elderly mother's home

mlou_51April 11, 2011

My mother's now almost 82 and wondering about her home. My sister stays with her and wants Mom to put the house in her name. She says she was told if Mom passed away that the goverment would take a large chunk of it even if she has a will leaving it to be sold and divided among the 4 of us children. She was told this at nursing classes. She also wants Mom to take 40,000 out of the bank and put it her safe. Same reason. Is this true? And I'm concerned about what happens if my sister for some reason dies before our Mom. Mlou

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Mlou, check out the Caregivers Forum. I know we've discussed this over there..

Your sister's ideas are lousy, even if they are well-intentioned. Your mother needs to see an elder-law attorney and set up a trust, which will save thousands of dollars in probate fees. And your sister is leaving herself wide open to charges of elder abuse. You may trust your sister to do the right thing, but your concerns are valid.

Take care of these matters, but do so with the advice of a legal expert. It will be money well spent.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caregivers

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 10:05AM
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I couldn't agree more!!! You need competent legal advice as stated above. Anecdotal ("here's what happened in my family") threads are definitely points for discussion on a forum but a pale substitute for elder law attorney guidance.

Something in your gut must be telling you that your sister's ideas aren't quite kosher. And if your mother is of sound mind, she'd probably welcome the clarification and tying up of any of the loose ends she's beginning to think about.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 2:24PM
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I think you have problems besides your sister trying to get the home and money.

If you take any money out of your mom's estate or sign over the home to your sister or anyone else your mom may be denied medicaid if she goes to a care home. You will have to pay for her care or take care of her yourself.

I don't know about your state's laws but if it is like Arkansas laws, if your mom dies, your sister will be allowed to stay in the house as long as she lives. I know of this happening. The daughter did not do repairs on the home and by the time the heirs got the home it wasn't worth much.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:33PM
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You are definitely getting a lot of bad advice. Please check with your attorney, or an elder care one, AND your accountant (re: the taxes).

For one thing, you need the right information for your locale. In our state, unless the estate is quite large, there are NO inheritance taxes on an estate passed from a parent to a child. When my mom died, there wasn't any tax to be paid on what she left because it was under the limit. As to probating the estate--costs? Again, it's going to vary from place to place, relative to relative, and will depend upon the value of the estate. But again, it's not a significant amount. The executor is entitled to about 5% or so of the total estate--and trust me, having been the executrix for 2 relatives, that's a small price to pay for the amount of work they do. People are always trying to get out from under estate taxes and the cost of probating, but really unless your mom is a millionaire, those costs will be negligible, if anything at all.

You do want to be a little careful about everything being put in one child's name. I sincerely hope this would never be the case in your family BUT my husband's sister stole over a quarter of a million $$$ of MIL's estate before we realized what she was up to. We NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS would hav suspected her of doing something like that, but we have the evidence in black and white. She was never really made to pay back what she took, she not only hurt her own mother, but she stole from 3 brothers, as well, since the estate was pretty much depleted at that point. Sadly, money--be it large or small amounts--can sometimes do terrible things to people.

Please, get good, solid, professional advice before any changes are made in your mother finances. It's important that you all understand the laws in your jurisdiction. And do be very careful of anyone trying to sell you anything that is going to put money into their pockets (a trust, a reverse mortgage, etc)--be sure you understand all the ins and outs, and FEES. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Does your sister have sticky fingers, perchance?

Nicer to have the value of a house divided by one ... than divided by four ...

... if you're the one.

Plus ... a load of cash ... in the safe ... in the house???

Maybe a flood came by ... and washed it all away?

o j

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 3:17PM
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