The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,447

    Default Protecting parent from losing estate to unscrupulous sibling

    This is long and involves many issues surrounding geriatric care. Thank you in advance for reading.

    Aside from being a suspected undiagnosed NPD and BPD, I've recently become aware a sibling stole my half of my long-deceased mother's estate from me. Long story short, it was 7+ years ago and I'm unable to do anything about it now. But my father is geriatric and that same sibling is living at his house for drastically reduced board, and already I can see positioning herself to do the same with my father. Father was dx'd with Parkinson's some 4 years ago, but sibling has lived there for some 10 years+. Initially, it was so sibling could "save money for their own house again". But if you ask now, it's always been because dad 'needed the caretaker'.

    I'm already documenting like a banshee.. dad needs someone to live in but hates the idea of a stranger, so it's mutually beneficial --for now. There's no doubt in my mind there will come a time dear sibling will actively neglect his needs instead of hire help. Because hiring help means there'll be less estate left for sibling. It's already happening, and there's a huge blow out whenever I pick up the slack.. because sibling sees that as a threat and an indication she's not entitled to the whole estate.

    As it is, I am not being notified when sibling is absent overnights because sibling has it in her head *I* am stealing, when in fact I'm cleaning. I am the only thing standing between them and living in squalor. Sibling is actively neglecting the house so that it has less value (has stated so), and hence, less to pay out to me in the event of parent's demise. I've thrown out spoilt food dad is still eating, cleaned mouse droppings, cleared dust and cobwebs thicker than you'd find in a barn, among other things too gross to post publicly. I'm also being excluded from updates on dad's medical care, and, though sibling is stating extreme stress and huge inconvenience caring for dad and seeing his doctor with him, she's now not even telling me when he's got a doctor's appt, much less sharing info or accepting my offers of help to bring him to dr. visits. All this, so she can turn around and claim she's had sole responsibility for him as a caretaker, while in fact, she's (in my mind) taken advantage of him prior to his dx.

    How do I protect my dad? There's a living trust in place that puts us both in charge of his finances as soon as he requests it. Sibling was pushing for this back in July, until I reminded her the financial decisions would then be shared between the both of us once he signed over the trust... and the topic dropped. Now I suspect she's just avoiding implementing the trust, and using intimidation instead.

    Any advice?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,664

    Default

    I think I would 1) contact an attorney and see if there is anyway for you to get more control over finances, so you can see that Dad's OWN money is spent making sure he's well cared for and 2) contact social services. If your sibling is neglecting Dad and allowing him to eat bad food and live in filth, they may have ways to help.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,062

    Default

    Hopefully a trusts and estates lawyer will chime in on this thread. I'm not one, so take this for what its worth :-) (not much!). But "who does what" doesn't really matter when it comes to who gets what. I believe the will is the only thing that matters.

    It wouldn't be a bad thing to consult with a lawyer who knows what they are doing, though.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,272

    Default

    Keep an eye on whether or not taxes have been paid on the house.

    Friend finally bought his family's cottage when sib, who had lived with parents up until their passing, remained on, let the place go to ruin, and subsequently paid no taxes. The reduced value of the place from lack of care actually benefited friend, as sib was forced to leave, and he bought her out.

    But in the meantime, agree that perhaps you may have to interject with another attorney...
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,447

    Default

    See, Peg, that's what I'm sure sibling's plan is, since I live with my husband in our own house. This is her plan, to let the property run down, become devalued and subsequently have to buy me out at less.

    Frankly, I'd like to see dad sell NOW, and go into assisted living so all he's worked so hard for all his life goes to HIS care.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    4,825

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    I think I would 1) contact an attorney and see if there is anyway for you to get more control over finances, so you can see that Dad's OWN money is spent making sure he's well cared for and 2) contact social services. If your sibling is neglecting Dad and allowing him to eat bad food and live in filth, they may have ways to help.
    Do the above. (I am a lawyer who deals with wills and estates, and elder care.) You may be able to make a court application to be named as the person responsible for your Dad's health and financial care decisions (including where & with whom he will live). However, this is not a nice process to go through.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


    4 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,695

    Default

    First, get an attorney and then document all that you say is poor care and living conditions.
    If your attorney thinks it is necessary, get social services involved to check if there is really an elderly poor care situation happening.

    As for who inherits what, that would be the least of my concerns, but that your father is taken care of properly.
    If she ends up with all the estate brings, chalk it to one more of life's breaks and move on.
    No one is entitled to any inheritance and fights over those are not worth your self esteem.

    See what an attorney will say in that situation, they have seen it all and have a good idea where this situation is going to end.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006
    Posts
    1,757

    Default

    Just WOW! I am so sorry that you and your father are going through this.

    Good idea to be documenting EVERYTHING! In the event that this situation needs to be *corrected* by the court system, every bit of *evidence* that you have to support your claims will be invaluable!

    The living conditions under which your father is being *taken care of* sound deplorable as well as potentially dangerous (think germs, disease, falls, etc.) Take LOTS OF PICTURES of all of this. What do they say - "a picture is worth a thousand words"! So true!

    Is your sister solely in charge of spending Dad's money at this point? Paying bills etc.? If so, you can demand (through your attorney - which should be an elder law attorney), that she give an accurate accounting of every penny of Dad's money that she has spent. To do this she will need legitimate receits, bank statements, cancelled checks, etc. Whatever money has *disappeared* for which she cannot account, well, she'll be out of luck and have to pay it all back (once a court of law is involved).

    I think you should find a good elder law attorney - now.

    Keep documenting and take tons of pictures - of everything.

    Find out if the state that Dad lives in has specific laws in place that protect seniors. Then contact the appropriate office. They will most likely have invaluable information on how to proceed (to protect your father and to put a stop to the manipulation that is obviously being done by your sister, for her own benefit).

    Social services should also be contacted. What your sister is doing is outright "elder abuse" and it is against the law. Abuse isn't always physical and what she is doing is taking financial advantage of an elderly and ill person (again, *for her own benefit*).

    Best of luck as you proceed. It can get quite ugly but you are a good person for stepping up and trying to do the right thing for your father. You are absolutely right in feeling that your Dad's money should be spent on HIM. He earned it and it should be there for his benefit (and his benefit alone). Whatever is leftover once he passes and not longer needs it is just what the beneficiaries in his will should get. And if that amounts to zero dollars, then so be it. Unfortunately, far too often families don't feel the same way and want to skimp on their elder's care so that there will be more left for themselves once dear old mom or dad dies! I'm sorry that your sister seems to be in this group.

    Again, best of luck. This will be tough, but you will get through it. Just be cautious and rely on the professionals in this area (elder care) to help you "make things right" for your Dad.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,420

    Default

    The worst resistance might come from your dad. He may not realize that your sibling is using him, or neglecting him, and might choose staying under their 'care' instead of assisted living or outside caregivers.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    4 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,329

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    Do the above. (I am a lawyer who deals with wills and estates, and elder care.) You may be able to make a court application to be named as the person responsible for your Dad's health and financial care decisions (including where & with whom he will live). However, this is not a nice process to go through.
    Yeah, this. It may be time to petition the state for guardianship of your dad. However, regardless of above, it sounds like its time to hire an attorney any ways. Sorry your going through this, family sucks sometimes.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,695

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post
    The worst resistance might come from your dad. He may not realize that your sibling is using him, or neglecting him, and might choose staying under their 'care' instead of assisted living or outside caregivers.
    What bothers me in this story is that, already in the title, it talks about "the estate".

    I would try very hard not to put the father in the middle and asked to choose at all, but see that he is taken care off properly, even if it is by the one sister that definitely sounds like she needs supervision to do so, which the courts can provide.

    The way the situation reads to me, you have right to be concerned with your father, that he be taken better care of, that you get to be part of it and that his finances be managed well, not because of any "estate", but because he is alive and using his money and maybe being misused somewhat by his caretaker, her other daughter.

    Get an attorney to see what the law tells you you can do and how and where you just have to stay hand's off.
    Their lives come first, even if that leaves you out, really.
    Just be sure he is taken care off properly, as I am sure you are doing already.
    What a thought spot to be, hope things look up for you soon.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,968

    Default

    If dad is of sound mind, it will be difficult for you to take control. He must voluntarily give you POA and place you in charge. Check and see if other sibling has such legal documents in place. You will need the advice of an attorney. We are going through this right now with a family friend, and thankfully, she did not give any of her kids any legal rights to anything. She voluntarily gave my DH a POA for financial matters, and the first thing he did was to change the bank accounts and got the kids fenced out from what little money she has left. Now we are trying to get her into assisted living, or at least a better housing situation.

    Video and document everything. Maybe consider getting your dad a post office box and get his mail redirected so you can figure out what assets he has. Try to get his tax returns and bank statement. This can be difficult if sibling won't share. Call Adult Protective Services, explain the situation and make sure they have a record of your call. Talk to dad and try to respect his wishes.

    Good luck!
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,447

    Default

    Thanks guys.. Dad's care absolutely is THE only concern. He's cantankerous and tough to deal with at times, but damnit, he deserves to be after the life he's lived. The advice you've all given me is all already in place. The living trust is already in place and I have a copy of that. I'd like to get someone in the house a few times a week.. as I am already doing.. just to help lighten sibling's load. But dad will resist that as well, not wanting to spend the money. We shall see. Dad is more open to my suggestions than I first thought he'd be, because he also sees where sis is dropping the ball (be it deliberately or accidentally or due to simply being overwhelmed). So THAT was a relief, broaching the topic with him..

    Just had the meal there, and it was remarkably uneventful. Thankful for that.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,695

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sansena View Post
    Thanks guys.. Dad's care absolutely is THE only concern. He's cantankerous and tough to deal with at times, but damnit, he deserves to be after the life he's lived. The advice you've all given me is all already in place. The living trust is already in place and I have a copy of that. I'd like to get someone in the house a few times a week.. as I am already doing.. just to help lighten sibling's load. But dad will resist that as well, not wanting to spend the money. We shall see. Dad is more open to my suggestions than I first thought he'd be, because he also sees where sis is dropping the ball (be it deliberately or accidentally or due to simply being overwhelmed). So THAT was a relief, broaching the topic with him..

    Just had the meal there, and it was remarkably uneventful. Thankful for that.
    Sounds like you all can work on this together, good for you.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,539

    Default

    Contact Adult Protective Services. The spoiled food/filth/lack of supervision at all times is neglect.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,870

    Default

    Wow. You sound a lot like me. I'm dealing with a bunch of the same stuff, though half sibling has drained them dry over 15 years. Right now we're dealing with my mom supporting her doing this and lying, to her detriment, and a serious possibility of getting senile.

    I have researched every which way, and if your father is sane and agrees to what she's doing, it's going to be nasty. I had along talk with Adult Protective Services, and there's not a lot they can do unless it's seriously bad, and it sounds like you're doing what you can to stop that. And letting it get bad enough to call in the state is unthinkable.

    I hope you can get your dad to listen and work with him. As we've worked more with my mom and pressured her, she's started attacking us. So, it's let it go, or go in and start looking at mental incompetence, which is such an unpleasant thing I don't want to think about it.

    If you get any great ways to deal with abusive, manipulative sibling, please let me know. It's not been good here. And PM me any time. I'm at my wit's end. It's really taken a toll.



Similar Threads

  1. Sibling terminology
    By apachepony in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Feb. 27, 2012, 12:54 PM
  2. Being a parent or step parent
    By Bugs-n-Frodo in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Apr. 3, 2011, 10:58 PM
  3. Christmas after losing a parent
    By dani0303 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: Dec. 25, 2010, 10:45 PM
  4. Dealing with the grief of losing a parent.
    By dani0303 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Nov. 3, 2010, 03:58 PM
  5. Losing A Parent
    By dani0303 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: Sep. 4, 2010, 09:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness