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My mother in law lives in Florida. Two years ago she was determined to lack capacity. A guardian was appointed for her and ultimately she ended up in a nursing home. Her home has since been sold. Medicaid has been paying for her care and we are told they have a lien on the account containing funds from the sale of her home. We live in California, she is in Florida and we have never had access to any of her funds. Based on what the house sold for, I would say she has nothing left. In her will, she left many relatives money, and they are under the impression they will get it. I am sure this will be a big issue one day and I am glad the guardian will bear the brunt of it. Any advice?

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jt - I get the vibe that you as a good & loving DIL want to come up with something somewhat definitive to say to hubs family. If this is the case here's my suggestion:

"hubs & I spoke with MiMaw's court appointed guardian yesterday and she is doing well at Shady Acres. They are doing arts & crafts making flags for labor day. MiMaw is safe & secure @ Shady. Her memory is fading and she doesn't remember the house and it's big pecan trees in front. As most of you know, the house was sold and she has been able to pay for her care @ Shady from the proceeds of the sale. We are grateful that the state of FL has placed all decision making on MiMaw with such a responsible guardian. Much love ...."

Find a photo of MiMaw and attach it, xerox both and send to all family. If you think they are not going to let go of the idea that there's $$$$, then send all letters certified mail (about $6.00 at USPO).

In being an executrix twice, I will say the more low income, undereducated and younger the supposed heirs are, the more determined they will be in their mindset that they are due $$$. The ones who are (to paraphrase my late aunt) "1 will reading from being able to afford an old used car" are the worst. Folks are unrealistic on the costs of care.....

Good for you that there is a guardian to deal with this!
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Garden Artist ' s answer makes much sense to me.

I keep thinking of this other poster who is convinced her Uncle left her money. People don't seem to understand that end of life care is very expensive and that the person's own funds have to be used up before there is any assistance.
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Since there's no successor executor identified, but there is a guardian involved, I would stay out of the fray that could be caused by telling relatives now and let the guardian handle the issue of probably no funds for the identified heirs when the time comes.

It doesn't sound as if they're particularly involved so I wouldn't be too concerned about them. And I don't see that it's your obligation to inform them - that might only cause anger toward you. An appointed guardian isn't going to tolerate a lot of nonsense if they're angry that there are no funds.

I also wouldn't say anything now specifically to avoid (a) relatives hassling your mother about what they expected to inherit, and (b) dropping contact altogether and depriving her of what little contact they may provide. Let her live the remainder of her life in peace w/o relatives focusing on inheritance issues and upsetting her.

The only other way I could see involving them now is to ask them for donations to help fund your mother's care, but she's already getting Medicaid and that's reliable, whereas relative's contributions aren't necessarily in that category. And I rather suspect either they wouldn't help fund her care or wouldn't have the necessary funds to do so.

So, let sleeping dogs lie.
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Lifes full of disappointments... Not much else to say to them..

Suggest that they get their affairs together so this won't happen to their family...
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The executor of the will has passed away. No successor was named so we are off the hook as far as that goes. The relatives don't visit,call or so much as send her an occasional greeting card. Mom is confused about many things due to dementia. She tells us she wants to go home (It was sold over a year ago) and she argued with my husband last year that the money in her account is now his. The relatives mainly communicate with us through facebook. We haven't told them much except to contact the guardian with any questions they have. The guardian is fine with us and will respond to any questions by email within a day. He knows what's happening and is not concerned about the extended family. I imagine when she passes on they will not be happy about their lack of inheritances.
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If it's you, I guess you have two choices one would be to remain mum until she passes and deal withe fallout then. The other would be to let them know now that there will most likely not be any estate to inherit when she passes due to the cost of her care.

Are these relatives continuing to visit, etc., due to their expectations ? Will they stop visiting if they know she's not solvent?

Does mom understand she has no funds or does she continue to tell folks she's left them money?
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Who is the executor of the will?
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