How do I protect myself from my siblings?

Follow
Share

Myself, my husband, and my 20 year old daughter live with my mom who is 80 years old. She is on dialysis three days a week, has severe arthritis, and a whole host of other medical problems. We moved in to get her house ready to sell 10 years ago, but she had health problems and we ended up staying in order to care for her. We live rent free, however, we provide all her transportation to dialysis, doctor appointments, do all her shopping, her laundry, pay for food, medicine, tv, cellphones, gas, etc. She essentially has in home private duty care 24/7.
I have two siblings that live close. They barely help but LOVE to throw it in my face that we live here rent free any time I remind them that I need help. They basically say it's all on us since we live here. I don't have to live here, but it must make them feel better to think that I do.
The issue I have is my brother, who I do not get along very well with, is the executor of her estate. I am the POA for health care and my sister is, well my sister. She seems to be cozying up to him lately, too. I am worried because my brother could essentially put me and my family on the street the same day my mom passes, and I wouldn't put that past him.
I am looking for advice on how I can protect myself and my family in case this does happen. My mom is not well, but I will continue to care for her as long as she is here. I work full time and have FMLA. I have missed a lot of work over the years caring for her, I have given up family vacations, quit working on my masters, etc. because of caregiver demands. And, that's o.k. it's my job. But, I do very much worry about the level of greed my siblings will unleash once she is gone. It isn't fair, that we have given up our lives the past ten years while they go on an just live their lives, then throwing all that in my face when ever they feel those pangs of guilt.
Should I look into hiring my own attorney? I hate to do that, but the way my brother and sister act, I think I need to do something. They're both so ridiculous and in their eyes, it's "my job" because I live here "rent free." I've paid that, ten fold, and as my mom ages and needs more care, I need more help. Thanks.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
52

Answers

Show:
If you cannot talk to your siblings and have a rational discussion, you should see an attorney. Have THEY checked into how much it costs to have a live-in companion 24/7?

Around here, it's room and board free (granted it's only for the caregiver), a day off and approx. $1200-$1500 a week salary. That's just for basic non-medical, impersonal companion. I've just been checking around, because like you, all siblings are waiting for whatever $ is left after mom passes to be divided equally (she doesn't have much, but they don't know). They don't want to help at all, and never did, so they don't even understand what goes into care giving.

It looks to me as though your siblings should just GIVE you the house for the time and care that you are giving your mom. My DH paid for his brothers new car when he couldn't pitch in due to distance, and his brother was stuck just "managing" the accounting part of my MIL.

Tell them that you will pay rent, but will charge for services like if your mom had a HHA come for the week. Basically, take approx. $6400 (HHA salary for a month) and deduct that from rent. See who comes out ahead. I think they will owe YOU.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

What does the will say? He is the executor who is to execute the terms of the will. Mom can change her will and executor now if she's competent. After you see the will (obviously now before mom dies), then see an attorney for advice. Don't piddle around now over how much your time is worth. Deal with the pressing issue of potential future homelessness.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

I think a fair solution would be for Mom to grant you a tenancy equal to the amount of time you have cared for her, or a life tenancy, providing she is still competent to do so. After all, if she goes into a Nursing Home on Medicaid you would be the only person allowed to remain in the home, since you have been a caregiver over 2 years. That will give you ample time to plan your move out West.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Maybe your mother could write up a life estate for you as far as the house is concerned. You and your siblings would still own the house, but you would be able to live in the house for the remainder of your life. If you decide to move at some point the house can be sold and you would get your share. My aunt was given a life estate on my grandmothers farm. Also another alternative, my husband was poa for his parents, he paid his sister $6000 a month for caring for his dad the last few months of his life. She recieved $1500 a month of it in cash, the rest went toward buying the house. She was a nurse and he was bedridden. I hope you can find a solution. Don't underestimate the greed that shows up when a parent is failing. Get something done now while your Mom is able to do it. I didn't get paid for caring for my parents, but I didn't have to give up my house. I lived in the same county. So I was lucky in that respect.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

OK, besides lawyering up and seeing if the financial POA can be changed or tenancy granted (and if Mom is of sound mind she CAN change the POA, but you best go through a lawyer because it sounds like greedy siblings will contest it), think about getting stuff that is worth saving organized and catalogued, and planning for an estate sale which will help you clear out the rest in a short time frame when the time comes.

The deliberate denial of respite for you is just plain vindictive. Your siblings need legal limits set and set firmly, and they need some kind of education on the value of the services you are performing. If they are less compassionate than the state Medicaid would be, that's beyond sad. This is probably not much more than pure human greed for $$$ they think they are supposed to inherit taking over where their moral compass and conscience are supposed to be.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Get your mum to have this in writing asap as you dont mention any dementia she is still competent!

I am in my mums house BUT my family would never do this to me as bad as they are also they would need me here to sort the house out as they are abroad but dont think i havnt thought about this as you never know how people can turn?

Get your mum to have a clause in her will that you stay there until you can move out when house is sold!

Im always shocked on here as to how low some family can go and this is the lowest ive heard. Blood is thicker than water BUT boils quicker!

hugs to you as this just isnt right i hope you sort this sooner rather than too later!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Hi . I feel for you as I am in a similar situation. I don't live with my mom but I am the only one of three daughters who speaks to mom or gives a d*mn about her. About 9 years ago (when mom was turning 80) I decided to look into her long term care insurance to see what her plan covered. Oldest sister (we'll call her Cruella) had purchased insurance through her work. When I tried to get copy of plan cruella accused me if wAnting to cash it in. It has no cash value first of all, and second of all it was very hurtful but it opened my eyes immediately to her true colors. Long story short, though I had medical POA, she was in charge if every thing else including joint tenancy on moms house. I ended up having to hire a family lawyer (cost about $2500). Mom now has dementia and I just moved her to AL. Having everything squared away before she got sick was huge and made my life so much easierif she's competent do it now ! Explain to her your concerns and see what her reaction is. Then proceed a necessary with the help if an attorney. Good luck and keep us posted
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Either way you have to move whether it's now or a month from now. Why spend attorney money on the inevitable? Find a place for your family and the best environment for her. Let your brother get the place ready to sell since he's so concerned with it. I was in your shoes raising three kids til two yrs ago when my mom passed. We went on a vacation each yr. I didn't want my kids to miss out on life. Take your 20 yr old baby and spouse somewhere. You probably need it more than you realize. The respite places she stayed in had singing bingo and other good stuff suitable for her limited mobility and understanding of the moods dementia brings on. It will be okay. Your siblings can always find other things to be mad at. Wishing you the best ...
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I agree with taking mom to see her attorney to see if you can straighten this out. Getting more than one lawyer involved is only going to mean a bigger payday for mmore lawyers , not a solution. Would a family mediator help?

I think it would help matters if adult children realized that, unless their parents have an estate worth multiple millions, mom and dad's care is going to eat up all savings.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

People who are not caregivers -- which includes your siblings -- have no idea of the emotional and financial cost of being a caregiver. Your siblings are hung up on free rent when that is more than reasonable in exchange for 24/7 caregiving. You might put together some documentation of all you have spent, how much home health aides cost, all the work you perform -- and how your siblings have been spared the financial, physical, emotional, and time commitment. I realize that you think your siblings are evil -- and maybe they are -- but since they're not doing the caregiving they don't realize what it entails. They think you just sit around luxuriating in the house. If you give them the documents to prove otherwise, they may leave you alone and even be grateful. Anyway, it's worth a shot.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.