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John Show full post »
Dads bday was in mid March. My gal placed some chocolates & a card for dad.
Moms bday was the beginning of April. The container of flowers and a card were placed.

A week later the gal I hired went back to pick up both. Moms flowers were gone
but the container was still there. Moms card was gone, but Dads chocolate
and card were still there.

If it had been the cemetery people they would have taken Dads chocolates and card as well, and the flower container.

If it had been weather dads chocolates and card would have been moved/blown too.

I wrote personal messages on each envelope with my name as well. It could be read by ....anyone, though I laminated the contents shut.

I appreciate you sharing your situation, thank you.

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I was not trying to deter you from discussing what happened to you and your family, but just trying to get this thread back on to the topic of adequately compensating a family member's hands on 24/7 caregiving work, because that is what caregiving is, legitimate work.

One sibling, whose life is sacrificed for the good of the family and then gets an "equal" share of the estate Is being unfairly treated. It is outrageous. It is a national disgrace.

My aunt, who resided with my grandparents, people who lived to be very old, keeled over and suddenly died was left the family house. She was not denied a career, travel, nothing. She never did a solitary day of caregiving, yet she got the bulk of the estate and not one of her 4 siblings said a word. When she died the sale of that house was sold to pay towards her nursing care. (Btw, it was drop in a very big bucket)

I have read on these boards horror stories of caregivers who have put in years caring for parents, only to find themselves displaced after their parents died, without jobs, pensions, a place to live, because the estate was left "equally" to all the children. I have read egregious tales of caregivers who were completely cut out of the will at the eleventh hour by unscrupulous relatives.

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I just feel my "story" doesn't belong here, my opinion situation may or may not be unique.

I truly appreciate everyone's support for the past 3+ years and the "after the fact" situation I found myself in.

I wish I had found this board when I was there with the parents, things may have been different, or maybe not.

More "crap" just showed up today. Sigh.

Here is a link to one of the (unknown to me until last night) cannons being sold on ebay. A cannon I didn't know existed, even though sis said she was splitting the remaining cannons, she now is back peddling and "this one is for the estate". Let alone 9 others that were not offered to me to "buy".

Someone wanted a cannon a long time ago on here.......well here is your chance.

 If this is wrong for the link have Mike G. take it out. I am grateful to Mike, truly.

I am so worn out.

Jan Side now has 9 disease, chronic bacterial skin infection is #9, I have it controlled now, but jeez we have 3 Specialists now.........and yet the happy bouncy dog the energy bunny ...he just keeps going and going........

I know this is all messy, and views seem to change once the parent(s) has departed, that I lived and see all the time.

My x best friends mom? Turned 90 this year. Her husband died 1+ years ago. She has now moved to an AL and when I called her recently? She was so happy, had a full life, grateful for the life she had, and tells her kids to not worry, not visit so of those parents we or I wish we would have had.

Stories are endless ......aren't they?

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This issue is complex, because we do not live in an ideal world with ideal people and ideal options or simple solutions.

My situation was very different from Jean's. Jean put in years with her parents and then had to opt out.

I agree with John that in the majority of cases it is the "pigeon" relatives who want "equal" when it comes to shares of money, but fly off in the face of actually doing anything for the relative who needs care. The "lucky" caregiver gets 100% o the work.

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My Father's and Mother's estates and trust (they mirrored each other) specified plainly "surviving children" or "surviving legally adopted children" to be heirs. My surviving bro explained that it was said that way so that nothing would go to a "non-surviving" "no children" sibling's estate.  Oldest Bro didn't survive the time period and so no part went to his "estate".  Daddy knew that oldest Bro wrote his will to give 50% to a specific charity.  So many things to consider. Daddy also considered that oldest bro was not stable and had no surviving children.  Since Dad died before oldest bro, it was good that the trust was written that way. 

We were basic middle class and it really annoys me when people blame survivors when the fault belongs to crappy estate planning.  We had a very big contributor to many threads and gave very valuable advice to many, but laid the blame wrong!!
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Thanks, BC.  THat's a valuable point to learn.  When my Aunt's sister died intestate, she had a devil of a time tracking down potential "heirs", whom no one knew or had heard from in 60 years.
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I wish there was a way to edit posts...Correction, she did not die intestate, but everyone named in the will, except my Aunt, was deceased, and my Aunt was the executor.  So, rather than the entire estate (which was minimal) going to my aunt, she had to track down the survivors of those named in the will (known as "per stirpes").  For those she could find, by the time the "shares" had been divided down the family tree, the amounts inherited were nil.
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mike, true about wishing I could edit posts.  If it were possible, there might be fewer misunderstandings, but then, too, there might be less passion.

What you said about your aunt's experience does bring up another point. Being executor of a will can be a tiresome thankless job when done right. Your aunt did very well. In this state the law allows the executor to be compensated by the estate but most do not take advantage of this unless they are a professional (lawyer, bank officer, accountant, etc). I have specified in my will that the executor will be paid by some formula suggested by the attorney. Most everything that my husband or I have automatically becomes the other's on death by way of how titles are written. We will not be "inheriting" the house, bank accounts, investments, IRAs. None the less, wills need to be updated as circumstances do change. Ours are overdue for an overhaul.

I am wondering if this discussion has led any of the readers to review their own final arrangements rather than focusing on the estates of elders. That could be an interesting new thread.   
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BC, having to do emergency estate planning for my mother has certainly led me to review my own financial arrangements. Going through the experience -- or reading about it someplace like this -- can save a lot of angst for the executor of your own estate.

It's so true that a lot of the melodrama that ensues during probate is brought on by crappy (or no) estate planning. My mother's idea of estate planning is "I'm going to die at home in my sleep." That was also her long term care plan. Simple fundamentals like making sure that all accounts and policies have beneficiaries can go a long way. I'm fortunate in the sense that I was handed the reins to try to take care of this earlier this year, so I have been able to get most of it in order before her (now imminent) death.

JeanS, I'm sorry to hear that Side is struggling with such illness. I lost an elderly cat last year and my mother's cat earlier this year after my mother entered the nursing home. Managing multiple veterinary illnesses is no easier than it is in humans, only pets can't tell you out loud how they feel or what is bothering them. Big hugs to you both.
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When my great-aunt died, her extremely "vague" will left her modest estate to be divided equally between all her great-nieces and nephews, some of whom had disappeared off the face of the earth twenty years earlier.  It took almost two years to settle the estate and by then, the lawyers had eaten up a healthy portion of it with their fees.  Every few months, my sisters and I would get a letter from the law firm asking if we knew the whereabouts of ______, ______, and ______.  We'd reply with the same answer every time - NO! Three months later, we'd get just about the same letter. At one point, they informed us that since they were having trouble selling her house,  to keep her house from deteriorating, they had let an employee of the law firm live in it (rent-free, of course) to "maintain" it.   Finally, I made a formal complaint against the law firm with the California authorities and lo and behold, it was amazing how fast the house was sold and the estate settled.   Luckily, my mother has her estate in a Family Trust, which will be fairly easy to handle (well, as easy as dealing with estates can be). 
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I have been my mother's caregiver for almost three years living in her house.  I had to give up my apt and my furniture etc to move in.  I do not work now as well.  Before that and as well now I had taken care of every legal aspect for my dad, the VA nursing homes, drs, you name it down to the funeral with no help whatsoever. I had to use vacation time and sick time to take my mom to the drs before I move in and left my job. I am getting more than my sisters and they have been fit to be tied to do everything to literally trying to have me arrested.  It has been a nightmare now they have my mom convinced she is doing me a favor and she can understand them not getting as much.  They had her even go to a company I worked at or they thought i did and ask questions about me recently.  I do everything and given up my life, I cant travel to visit my children because I can't trust to leave them with my  mom...and I have been feeling guilty that maybe i am greedy....but it isn't fair neither of them work and never have and do not do a thing to help out.

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Mike Gamble
This is between you and your mother. But, trust me, your sisters WILL ultimately demand their "fair" share, that is 1/3 each, when your mother passes away. My advice is to get involved with an attorney who specializes in elder law as soon as possible, before your mother's mental state deteriorates. Their legal fees could be the best investment you'll ever make.
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I took care of our mother for over 5 years, once she became frail and elderly the sibling pushed her way in.  We each have a different father so she used my father's paternity as a tool to turn our mother against me and make her realize that since they lived with her father, she is automatically entitled to everything and I have no right to anything and our mother was stupid enough to agree with her. My kids helped with her care the sibling's grown child did nothing.  Now, after the sibling has lied and manipulated our mother, it has gone from both of us having personal power of attorney to just the sibling, anything left to my kids being given to the siblings grown child and by the sounds of it I get nothing while they get the house and all money.  I was on call 24/7 and at her house at 1 am when she needed it, dropped whatever I was doing and she wanted for nothing, sibling gives her 2 hours a week and doc appointments but overall our mother is now neglected and abused by the same people she is leaving all her money and house to. She tells me while shes crying about the abuse and neglect, however, when I had the doctor and lawyer speak to her she lies to protect the sibling.  There is no logic to end of life decisions.  Case in point sibling was already financially well off and will be worth close to a milion after what they receive.  I'm working poor and will never be able to retire.  Our parents owe us nothing however it makes a huge statement how little they think of you and how little they appreciated what you did for them. I put my life on hold and made her a priority because I wanted to and thought she deserved it. In return the actions she has taken make it obvious she only has one daughter and one grandchild, neither me or my kids are it. 
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I have been taking care of my mother consistently for about three years the last year in my home, I am the sibling that stepped up to provide what she needed, we got our house so it was Ada, I got her house ready to sell and sold it by myself dealing with the Realtor moving her out when sold.  the last year was especially hard I was house bound was unable to leave her alone. I managed to get her back home after a bad stroke to either fight to go on, she choose to give up. so when I settled the remainder money form house my siblings thought would split it 3ways I split between them the amount I kept they felt this was not how my parents would want it. I find it so hard to believe they don't feel I should be compensated for my lost wages and time and expenses caring for her.
I should have prepared for this in so many ways but did not thing they would fight me.
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I am doing 95% of my mom's care....Will was written when she was upset several years ago, and leaving me very little.  Recently, I discussed this with my mom, but she doesn't want to change anything, which means I will be getting maybe $40,000 out of $350,000... My brother gets the rest. I love my mom, but am having a hard time dealing with this.  I won't v abandon my mom, but this is hard to deal with.
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