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In the final years of my mother's life she was abandoned by my siblings and I became her caregiver. She decided in the end the most fair thing to do would be to leave me the bulk of her estate which probably is a 400,000 dollars. My sibings had lived with her for years and been granted 100s of thousands of dollars over the course of a few decades and then abandoned her when she needed their help. I stepped in to make sure she received the care she needed and she left everything to me. My siblings are trying to litigate and grab as much cash as they can and I just want to put his behind me. She was aware of the mess she was leaving behind and left it to me to decide how to handle it. I am torn between acquiescing to their demands and doing what mom really wanted. They have smeared me to friends and family and have made me out to be bad guy. The stress is killing me and I just want to move on but I am conflicted about carrying out her wishes. Please offer some guidance.

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Are you able to work out a figure that your mother would have had to pay for the care you gave if she had had had people in. At say $20 an hour for 24 hours = $480 a day x the number of days you cared for her - you could have been paid this whilst she was alive (if the funds were available) it seems reasonable that you should be paid this much now, and you could say this was a verbal agreement you had with your mother. I don't know how long you cared for your mother but $400,000 is only 1000 days at care rate. It is a pity your mother didn't leave a will, I would expect any court to see your claim as reasonable (less any financial benefit you gained from living with her like not paying rent) and would probably see your siblings in a poor light. Consult a lawyer and get a document drawn up of what you have done and its value, and then add when any of siblings did anything during the period or before (to be fair). It is very unreasonable of your siblings to think you should be out on the street so they can grab cash. It is so sad when families are broken up by material issues but unfortunately common. Do please get yourself some advice, so that you are in the best position to rebut any accusations they make.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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Your siblings lived with her for years and got 100's of thousands. Do you have documentation to show how much they were given? Then you stepped in for the later years and will get about 400K. Will it work out to be about the same for each child? You say they abandoned her so you stepped in. Maybe they thought you abandoned her when they were doing the work.

If there is a will, you have to follow it. If she left it all to you, it's yours to do with as you want. However, if it was me, I would do the research and make a list of amts mom gave to them and then divide the inheritiance to give everyone equal shares with a copy of how pay out was determined. If any friends or family contacted you about not being fair to siblings - then I would also add in the payout sheet to be sure to notify so-and-so to update them on the pay out since it was so important to tell them when they thought they were being cheated.

Carrying out her wishes is one thing. Do it. Then do the right thing if you get it all by sharing as evenly as you can. You'll sleep better at night.
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Reply to my2cents
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Edit: gzanch75, sorry that I erred on your user name.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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First of all, I do think a trained professional must step in and offer advice - I know I can't except to state my feelings. Everyone but you abandoned your mother and they obviously already got plenty and she wanted you to have everything - which is, in my view, logical. My question is - is this in writing or just verbally between your mother and you? Why are they tearing you down? I don't have enough facts but I sense they did not want to be involved other than to get money and left you holding the bag. What is emotionally and morally correct may or may not be recognized by a court. And as to the stress this situation is causing, there are two options - turn the matter over to an eldercare attorney or someone like that to sort out the legal problems and get some definite decisions - you can't do this alone. Second of all, your mother is gone and for whatever reasons, you family turned on you. Therefore, what on earth would make you want to be a part of this family. Regardless of the final outcome, when all is said and done WALK AWAY FROM THE FAMILY AND MAKE A NEW LIFE FOR YOURSELF. Good luck.
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Reply to Riley2166
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gznach75: Hopefully there is a will.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I think you are missing some crucial detail here on the relationship between your mother and your siblings. And why they abandoned her. What was your mother's behaviour like in her later years towards her children and did she have a favourite child? What was your relationship with your siblings when you were growing up and that often leaves a legacy in adulthood and even later right up to when the parent dies and might leave significant money. I find it odd that you say that your siblings lived with your mother, that she gave them lots of money and then they abandoned her, I think there is more to this story, crucial detail missing, it's all out of context. You need to consult a professional lawyer. Good luck.
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Reply to Chantilly
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If there is a legitimate will it will be followed. If there is no will the judge will divide her estate according to state law.
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Reply to Bridger46164
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Your siblings may not having abandoned after years of caregiving as much as burned out.
My mother left everything to my daughter instead of the family bc she called at some particular time when no one else did.
That was meant to alienate my daughter rather then reward.
My mother gives out constant report cards via the trust depending how much we pay attention to her and take over the top orders. It’s very manipulative and no one participates anymore.
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Reply to Mjustice98
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Whatever is in your mother's will is going to have the final say.
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Reply to Taarna
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You leave a Will so your wishes will be followed. Then someone comes along and contests it. This should not be allowed unless there is proof that the person was coerced. Lets say by an employed aide. All interested parties should be named in the Will and explained why they are not getting or why they are getting what they are. Like loans were made over a period of years so thats your inheritance. The only contesting there should be is in the final audit. Beneficiaries can ask for an accting of the POA who may also be the Executor or not. Ask to see the bills paid, etc.

But if I leave my money to one child out of 3, what I want is what I want. It should not be questioned.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Jada824 Oct 23, 2021
There are unscrupulous children who take advantage of their elderly parents and isolate the parent from other family members.

They then tell the parent lies and get them to change their will/trust to favor them.

Not everything is in black & white! Until charges are brought against these types of people it will continue.
There are many cases about this not only in the US but across the globe.
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Like everyone is saying was there a will. My mother just gotten her will up to date from a lawyer. She knew what she had to do because of her son being on drugs. She left everything to my sister and I because of the drugs that he takes. There will be a fight in the end because he is the one that thinks he owns everything since my father passed away. I am executive of the will with my sister as co executive. But her wishes I will follow because she wants to leave him something but just can't put it in a will. And my mother did give all of us a portion of her money and what my brother did with his was drugs.

The will is binding so if anyone contests it they won't get anywhere this is what our lawyer told us.

I would get yourself a lawyer because you will have a fight on your hands and the lawyer may help you with any of the mud slinging comments of your siblings.
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Reply to Babs2013
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Did your Mom mention your siblings at all? Like saying that over a period of years she has given them their inheritance. That in her final years you were the one there for her and that she is leaving you the balance of her estate. If she did it this way or similar, I don't see how ur siblings can contest and a lawyer going along with them.

What children need to realize is that parents are not obligated to leave anything to them. With me, my nephew has my brother as his beneficiary on a Trust because he raised him for 11 yrs. But, I am the one who helped him with SSD, Medicaid and getting him government aide for his apartment. Also, getting my sister's annuity payment re-instated based on his disability. And I now oversee his finances and will need to do this till one of us passes. But having my brother as beneficiary made my nephew feel he was paying my brother back. His wish and I abided by that.

The only way I see anyone has the right to contest is if they thing the one caring or the POA as taken advantage financially and should not be getting a full cut. The worst that could happen is the Judge says you need to split the 400k. Do it and then walk away from these greedy people.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I would encourage you to take your mother's will, assuming there is one, and have a visit with her or your lawyer. The lawyer will be able to assist you in determining what could happen in the event this goes to a judge. They can also advise you how to determine what happens to your mother's estate. I'm the only one listed on my mother's will and her estate will pan out to be around 500k to 600K. A few years ago she changed her will, worked with a lawyer and planned her estate to the last sentimental item. I know that the remaining relatives are going to fight me over this and I've made up my mind that they are only getting what she left them. Not one penny more.
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Reply to Jhalldenton
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The related question as well as this one need to be more defined, as already noted.

The limited information in the other post isn't helpful, but the title is contradictory:

"my siblings have started a civil suit and blocked probate of the will"

To the best of my knowledge, plaintiffs (your siblings) do not have the authority to "block" a will.  They can REQUEST it, and it would part of the "prayer" in the suit, for redress of alleged  grievances, only a court can issue an order to "block" action, unless plaintiffs have been given more statutory or other power of which I'm unaware.

Gzanch, as to your opening post on this thread, how a court treats plaintiffs and their requests varies by the actual Complaint, the alleged grievances, the prayer, the attorney representing them, the plaintiffs, and the judge.  

No one can predict how a court will view their requests; there are too  many variables.   But documentation backing up their complaints is important.   And it seems as though there is a lack of documentation, but abundance of accusations.

I'm guessing that they feel that your mother acted inappropriately in leaving her estate to you, despite their involvement earlier.   That's a decision made by your mother, not you, and regardless of their feelings, they can challenge legally, spend a lot of money, and still get nothing. 

Notwithstanding that, your siblings are not treating you kindly, and I doubt that that's going to change.    I think your focus should be (a) find a good attorney with a strong background in CONTESTED probate court proceedings, and (b) recognize that the relationship with your siblings has deteriorated and probably isn't going to be changed, as it seems as though they're quite aggressive in pursuing their own interests.

There is no way to control what others are saying or doing; it's up to you to find a way to move forward, w/o them.  It's so unfortunate that relationships come to this sad level, but when they do, and it's obvious that they're not going to change, you need to look out for yourself and your own sanity, protect yourself by finding a good defense attorney, and recognize that the relationships have deteriorated beyond repair.

You do have the option of giving them something for their earlier support.  If their more rational treatment and prior support are important to you, that's something to consider, as once you inherit the funds, they are yours to keep, invest, spend or distribute (barring other limitations in the Will).  

Perhaps a solution through the litigation is for the court to mandate a detailed accounting of the funds already provided to the siblings, assess that vs. your inheritance, and determine if it would be appropriate, or a kind offering by you, to share a portion of your inheritance.  

I wish I could offer more positive insight, but from your description, it doesn't seem the situation will change for the better.

There are times when it's better to be poorer than richer.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Was there a will? If not the court is required to follow state law. You can certainly present the number of years that you cared for mom and what the cost of that would have been. Is her home involved, did she receive medicaid? Have you spoken with an attorney?

More info please.
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Reply to gladimhere
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You asked a related question elsewhere on this forum:
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/my-siblings-have-started-a-civil-suit-and-blocked-probate-of-the-will-470692.htm?orderby=recent

Which question are you really asking: whether the court will take their case "seriously" (it will if there's no will or there is and they have any proof of wrong-doing) or whether you should go to court at all? Are they just contesting the will or are they accusing you of manipulating your mother? More info would be very helpful. So sorry for this distressing situation.
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gladimhere Oct 19, 2021
There is absolutely no information with that other question. It is of no help.
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Did your mother make a will?
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