeking sympathy from us or perhaps he feels alone in this situation or deeply frightened about his future as well as his father's actions.
I admit that I could be wrong......
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Elder Financial abuse and exploitation is the number one form of elder abuse. It often does not get prosecuted because the perpetrators typically spend the elder's money and assets so it is difficult to recover. As part of the scheme, these perpetrators will emotional manipulate the elder and isolate him from others. It is a very sad, cruel and morally wrong situation! You need an attorney who specializes in Undue Influence as it appears that is what is happening with your father. If you do decide to go further legally, keep a record and timeline of all the events that are happening with him. You will most likely see a pattern of isolation, document changes, and verbalizations and actions from your father; things he would previously not say or do for example. It is a painful and horrible situation for both you and your father due to the manipulation tactics perpetrators use. You can check out the website for the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse at http://www.preventelderabuse.org. The National Institute of Aging also has information on financial elder abuse. Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I understand your frustration (honestly, the loss of promised inheritance would bother me a LOT), but look at the bright side -- you will never be expected to take care of your parents as they age. Read some on this site, and you will see the bullet(s) you have dodged!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

You have described my Dad and my family's situation to a T except the intruder was a stranger, not a family member.
It was a long hard fight, but we have finally gained control over the situation. Dad has been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and early Alzheimers, but when talking with him, you would never suspect that. It made it very hard for us (my family) to get any help.
We recently won a civil suit against her, the stranger, (that will never be paid) & she is now being investigated for elderly abuse. The investigator told us that this type of crime is the #1 unreported crime due to the fact that it is usually committed by a family member.
If this is not stopped, don't be surprised if your parents end up broke.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions