I'll try to be brief here, even though I'd like to write a book!
Here are my two questions: (1) should my husband and I ask Dad for some sort of compensation for our services? (2) should we ask Dad to set aside enough money to cover his final expenses in a joint account with Dad's name and mine on it?
Here's the situation. Dysfunctional family. I'm the least favorite of the four children. Mom dislikes me to the point where she flies into a rage at her sister (my aunt) if she finds out that my aunt has spoken to me. She has mellowed slightly in the last few years, but the dislike is still there. My sister also dislikes me.
In spite of the family issues, my husband are doing all of the work of caring for my dad without assistance from Mom or my siblings. We took on this task because Dad was gravely ill and no one else was stepping up. It's been nearly three years now, and still no one else has stepped up. In fact, Mom and sister haven't even visited him. (They live about an hour and a half away.) My two brothers have visited, but they live thousands of miles away and aren't in a position to provide hands-on help.
Mom and Dad are financially comfortable, but Dad has no interest in paying for anything that he can get for free, and thus far that has included our services. He also has no interest in utilizing assistance that is available to him for free, such as the twice-weekly grocery runs at his independent living home. I'm very tired, and I'm starting to feel like a chump, particularly because I know that my sister and brother-in-law are being compensated for tasks that my brother-in-law carries out for Mom, such as cutting up a fallen tree. (I also know that they review my parents' checking account every month, but that's a separate issue.)
My husband and I have always felt that it's inappropriate to ask Dad for money because, as family members, we have an obligation to help him. But it's been a long and exhausting few years, and there's no end in sight. Would you ask for compensation going forward? And if so, how much?
Also, do you think that it's a good idea to ask Dad to set aside a small account, joint between him and me, to cover his cremation, death certificates, his last month's rent, and so on? If so, how much would be appropriate? When Dad passes, I'm sure that we'll have to cover those costs ourselves until the estate is settled unless Dad has created a final expense account.
I would certainly appreciate advice.