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I am the youngest of four children. We're all middle-aged. For the past eight years, I've been caring for my elderly parents. Unfortunately, I went into this situation without a clear outline of my duties and financial responsibilities. My parents wished to stay in their home and asked me and my family (husband and 2 kids) to move in with them. My parents had been unable to keep up the maintenance on their house, and though I came over to help out each weekend, the house needed major renovations. So when I moved in, we all decided together to put my name on the deed so I could take out a loan to repair the house.

My father died of cancer a few years ago. I, my mother and my husband cared for him at home. My siblings did not visit or help. They did come for a memorial service, whereupon one sister threw a major tantrum about her "inheritance." She seemed to think that the house would go to her and not my mom. Ever since then, she has been obsessed with the house, alternately begging to move in with us and badmouthing me on Facebook. She portrays me as a freeloader, even though she's the one always borrowing money from our mother. She even has friends drive by the house to report back to her. I know she's going through a hard time, but she's managed to alienate all her siblings, and my mother doesn't want her here. This sister even received a $7K life insurance policy from my father that the rest of us didn't get, but she's already blown through the money.

What I worry about most is that after my mother dies, my mother's part of the house will be split among my other siblings, and I am sure this sister will drag me into court arguing about what she proclaims is an "unfair" split. She has already been involved in many lawsuits with other people. I would like to remove my name from the deed, so that it's not an issue, but I have over $100K invested in the house. I don't see any way out of this tangle other than to sell the house, which would mean moving my mother out of her own home.

After talking with my mother's pastor, I realized that this sister feels that I am the "favorite" child, and that she's been shortchanged (despite doing nothing for our parents). The pastor thinks that removing my name from the deed won't actually solve the problem. Even so, I want the strife over my mother's future estate to end. I don't even care about getting any money - I would be happy with nothing if that would stop my sister from causing me stress. I have repeatedly told her that my mother may need to sell the house anyway if she needs to go into care, but my sister doesn't listen to facts or reason. She's very difficult to communicate with, because she only talks about herself.

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You may be better off to start your own thread. This one is four years old.

People can sue for anything, that does not mean they will win.

Hopefully, the gift of land is well documented that it was payment for caregiving.
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Please help!
My Dad, sister and brother took turns of taking care of my ailing single aunt for 10 years until she died just recently. My aunt entrusted all her money to mt father while she was still strong and healthy. And she gave her piece of land they gift to my sister who took care of her. Now other siblings if my aunt with the rest of cousins are running after the money and the land. Do they have rights to ask for their share?
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Dan, you can't stop them but you can deflect them.

I assume that first your father and then your mother left valid wills, which you, as their executor, saw to properly, yes? I'm assuming that because, as a competent business owner, no doubt you will have seen to it.

Your brother and sister can blame you and accuse you as much as they like. You know the truth of the matter. You can demonstrate the truth to anyone who cares to know it. Let them say what they like, it doesn't make any difference to reality.

I am surprised that the police chose to get involved, but the solution to that particular problem is to send your sister a copy of the death certificate. Granted, she should be perfectly capable of obtaining one herself, it takes very little initiative or cash to do so, but since she asks - why not? If it's because you suspect she will use it to submit a fraudulent claim, put your suspicions to one side: that isn't your business or your problem. Should anyone ask you to confirm her presence at the funeral, you will then have your opportunity to explain that she did not in fact attend - but don't anticipate this happening.

Emails: scan them when they arrive for any details you might actually want to know. If they're offensive, delete them. Treat them, in other words, as you treat all emails: we all get spam and junk that we'd rather not see, but it's easily dealt with.

Don't block the phone calls. Always answer the phone, or let it ring through to voicemail, as it suits you, as you normally would. If the caller becomes a nuisance or offensive, hang up. If the message is abusive, delete it.

If the harassment becomes serious or escalates, injunctions are an option. I assume, from what you say, that you would have no difficulty with the legal cost. If you do think it might come to that, make a record and then start keeping a complete, accurate and factual log of your siblings' behaviour: this will make it much easier for any court to understand what protection you require, and why.

The reason I feel confident that - if you stand your ground and continue to brush them aside - they will eventually get bored and go away is that they have had more than a year to get legally serious about any issues they perceive to exist, but they haven't done it. The sort of people who claim to have been kept away from their parents for TWENTY YEARS but did nothing about it are usually also the sort of people who mutter, grumble and rhubarb forever, to no effect. It's hot air. Open the window and ignore them.
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you run all about the room telling any and everyone that fist face is coming. eventually someone will confront you and demand to know who fistface is. thats when you piledrive em in the nose with a speeding right hook. some people dont understand words, you have to act it out for them. its like theatre with more malice.
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I lived with my ill parents for 20 years,dad passed away in 2000 mom passed away in 2012.all the time they lived with me they were getting old age pension and disability pension mom and dad use to pay me 500 dollars a month without me asking,I am business owner and well to do man,I never wanted to put my parents in nursing home.my brother and sister never want to take care of them.I have been accused that I kept my parents away from them and I kept my parents with me for their pension money,Now both parents are passed away I have to deal with lots of blaming that I eat my parents pension money,although when my father passed away my brother helped with funeral cost but a week later he asked money back from my mother and she had to pay both my brother and sister never came to mom funeral.I received phone call from police two day later from police that I am not giving my sister a death certificate so she can get paid for three days she took off from work.i have been receiving these bullying email on and on,please help me out how to deal with this how to stop them I blocked all the phone calls but they still send me messages from different phone.
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How about asking the police to help work out the disputes??
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Argiope,

I would keep your mother in her own home. With your sister, she sounds like she is all about the money and what she can get. Please know, with a person like this, there's no talking to them and she will only see her side of things. Please don't let this stress you out. Let things in GOD's hands. Let your mom in her house and keep doing things the way you have been. I can tell by your story that you are a good person with a kind soul. GOD will be the judge of your sister and GOD knows what you are doing for your mother as well as what you have done for your father. You are doing the right thing by taking care of your mom. Families will often see what they want to see and not what reality is. My family has done the same thing with me. Keep consulting with your pastor and keep turning to GOD, GOD will show you the way. GOD has done this for me thru praying to HIM and also consulting with my pastor. When you're not sure what to do, then don't do anything for the time being. GOD will show you the way. Trust HIM. Let HIM direct your paths. Keep talking to you pastor and also get into the WORD of GOD (The BIBLE). This helps me tremenously! GOD will give you peace and the grace to go on and to do what is needed. Just do all things in love. When your sister sees this, this could change her attitude and GOD is the only one who can change hearts and HE is the only one that can open your sister's eyes. Hoping all turns out well for you and your family. GOD bless you and your mother and your whole family!
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I hope the attorneys who got you into this problem we're not certified eldercare attorney. Once you discover the right way that you want to go, you could return to the attorneys and give them the opportunity to prepare the proper documents which they should do for no additional charge. If they are not cooperative, you can report them to the Bar Association and they may even be liable for malpractice, if they sent you down the wrong path and it caused you damages. That's why they carry malpractice insurance. Attorneys make mistakes too, but they should make things right no further injury to you.

Be very cautious about changing the title on the house in anyway or recording a quit claim deed at this stage. At the age your mom is, and not knowing what's going to happen in the next few years, should she need to go on Medicaid within the next 5 years, you may have a snafu with the five-year look back.
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If your mother does not want this sister at the house, a restraining order can be placed on your sister. Secondly, with your mother's permission, have her quit-claim her interest in the house to you and your husband. That will solve the problem when she dies. You have invested too much money in this house to give it up. You deserve to stay there, if you want. If mom needs to go into a nursing home, then she can apply for Medicaid and she won't have any assets. Thirdly, contact Facebook, tell them she is threatening your good name and ask them to remove her Facebook page. Show them your restraining order. Then do not talk with her - EVER. If she cannot get the attention she so desperately needs, she may turn violent. Protect yourself, your mom and your husband. Yours won't be the first family with an unstable or viscous family member. Good luck!
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We've gone to two attorneys, for the deed and the will, which is why we're in this mess. Neither of them gave good advice. We're going to sort through our options with the Certified Financial Planner, and then find a better attorney once we decide on a course of action. The attorneys here charge $250 to $500 an hour, so you have to go in knowing exactly what you want them to do.
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When you and your mom go to the ATTORNEY (!), make sure your mom goes in definitely knowing and STATING what she wants, no waffling, no "remaindermen" (which is unfair to you and not at all to your benefit considering your time and money invested). AS LONG AS YOUR MOM IS COMPETENT, SHE CAN CHANGE, AMEND OR REWRITE ANYTHING ALREADY EXISTING ! ! !
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When I read things like this I am so glad I am an only child. Yes I only have me to rely on.. but! I feel for you all, and it makes me aware it could be so worse
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We have someone in our family that thinks she is owed inheritance, which we believe we are not. If dad spends all his money that is his freedom to do so. He earned it and it is his until the day he passes on. Personally, I would talk to your mother about selling the house to recoup your $100,000 before she passes on. You don't want to end up on the short end if your sister decides to get ugly. You have to protect yourself and your mother. Just be sure to keep proof of the investment into the home you paid for with your money. good luck...
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As soon as I start reading what some of you are going through I stop feeling sorry for what my mother in law is putting us through. For the first time ever I am grateful that my husband is an only child. May God bless all of you!
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Upon re reading your post to which I was responding, I see you have referred to an "elder-focused estate planner". Is this person an attorney? If not, please check in your area for an NAELA attorney. Anything less could cause you trouble down the line under the circumstances you are facing.
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I see you have written 4 hours ago that you have made an appointment with an attorney. Hopefully, it is a certified eldercare attorney. Since you are currently a co owner of the house, do to your substantial investment - not even including the caretaking of first your dad and now your mom - it is reasonable that the decisions about what to do with the house are not just your moms but also yours. Don't short change yourself or your family in order to get out from under a crazy sibling. Nothing short of giving her everything and shutting up yourself is going to satisfy her. She has done nothing and yet is willing to take everything. She is not your friend, the two of you will never be friends and you will most likely not have a relationship when this is over. In other words, nothing you do will ever appease her because you cannot cure her of her psychological problems.

Whatever you and your mother decide to do after considering the attorney's advice, I personally feel it would be a good idea to have a doctor or two include certification that your mom is competent. When greedy folks down the line decide to challenge legal documents, that's one of the areas they go after, and it's something hard to prove one way or the other after the fact.
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It sounds as if your sister could be a narcissist. Narcissists have a very strong feeling of self-entitlement, especially when money is involved. Part of their brain has not developed past that of a two-year old, (I am not joking). Personality disorders are difficult to diagnose, but it sounds as if she is either very difficult or does indeed have a personality disorder.
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Argiope,
You have to see a Lawyer as soon as possible !! Get this " All " done legal and proper so there is no room for conjecture on your sib's part. Unless she has a "shady" Lawyer or Judge to help her cause, you will be,... shall we say,... safe from her nastiness. Good luck and God Bless on your endeavor.
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Thanks babylettuce! We just made an appointment to see an elder-focused estate planner next Wednesday. I'm looking forward to getting things straightened out and lifting this burden. I think it could be good for my mom to have her own place and a change of scene, with family members close by to help out.
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Argiope, it sounds to me like you've gotten the answer you needed. I think you're right to sell the house, because of the reasons you stated. Mom should live in an apartment close to you or in an ALF, depending on her medical needs at the time. Ask the elder sister to quit updating you on the FB nonsense. You are correct to cut ties with the troublemaker as much as possible. She sounds like she's nuts, not just selfish and narcissistic. I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, but know that it's not about you or anything you've done. You sound like a kind, generous person and you are to be commended for stepping up to help your parents.

The decluttering will probably speed up as time goes on - you've gotten through the worst part which is getting Mom started. That is huge and congratulations!!

You are headed in the right direction and doing great! I know it takes a toll on you, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. (And, no, that's not a train headed toward you!) Keep us posted, we are in your corner.
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I'm not actually on FB, but my elder sister unfortunately sends me the other sister's comments, which isn't helping anything. Elder sis is just so shocked at the difference between what middle sis says to our mom, and what she says on FB.

The deed is arranged so that my mother's part descends to the "remaindermen," my siblings, and I have life tenancy. I don't like this idea at all, because the remaindermen can inspect their property anytime, bring a lawsuit against me if they don't think I'm maintaining it properly and so on. I would want to sell the house asap, and the work getting rid of 50 years of my parents' stuff will fall on my shoulders. I've finally convinced my mother to part with things without getting so angry, but the decluttering is going very slowly (despite taking a dumpster full of garbage out of the house before we moved in).

@SammyOrb, thank you so much for sharing your arrangement! It sounds like exactly what I need to defend myself.

And thanks to everyone who responded! I had no experience dealing with these issues. All my grandparents passed before I was born, though I did hear about how grandad's new wife stole my uncle's property and the family silver. It just keeps repeating through the generations.
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Do you have a geriatric care manager? They can often help with sibling issues. If no help, then join the club. Many of us have had to deal with this sort of adversity and attacks and there is nothing that can be done with some. Stay strong.
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I am so sorry you are going through this, and I know exactly where you're coming from because I have a brother who did nothing for Mom for 25 years other than keep her yard mowed. Mom lived with me the last ten years of her life other than the last six months in a nursing facility. I visited 3 - 7 times a day to be sure she wasn't lonely, or just to watch her favorite program with her, to fix her hair, to be sure she was getting her medicines and proper care. I had provided round the clock care for her for the ten years prior and never got a thing from him. Yet, when it was time for the "estate" to be settled, you can bet he was the first one there, trying to see what he was getting. Well, he got zip, zilch, nada. Mom was so upset and angry with him for what he'd done, she put in the will, "I give you what you gave me, nothing." Sounds harsh, well, so was his neglect of her. She knew what I had given up to care for her and she wanted to be sure I didn't suffer for it once she was gone. Her "estate" was a small house, but my husband, son and I are happy in it (we'd only bought the larger home because we knew she'd need to live with us and wanted the family to be comfortable). My family did what was right for Mom so I have no regrets where Mom is concerned and quite frankly, my selfish brother got exactly what he deserved, a slap on the wrist and written out of the will.

If you are on the deed and have been for more than two years, you own half the house. Should your Mom need nursing home care and go on Medicaid, they will look at the home for ownership of five years back, but even so, if losing the home makes you homeless, Medicaid Expense Recovery Program known as MERP has little recourse against you. Check the laws for MERP for your state - even though Medicaid is Federal, it's laws vary by state since it's state run program. And an Elder Care Attorney is a must, well worth any fees he/she might charge.

And honey, YOU DO DESERVE the money. Even if you gave the sibling everything she wants it would never be enough. You know this, so why bother trying? Keep the money for yourself as you will need it. You've given up your retirement income for your Mom, so why should you suffer just to appease an ungrateful, unhappy, bitter, jealous, money-grabbing sibling? The simple answer, YOU SHOULDN'T. Care giving breaks a person down, emotionally, mentally and physically and this sibling has robbed you of more than you know by adding to your stress. She's also caused your Mum stress and your Mum doesn't deserve that either, she deserves to be happy in her days. And you've provided that for your Mum, your sister has only contributed grief. DON'T REWARD YOUR SISTER FOR BAD BEHAVIOR - instead, reward yourself for being the person who faced an exorbitant task with love, patience and a clear head.

Why not, when your Mum does pass, buy a smaller home, one that requires far less maintenance and then treat yourself to a cruise or a trip to Europe, or whatever your fantasy vacation is? Don't tell your sibling where you're moving to, Cut all ties with her or she'll hound you over the money. I know I had to just finally tell my brother how little I thought of him and told him not to cal me ever again. And I'm finally happy, why, because I'm not dealing with his drama anymore. Why let her destroy your's and your Mum's happiness? You've earned it, so do it!
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Argiope, Unfortunately when you said your sister has already blown thru a bunch of other money, that tells me that IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! My opinion is, she's supporting some sort of habit, either legal or illegal or even another person, and she needs cash. Don't let her ruin your life, your mother's life, your siblings lives or anything else. She has got herself into a hole, and she's expecting mommy to bail her out which is probably what mom and dad have done all their lives. Tell her you're sorry she's financially messed up, but you're done talking about this. If she wants to make a legal stink she'll need a lawyer and believe me the lawyer will want money, which she doesn't have. Forget it. Enjoy your mom while you have her.
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First, go to a lawyer and get everything legaled up with no loopholes. After that, tell your sister to stop harassing you or you'll sue her next for just that. Never mind her issues - she's a noisy horn. All talk and no action. You gotta get tough with siblings like this. Your pastor also may be able to tell you about your biggest enemies being those of your own household.
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Ask your best respected friends for recommendations on trusted and very good tax, finance experts and a good lawyer. (I found a wonderful tax man who brought tremendous rational calming protection to our process... his balanced perspective made all the difference it the world).

I sat down calmly and thought through the insanity that was happening to me. Then, the next time I saw my (crazy) sister, I told her that this is a HUGELY emotional time for everyone. It was my intention to move through the time with kindness. While she may not always understand what I was doing, my intentions are to come through this challenging time treating each other with kindness and respect and that in the long run, it was my hope that as a family we would all be closer together than we were on that day...

I could not speak for her. I did not want to tell her what to do and I did not go into all the monster responsibilities and financial considerations... that was it.

Also, I will be forever thankful to the person on this site who told me to tell my Mom that I loved her every day and hug her when I could.

My only regret now that both my parents have died and my siblings are splitting what ever remains (I am doing ALL the work to make that happen), is that I did NOT look out for myself in the beginning. I did not realize that caregiving would take over my whole life and that an equal distribution in the end is NOT fair.

However, I've made peace with it all. No amount of money would give me my brother and sister (the uncle and aunt for my children). We are not super close, but we are OK today and for that... it does not matter that I was not on top of the finances to ensure that I got what I was due.

I hope all that makes some sense. While I think you MUST protect yourself and your family, perhaps your siblings don't know how to be close to your Mom and they have not had the smarts that you have to live a connected and giving life.

At one point I told my sister to consider visiting my mother at least once a month. She did that for the last two years of Mom's life. She will never credit me for making the suggestion, but I know she would not have done it on her own. She is so much happier today that she got to spend a few weekends with her/our Mom... and when she came, I took the days off to do much needed things for myself and my family.

Try to be kind and respectful in what every you do. Try to help other family members figure out ways that they can become part of the caregiving process, even if it's just a hug or a message of love.

At the end of the day, there is so much richness in families that treat each other with respect and kindness and all I can do is start with me... (and also don't be a door mat).

My best wishes to you in this journey. May you find great contentment and peace in your extended family in the long run...
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When were you put on the deed? If you have been live in caregiver for two years prior to mom needing nursing home, memory care of whatever, the house can be transferred to you without Medicaid penalty in most states. I would not give in to your sister. What has she done to help other than cause trouble?
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Do as Sammyorb suggests go to an elder lawyer, build a trust, if they contest it fees comes out of their share. Then for your personal growth and peace of mind start theraphy. It will give you coping skills in how to deal with your mother. Your sister is escalating her behavior, nip it in the bud for your mother and your family's sake. good luck
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Argiope, I agree with Madeaa. Check out the title and deed for the house. There are various arrangements. This is a legal document. For example, a married couple might typically have a 'joint with rights of survivorship' arrangement for a real estate purchase. When one dies, the house automatically passes to the survivor - it does NOT pass by stipulations of the will. The Title/deed preempts the Will. Check the title first, then let us know what it says. AND, yes get OFF Facebook. You can only be bullied if you are reading what she is posting.
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From my understanding maybe I am wrong but if you are on the deed as an owner, if mom dies the house is yours. If you are on the deed as having a right of residence you can live there for life. I don't know how you are hearing stories on facebook unless you still have her as a friend, or you actively search her out. Unfriend her if not already and get off facebook, create more issues than it is worth. Get a POA and DPOA for your mother, review the will if necessary, take her and anyone else off it that she does not want on it. She can say what she wants, but she really will get nowhere, any proofs would be her burden to prove. I would forget about her and move on, the house is in reality half yours and that is that, say goodbye to things and people that do not enhance your happiness, you have enough to deal with your mother's care, believe me.
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