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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'd put a restraining order on the sister to shut her up.
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Reply to cmagnum
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It's tough to lose your mom...sorry for your loss.

My cousin was in a similar situation with an alcoholic and abusive "black sheep" sister out of 4 siblings. The money she had jointly with her dad she decided to put money away for this sister if she "one day" came to her senses and regretted her treatment of her mom and family. It must be in some sort of informal bank account so that it isn't totally committed to the blacksheep, in case she never changes then the funds can be used for some thing or some one else.
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Reply to Geaton777
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I'd keep every penny in the joint checking account. You've earned it, my dear, the sisters have not.
All the best, and I'm sorry for the loss of your mom!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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As co-owner of the bank account, you owe nothing of it to anyone (legally). Your mom obviously wanted you to be sole owner after her death. So it's fine if you just keep it all & say nothing. Hope it works out for your family.
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Reply to Tiger55
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what is in her will or trust? If she didn’t have either then you could break it down by portions. You probably need to talk to an attorney though just to be safe. I just lost my dad 6 weeks ago and I was sort of in the same boat but we had put in place new will and his trust a few years ago. My mom came first, however she had passed away, so then estate was to be split between my sister and myself. She did practically nothing living 10 minutes from him (she did work full time and took care of her grandson also but was very little help to me when it came to mom and dad). Unfortunately my sister passed away also unexpectedly so.....I get estate. Wrong....I had to split it with sisters daughter. I did EVERYthing for my dad just like you did with your mom so I was a little bitter about it. But the will is the will. I’ve gotten better about it and it was a total surprise to her. She was very gracious and said she would rather have her mom back but was very appreciative which made it easier for me. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hope you get some rest now and can enjoy some freedom. God Bless.
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Reply to pargirl
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I have to say it doesn't sound like your mother was ill just possibly old and maybe the fact that you were there for her - appointments, shopping, errands,etc - I would like to know if you had to be there 24/7 or was she capable of taking care of everyday needs - fixing meals - laundry - caring or was it actually you doing all of that . did you live in the house you inherited? are you planning on selling it or staying there? did you ever ask any of the sisters for their help ? and were they able to or did they have jobs, families - just wondering before i cast judgement on the others.
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Reply to dinamshar9
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Do any of them need the money? Do you? Did your mother have a will or ever make any of her wishes known? If not - go ahead and share some - also did you take care of her because you live the closest and the others do not - or was it just easier for you than them - your children are grown? theirs are not ? I believe they deserve something - they were her daughters / and you know how much there is in the account so divvy it up as you see fit - it doesn't need to be equal but maybe it should.
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Reply to dinamshar9
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Don't reward someone for being an ass.
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Reply to Gremlin
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The money is legally yours. I didn't read anything in your statement saying that your mom wanted it shared. I surely would not share any with the mean sister.
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Reply to cmagnum
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So sorry on the loss of your mom.
I really don’t believe all the people saying that money is rightfully yours to just keep it. Mom wanted everything split evenly & that was her money so it should be split.
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Reply to Jada824
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Based on life's experiences, I believe that what you sow is what you reap. Forget the fact that she is a sister or blood relation. She evidently did nothing for you or your mother. The other sisters and you did help. As far as I an concerned, share what there is between THOSE WHO WERE THERE FOR HER AND WALK AWAY FROM THE BAD SISTER. Never look back. Why should she share in anything when she did nothing and she is already sharing in life insurance and another account. When people are not there for those who need them, then there is no reason to be there for them. Do NOT do it. Stay close to those who helped.
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Reply to Riley2166
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No . I wouldn’t share with any . You have spent your time caring for your mom . If they have insurance money coming to them then that’s what I would share . If it’s not on a will I wouldn’t worry about it.
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Reply to Gingrspice
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I would use the money and you and husband go on a really really nice vacation. Insurance settlement is sufficient.
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Reply to commutergirl
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As a caregiver myself, off and on for the last 10 years, and full time 24/7/365 for the last 5 1/2 (and counting) years, I understand what you are feeling. It’s nice when you get help, or a reprieve but if you are the main caregiver and got no help, I would suggest you make sure you are getting reimbursed for your expenses. If her will states everything to be split evenly, there is not a lot you can do. But if not, the mean one that didn’t do anything to help you out, and caused her mother grief, I’d give her maybe $10.00 and tell her that is how much joy she gave her mother! People who are not/never been caregivers, have NO idea the amount of work and stress involved. They may think they do, but believe me, they have NO CLUE. I wish you luck and peace with your decision. I am sorry for your loss.
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Reply to moms2nddaughter
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Hi, that's rough, so take your time with your decision. Please examine how your future would be if you did split it up equally, (vs unequally). I mean, what would your sibling relationships be like? Money brings out the worst in us, but if they are all important to you, I would try to do what it takes to preserve your future relationships. But as other posters have said, first pay all bills & protect yourself against future taxes. Then consider that great idea someone had about creating trusts for your mom's grandkids instead. Also, if any sibling has a drug or gambling problem, they get nothing...put 'in trust' for their kids, if any.
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Reply to Tiger55
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Follow what your mother's will states.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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This is a difficult question. Personally, I would not be able to eliminate a sibling without feeling a lot of guilt.

I am in a similar situation and POA, medically and financially for my almost 88 year old mother. I have one brother who helps, a younger brother who doesn’t help and rarely even visits my mother living about 20 minutes away. When mom is gone, if there is any money left it will be divided in thirds. This is what my mother has requested and I will respect her wishes.

However, my brother will be reimbursed for expenses he has incurred as will I. The younger brother doesn’t agree with many decisions I have had to make, and more than likely it will be the same situation when things are divided. I have had to deal with the situation for so long now and actually feel indifferent to any criticism I may receive.

It is appalling when relatives abandon family. From various articles I have read it happens all the time. Best wishes.
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Reply to NicoleAnn
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As others have said, there are multiple ways to look at this. Several have suggested retaining the funds for an extended period, in the event that some unexpected bill or reimbursement happens. That is likely the best first move, since mom's passing was recent (sympathies for that!) If it is a large amount of money, it might be wise to have a plan for the bulk of it (trust, cds, etc.)

As for sharing the remaining funds and with whom, that is really a decision that you must make. Clearly the answers given here cover both sides (give or keep), so you will have to do what you think is best for YOU. Not the sisters, just you. Are there grandchildren involved (esp if each of you has children)? Perhaps it might be good to set up a trust for each of them instead. Sisters are getting equal share of other inheritance.

As noted, you should keep the funds for a while, just in case, so you have time to really wrestle with the issue. Take your time and make the decision that will rest best in your mind.

Personally, I feel like another poster in that I have to live with myself in the end, I would have to make my decision based on what I could live with. When getting a divorce, my attorney told me to "hide" whatever money I could. At that time (long ago!) I said no, I have to sleep with myself, so I divided what was there at the time we split (and a bit after.) Funny thing is, when handing the check to him he didn't take it right away and just said I thought there was more than that! GREEDY!!! I almost took the check back and ripped it up. Had I known what he would do, and say, and how little support (monetary and otherwise) he would provide, I might have made a slightly different decision, but in the end it is ME I have to look at in the mirror and sleep with.

There is potential for any one of your sisters to also feel they got cheated even if you split it equally (esp that one sister), so be prepared for the ungrateful attitude as well if you choose to split it. If this does happen, don't stress over it and certainly don't waste any time trying to prove otherwise - people who feel like this will never be convinced.

So, let your own conscience be your guide.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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No way!! You were the one there on the daily basis and thats why you deserved the house. Sounds like they got more then a fair share. If it was me, that would be all they got. Sorry for your loss.
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Reply to Justme44
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Justme44 Jul 1, 2019
Well it really is what you feel comfortable with. From how it sounds, mom knew & wanted that just for you or she would have made other provisions. I also think amount would play into how people respond but no matter amt. I still feel its for you! You deserve it. I hope your able to find peace with your decision & your mothers passing.
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This is YOUR money & you don't have to share 1 red cent - however if you choose to just make sure you don't end up paying a gift tax - all cheques over $10,000.00 are subject to scrutiny due to money laundering so check it our first

I shared mine with my sister but we had an understanding prior to mom's passing that we would do so - this meant she was happy & not causing me grief over every little thing -

If you had no prior agreement then maybe your mom wanted you to get a bit more because you were the helping hands she needed - don't be too hasty to give it away instead maybe you should invest for your retirement - also maybe hubby should get something for all his troubles

Consult some professionals as to what might bite you - if you wish to give them something fine but it doesn't have to be 1/3 each [as I wouldn't give much to the mean one] or maybe you could keep 1/2 for yourself & give 1/6 to hubby, 1/6 to each of nice sisters - there are many formulas you can go with
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Reply to moecam
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Whatever you do, do not disperse the money right away. I followed my banker's advice and kept Mom's bank account open for a year. After 6 months there were still bills occasionally coming through. That also gives you some time to ease your grief and think more clearly.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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worriedinCali Jul 1, 2019
Our banker gave the opposite advice. And froze my FILs account so that no more bills would go through. The money in the account was paid out to the “payable on death beneficiary”.
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Follow whatever her will states. If no will, talk with your other sisters and decide what to do. HOWEVER, a big however, they took my Mom's social security check back even though she died after the first of the month and that payment was for the prior month. It will probably take about six months for all the finals to come through. Don't be caught short!
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Reply to jczac44
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I see that you have received several answers to your question already, but I wanted to write to you, too. I had a similar situation. My mother lived with my family and we did everything for her 24/7 for many, many years. My sister came once a month from out of state to help for the final 2 years of my mother's life. Two of my brothers came 2-4 times a year. My other brother never helped with any matters for over 10 years. When my mother passed, he did not even come to the funeral and help with any of the end arrangements, etc. However, I decided to share everything equally upon my mother's passing. I did this for many reasons. There is always hope that a person can change (i.e., my brother who was not helpful in any way and has distanced himself from the family in many ways), it is important to keep a family unit together in harmony as too many families have internal strife, money and materialistic gain is not the ultimate in life, and also God or any other spiritual leader would believe you to be fair and kind as well. That is what I did and I have no regrets. Good luck to you.
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Reply to huntersailor1
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Mariska1 Jul 1, 2019
What an honorable & lovely person you are.Your Mom would be proud of you.
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Let's say the money in that checking account had run out while your Mom was still living. Would your sisters have started helping you pay for the expenses at that point?
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Reply to mikejrexec
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lucyinthesky Jul 1, 2019
good point!
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So to start weather or not your mom made you a co-owner rather than a signer on that account on purpose the fact that she did means it is not part of her estate, you each had equal legal rights to the funds in it and now that she has passed legally it is now your account. You can do what you choose with those funds and that account. My mother for instance was co-owner on one of my GM's accounts because she was my GM's caregiver and taking care of her finances as well and still uses that account now 15 years or so after her passing. My GM's will also left my mom who lived with her for 10-15 years before she passed and was her primary caregiver, life use of the home in her will as well as co-executor with the family attorney. It was the fair thing to do given Mom had given up her time to establish her own home basically to care for GM so it was her "home" as well and she shouldn't be displaced unless she chose to be. When my mother either moves or passes the home will then be sold and the proceeds split between the 4 children (Mom included) or their heirs. I remember a car ride home with my aunt (we live in the same state about 4-5 hrs from the family homestead) when she started complaining to me about how unfair it was that my mom could live in the house as long as she wanted forcing her siblings to wait for their inheritance, she has always struggled financially. I let her know my thoughts and she has never brought it up with me again. I don't think she has ever dared complain to my mom but I did recently overhear a conversation where she was asking if mom thought she should think about either moving in with one of her children or a care residence somewhere. There is a lot of love there, as well as genuine concern for Mom's well being don't get me wrong so not nearly as bad as your sister unloading on her mother for her choices. You sister may feel very regretful about that whether she admits it to you or nor not and in truth we never know what things may have happened between siblings and parents in the past, if there is one thing I have learned by recounting family stories with my brothers and my parents it's that everyone has a unique perspective and view of a given event often based on their age or life situation at the time and when we don't share that grudges or misconceptions can develop. I'm not in anyway suggesting you are wrong for feeling the way you do but even if she is that greedy, I wouldn't feel right judging who's contact or participation was more worthy than another's. Phone calls might seem like a cop out but making sure they happen might be a labor of love and not making them might be too. It's hard to judge what others are giving from their lives and it's hard to judge how hard things might be on them. In some ways as the everyday caregiver we don't notice decline or change in quite the same way and for a sibling months between visits might make for harsh realities of LO's change, from experience so can phone calls.

Is there a fair amount of money in this account or is it say several months worth of household expenses? My suggestion would be to not hide or advertise this account's existence, keep it open for a while, use it to pay for house expenses (taxes etc) until it's transferred to your name and general estate expenses, there will be some unless mom provided for that. This way everyone is benefiting and it's still being used to settle mom's finances and then once everything is said and done, it may be a year or 10 you can decide if there is enough left in it to even be worth considering splitting up. I wouldn't shy away from using that account to pay household upkeep expenses at least until the property no longer has mom's name on it but for me, I wouldn't feel right looking at it as payment for my services, while I am an advocate for compensating my sibling I have a harder time doing that for myself. I have learned to accept reimbursement but the things I do for mom aren't for monetary reasons.
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Reply to Lymie61
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Hmm! If your Mothers will does not address this ? By now I would think the siblings would have already agreed to how this kind of thing gets split up. I assume your trustee of the estate??

If this has not been agreed to and you did all or the big majority of the work than you and your husband should come to an agreement of what is fair then proceed.
What is "fair" might be you keep it all.

How much money is it? "a lot of money" is an opinion. depending on your current financial state.

The other question is how badly do you and your husband need the money?

The other question is how important are these relationships to you and your husband with these siblings

Whatever you decide. Be VERY clear in what and why the decision was made. In fact I would go so far as to write a letter so there is no twisting of the facts.

My wife has had sole responsibility for tending to her parents, now just her Mother. She gets everything and she HAS EARNED IT!!! Her sacrifice and her siblings lack of support have been so glaring no one is arguing with the final financial outcome.

Good luck.
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Reply to lacyisland
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Take out any reasonable expenses and split evenly. If your nasty sister continues to act nasty - that is on her. You don't want to be the source of fuel for any continuing nastiness.
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Reply to MsRandall
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Personally, I would deduct any expenses due to me from the account and then split it equally, even with the nasty sister. Then you never need worry about her bad mouthing you (and if she does, you'll know it is unjustified), or about any kind of guilt later on in life. Money can never buy peace of mind like that.

Your mom gave you her house and did not include her other children. That, it seems, showed how much she appreciated you.

But it's such a personal choice... do what you feel is right in your heart.
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Reply to TekkieChikk
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We had this situation, almost exactly. We were determined to split it evenly, but not at our own expense.
First of all the money is yours now. If you want to share it you cannot go over a certain amount per person without paying a gift tax ($15k I believe).
We waited until the estate, funeral, and other expenses were settled. It is much simpler if you do not take expenses from the estate. I have done parent's estates with and without a joint account, it is much easier with a bank account to use.
Settling an estate can cost a lot in lost work, travel, notaries, even special deliveries and other miscellaneous expenses.
Pay yourself from this account. An executor can take from the estate, but it is a whole lot easier to write a check than front the money and ask for reimbursement later. Also you are a lot less likely to forget any cash outlays you make.
If you are selling her home that task will have expenses also.
When the dust settles and the estate is complete (we used an elder attorney), then whatever is left can be split.
We gifted the money to the remaining children and grandchildren. It took us three years to split the money because of the gift tax.
We feel good about how we handled this, and it went pretty smoothly. We explained what we were doing to everyone, but did not share the balance until the estate was settled. A lot of people do not seem to understand that being an executor is more of a job than an honor.
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disgustedtoo Jul 1, 2019
The gift tax for money "given" over that amount is true, but to clarify, the recipient would be responsible for the tax, not the giver. I would recommend, if there is a large amount of money, to either give it out partially each year, to stay under the cap, OR give a share to sister AND spouse (aka you can give EACH of them the 15k without incurring the tax, so long as you make the checks payable to them individually, not jointly.)
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When my 91 year old father finished setting up his trust and power of attorney the lawyer said that since my sister is on his checking account, he and she own it. It is not part of the trust or anything else. Therefore, you own the account. You can use it to pay expenses including any lawyer fees, realtor fees, income tax owed, whatever the state or feds want, disposing of stuff the family doesn’t want. Then think about what you want your relationships with your siblings to be going forward. Perhaps you or your husband are facing some health issues and need the money. Maybe your siblings are financially sound or struggling. Seek your answers in prayer. Once you send out the money it’s over, so no regrets
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