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Husband suffered severe stroke 4 years ago & I am his sole care giver.
Two kids live on my property & help me with him.
My youngest child has only visited one time in 4 years & seldom calls (says too busy) & no help. Lives 50 miles away.
My oldest is almost bedridden from obesity but calls every day.
I have a living trust made to divide everything in 4.
Now feel the two that do not help should get less.
How much less should I leave them?


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Make out a caregivers contract and pay them now, record and copy all checks given for help. This way, in the end, it can be equally divided without sibling rivalry hopefully. Its also a good way to spend down your money since you may live to 100, one never knows. I would ask for legal help if you dont agree, just to make sure. I took care of my mom 9 years of weekends and then over 8 years 24/7 in my home. My siblings not once helped me. When Mom died there was no money left and I was glad!
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Set up care contracts for the familial members that give care leave the will equally divided. If the spend on care means that 0$ are left then this that did nothing get exactly what they deserve - nothing
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Lydia, On second thought, you should lower the inheritance of all your children right away!
You should do this by spending it all on yourselves, splurge a little and stop thinking so much about when you and hubs are gone! Live life fully, NOW!
As best you can!
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Most people agree EQUAL is FAIR, as long as ALL is EQUAL.
However EQUAL is UNFAIR if ALL is IN EQUAL.
How fair is it to pay 4 employees the same wages if 1 employee does everything while the others do nothing?
However when giving 1 more than another, you must inform everyone of this and why you are doing this while you are alive.
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Agree with 2ndBest also.
Some very good answers here, everyone.
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I agree with 2nd Best. Leave all the children an equal portion. Pay the kids that help NOW, but leave the will intact. By changing the will you will create bad feelings. It is a forever thing. You won't be able to jump out of your grave and change things. Like I say it for all time and all eternity. Once you are gone you can't change it back.
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I also see what 2ndbest is saying.. my FIL has things so screwed up from what was promised.. that my hubs and BIL will probably never speak again after his folks pass. And this is soo sad . Its a crap shoot right now because everything changes daily.. and nothing is ever as it was suppossed to be.. and FIL keeps changing his story. I am so glad I am an only child some days, and that I have an only child....
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Totally agree with Jeanne Gibbs!
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Lydiak...from personal experience I would advise you to keep the inheritance portions equal among your four children. You shouldn't use your estate plan to reward, punish or show favoritism among your children. If you want to leave your family intact and your children on good terms with eachother after you're gone, reward the children that are helping you now while you are living, and then distribute funds equally after your death. My husband's mother died several months ago and afterward it was found out that she had willed 100% of her $500k estate to one son, and didn't even mention her other 4 children in her will! She did this 24 years before her death. During those 24 years she was included in the lives of all of her children and grandchildren. This resulted in all children writing off the brother that got everything, and the others left bewildered and deeply hurt at their mother's exclusion of them. This family will never be a real family again. Most hurtful was that the daughter that lived nearby, involved in her mother's life her entire life, was one of those excluded. Life is hard enough without causing this kind of emotional pain and turmoil for your children. What did their mother get out of this? Well, she got a boatload of bad will among her children and the son that got everything didn't even bother to have a funeral or any kind of acknowledgement that she ever lived. No obituary, no funeral, nothing. Only he even knows where she is buried or IF she was buried, or if she was cremated, where her ashes are. Sad state of affairs for what was once a family.
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I firmly believe that the children who are helping should be compensated while they are helping. Pay them monthly. Draw up an agreement so that this money is clearly payment for services rendered and not a gift. Pay them the going market rate -- what you would have to pay to skilled strangers.

There is no guarantee that there will be much left to leave anybody, if it turns out you need expensive care down the road. Don't postpone paying the kids who help to some indefinite future. Pay them now.

Then, what's left after your husband and you both die (if anything) could be distributed evenly among the kids, or the grandkids, or you can still decide to proportion what you leave each.

But please don't use your will to pay for services being provided now.
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I have 1 older sister, 1 younger sister, and a younger brother who was estranged from the family after dad died, who also has passed away 3 years ago.
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I too am caught up in a similar situation but it is too late to change things. My older sister moved away about 16 years ago. Caring for our mother after dad died in 1997 really was not a problem until the last 4-5 years. I was the one who had to take mom to the doctors all of the time despite the fact that I live 1 hour away and my sister lives 10 minutes away. After numerous recouperations for my mother at my house after major surgeries I found myself starting just to tell my sister to help me help mom. The past 3 years mom lived in an ALF and it grew increasingly hard for only one person to take mom to her apps. so I expected my sister to go with me to help. Fast forward to the present day, mom passed away last month and our sister came home for the funeral. She went over to the house to find the few things that she wanted from her childhood or things of mom's, and returned after a week to her home out west. I am named the " Trustee" and in charge of getting rid of everything and splitting the estate 4 ways equally..........it doesn't seem fair to me either but that is what was written up 16 years ago when mom set up her will to dump everything into a family trust...........oh well........
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Personally, I would not leave anything to the child that called only once in 4 years, and I would leave your bedridden child a considerable amount, but the 2 children that live on the property and help, I would leave them the bulk of it. In addition, I would sign it in an attorney's office, so there is a witness that you were mentally competent, and also that you were not coerced, as unfortunately, down the road some siblings could dispute the trust. It might be a good idea to write why you are modifying the trust, sign and date it and have it notarized. I would say you definitely should modify the trust, as obviously children that help more, should get more.
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Blannie had a good point, what if that child who rarely was around suddenly appears and becomes the full time caregiver.... but because of Alzheimer's/Dementia the parent is unable to dictate any changes to the Will/Trust.

I think I would want to make some note in the Will/Trust that if that child appears and helps out, then the splits will be changed to such and such. Otherwise if the child doesn't appear or helps out, the splits will remain as written in the amended Will/Trust.

Cwillie, my mother's parents did that. Us grandchildren got the bulk of the estate, where my mother and her siblings got much less. One of my mother's sisters contested the Will because she got so much less, but that was done for a reason, she played the horses and wasn't very good at winning.
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For sure the kids who help should get more, but I want to give you another thought, just to muddy the waters lol! Consider leaving something to your grandkids instead of their parents. Often when we get an inheritance we are already well established in life, whereas the next generation may be just starting out and facing huge bills for their education or first homes.
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That's your call but I'll tell you what happened in my family. I've been the only caregiver for my mom and dad together and now mom after my dad passed away. After my dad passed away, my brother (who's already rich) told my mom to take him out of the will after my dad died. It had been set up years ago to be 50/50. So I'm getting everything. In my case, that represents 14 years of care so far on my part for my folks. I think that's very fair.

In your case, maybe something like the two who help each get 40% and the one who calls gets 15% and the other one gets 5% or something like that.

Just don't use that as a club against the kids who don't help. I have relatives who were always putting people in the will and then taking them out again while in a snit...and telling everyone about it. Very childish in my opinion.

And also consider what your children have been like throughout their lives. Were the two non-helpers ever more interested/involved? Is their lack of support a temporary thing? If they've always been that way, then I'd change the trust and not think twice about it.
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