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I would like some opinions on a question I have. My mother passed away two weeks ago and my husband and myself were her caregivers she lived alone and we did everything for her so she could stay in her own home all appts grocery shopping ect. My sisters (I have three) came two to three times a year. One of those sisters called every day and talked to her, the other called her on Sunday night. Both of those sisters were nice to her and treated her well. The last sister hadn’t seen her for three years and actually had told her last summer she was a horrible mother after learning I had received the house. The question is, my mother had me on a bank account as co-owner, would you share this money with both of the nice sisters or all three even the mean one? Oh also the mean sister tried to get my mom to send her a big check after she told her off which she didn’t. They are already sharing in a life insurance settlement and a small account. What would you do? Thanks much.

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I'm so sorry for your loss.

It's totally your call. Do what you think is best?
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Reply to shad250
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Did your mother have a will, living trust, or make any comments about how she wanted her assets to be split? If yes, then follow her final wishes. You'll feel better if you follow her wishes.

If no, then as a co-owner (actually now the owner) it's yours. Do what your conscience tells you. (Others on this fabulous forum may have other ideas.)

I'm sorry for your loss, Leelab74.
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Reply to MountainMoose
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This is totally your call. That account is yours.

if your Mom wanted that money to be shared, she would have made that wish known.

first, I would make sure that all of Moms accounts are settled, funeral services paid and done. Then reassess the situation....you don’t need to make decisions now.

My Mom had made it clear that she wanted my brother to have nothing. That made me very uncomfortable...but after his performance before and after her funeral....He proved her judgement right. Wait, this isn’t over yet.
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Shane1124 Jul 1, 2019
Agree with Katiekate. I wouldn’t share the money in that specific acct with your sibs. They have been provided for. If your mother wanted it shared, she would have left instructions for you to do so. Your mom knew who was there for her physically & emotionally every day. Don’t be afraid to compensate yourself for being her CG.
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You, like me, did it all for your Mom and not for money but for love. There is nothing wrong for being compensated for your willing sacrifice. Also there’s a reason why your Mom made you a co-owner not just a beneficiary, my Mom said cause her money was mine as well.
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Reply to JohnDublin
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I am sorry for the loss of your Mom.

Are you the Executor or Personal Representative of your Mom's Will?  If you are, then you first need to follow the directions of your Mom's Will for distribution of assets. 

As Executor or Personal Representative, you need to pay ALL bills including the mortuary, medical bills, etc. FIRST.  After all bills are paid, then whoever is named as the POD Beneficiary (Payable on Death) for the bank account will receive any remaining money in the bank account.  

What you do with the money that you receive from your Mom's Estate is up to you.  Your Mom has provided an inheritance for your three sisters via a life insurance settlement and another small account, and she has provided you with an inheritance via the bank account. 

The money will be yours--follow your heart.  You and your husband were your Mom's caregivers and maybe the bank account is your Mom's way of paying you for all that you did for her while she was alive.
{{HUGS}}
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katiekat2009 Jul 1, 2019
Only half the acct would be considered moms but, legally, it is now 100% OP's.
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If you're torn about whether to share with your sisters and will feel guilty if you don't, maybe donate the money to a charity in your mom's memory or establish a memorial scholarship at her former high school or college. Are there grandchildren? If so, maybe divide it among them as a special gift from Grandma to help pay school expenses, get their first apartment or house, buy a car, etc.
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my2cents Jun 30, 2019
The mom had X number of children and all of them should get equal shares. You never know what caused a child to be distant or not involved, but why take the chance that it might be a slap to the other side of his face. Just share. It is one of the most basic things we learn in life. Be fair and share.
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I looked after my mother for six years with very little assistance from one brother and next to no assistance from the other.

As DPOA, my name was on one checking account with my mother - I took care of all of her bills, all her finances actually - and it was also on a hefty savings account for ease of beefing up that checking account - along with her “fun money” checking account for when they ran low.

I was also the executor of my mothers estate when she passed away. My mothers will stated there was to be an equal three way split of her estate. One of the first things I did was to close the savings account and obtain three equal cashiers checks for my brothers and myself - as this account was now “mine” and it was not necessary to probate.

The checking account was the absolute last thing I liquidated. I paid all the estate/probate costs from this account. This was an accidental stroke of genius as since the money in the checking account was “mine” I did not have to keep any of the tediously detailed records needed by the probate court regarding the estate expenses i.e. attorney fees, accountant fees, taxes etc. However, I did keep notes regarding the spending from this checking account as of course - the money was actually my mothers and upon her death 2/3’s belonged to my brothers. After everything was completed with the probate court and the estate - I closed out the remaining balance in this checking account again by way of three equal cashiers checks.

During the the last few years of my mothers life she continually threatened to cut the do-nothing brother out of her will - she had gone as far as actually making an appointment with her attorney a couple of times. I was the one - every single time - who would talk her out of it. After a while her significant dementia made the whole issue a mute point.

So - in the end, I could have NOT
included the one brother in the division of the bank account monies. For that matter - I could have let mom eliminated him from the will altogether, turning my own inheritance from 1/3 into 1/2 of what was a very decent sized chunk of change.

So, why didn’t I? The first reason was our father. My father had passed away four years before our mother - leaving everything to her. However, this was done with the understanding that upon her passing everything would be left to their three children equally. This was very important to my dad. Daddy was fully aware that my brother held some ill will towards them. It made my dad sad but even more determined that any inheritance was to be shared equally by his children. I knew it, my mom knew it - and mom knew I knew it and that I would make sure my fathers intentions were honored. One way or another.

The other reason. One day, about a year before my mothers death, much to my surprise I ran into my brother and his family visiting my mom in rehab. He and I had gone out into the hall to talk about our moms condition. He started stammering around trying to both explain and apologize for his lack of participation in our mothers care. His lack in helping me, more the point - but his reasons why - why his distancing from our parents. He didn’t need to explain - I knew why. We had a crap childhood. Very difficult - and dealing with our mother would remain difficult our entire lives. So when my brother started talking about his being aware there was a good chance he’d be disinherited - I cut him off by saying “We all grew up in that house”. My brother knew this meant I’d make sure he would receive his equal share.

This is a long way to say - personally, for me - it’s not about a portion of time but about the relationship as a whole. And, I do not think that wills should be used as a tool to reward or punish what amounts to a small fraction of time in a entire life’s relationship.

But that’s just me. Your decision must be your own - but remember, you’ll have to live with this choice and any possible repercussions - between all of the sisters.
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JoAnn29 Jun 26, 2019
You did good. Even though we r raised in the same house we all have different personalities and temperaments. There were 4 of us. My Dad was intimidating and knew which children he could intimidate the most. Me and my brother. My sister and youngest brother ignored or came back at him. Loved him, but he would never have lived with me. Even as an adult he knew what buttons to push and when. As he aged, he crossed that line between kidding to being cruel at times. So, I can see where brother was coming from. Self centered/narcissistic people target the children that are the more sensitive.
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Truly a beautiful reply Rainmom.
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Rainmom Jun 27, 2019
Thank you, Riverdale!
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The bank account is actually yours as Co-owner. But if you feel you want to split it then I would split it among all 4 of you. Then the "bad" sister can not come back at you. The house was a thank you from Mom for all u did for her, a gift. This is yours. You deserve it.
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anonymous924747 Jun 27, 2019
Thank you for your reply. It helped me with my decision.
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My sympathies for the loss of Mom.
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You do not say how much is in this account you are on. To me that would matter. You almost certainly put in very very large amounts of money over time. You have been the one who has been the caregiver. Your name was on the account. To me, it is yours. HOWEVER, if you do decided to split it with any sisters I suggest you split it evenly with ALL of them. The thing that can happen with a difficult family member in the end can be very very harmful. To be disinherited is the last slap, one which you can never come back from. You all know all the facts. Just give it with an open heart split all ways, or keep it. Either way would work for me. And see to it that there isn't a lot of gossip with family about what there was, and what was done about it if you do keep it. Gossip makes things very much more hurtful and messy. Good luck, and sorry for your loss.
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Rainmom, what a beautiful response. It made me really think about the future and what ill be looking at. I want to show my dad your response because honestly hes looking at it as hes not here right now to help so ill just forget him in my will. And thats not a reason to exclude a son. Maybe my brother is like your brother. I wish i could reconnect with him. Too much time and miles between us. But i dont think he should be left out. But it has to be my dads decision. Even though i think it should be different. I will be in charge of everything when he does die. Gosh its hard.
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Rainmom Jun 27, 2019
Thank you, Dcurman - that’s kind of you to say. I’m happy if I’ve helped.
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And most importantly to leelab. I think you took rainmoms response the same way i did. If you did or if you didnt the decision is yours. And your heart is in the right place so i know what ever u do decide will be all right. Take care. And be safe. Deb
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You were already given the house. Everyone shared the insurance because your mother had everyone listed as beneficiaries - meaning she wanted all of her children to share. Print the most current bank statement balance and divide it equally with everyone. Include a copy of the balance so they all know they were treated equally.

I am the ONLY caregiver for my mother out of 5 kids. It is like pulling teeth to get any help. When I ask, one will call the others to find out what they plan to do to help. It's like it's ok for me to do it 100% of the time, but if I say I want a week off for a vacation or want to go to my own house once or twice a year it becomes an 'everyone needs to help'. When they visit, it's common to hear about visits to their weekend properties, weekends at the lake with friends, all the help they are providing to their in-laws. My mother is 100% mentally sharp. She catches on to what they say and so do I.

I say all this because I could easily justify snatching up everything and just calling them all the mean siblings. They are politically opposite and with the current atmosphere of politics I see such nasty comments made because it has become acceptable to just vomit out things that have absolutely no truth (but they read it on Facebook, so it must be true). They usually bring up something knowing I would not agree or that I do not want certain words said. I can be around them at times and realize we are connected by blood - raised with same values, yet I doubt if I had just met them on the street we would have ever become life long friends.

Yet, in the end, when all the material details of my mother's life have to be sorted out, I know that I will make sure that each of them get an equal share of whatever is left. I do that because, my mother loves each one of us even though the relationships were not the same with each of us. Do the right thing.
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Reply to my2cents
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Was there a will? Is there an executor? If so, the executor should follow the terms of the will. Otherwise, you should follow what you think your mother's wishes would be. Make sure that all expenses for her estate are paid before you distribute all of the money. Some expenses come in much later. Checks can also come in later. I made the mistake of closing my aunt's account too early. It was difficult depositing a large check after the estate's account was closed. Check the Unclaimed Property held by the State before you close the account.
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cetude Jul 1, 2019
Things can change since the will was written, such as the development of Alzheimer's disease. Care is not free. However, I went to an eldercare attorney so nothing goes into probate.
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I am in the same situation as mom has very end-stages of Alzheimer's and I have been caring for her many years. The bank told me once mom dies, the account will automatically be mine being co-owner, and siblings will not have access to it. Considering mom requires intense 24-hour care, it would be impossible to hire anybody $10 an hour even just to sit and do nothing; over a course of a mere three years the expense of a SITTER ALONE would come out over a quarter of a million dollars. I have been doing all the lifting, bathing, hand feeding, struggling to keep her teeth brushed including water pic, spending most of my day hydrating her, administering and titrating her medications and insulin... and the tasks are often filthy such as inducing bowel movements (she forgot how to bear down), disimpactions and not to forget all the vaginal yeast infections and suppositories. Imagine giving enemas and suppositories to your own mother and cleaning her poop. Somebody has to do it and there is nobody else around and mom can't anything herself. If she does not poop, she gets severely impacted and keep that up long enough they can start vomiting up their own feces. So I make sure she poops on schedule. These tasks sitters cannot legally perform; administering medications alone would require home-health nursing and that costs a lot. Caregiving at this stage is the most demeaning job ever since her bowels are a major source of stress..and try doing all of this being PROFOUNDLY WEAK. She gives me no help and I often get hurt taking care of her. I only pray I never live that long (mom had Alzheimer's for 10 years and she will be 90 next month). I get NO HELP from anybody and I am by myself.

Mom is extremely hard work, very very stressful, and I sacrificed my LIFE for her as I am her sole life support. Every step she takes she is nearly falling even with a walker. My life is a living nightmare. I dread falling asleep knowing it will start over again so I often lack sleep; waking up in the morning fills me with dread and horror knowing I have another day of gut-wrenching stress to deal with. Anxiety and depression are my closest companions; I know them well.

My brothers are not getting anything. If they want to take me to court then let them because I will turn around and sue them and BILL them for all those years of rendered service and I got NO HELP from them.

If you want to split the money, that's your decision. Bottom line the account is now yours and if you received no help from your siblings I would not give them a cent.
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Unless your mother had told you to share or had them as beneficiaries the money is rightfully yours. You sacrificed to help your mom. Keep it. Share the life insurance settlement. They weren't involved & will never even know.
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I would share. I faced a similar dilemma after my father passed many years ago. My parents were divorced and my father opened a joint bank account in my name. I have 2 older siblings that rarely spent time with him. He always said the bank account would be for when I got married. When he passed, I immediately closed the account. I did split up the money with my siblings, even though I was not obligated. It was the right thing to do in my opinion. I’ve second guessed this decision many times, but I believe it was the right and fair thing to do, no matter what the circumstances.
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I had a similar situation as Mom left everything to me. Before she died, I asked her if she wanted me to split everything with my 6 brothers and sister (even the one who had stole from her?). She said, "yes". So, I did. They live too close to me for the drama that would have ensued or possible court litigation.
Now, you can't just give money away - the IRS will penalize you. In your case, I would say keep the bank acct as they are receiving other monies. A phone call doesn't equate to hands-on caring for a loved one. Perhaps there are some of her possessions you would let them have?
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Kathy4177 Jul 1, 2019
Actually, a person can disclaim any or all of an inheritance and it will pass to other heirs. And you can make gifts up to $15,000 to any and to each of as many persons as you wish without incurring gift taxes. In fact, if the amount is 15K or less, you don't even have to report it to the IRS.
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Sorry for your loss.

I agree with other posters that the acct is yours to do as you wish. If your mom had a will, carry out her wishes. If not, carry out YOUR wishes.

Word of advice: Be sure to leave her acct open for some time in case there are expenses that need to be paid out of that or any refunds due to your mother. The refund check will probably have your mom’s name on it, so it has to be deposited in her acct, not your individual acct. I made that mistake last year after my father died. I closed his acct after 1 week. A month later, I received a refund check for $500 in his name and I could not cash it or deposit it anywhere. Still upset about that.
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..CO OWNER...This Owner will Decide to wither be Nice as Spice and Share, No matter What or With Whom did What, Or Keep it all to Herself...They have this Right, Although Not Right.
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Both my father and cousin gave me verbal instructions to give so and so this amount of money. Cars to certain people. I was the beneficiary on both of their wills, I did, not because I had to by law, but because I had to...to have a clear conscious, to live with me. It wasn't about who said what about me, it was what I said about me. I do not regret my decision. All these people who received their bequeaths were shocked when I distributed the gifts, one said "I had no idea that I was in his will". I said "You weren't", she cried and said, he told me that he wanted me to have his car, I can't believe that you are doing this, I no longer have to take the bus to work...it is a miracle. So my answer, do the right thing, you won't regret the decision.
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I am sorry for your loss. I disagree with the notion that the money is yours because your name was on the account. I have been through this situation.

Why was your name on the account: because your mother specifically said this money is yours after I pass or because it was a means of paying bills or avoiding having it part of probate? If your mother had a will that says everything is divided equally this is part of the equal.

Sorry to be so harsh, but feelings of entitlement don’t replace legal or moral responsibilities.
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Just do what feels right.
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You may feel selfish but if you truly took care of your mother and you did everything while they did as little as possible, wouldn’t share. Plus, legally, since you are on that bank account and they are not, the money becomes the property of the co-owner. It is your money plan ad simple. Eve if there is a will, the bank account should not go through probate since you were co-owner. At least this is what I understood after my mom passed on and I did my research.
You did a lot for your mom, and the times you are going through afterwards are difficult. Will giving your sisters make you guys any closer? Or tear you apart? If it will remain the same no matter what and they are just being greedy, I say, keep it. In the end I’m sure you will make a decision that you can live with. Good luck.
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anonymous924747 Jul 17, 2019
The money will not make us closer it has been just a little over a month now that my Mother has passed and I am now paying her left over bills sending money back and waiting for other bills to come in. I am using the bank accounts to pay these bills. My sister has started to harass me now about the money telling me she is not going to let this go. I told her it takes time because I haven’t decided anything yet since I have been busy doing things with the estate, the celebration we had and items in the house. I have also asked them what they wanted in the house and two responded one didn’t. I will not respond to any emails anymore because I think I don’t deserve being treated poorly. What’s is your thoughts? Also it has been a tough month trying to cope with my Moms death.
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I currently have an account in both my name and my dad's name.  I use this account to pay for expenses - mine and my siblings when they come and visit.  He sends Christmas checks out of this account. 
At the end, I will use it to make sure all have the opportunity to visit and pay all the expenses. 
They are fortunate that there is also a trust that will benefit them.  I may be harsh, but for my unpaid hours and time, I will use the account for my benefit.  No telling what the balance will be.  I think that is "fair".  Fair doesn't always mean that the dollars add up the same in each column.
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I would do what I believed my mother would have done. It's a pity your mother didn't leave instructions, but do your best to pretend she did and put your own feelings to one side.

I would add: if you divide this money equally among the four of you, you can't possibly get it wrong.
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Barsenault60 Jul 1, 2019
Agree 1000%!! My SIL’s mom changed her Will before she was officially diagnosed with dementia. She had always been fair with her 3 kids in the past. She became very nasty about her DIL and write her son out of her Will. After she passed, the other two siblings divided the Estate up evenly because they knew that’s what their mom would have done had she been well. I have so much respect for them! They didn’t let money come between them nor did they leave a permanent scar with the one son - no matter how much they didn’t care for their SIL. I think it’s better to take the high road.
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Me and one brother are in my dad's account, two others arent. The two that aren't are long distance from dad, and have no say in his care, etc. But I have no animosity towards them. They do call and talk to him sometimes. So I have always planned to divide it four ways.

Do what your mom would gave wanted if she ever said. I think if you withhold sister's share, you can forget about ever having any kind of relationship with her after this. Don't feel guilty whatever you decide to do. Not all families have a storybook relationship. It is what it is.
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Jada824 Jul 1, 2019
My mother had myself & brother on her account. After mom started with dementia brother closed that account & opened one with just mom’s & his name.
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I actually had this situation (without the mean sister) and at the time I was put onto my father's accounts, he asked me if I would follow his wishes that any monies left over would be equally divided with my 2 sisters.

At Probate, the judge said the money was all mine, legally.

So, what did your mother intend for you to do with the monies?

Legally vs Morally - I told my father that of course I would follow his wishes and I split everything 3 ways, possibly shortchanging myself a little but feeling the better for doing what he had wanted. I had been told that as Executrix, I would receive an extra portion - but I had 2 lawyers tell me that this is usually not done, so I didn't take an extra dime for myself. Before you ask, I was the only daughter not working and most of the work fell on me - I feel blessed that I was able and available to assist my father in all ways needed.
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My husband was in this situation when his mother died. He was not only on her checking account but also on all of her CDs (with another brother). Did your mother have a will? If so, did she say all assets are to be divided among the four of you? Were you on the account simply as a convenience for bill paying? Or did you put some of your own money in the account? While in theory my husband and BIL could have taken all the money and in reality no one would have been any the wiser since they didn't have a clue how much she had, he knew his mother's intent and will stated it was to be divided among all of the kids equally. So that is what he did. It was the ethical thing to do. So unless you mom has specifically mentioned not including your sibling in my opinion, that is what you should do.
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