My brother and his wife, first didn't speak with my sister for 20 years (she has since passed), they also have a list of other family members that they avoid. I should have known eventually I would be on the list, although we were always close up until his wife decided that that she didn't like me because I didn't hear her say something and walked away, and I was looking at my phone. She said she felt 'disrespected'. This is also how the others got vetoed out of their lives, She decides and my brother agrees. At first, I tried everything to talk it out, apologized profusely, bent over backwards to mend any hurt I caused as I wanted family peace and I cared for her. However, I'm done now, his last request was that only he see my Mom on her birthday and for me not to come. He's very controlling. I didn't argue, and just kept the focus on my Mom since she misses him so terribly. He even asked me to tell him anytime I saw my Mom, which is so strange since he hasn't shown up in 4 years, in spite of me inviting him and planning events. Even when he asked me to let him know when I saw her, I let him know that I just made plans to see her and asked him to come for her birthday (last year) for which he declined.

To my main point, my mother asked me to plan her funeral, and I'm also paying for it because mom doesn't have any means. I always thought my brother and I would handle things together, but I'm so done being hurt by him. She had also asked my brother, but he's pretty checked out and hasn't done anything. So, I took it upon myself and made the plans and asked her again and again if she was positive that this is what she wanted, she emphatically said yes, and also provided me with a notarized letter and a notarized health directive indicating these are her wishes. She's of sound mind and not in a facility.

Believing that this would always be a decision between the both of us, I still feel sad. I haven't planned the memorial service, since it will be so incredibly small and thought that would be a way for him to participate. I am trying my best to do the right thing and honor my Mom's wishes, and also don't want to do anything to harm the relationship further with my brother. I went and saw her for Mother's Day and didn't tell him because I knew he wouldn't be there or show up - he's about to go on a solo trip to Europe. Both of us live away from my Mom. I hope I did the right thing in preplanning without him. Anytime I've brought up money or anything, his answer is usually no, or skepticism. I decided it was just easier if I paid for everything myself, even though it is expensive. Trying to do the right thing, but one cannot control another person. Would love the thoughts here. Thank you.

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Your brother removed himself from his family. You were kind to him.

It’s completely understandable that you became frustrated and decided to decide important matters without consulting him. Honestly, I don’t blame you.

Be at peace with your decision. I feel that you made the correct choice by focusing on your mother’s wishes.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
belas1 May 22, 2023
Thank you so much!
I told my brother what my mom told me she wanted. I did not ask. I bought her a cremation package. When a sibling gives you the job of POA…I do not ask for input. I have enough on my plate!
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Reply to Sadinroanokeva
AnnReid May 30, 2023
If you can, stop reviewing “second thoughts”.

I “bit my tongue” far too many times, and paid for many sleepless nights, because I was afraid “the other” would try to move her away from me, and I was all she had to advocate for her rights and safety.

“When a sibling gives you a job……enough on my plate”. Read your last 3 statements until you believe them.

Then move forward with confidence.
When my dad died, he’d already planned and prepaid for his funeral. This still left some arrangements to be made on time, date, minister, and some other details. I was executor of dad’s will, not a large estate at all, and tried to include my siblings in the funeral plans. They both declined and left me alone with it. It actually made it easier in the long run though it was stressful in the moment. Since losing our last parent we now have cordial enough, but distant relationships and aren’t close at all. It’s a sad thing but I’ve accepted it. Your brother has shown you who he is, believe him. I hope you’ll realize you’ve done your best, apologize no more, and accept the situation as it is. I wish you peace
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Reply to Daughterof1930
belas1 May 20, 2023
Thank you, I so appreciate your words, more than I can state. So, so, true. Truly, thank you. I'm working on the acceptance side. I'm sorry you went through this too and thank you again for sharing.
I think you got your ducks all in a row. You had Mom write down her wishes. She was involved in the whole planning. If your brother wanted to be involved with Mom he would be. Not your fault his wife has a problem and he goes along with it. (been there) And your paying! I would also be involved if I was paying,

My brothers allowed me to do it all. I just did what I thought Mom would want. I was told by both brothers I did good. Your brother has chose to alienate his family. Seems he doesn't see that wife seems to be disrespected alot. Sorry, I no longer walk on eggshells with my family, they get mad, they get glad. And if they get mad and stay that way, oh well. Especially if I apologized.

When Mom has passed, you do what you need to do. You plan, give brother the info and he comes or he doesn't. Thats his choice. And this telling him when ur visiting Mom, no. He tells you when he is visiting Mom and then you work around it. You cannot worry about what he and his wife thinks. They are the problem not you. The wife has a problem. Don't play into their games.

If you don't have POA for Mom, you should get it. Its a tool you may need in the future to make financial and Medical decisions for her when she can't. The Medical is pretty much her wishes that you carry out. There should only be one POA, no sharing the assignment. If Mom wants to, she can assign a secondary. I would say to use a lawyer because of brother.
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Reply to JoAnn29

In my state, there is a form called Disposition of Bodily Remains, or similar name. Estate lawyer told me that it's a good idea to sign (and notarize if necessary) one of these because it is clear in stating who has responsibility for the person's remains after death. There can be no real argument when there is such a form. Look into it and see if you need it in your state. A lawyer can provide it or you can copy it from the internet and have it signed and notarized at UPS or any notary service.
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Reply to Fawnby

In my opinion, you are absolutely doing the right thing. I am son who was a full-time caregiver for my mom. Each year, I would go over important legal documents with her: POA, Health Care Proxy, Will, Funeral Arrangements, Obituary, and Deed, to make sure she was OK with everything. I would then prepare a sheet that both of us signed and dated noting our review. I wanted it for my record in case anyone (including my siblings who were never involved in her care and who had not seen her in years) ever questioned my decisions.

When she died last year at age 93, I was prepared. I called my oldest sibling and informed him of the funeral arrangements, instructing him to inform my other two siblings. I said if they wanted to see mom before she was buried, that was their chance. There were no calling hours, and the services at the funeral home were brief, but dignified. My siblings showed up, and were surprised at how great mom looked, as she clearly did not look her age. I commented that the beautiful woman they saw in the casket was what I saw every morning when I went to wake her up.

At the cemetery, another brief service took place. My siblings then got in their cars and left. They never asked about the funeral cost (Mom had a small life insurance policy and the funeral director was great in keeping the cost within that range). I stayed behind to watch the cemetery workers lower the casket into the vault, and place the vault cover with her name on it. Later in the year, I had a bronze marker similar to that of my korean war veteran dad placed at the cemetery. Again, no participation from the siblings.

Follow your mom's wishes, and forget about what your brother thinks. If he really cared, he would be involved.
Helpful Answer (11)
Lizhappens May 30, 2023
God bless you. And your spot on. It was very wise of you to go over everything each year with her and have it signed and dated by both of you. That would be very strong proof for anyone who was trying to challenge you where you stood in her life.

The brother sounds kind of weird, in that, he wants to know whenever she visits mom but doesn’t want to be involved in her life. ?? She did the right thing too.
The important thing now is who is the POA?
And who, when mom passes, will be the executor?
It is important that this person be designated, and aware of the plans your mom has made, and wishes to have carried forward for her.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
belas1 May 20, 2023
I have the health care directive which gives me authority for her funeral/remains. She doesn't have any possessions, other than her personal effects, and a very small bank account. She doesn't have a POA. Do I need that on top of the Health Care Directive?
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belas, this is what I get from your post:

Your brother is a control freak.
Your brother and his wife are awful people.
He and his wife have egos so big that they can't see and care about anyone but themselves.
They disregard and disrespect you.
They think you're not worth their time.
They don't value the relationship and kinship with you.
They don't care how they hurt you.

You, on the other hand, walk on eggshells, bend over backward to apology for some non-mistake, try to please these awful people, want to have them approve of you, have a relationship with you, and like you.

Because the awful male happened to come out from the same womb as you?

Please take a giant step back and view the whole dynamic through a dispassionate eye of an outsider.

If you ran into two strangers that were as awful as these people, would you steer clear of them or would you try your best to befriend them and have them like you and approve of you (which by the way would be impossible to due their hugely inflated egos)?
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Reply to polarbear

No one stepped up to take care of my mom as she made her way to the Pearly Gates and almost no one came to visit, so I skipped the funeral altogether. If they weren't interested in her while she was living, they're not going to be invited to a funeral to fein love and sadness...............nope.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to ConnieCaretaker
Lizhappens May 30, 2023
I understand. I’m sorry for your loss.
My mother recently died. And through all the grief and messiness of death, I hold onto the fact that I was able to follow her directives to the letter. I know she would be happy and I know she would be proud of me.

It sounds like you and your mother have a similar relationship that I had. We talked, I knew what she wanted, it was written down, and no one else has the right to question that. You are doing a wonderful job!
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Reply to CoffeePaula

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