My sister is 17 years older than me and we’ve always had a great relationship. She’s so funny and sweet and I love her so much, that when she knew it was time to have some help and assistance with her living situation after our brother, who lived with her, passed away, I moved in to help her until she could decide what she wanted to do.

I offered to have her come live with me at the beach, only about 10 miles south, and she loves it here! I have a single story duplex, with my son and family living above us and a beautiful backyard that she takes a daily sunbathe in. So she’s really happy. She loves the beach and all the things we can do together. I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving etc. So all is well here at home between us.

My hurt comes from her kids, my niece and nephew. I’ve always had a great relationship with them but now neither one ever calls, texts or emails me. They seldom call their mom unless she calls them first. I keep sending texts with pictures of what’s going on with their mom and my son’s family, but never hear back from them. I’ve called them and they don’t call back.

Before my sister chose to move in with me, she discussed the move with her kids. They we’re concerned about her house, having to sell it and then moving and then got worried I was going to “take all her money”. I own my property in full, which is valued at over a million plus dollars, have money in the bank and financially fine. She sold her co-op for $160,000. She’s borrowed money from me that I know she won’t be able to pay back, but I am fine with that. She would do the same for me if things were reversed. So neither one of us gets why her kids have a problem, except my sister thinks it’s jealousy?

My nephew lived less than a mile away from her before she moved and seldom stopped to even see her unless she called him. He said his home was too small and couldn’t accommodate her. My niece lives in New Jersey and has a beach house in Virginia. She did offer to have her mom live there, but my sister realized both homes are three stories up, with the main house on the second floor and bedrooms on the third floor and my sister can’t do stairs any longer, one of the main reasons for her moving from where she lived. She also considered the cold winters and said that wasn’t for her, so chose to stay in sunny Southern California.

Unfortunately, as a side note, my niece and her husband are both alcoholics and have been unhappily married for 30 years and so my sister really didn’t want to live in that kind of continuous conflict. Or drive 5 hours back and forth between their two homes. My niece hasn’t been out to California for 7 years now to even see her mom, which again makes my sister feel bad.

Anyway, I just think it’s sad that because they treat me the way they do, it hurts my sister probably more than it hurts me. I can be okay with it because I have my kids close by and a new granddaughter that we all love and have fun with!

Any solutions? It’s tricky, because I would love our family back together again but I just don’t see that happening.

Thanks so much. I know this is long story, but it is complicated. Your help would be appreciated!

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It is the money. Also they are afraid they might have to help. They are alcoholics. You and and your sister sound like nice kind people. Her kids not so much. They are afraid your sister is spending too much money which they had their eyes on.

So just go on with your life and your sister's life. You can't make them be nice. Make sure both of you have wills or trusts and POA. Make sure her kids are not POA. Keep the money separate. Make sure she is well taken care of. If not they will pounce on it and accuse you of neglect.

Just go along and be happy. Ignore them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to tevincolorado

They don't seem to have much need to check in with you or their mother. They're wrapped up in their own lives, and I doubt they think one way or another about you, their mom, or even her money. They probably figure you two have each other, and they just put you in the back of their minds.

You can't make people care if they don't want to. Just try to have a happy time with your sis, and don't take the other monkeys on your back. Enjoy the beach before our SoCal winter (usually a week in February) comes crashing in with a few raindrops! ;-)
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Reply to MJ1929

Kids are kids no matter what age they are. I don't understand mine any better now they're all in their late 30's-early 40's.

Sometimes they're all lovey dovey kind and concerned and sometimes I'll go a month or more and just get dodged phone calls, emails, whatever. I'll start thinking "what did I do THIS TIME?" and usually, it's nothing. They're just busy with their own families. I'm annoying.

Likely your nieces and nephews are upset about the $$, but if they had any sense at all they'd realize that they are NOT OWED a dime from their mom's money. An inheritance is a gift, not a birthright.

All our kids make far more money than we do. FAR MORE. And yet, should DH and I die tomorrow they'd each inherit about $300,000. They know this, but honestly, that, to them that is just 'play money'.

DH and I will review our will every couple of years and we may alter it to leave it to the grands, in trusts to be used for COLLEGE. Or we may give it to a homeless shelter..point being...when you stop looking at a parent as a potential source of money--'someday' you have a really different perspective.

My MIL recently cut my DH out of her will but left him as executor. Great. He gets all that grunt work--and won't see a penny. Good thing we never planned that she'd leave him anything.

My sis and I talk about moving in together if we are widowed at the same time. I think it would be a hoot. (That sounds wrong, but you get my drift) You just enjoy your sister and your life.
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Reply to Midkid58
cherokeegrrl54 Jan 5, 2021
My sister and i feel the same way..,,
They are alcoholics. That about says it all in that instance. What you are describing are people who A) are not loving B) are impaired by alcohol and C) may be suffering from greed.
I would avoid discussing this overmuch with your Sis. You two have a wonderful life, it sounds to me. Ideal really. If she brings it up then don't say much and say "I am sorry if this hurts you; I really don't know what to advise you; our kids have their own lives".
Your Sister's children have made their choices. There is nothing you can do about that but be open to POSITIVE communication they may make in the future. And be a comfort to your Sister. Just reassure her that they have their own lives, make their own choices, and she should just love them and be open to change if they decide to change; meanwhile to live the happy quality life you two have now, and ENJOY it. I am so delighted you two have one another.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

You answered your own question about why your niece and nephew treat you and their mother the way they do. They're worried about the money. Probably not so much with you spending your sister's money yourself because you're clearly well off and don't need anything financial from her. They're worried because their mom sold her house and is now living with her sister (you) and might be enjoying life a little bit. Enjoying life may mean that their mom is spending some of HER money, which I'm sure they consider theirs.
They sound to me like the kind of ingrate grown kids who would rather see mom holding onto the house, never spending any money, and counting her pennies daily to leave a greater inheritance for them. Good you for taking your sister in. I hope the two of you are having a great time, and I hope your sister spends every penny of the proceedings from selling her house on enjoying life. God bless.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
Takincare Jan 5, 2021
May OPs sister spend every last penny enjoying life and having a good time, or as I told my parents: I hope you spend what you have earned and saved, most of all enjoy yourselves and when the time comes I hope the last check you ever write bounces🤣🤣🤣🤣
I think you have done your best. Daughter lives too far away to visit and doesn't seem interested in keeping her relationship with Mom going. Either does son. So I would just stop trying. Sister can send birthday cards, etc. but seems to me there was never a relationship too begin with. Just be glad that she has you and your family. That she has a nice place to live. She needs to count the blessings she has and not worry about what she doesn't.

You can ignore this question, just curious. Why can't sister pay the loan back if she sold her condo for $160k.

I hope you are keeping her money separate from yours. It will cause problems if Medicaid is ever needed. Keep good records concerning her money so if her children ever question how it was used, you have proof. Keeping it in a separate acct will show the ins and outs. Mom got her statement every month. You could see her SS going in and the bills going out. She used her little pension for her spending money. When I took over her finances, I kept receipts for everything she or I bought with that money. If anyone questioned, I had proof.

Make sure everything is in order like POAs. Her Will is made out.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I am happy you have a close relationship with your sister. It sounds like a lovely relationship between the both of you. As for your niece being an alcoholic which is very sad, they tend to become self centered. It is difficult to maintain a decent relationship with them. One can't force a relationship, visiting, keeping in touch. I would not force the issue and sit back and enjoy your sweet sister and life itself. Good old sunny California. I lived there for a year before college and I loved it. Have fond memories of a carefree time in my life with so many new experiences in my twenties. It does sound like niece and nephew are worried about the money, not unusual in families and it can cause a lot of stress and disharmony in the closest of families. I would stay clear of all that drama. Wishing you a wonderful New Year and great memories with your dear sister.
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Reply to earlybird
CharlieSue Jan 3, 2021
Did several years in San Diego in my 30s, back in the 80s - miss that climate!
First let me say that I'm happy things are working out for you and your sister. As far as her children are concerned part of their issue could very well be jealousy, mom's happy, she has you and your son's family to interact with and she is genuinely happy and loved. Then you have the ugly money situation, sounds like they have the mind set of her funds are theirs? They may also be avoiding you because they are afraid that you will ask them to help out in any way. Do you have poa for your sister, at the very least medical so you can help her in an emergency situation? (financial poa would be a good thing too,just make sure to keep all reciepts if it needs to be enacted so you can help her pay her bills when the time comes.) It sounds like her son who lived very close, and still does has not done anything in the past to help her out unless she contacted him. If trying to get them together because they're family, maybe inviting your nephew and his family over for a cook out (when safe to do so), no stress, just a visit and hopefully a good time. It's frustrating when they don't reply or answer your calls, kind of tells you a lot about their character. Good for you for sending pictures to them of her enjoying herself and trying to keep them updated. Unfortunately you can't make them reply to you or have them contact their mother. Enjoy your time with her and continue loving each other, we can not control other's actions, only our own, she is blessed to have you in her life.
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Reply to Takincare

I'm not sure what the "great relationship" you previously had looked like, but the family dynamic has changed and you are part of the changes. It could be that they don't feel a need to check in with you any more to chat about their mom, and you've already noticed that nephew at least didn't really check in with her often and niece has a lot of issues. Radio host Dr Joy Brown used to advise people to be "cheerful and stupid" when confronted with this kind of situation, ignore the chill in the air and just continue to call, text or write as though nothing has changed - in time perhaps by continuing to extend that olive branch there will be a thaw or at least a beginning of a new normal.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cwillie
earlybird Jan 5, 2021
Well said, cwillie
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