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Thread summary:

Living with mom: SS check, mail, rental residence, household expenses, personal property

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Old 01-17-2008, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
2 posts, read 4,546 times
Reputation: 11

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My 80 years old mother came for a "month" visit in 2004. She is still living with us and has changed her SS check, mail, doctors, etc., to reflect this. She still owns her residence in AZ, plus 1 rental residence (receives $450 rent per mo), 1 commercial unimproved building lot, and 20 acres in northern Arizona. She does not contribute to our everyday household expenses, groceries, car expenses, etc. Twice in the past three years her house in AZ has been broken into and burgurlarized. Both times she acted like "oh well...", yet she insisted that my husband and I go back and secure the house and assess the damages and losses. She very reluctantly reimburses us for some of our expenses. We are still out over $1600.00 of our money not to mention vacation time taken from work. She refuses to sell any of her properties. They are sitting and deteriorating, not to mention the vandalisim and loss of personal property and family treasures. She refuses to make a will or living trust. My mother is not dessituted. My husband and I are $165,000 in debt due to illness and a failed business and are trying to pay it off and avoid bankruptcy. Would it be wrong if I asked my mother to help pay her share of the monthly expenses? I'm really scared to ask her, she has always been abussive toward me and I know I'll have to hear all about how ungrateful I am. I'll just keep my mouth shou, it's better than taking the wrath of her. My husband is very tolerant and won't say any thing to her either. He dosen't want her wrath either. Sorry, thanks for letting me vent...
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Dallas TX & AL Gulf Coast
6,848 posts, read 9,820,562 times
Reputation: 33334
First, bless both of your hearts! What caring people you are to have taken in your Mother even 'though she sounds like she is a big pain in the yang-yang!

You both really are going to have to sit down with her and have a "come to Jesus meeting"!

If you two are uncomfortable doing this with just her... bring in a third party... preferably an estate planner or attorney... so they can lay out the facts to her regarding her properties, assets, liabilities, etc. At the same time, you need to be upfront and honest with her about your own financial situation and have the numbers down in black and white to show her exactly what your expenses are... and what additional expenses you are and have been incurring for her over these last four years... everything you've had to spend for her upkeep (food and shelter), taking care of her business, transporting her to and from, etc., everything down and itemized, and then present her a bill for this.

I know you know now without me telling you that you've allowed this situation to go on too long without having this talk, but you really need to as soon as possible. And no, it doesn't sound like she's going to take this kindly. But, at her age, she may already be suffering from dementia and her mental capacity will not be getting better.

She needs a will in place, a living will, a power of attorney assigned to someone that can take over her personal business if she's incapacitated and someone needs to know what all she does have, i.e., income sources, banking checking and savings (someone needs to be able to access her accounts if she's unable), insurance, funeral and burial policies, etc.... things we ALL need to have in place!

I know this is going to be tough no matter how loving you go about it, so I would really go with having a third party present, so she will be in a least likely position to release her wrath on you. If not an attorney, are you her only child? If not, call all the siblings together and present it together in a unified front. If you have no siblings, any other relatives that can be with you? What about your husbands parents?

She may get her rankles up... you've just got to keep reminding yourself as well as her that this is for everyone's good, now and for your futures... and if she wants her future with you two, the control and the rules are now yours, not hers. Stand firm with courage and strength in the knowledge that what you are doing is the right thing to do for all of you!

Blessings to you all...
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:59 AM
 
16,487 posts, read 20,342,651 times
Reputation: 16136
As long as you allow her to be abusive toward you and your husband, and allow her to stay in your home and not contribute at all, she will continue to do so. She isn't going to up and decide to move back to AZ or pay half your rent suddenly when she has not been asked to thus far. This is YOUR home and YOUR life. If you do not want her there then give her a month to prepare and ask her to leave. If you want her to stay but need help financially then sit her down and show her all your bills and explain the situation. She obviously isn't hurting for money. If she is that abusive you do not want her toxic attitude around you anyway.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,699,111 times
Reputation: 1368
Sit her down, both of you. Say "Mom, you have two choices. If you want to live here, you have to contribute X dollars towards this household every month since we are housing you and feeding you. If you don't want to contribute, then you need to move back into your own home. Until one of these things happens, we will not help take care of your problems for you any more. You also need to get your finances and legal paperwork in proper order so that we know what your wishes are regarding medical care and what you want done with your estate when the time comes."

Don't take no for an answer. Show a united front. She's taking advantage of you because you are letting her do so.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,254,939 times
Reputation: 5787
Are you sure she is not losing her mind??? I'd sit her down and tell her:
Mom, your health is of a HUGE concern for us. We can not take care of you financially & physically (or mentally). You have two choices and we don't care for one of them at all.

1. Go back to AZ to YOUR home and live out your life in YOUR home. We won't be there to take care of you as we have our home HERE. You can sell some of the property you have to pay for home healtcare to come in a couple of times a week to check up on you. Oh, and what do you think of the government when they take peoples property when they die? Since you do not have a will/trust that is EXACTLY what will happen to your property. The government will come take it ALL!!! There is not fighting this at all so we just want you to realize this. Of course this is the option we don't care for as you would be 1000's of miles away w/o us being able to keep closer tabs on you and you would be alone most of the time. Also don't like that the government will take everything you worked so hard for. But you need a will in place and to put the property in a trust.

2. Mom, your going into a nursing home. As we said before, we can not properly take care of you. We won't need to pay for it but the government will take all of your property, life insurance, medical insurance and bank accounts to cover it. You don't have a will or trust for any of it so that is how the government works. They take all of that in payment of providing care for you in a nursing home. Now, in some states the property including bank accounts MUST be out of YOUR name for 4 years BEFORE you go into a nursing home. It is a little late for that now as you did not prepare for this. But if you should fall or something and break a hip you would be in a place that could care for you 24/7. We just want you to know WHY it is so important for people to have their affairs in order or else they REALLY risk losing everything. We don't want to take it from you and never have. We just want to make you aware that by holding onto everything in your name only for all of these years has not benefited anyone except the government. They are going to come in and take EVERYTHING and we can not stop them. In the end we believe you will get better care from those that are equipped to care for you in a nursing home.

Now, there is a third option mom. IF you think that you could live in your own place like an apartment but closer to us then this might work. You sell EVERYTHING in AZ and put it all in a trust. You can control the trust till the day you die. We won't take it from you BUT it will be protected from the government and outsiders. You take the money and put it all in a trust and rent an apartment here close by us. We can arrange still for someone w/ the home healthcare industry to come by weekly and check on your medical and physical needs. They can even get someone that does the grocery shopping and house cleaning for you. You would be right here close by and we could share meals and special times together. With all of the property in AZ sold none of us would have to worry about that and could instead concentrate on taking care of YOU and not some property 1000's of miles away.

Since people her age are scared of the government and them taking their stuff. Since she may not believe you pull up any info you can from Arizona and where you are at along w/ getting someone like an attorney, cpa or estate planner to help her understand.

Good luck
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:16 AM
 
3,367 posts, read 9,867,217 times
Reputation: 4148
I would second new2sa - get some legal help.

Go see an attourney/legal advisor, find someone who is well-aquainted with property, finance and inheritance and tell them your whole story.

Take along some facts and figures on paper and do the math with the attourney. Find out what your mother's estate is worth and what it will be (likely) worth in 10 years' time if it keeps deteriorating.

Then go back to your mother and tell her you need to have a family business meeting - tell her it's not personal but that you all have expenses, debts and assets to settle, and if you are all living together then it all needs to be settled together.

All meet up with the attourney and your mother, get all the facts and figures on the table - including your debts and the time/money you have spent on your mother's property (it's a tax deductable for her).

If you keep telling her it's business, not personal, then she can't abuse you - and if she tries - tell her to STOP!!!

You are an adult now, you don't need to take that, and you are being very good, kind and patient with your domineering mom. GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:16 PM
 
12,455 posts, read 13,096,679 times
Reputation: 8893
Time to set some boundaries. If finances are involved whether it's a kid that won't move out or a granny that won't move out, if your finances are being impacted, it is up to you to set some groundrules, and if not met, then take action. SOunds like with her financial resources you are being taken advantage of. What they tell me in recovery is there are no victims, only volunteers, so at some point decide when you'll stop being a door mat and act on it. Good luck and best wishes, you deserve peace in this area!
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:27 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,276,463 times
Reputation: 22274
You have received some great advice! However, having worked w/ several situations somewhat similar to this, your mother may just become stubborn and refuse to discuss a thing. It sounds as tho you are intimidated by her and she gets abusive.

I don't know your mother, so I don't know how she will react . . . but if you suspect she will simply brush you off and refuse to participate in a discussion, you can find out what it will take to have her declared mentally incompetent or whatever "phrase" your state recognizes in order for you to gain guardianship and control of her estate.

I suspect just mentioning to her that you have to get her to a doc to get an evaluation will send her off into a tirade. It may be that w/o explaining much at all, she will get the picture and so will decide to leave on her own. Of course, that may cause a big rift, but better she is out of your household than draining your assets and causing you an upset now.

You just have to decide what you really want. Do you really want her to stay there and just help w/ the finances? Is that why you have not confronted this more forcefully in the past? Are you worried about her competence and ability to take care of herself and feel you should intervene? You have to decide what the goal is . . . and you will need to seek assistance. If you feel you don't have the $$ to pay an attorney, contact whatever gov't entity is available to give you assistance - such as the local council on aging (whatever it is called in your state). They can give you guidance about how to go about getting your mother assessed for mental competency, how to get her into a different living situation, etc.

Good luck. This is a tough situation for you, I am sure.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Da Parish
1,127 posts, read 4,447,432 times
Reputation: 985
Quote:
I'll just keep my mouth shou, it's better than taking the wrath of her.
She knows that her tantrums intimidate you into behaving just as she wants. I'll wager that she also uses guilt to manipulate you as well, (that's so my mother ). I've gotten better about being minipulated, but still feel the guilt.

Start with something easy like asking her what she intends to do with her home seeing how it seems she has decided to live with you (probably an old argument so she's not overly threatened with it). She's going to tell you that she has no intention of selling, that's when you let her know that you are not going to give up any more of your vacation time and money taking care of any future problems. She'll pout and complain, but ignore it and the guilt that comes with it.

What you have done here is had a confrontation about something that hasn't happened yet. She'll be irked, but because she doesn't need you to do anything for the house at the moment she'll feel less, "threatened" so the fight won't be that big. This sets you up for a future argument when she expects you to take care of her home. That's when you remind her of your discussion and refuse to take any more of your vacation time to humor her unless it's to either get rid of the house or to help her move back in.

The important thing here is that even if you feel terrible guilt don't give in to it. Once you are more comfortable having confrontations on a small scale you will be able to handle the bigger stuff. It's a matter of working your way into it; once you're there it will be easier as you go along. I so understand being afraid to confront a mother. Best wishes.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
987 posts, read 3,392,162 times
Reputation: 356
Convince her to sell her assets and purchase a whole life insurance policy with you as the beneficiary.
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