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Old 06-29-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
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Legal Question...

I'm sure someone will let me know if this is not 'allowed'--(legal question) but these kinds of things are VERY important when you are dealing with a widowed mother with dementia and you have a brother who is the sole TRUSTEE (check-writer, among other things). Let me continue with the situation just in case this IS allowed on this forum. I CAN'T be the only person encountering such a conundrum. Here it is:

My Dad is VERY sharp of mind, especially for an 83 yr. old. but has bad kidneys. Mom is still cognizant of family members and events but memory is going fast. (Still has not been to a neurologist). Mom seems VERY strong, physically for her age (no arthritis, etc., etc.). There is a family trust set up so that my brother who lives 800 mi. away from me and my parents would be sole trustee in the event of Dad's death. I am the only sibling but am a female (sad to say this ridiculous prejudice exists in many families). Here's the question: Since mom has already been very vocal (to me if not to my dad) that she does NOT want to go to the her son's (my brother's) city to be 'cared for' by him. IOW, I am the nurse's aid WITHOUT benefit of the trust's checks. My brother has seemed alright (attitude toward mom) but with the size of the estate, I can already see he is licking his chops. My dad is normally a smart guy and I THINK he cares about mom, but how could he not see the ridiculous position this puts me in? I can picture me calling the brother to "OK" an assisted living facility. This past weekend has been quite an eye-opener. His attitude is fairly crass and I am pretty convinced that if I am to be the one sailing into MY old age, caring for her, that I should have some say in the expenditures on her behalf. Am I crazy to expect this? Please give me some wisdom! I have a great relationship with the parents so how they would NOT see that this is a pretty bad situation, blows me away. Yeah, I am sure they CAN'T see how the brother's attitude shows that he's MOSTLy interested in the $ for himself, but I am determined to at least voice my concern and 'suggest' that I be made co-trustee with my brother, even if it IS inconvenient (the distance between us). Opinions, please! ~ Librarygal59

Last edited by Librarygal59; 06-29-2008 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Anonymity breached by inclusion of a name!

 
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:25 AM   #2
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Re: Legal Question...

My suggestion is that you visit an Elderlawyer and ask him/her the very same question. He or she will also know ways to avoid this happening. My brother had POA over all of Mom's affairs, including medical, but he never abused that power. He was the youngest child but the only 'boy.' YES, that idea still lingers on, that males will be better at financial matters.

If your parents are still rational, they can make changes in their POAs - I think!

Good luck.

Martha

 
Old 06-30-2008, 06:13 AM   #3
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Re: Legal Question...

Unfortunately I do not think this is a legal question. If the trust is already established AND if it is not an "irrevocable" trust your course of action is to speak to your father and tell him what you have written here. He can change the designated trustee. At the very least suggest that you and your brother be joint trustees. He may be amenable to that.
If the trust has been set up as "irrevocable" (unlikely) see what other assets exist. I am sure your father set the trust up with the idea of protecting and caring for your mother. If you can get the concept across that for her to be happy she needs to be where she chooses and that involves you in her care etc. etc.
It's difficult situation and I wish you well.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 06:19 AM   #4
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Re: Legal Question...

Library, we have much the same problem. I have the financial POA, sister 2 has the durable POA, sister 3 has the medical POA, and sister 4 is closer to Mom and Dad as well as retired so she is the one usually handing them. Mom gave sister 4 signature right on her check book. That way she can write checks out of the checking account for whatever is needed. I am the one that makes sure monies are in the checking account to cover what checks she needs to write. It's a matter of cooperation. Having only girls we don't deel with the male dominance in our family. Mom is of the opinion that girls do a better job than men anyway.

Checking with an elder lawyer is never a bad move but if you are going to be the one that cares for Mom I think that can easily be handled with signature rights on the checking account and a little cooperation from brother. Might be worth suggesting to the family. It has definitely worked for us.

Sorry you are having to go thought all of this. Welcome to the forum and I hope you keep typing. This place has been a godsend for me. The information, support, and just knowing somebody else is where I am has been great.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers...

Love, deb

 
Old 06-30-2008, 06:46 AM   #5
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Re: Legal Question...

Deb: I can't BELIEVE there are already posts in response to my new thread. THanks so very much!! Yeah, the good-ole-boy system will be alive and well as long as there are any left of that generation (the 'greatest'-hmmmm. Maybe. Maybe not!) Thanks, again, Deb! ~ Librarygal.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: Legal Question...

This is a super bunch of people library. There always seems to be somebody here with great advice or a shoulder.

I do understand the good old boy system and love to do whatever I can to dismantle it. In a family with four daughters and six grand daughters we have managed just find without the males. Dad likes to think he is in charge but.... shear numbers prevail. The males that married into the family have to be ok with the female dominate world.

Good luck getting what needs to be done. I would definitely go for the check signing ability if I was responsible for caring for Mom. It's the lease they can do to accomodate you.

Love, deb

 
Old 07-04-2008, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Legal Question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffeer View Post
Unfortunately I do not think this is a legal question. If the trust is already established AND if it is not an "irrevocable" trust your course of action is to speak to your father and tell him what you have written here. He can change the designated trustee. At the very least suggest that you and your brother be joint trustees. He may be amenable to that.
If the trust has been set up as "irrevocable" (unlikely) see what other assets exist. I am sure your father set the trust up with the idea of protecting and caring for your mother. If you can get the concept across that for her to be happy she needs to be where she chooses and that involves you in her care etc. etc.
It's difficult situation and I wish you well.
The trust issue is paramount in this kind of situation. I agree. Well, here's how things ended: With apprehension, I suggested to my dad that one person (there are only 2 of us 'kids'!) in charge of $1,000,000 in assets while the OTHER person (me!) tries to make all the decisions and justify to the brother that $X needs to be spent on this facility over another. As you may remember, there is some question whether the brother has Mom's best interests at heart and REALLY wants there to be $ left over when she's gone. (Recipe for disaster, right?) ...Anyway, Dad said he couldn't sleep the last few nights either and had already gotten an appt. with the lawyer to make me joint trustee with the brother! But I know trouble could easily still be ahead, since we both have different ideas about how $ should be spent. Just hoping I won't hve to be 'fighting' with this sib in order to properly have mom cared for WITH HER OWN $!! Grrrrr. ~ Librarygal59

 
Old 07-05-2008, 08:57 AM   #8
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Re: Legal Question...

I am truly glad that your Dad listened to and considered your concerns and is taking steps to change the situation. I am sure that makes you feel a little better that your Dad sees your concern and is willing to investigate the possibilities. I do hope your brother can also understand the need. You can always do what Mom did with my Nannie. Mom was caring for Nannie and her sister was only concerned with how much property and monies she would receive. So one sunny Saturday after noon Mom took Nannie and her belongings to her sister's house. Announced that is she wanted all the inheritance then she also got Nannie. Dropped her off and left. Of course Nannie was in rare form being out of place and it was just a matter of hours before that situation was resolved.

I do wish you good luck and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that your brother will do what is best for his mom.

Love, deb

 
Old 07-06-2008, 11:01 AM   #9
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Re: Legal Question...

I was following your situation with interest...I have to admit, I was a bit
disappointed that your Dad didn't fully trust you to take over, explaining
to your brother that you are right there to do the right thing and explain
that it could be just as difficult if he keeps your brothers name on the
trust. I'm sure your Dad knows that you could be trusted to share with
your brother when all is over and done. If it's not too late, please
think about that.

I spent all my years in nursing and feel so angry when I see the daughters
doing EVERYTHING and the sons so laid back, yet expecting....expecting....
Good luck, at least you are one step closer.

 
Old 07-07-2008, 08:56 PM   #10
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Re: Legal Question...

Maple 3, Deb, et. al:

Thanks so much for your interest and input. It means a lot to me. I feel things are resolved, because, putting myself in my dad's place, ...he's just tired of the whole thing and doesn't want trouble and is worried about being thought of as showing partiality. He said "When I'm gone, you kids can fight it out." But he knows how I am ...always looking out for Mom and I (hope) /think that my bro will 'come around' once I barrage him with the costs of care for Alzheimer's patients, etc. My poor mama knows what's going on (all this is upsetting her a lot, naturally) but it has to be hashed out. What's unfortunate (!) is the 3 days my bro was here, he showed some VERY insecure, strange behavior unrelated to the trust stuff, making me even more convinced that he shouldn't be "helping me" from almost 1000 mi. away, by having access to the trust. Life just gets more interesting all the time. Mom's only about a 4/5 on the Alz. scale, too! ~ Librarygal59

 
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