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  #1  
Old 24 July 2014, 01:19 AM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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Default Anything I can do about my in-laws?

My second husband is the oldest of 5 boys. I am quite a bit younger than he is, but he and I really fit well as a couple in terms of our goals, ability to communicate, etc.

Their father died long ago and their mother has been severely demented for 6-7 years. When she started to realize she was going to follow in her sisters' footsteps (6 of her 7 sisters had very severe dementia, as well as their mother; her 5 brothers had no major health issues), she made my hub her financial and medical power of attorney and gave him 100% control of her finances.

I came on the scene about 14 months ago - mom-in-law woud whisper me secrets at first, seeming fairly lucid, and could feed herself, but other than that she was out to lunch. By October/November 2013, we couldn't care for her anymore. She was hospitalized for an infection and put into a full time care home about five days after discharge because my husband's blood pressure was so high he was in danger of having a stroke because the infection turned her into a mobile infant who only speaks Dutch. (My hub actually DID have a stroke while we were waiting for the full-time care placement, and it's effects have been devastating).

Of my husband's 4 brothers, none even RSVP'd for our wedding. I had to call them the week before to find out if they were coming. They all did turn up, but I've seen only 1 of them since -- the one who offered to help us move my furniture as a wedding gift (he's a trucker). Only one brother has been to the long-term care home to visit their mother, and he left a plaque that read "Memories are what make us family," which hub and I thought was really poor taste for someone with dementia (a staffer threw it out later).

My mother in law is now completely gone, mentally -- she's okay physically but doesn't even register when hub or I visit. We acknowledge our visits are 100% for our benefit.

So, here's the rub: my deceased FIL talked a big game before he died and the 4 younger brothers think they are going to inhereit millions when Mom finally goes. The reality is that it was a small fraction of that and it was spent quickly to pay for her care -- when she was at home we had to have Personal Service Workers come in to bathe her, etc. Her pension covers some of the cost of the home, we cover the rest.

All of my hub's brothers assumed he was gay and would take care of mom and then just die. He's dated around but his work was always a priority until we met.

So now I'm the interloper. I'm an only child, and I fantacized/romanticized about siblings and it makes me really sad that my BILs appear to think I'm not only stealing their "inhereitance" but also taking away their "Mom sitter/problem fixer" as my hub is coming with me back to the states.

I don't know what to do about it -- 2 of them I think I could talk to, 2 of them I think would just scream at me. I aim to steer clear of family issues but my hub wanted me at a family meeting to lay it down for them that Mom is mentally gone, we're leaving Toronto, I'm married to this woman-- only 1 of 4 responded to say he couldn't make it.

Again, I'm an only child and don't get sibling dynamics. They make me mad because they don't understand how much work went into caring for my MIL, and just treat us like trash and me like a fling. I really would like to call them all up and say the things hub won't.

Anything I can do? Or am I in a lose/lose situation?
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  #2  
Old 24 July 2014, 01:26 AM
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If I were you I'd stay out of it completely. I'd also recommend that your husband make sure that his brothers see any and all financial records that pertain to your MIL. If the brothers think a lot of money is coming to them eventually and there is none things are going to get very nasty when your MIL dies. It might be a good idea to nip that in the bud right now.
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Old 24 July 2014, 01:48 AM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
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Agreeing with Sue.

The family meeting should be just the brothers, and even if some of the other brothers bring their spouse I still think you shouldn't be there. Honestly, you need to understand that anything you say or want say to the brothers on your husband's behalf will only my the situation worse.

Regarding finance, I also agree with Sue. Your husband should be able to give a full accounting of what the assets were when his father died, how these were spent, what her current income and expenses were. He should also point out the deficit that he is paying and suggest that his brothers can help if they want.
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  #4  
Old 24 July 2014, 02:11 AM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this. Unfortunately the reality of siblings is that a whole lot of this kind of thing goes on, especially, IME, when the health of the parents fails. Sue and Beachlife are right about just staying in the background. The best thing you can do for your family is to focus on being there for your husband. If you jump into the dog fight, you're just going to get bit.
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  #5  
Old 24 July 2014, 02:56 AM
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queen of the caramels queen of the caramels is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plurabelle View Post


So, here's the rub: my deceased FIL talked a big game before he died and the 4 younger brothers think they are going to inhereit millions when Mom finally goes.
..

Yeah I understand ...I'm supposed to own several houses back in Britain cos Daddy said so..

Quote:
All of my hub's brothers assumed he was gay and would take care of mom and then just die
LOL my DSis though I was happy to stay close and care for mom simply cos my DSis wanted that..

Quote:
So now I'm the interloper. I'm an only child, and I fantacized/romanticized about siblings and it makes me really sad that my BILs appear to think I'm not only stealing their "inhereitance" but also taking away their "Mom sitter/problem fixer" as my hub is coming with me back to the states.
Wah...now I haz to cope...pouts and sulks..

Quote:

Again, I'm an only child and don't get sibling dynamics. They make me mad because they don't understand how much work went into caring for my MIL, and just treat us like trash and me like a fling. I really would like to call them all up and say the things hub won't.

Anything I can do? Or am I in a lose/lose situation?
Oh..they know..They just don't wanna deal with it ..While you and your beloved were prepared to do all the yucky stuff..they were happy. Now think you are abandoning/forcing/not stepping up to the plate and they HATE that..

Makes it easier to cast you as the Bad Guyz..

Don't play into thier hands..If they want to care..they have the ability to do so..I f they don't..then your beloved and his sibs need to get an outside authority to be the legal voice.
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  #6  
Old 24 July 2014, 03:47 AM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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My husband has said to them all that he is quite happy to give them full access to records of his mother's finances, but they have to pay the ~$3 fee the bank charges for posting such information. He's given them what they need to request the statements but nobody has actually requested them, though 2 of the 4 did call "demanding" the info within the past year. (We think it's just 1 brother who called himself and then made another brother call as well).

Reading it in black and white, I can see that it makes sense for me to stay out and just be there for hub in the aftermath. I am projecting my desires for a large and close family onto his in a way, and that will get me nowhere with this bunch. I'm much closer to my 1st husbands siblings and their children even though we've been split up for a while.

My husband has absolutely nothing to hide in terms of the finances, and we are actively encouraging the brothers to swing by and take anything they want from the Toronto house (filled with antiques and expensive furniture, but we are actively downsizing our possessions).

I think a big part of the problem I have with accepting this situation is I thought siblings got along in the end, if not day to day. For all 4 of them to totally flake out just seems really unthinkable to me, especially since I know at least 2 of the 4 are really nice people.
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  #7  
Old 24 July 2014, 10:58 AM
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Things like funerals, wills and supposed moneys can and do bring out the worst in people. Families can go from the Waltons to the Hatfields and McCoys in no time flat.
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  #8  
Old 24 July 2014, 12:10 PM
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Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
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A friend of a friend is actually in a prolonged court battle with the rest of his family over his parents' finances (even though both his parents are still alive) and it's gotten to the point where several family members have taken out restraining orders against other members and can only communicate to each other via their solicitors. The judge overhearing the matter has had to stop proceedings several times and yell at them for being childish.

Family squabbles over cash can get really stupid.
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  #9  
Old 24 July 2014, 12:17 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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I'd pay the $3 and get the records for them myself just to get the big reveal over with. They're never going to believe him until they see the records (if then), and if there's a big to-do about it (which seems likely), better it happen before your MIL passes then right after. Y/HMMV.
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  #10  
Old 24 July 2014, 12:31 PM
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Me too. It sounds as if they will use not having the records against him, even if they could have them for $3.
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  #11  
Old 24 July 2014, 01:12 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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My husband is VERY stubborn - he has many virtues but none that shine in this arena. I'd have to order the records, which I can do since he's had his will/POA updated, but I'd also have to give them to his brothers because my husband simply won't; he feels very strongly that if they want to know, they have to "earn" it by showing a modicum of interest and coughing up 3 bucks.

So I can't really stay out of the situation and give them the financial docs at the same time -- it seems like my best bet is to just mail it to them anonymously -- my husband will not be upset at me about that at all, he wavers every day on how best to handle this situation, and the brothers won't know I was involved.

I just hope they actually look at the documents since I can't enclose a note stating "HEY LOOK, MOM IS BROKE AND DAD LEFT HER NOTHING!"
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  #12  
Old 24 July 2014, 02:17 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plurabelle View Post
I think a big part of the problem I have with accepting this situation is I thought siblings got along in the end, if not day to day.
Don't despair; some of them do. My brother, sister & I cooperated completely when first our mother and then our father died. No arguments over who paid for what, who got what or who had to do what.

It really sounds as if all you can do is have your husband's back. Should it come to litigation, hire a good accountant as well as a lawyer; someone who can lay out the money trail in such a way that it's clear as a bell what there was to start with and where everything went.

Seaboe
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  #13  
Old 24 July 2014, 02:22 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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If he's stubborn, then no, there's no much you can do about it. He'll pay for his stubbornness in the end, I'm afraid, and even if you stay out of it, you'll have to watch/deal with his going through it. Unfortunate, but out of your control, it sounds like.

As for siblings, some of them are great friends, some of them can take or leave each other, some of them never get along. Close genetic relationship and growing up in the same household* don't guarantee friendly relations.

*Not all siblings grow up in the same household, of course, and I don't just mean in cases of divorced/blended families. My oldest brother is 10 years older than the next oldest sibling, and 16 years older than me. Our parents never divorced or even separated, but f the four of us, only the middle two, who are 20 months apart, really grew up in the same family.
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Old 24 July 2014, 07:35 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Plurabelle, it won't do any good for you to order the records and then send them to your BILs. You would be accused of altering the records even if they were in an unopened envelope from the bank. Good luck!
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  #15  
Old 24 July 2014, 08:21 PM
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Assuming your husband is the executor of his mother's will and the brothers are all named as heirs your husband is going to have to make all the financial information available to them in the end anyway. Being stubborn about it now only makes it look like he has something to hide. This information should have been forced on the brothers right from the get go and they should have been made aware that rather than inheriting money they might need to cough up something to help support their mother.

If they are only now being told there is no money I would not be surprised if they were suspicious. Of course they have no right to be but there is something about the possibility of inheriting money that can bring out the worst in people.
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Old 24 July 2014, 08:21 PM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
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I agree with RichardM. I think there is no point in sending them unless you husband is doing it, and he really should include a little explanation as well. I do find it odd that he won't do it, but he is fine if you do.

I am one of five five brothers and I have varying degrees of contact with each of them. I am very close to one of the four (though to be honest, I only have three living brothers). Despite growing up together, we all had very different upbringings which is more cause for division than anything else.

I am the secondary child care for a close friend's one and three year old. I have known both children since birth and being close to them has allowed me to have a rather detached view of sibling relationships. My conclusion is that it is an ever loving miracle siblings ever learn to get along even if their parents do everything they can to encourage as much.
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Old 24 July 2014, 09:06 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Assuming your husband is the executor of his mother's will and the brothers are all named as heirs your husband is going to have to make all the financial information available to them in the end anyway. Being stubborn about it now only makes it look like he has something to hide. This information should have been forced on the brothers right from the get go and they should have been made aware that rather than inheriting money they might need to cough up something to help support their mother.

If they are only now being told there is no money I would not be surprised if they were suspicious. Of course they have no right to be but there is something about the possibility of inheriting money that can bring out the worst in people.
This is true --they are all privy to the information and I would never send it personally but rather get 4 statements and mail them for my husband, since he is more the artist type than the practical type.

About 4 years ago they all 5 plus mom met with the family attorney and family accountant, and signed documents stating that they understood my hub was the sole heir owing to the fact that it was incredibly unlikely at that point she'd have any money to leave behind. This was the last legal document she signed; by all accounts she was still more or less with it but knew it wouldn't last long. The brothers were given access to statements and accountings at that point, but hub says none of them even looked at them, just signed what they had to sign and left.

My husband has voiced regrets about this meeting (where they signed off their rights as heirs) but I can't quite figure out what bothers him about it. The stroke has really limited his ability to communicate verbally, especially around emotional issues.

Hub's stubborness is around the fact that his brothers appear to have written their mother off as dead, and are in mourning, and he is upset that they won't make even the most basic effort to see her, find out information, etc.

Hubs' father died of a massive stroke very suddenly but my father had a 4 year battle with cancer, and I think I understand what his brothers are going through better than hub does. By the second year I knew my father was on borrowed time and the last six months, I don't think he was conscious. I know what it's like to have a parent you love but who, while breathing, is no longer your parent and you create an emotional distance to cope. Hub doesn't get it. I'm not sure when/if he will.
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Old 24 July 2014, 11:39 PM
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Some situations can't be helped.

My cousins are fighting with each other over and have been since my Uncle died in 2012. It hasn't got better, all over a run down trailer ( it used to be very nice and well kept up ) and a piece of land that is trashed ( thanks to one brother and another brother and his wife ), it's not worth the fighting they are doing over it but you can't tell them anything. But yet it continues because one group has to be right. At this point I don't think any of them know what they want.


I'm sorry for the situation with your husbands siblings. I do hope it gets better.
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Old 25 July 2014, 12:57 AM
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I don't understand: if they signed off on your DH being the soul heir why do they expect to get a bunch of money when their mother passes? Didn't they understand what the meeting was about let alone read what they signed?
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Old 25 July 2014, 01:22 AM
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Plurabelle said they didn't even look at what they signed.
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