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My parents are divorced, and my mother is very bitter.
She is also very poor, and she needs to move into a safer place.
My father is doing very well and has offered to extend help to my mom through me. She would never accept it directly.
Soon my mom will be offered an opportunity to move into a senior apartment. We can't afford to contribute to her rent, but my father can and wishes to.
Here's the question:
When she asks - and she will - what is the right thing to tell her?

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How wonderful of your Dad. I would do whatever guise / lie / story works best in dealing with your mom. At some point mom may need a higher level of care, so she could maybe need to move into AL or a NH. As she is poor, she probably can apply for and qualify for Medicaid.

She will need to provide some bank statements as part of the application to show her low income. So whatever you do with dads funding, do NOT deposit it into moms bank account. You don't want to face " income ?" from medicaid say in 2019. You need to pay for the apt from its own bank checking account....talk with your dad as to how to do this...maybe you open a nice & new checking account that he puts $ into at a banking group that works for the two of you. He could do a more formal special needs trust but it sounds like he prefers this to be off the radar so as simple as possible. You & mom are fortunate even if she can't move past the past.
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One way of wording it since Mom is so bitter about the divorce is this.... "this is something that Dad is doing for me because I cannot sleep at night worrying about you living where it isn't safe, so I am looking for some place safer for you to live"..... make this all about you, not about Mom. Hopefully your Mom will accept this most generous offer.
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Not to pry, but I'm wondering if the funds your father extends come on a monthly basis, or there's a larger amount that's available, on an as needed basis. I ask b/c Igloo's comment on a trust made me think that if anything happens to your father, that money might stop. If it were in an account, as suggested, that both of you could access, it could still be available if anything happened to your father. And there's always the possibility that he might marry again and stop the contributions.
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Well, set up a special bank account, and tell mom that "the family is contributing to help you!" Can of worms or not, this is a very gracious thing you all are trying to do.
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I agree with the others who wrote above about NOT having other family members to help pay. That could create other family members wanting the same for themselves.

MBFoster, since your Dad is doing so well financially, was your Mom so bitter that she didn't want anything from him? If yes, then that was her choice to do that, and she has to live with that choice. Now you are able to help her out, and as I had mentioned before, make it sound like Dad is helping you.

I speak from being divorced myself, and I didn't turn down anything my ex was offering at the divorce or afterwards financially. He knew that I had to uproot my career every time we moved, thus he was the one who gained the most financially during our marriage.
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Is it possible to tell your moms family that in order to get financial assistance for her you need to pursue all options? Do they need to know that the financial assistance is from dad? Also, if you say that you are required to ask them they might not blame you for asking. The other comments here are very good. I know my mother would never take assistance from my father (not that he'd offer).
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If your Dad is cooperative, and good for him btw, work out a good cover story and get the thing done. I don't hesitate to lie to my stubborn parents when all else has failed and it's for their own good. Don't feel guilty for a second. Do what ya gotta do!
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There are many Low Income Subsidized Senior apartments, take a look at that option so that you won't be worried about Dad's money drying up.
if he chooses to gift some money to you it can always be used for other things that would make your Mom's life easier. You could save it up for her eventual care if she needs it
Good Luck.
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Of course it depends why she feels so bitter, but at first glance, the right thing to tell her - if in your view it's true - would be: "he owes you. This money is your due."

Play it by ear. But for goodness' sake don't tell her any lies or she won't trust you either.
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Ladylee is correct, i think a subsidized apt based on her income would be a better option. My aunte lived in one and only paid 200 a month rent because her ss was so low and she never married. Many good points on the pitfalls have been given here and i agree. If she lives above her means because of his help and that help dries up for any number of reasons she will be in a bad situation. Perhaps $$ from him could be used for moving expenses, but i wouldnt want to count on them for ongoing expenses. If your mom has her mental facalities in tact it would be wrong to leave her out of decision. Would you want to be left out of decisions about your life? If she is impared then thats a different story.I hope the best for you, try and avoid family drama if you can.
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