Mom & I are estranged

lucygooseymiApril 12, 2012

So my mother has been living with dementia for a few years now.....my cousin and aunt have managed to convince my mom that I am not trustworthy, Now the cousin is the executor of mom's estate AND her patient advocate.....has anyone else had this type of problem? And how did you resolve the situation? Mom won't even talk to me anymore......I'm an only child and have never felt so alone in my life.

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asolo

Seems to me worth a conversation with cousin and aunt. What do they say about the situation? Sounds unusual. There must be a reason. And there must be a reason why you don't know more than you do or why you're not allowed to know, if that's the case.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:17PM
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azzalea

In our family, when someone went to great lengths to become POA and executrix of MIL's estate, it was because she had plans to steal from her. In the course of under a year, this person depleted the estate by about a quarter of a million $$$. My MIL also had Alzheimer's.

I mention all that to let you know I have experience in exactly this type of family situation. However, I don't know YOUR family. I don't know if there's good reason for you to be locked out, or if the aunt and cousin are as dishonest as my in-laws were. However, assuming that you have good intentions and good reason to take over your mom's care--you need to speak to a good attorney. Most likely, since there is a family dispute over this, a judge will immediately appoint an independent lawyer to take over your mother's finances until the matter is settled or until she dies. That's a good thing. The administrator will be paid a fee, but you will get thorough accountings, you'll have someone you can call and ask questions of, etc. Next, you may want to petition to become your mother's medical guardian, so you can make appropriate medical decisions for her.

Now, understand, it's all a process. It's involved. It takes a bit of time. And it can be expensive. In our case, we paid in the neighborhood of $20,000 out of our own pockets for legal, court, forensic accounting and other fees. The battle lasted about 7 years. In the end, we were satisfied with the results--we were able to stop the hemmoraging from the money left for MIL's end care, we were able to get the thieves to repay at least a portion of the money they stole, we were able to get at least minimal medical care for MIL (they weren't providing ANY--no drs visits, no medication, etc).

Also, understand that you probably won't win 100% of what you seek. There will be compromises along the way. But you will be able to sleep better at night, knowing you did what you could to improve your mother's care--which is the only important thing in these cases.

Before you get embroiled in this, though, do research Alzheimer's--understand the disease, it's progression, the need for more and more care. Are you ready and able to put 24/7 into caring for your mother? If not, is there enough wherewithal to pay for round the clock professional help (or an assisted living home). Are you able and willing to take over coordinating care and benefits, paying the bills, etc. It's a LOT of work caring for someone with a progressive fatal disease. Know what your goal is before you start this fight. And understand that the state will be looking over your shoulder, and making you account for every penny--good recordkeeping is essential. ANd you'll want to have your lawyer demand an accounting from your aunt and cousin--which will then need to be gone over by a qualified forensic accountant to make sure all is in order.

Sorry I was so long-winded, but this is sort of a mission with me, making sure our older relatives are properly cared for, and not victimized by family members or others.

Be sure your motives are pure, be sure you're able to follow through on being a caregiver, and get yourself really topnotch legal representation. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:28PM
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gardenandcats

If there is alot for her to gain then I would seek a lawyers advice. Often this can be changed if it is proven the person was not in there right mind at the time of signing these papers putting your cousin in charge/

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:02AM
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azzalea

Actually, Gardenandcats--that's easier said than done. My MIL had been diagnosed with Alzheimers for about 4 years when she was coerced into signing a new will and POA. We, too, thought that obviously the will/POA would be no good, because of her health status. Not so. You have to be able to prove that AT THE SECOND she signed the will she wasn't in her right mind. If, even for a moment, the person understood the lawyer and agreed to sign the will, it's good--and really, how do you disprove that? You simply cannot in many cases.

However, a lawyer is definitely the way to go. Even--no, especially--if there's only a little money it's important to make sure no one is taking advantage of her, that the money's being properly conserved and her future is being insured. AND that she's getting the best medical and personal care available.

I do hope the OP has gone to see a lawyer for help with this potentially devastating situation, and wish the family the best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Sketcher25

This is an age old problem....but if a parent wants you to have their estate, you will...if you have cousins in the mix, something went wrong before she became ill....as an only child, surely you discussed this with your mother..

Most of the time courts catch these kinds of things..ask questions..so forth...but I see this as parents being unconcerned for their children when this stuff goes on...my FIL completely ditched his son, when he tried to help out by being co POA as it related to his medical needs...

Then we find out that he has been trash talking forryears about doubting his son was even his...its no wonder my husband is so unhappy and our life is lousy....he came from a piece of trash....

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Sketcher25

This is an age old problem....but if a parent wants you to have their estate, you will...if you have cousins in the mix, something went wrong before she became ill....as an only child, surely you discussed this with your mother..

Most of the time courts catch these kinds of things..ask questions..so forth...but I see this as parents being unconcerned for their children when this stuff goes on...my FIL completely ditched his son, when he tried to help out by being co POA as it related to his medical needs...

Then we find out that he has been trash talking forryears about doubting his son was even his...its no wonder my husband is so unhappy and our life is lousy....he came from a piece of trash....

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:48PM
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