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Old 10-17-2015, 11:46 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
You state that the issue is not the will/trust, it's separate from the will/trust... but you are trying to do a will/trust from your mother to solve these other issues.

I don't think anything from your mom's will/trust will solve this issue. The issue with your OO is one that will not go away with an incentive trust.

We have a family member that is somewhat similar: No good with money, takes advantage of his mother, has mental health issues. Now that DH is his mother's legal guardian - he's the one dealing with money requests, and the anger when it's not a "yes". I understand some of the issues dealing with a problem sibling. (In my case, an in law, but still impacting our lives.) I would not think of trying to control his behavior towards his sibling through his mother's will - it's a separate issue.
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:55 AM   #42
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I wouldn't conflate the behavior issue with the trust/inheritance issue. Using your Mom's money to try to control your sibling forever just sounds like a really bad plan. In fact, I would just let the money be discharged to each family member in the same way and drive on with life.
Add one more vote for this approach.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:53 AM   #43
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OP - I wouldn't conflate the behavior issue with the trust/inheritance issue. Using your Mom's money to try to control your sibling forever just sounds like a really bad plan. ... .
Oh, I agree it's a really bad plan - but it's pretty much the best plan we can think of. Was that in "Argo": - "sir, it's the best bad plan we have.".

And it would be my Mom setting up the conditions of the trust, not us (we have no control over his trust, other than informing Mom that we feel we need this protection clause added). She has witnessed his threats, so she knows (but tries to ignore/forget) just how nasty he can be.

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I think the only thing a bank might find acceptable is a no contact clause. It is something relatively easily provable with phone call records, phone video recordings, etc. The only thing the rest of the family needs to do is to follow it too. You'll be cutting all ties with him and likely his daughter. It's not totally foolproof, but it's likely your best option. ...
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
One alternative might be for your Mom to build what is effectively a restraining order into the trust so you never have to deal with your wacko sibling. Or move.

I feel blessed that our siblings on both sides all get along for the most part and we don't have to deal with crap like this.
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... It may be past time to cut all family ties with him and make it clear (document) that any further contact will result in legal enforcement.

... Sometimes you just have to let go.
Believe me, none of the siblings has any problem with 'cutting ties' with him. That's exactly what we want. Me and my other local brother have had it 'up to here' for many years. My out of state brother came in to see my Mom before her operation, and in just a few hours, over the course of three days, was as frustrated as we are. The "OO" can just go away as far as we are all concerned. Of course, the 'rub' in all that is Mom still coddles him, so it divides the family. She mostly blames us for not being friendly to him, because he has her ear 24/7, and somehow, all the abuse he has heaped on us over the years gets smoothed over and rationalized. He is extremely manipulative.

So maybe a 'no-contact' clause (including no contact with any businesses owned by any of the siblings) is more straightforward than a 'no-harassment' clause.

I discovered another wrinkle yesterday. On Friday, I met with my Mom at the hospital with my computer, and we regained on-line access to some of her accounts so I can make sure her bills are getting paid, and transfer funds if needed (she had miss-typed passwords and got locked out, we had to call the bank to get the PW reset).

So yesterday I had some time to look in more detail, and unless she specifically gave the "OO" authority to use her Debit Card to withdraw over $500 in the past few weeks, plus use it for what looks like a $315 charge to repair his truck (he was driving her car, she didn't know and asked him for the keys), plus $150 of dollars in gas, and charges at $700 costco and other stores, all over the past 4 weeks, and with almost zero use of that card before she went into the hospital. So it sure looks like he is stealing from her. I imagine he'll try to rationalize these as all for maintenance on her house, or some other twisty explanation

But I also hate to trouble her with this while she is trying to recover (and recovery has been difficult for her). But it could be going from aggravating to criminal.

He has also talked her into doing $20,000 of repairs on some property she owns. If she had asked us, we would have told her to forget it, you'll never get your money out of it. The building is a tear-down. But the "OO" has some emotional ties to that old building, so I think he just wants to see it 'restored' - as long as he isn't paying for it, or doing the work himself!

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Old 10-18-2015, 09:56 AM   #44
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My advice is kind of out there. . . . Let him have your share of the money when Mom passes on and then immediately cease all contact with him. Move on and have a wonderful life.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:53 AM   #45
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My advice is kind of out there. . . . Let him have your share of the money when Mom passes on and then immediately cease all contact with him. Move on and have a wonderful life.
Not really so out there. I'd consider it if I thought it would work.

It's also an emotional/ego thing with him. He cannot be satisfied. But, he needs the money, so it can be used as leverage to shut down his ego attacks.

The 'ceasing contact' thing isn't in my control. I have absolutely zero problem 'ceasing contact' with him, the less contact the better. It the 'ceasing contact' from him to me (and siblings) that we want to stop.

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Old 10-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #46
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In your shoes, I would immediately change the pin on the debt card. If he comes after you, tell him he is stealing and if he does it again, you will have him arrested. Then hang up the phone.

This guy is a powder keg waiting to explode. If this were me, I would cease all contact with him now and suggest to the other siblings they do the same. Don't answer the phone when he calls, don't go to gatherings that will put you in the same room, etc. When your mom passes, let the trustee or attorney handling the estate hand him his check. No special treatment, that will just aggravate him, and possibly drive him to violence directed at you or the other siblings.

Do what you can do to help and protect your mom while she is alive. Make sure there are powers of attorney in place for all of her assets should she become incompetent. When she dies, get on with your life.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:52 AM   #47
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I would inform your Mother's attorney of what you found.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:01 PM   #48
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In your shoes, I would immediately change the pin on the debt card. If he comes after you, tell him he is stealing and if he does it again, you will have him arrested. Then hang up the phone. ...
I can't do that until I hear from my Mom that she didn't give him any authority to use it. He's also using her CC's (at least the ones I could access), and she has quite a few auto-billing things set up, so it would be a lot of work to track these all down and get them set up.

Assuming our meeting with her confirms he is (at minimum) abusing the use of these (just as he did with her car), she will have him give her the cards (and I'll take them to hold). Probably all we can do for now, depending on how she sees the situation.

I'd be all for having him arrested, but that will just make me the 'bad guy', and Mom would not press charges. He's a 'good boy', don't you know?

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This guy is a powder keg waiting to explode. If this were me, I would cease all contact with him now and suggest to the other siblings they do the same.
I can't believe my previous posts are not making this point - we are trying to cut contact with him. But there are limits, as he lives with Mom (and now he is at the hospital as much as possible, showing what a 'good son' he is), and we want to take care of Mom. And she thinks we should all 'just get along'.

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Don't answer the phone when he calls, don't go to gatherings that will put you in the same room, etc.
That's what we have done for years. But Mom keeps pushing that we should all get together for holidays and such (we refuse). None of want to be in the same room with him. We fear a blow up, we are on pins and needles when he is there, fearing any comment we make will be taken as an attack on him. We get Mom to understand, but then he gets her ear 24/7 and twists her around to his thinking. Does he need to move out of the house - yes, everone has told her that for decades. She can't (won't) do it.

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When your mom passes, let the trustee or attorney handling the estate hand him his check. No special treatment, that will just aggravate him, and possibly drive him to violence directed at you or the other siblings.
That is how it is set up now, but he will be driven to harass us to feed his ego regardless. That is why we are looking for some leverage. I think the legal system, and waiting for him to do something is going to be very long, complicated, and drawn out, taking a lot of our time. If the incentive clause can tell him 'stay away or no money this year', it just might be enough to shut him up, and go find some other outlet for his ego.


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Do what you can do to help and protect your mom while she is alive. Make sure there are powers of attorney in place for all of her assets should she become incompetent.
Already done.

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When she dies, get on with your life.
That's the goal. But he will very likely come after us, and not allow us to just 'get on with our lives'. He feels he was wronged, and it has festered for 20 some years, it consumes him (because he does nothing else with his time), and there is no satisfying him.

He has failed at everything he has ever attempted. Mom and Dad bailed him out every time. He resents us for having some success. They created a monster.


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I would inform your Mother's attorney of what you found.
Yes, we will, once I get a fuller story from her, and talk with my brothers.

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Old 10-18-2015, 02:02 PM   #49
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Potentially you have the means for criminal charges on the credit cards and debit card, but that is complicated by the fact that your Mom has previously (apparently) given him permission to use them, thus creating a precedent and expectation. In MD, that would get the case thrown out of criminal court but there would still be civil recourse in small claims if you wanted to go that route. The law may of course differ where you are.

But you (or more accurately, your Mom) can end all use of the cards by sending him written notice that he is not to use them. Again, state laws may vary, I'm familiar with MD.

This will not cure the problem though but it can stop some of the financial bleeding.

Reading through all the the other's posts, I tend to agree that tying OO's behavior to the trust will not result in the objective you and your siblings want (OO go away and leave us alone) and may make it worse if it results in a year's income that he expected going elsewhere. Then he's gonna be really mad at you!

Sorry you and your siblings have to deal with this, family dynamics can be impossible to deal with sometimes. The best suggestion I have is see an attorney, perhaps a divorce attorney since they've seen all kinds of oddball situations and that may give them experience and ideas for options in family relationships involving anger and money.

Best of luck dealing with this.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:09 PM   #50
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You have done very well ERD. You have a permanent drama source in your life, and it is very clearly Someone Else's Fault!

One thing I can't quite figure out. You state that none of the "good sibs" needs an inheritance, why not let your mother do whatever she wants? Maybe the current reality is just up her alley. If you are worried that she could become destitute, let her buy an annuity.

One's parent doing something different from what some children think should be done is not obviously a reason to step in. Old people enjoy agency as fully as younger people.

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Old 10-18-2015, 02:21 PM   #51
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Oh, I agree it's a really bad plan - but it's pretty much the best plan we can think of. Was that in "Argo": - "sir, it's the best bad plan we have.".
Are you really sure about that? I mean, face it, you guys are emotionally involved too. This plan looks like it's designed to get him to finally concede the point. Basically this plan means you guys win the decades old argument or he doesn't get paid.

If you really just want to turn the page on this, set up a clean trust so he can't blow the money, then get an RO if he harasses you. The only downside is you don't get the 'win'.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:23 PM   #52
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One's parent doing something different from what some children think should be done is not obviously a reason to step in. Old people enjoy agency as fully as younger people.
Assuming your mother is competent, she has the right to spend her money how she wants, even if her decisions are unwise. If OO has her consent, I don't see that you have a case. However, if she is being coerced, that is elder abuse. An attorney specializing in elder issues should be able to help.

Once DM has passed away I think the best solution is to have no contact with OO.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:28 PM   #53
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Your first job should be protecting your Mother financially and otherwise. Ask your Mother's attorney to visit her in circumstances where brother is not present. Let the attorney and your Mother figure out what should be done and ask him to explore possible elder abuse.

Once she has passed then the estate comes in play.

IMHO the administrator of her estate/trust should be a third party, a pit-bull lawyer. I realize this will be more expensive but this brother is too caustic and potentially dangerous.

You and your siblings should have your own lawyer prepared to request a restraining order against brother once Mother has passed.

I have a sister with issues. Fortunately (or unfortunately) she made my Mother angry and as a result the estate that would have been sister's portion went to sister's son.
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Old 10-18-2015, 03:20 PM   #54
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I would inform your Mother's attorney of what you found.
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You have done very well ERD. You have a permanent drama source in your life, and it is very clearly Someone Else's Fault!

One thing I can't quite figure out. You state that none of the "good sibs" needs an inheritance, why not let your mother do whatever she wants? ..
I've apparently done a lousy job communicating the (admittedly complex and emotional) situation.

My mother can do what she wants with the money, she can give it all to charity, the three subs are fine with anything (as long as she is taken care of first).

What I'm trying to avoid is the OO coming after the siblings after she is gone. Even if we got zero inheritance, he would want 'restitution' for imagined issues, and we can pay him from our own stash. And apologize to him for being so mean to him all these years (when it was always the other way 'round'.

Yes, I know you are hearing one side of the story, but I can assure you, every family member, friend and counselor she sees tells her she needs to do the 'tough love' thing, and she won;t and she's created a monster.

Maybe an RO is the only way to go, I'm looking to see if there are better alternatives, maybe not.

I have to run...

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Old 10-18-2015, 04:08 PM   #55
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I agree your Mother has created a monster who has figured out how to get attention. I think the only thing you and your sibs can do is to get a restraining order. What worries me is that he may be a physical threat. Personally I wouldn't want to be in his sights, ever. Mass shooters typically are males who feel disrespected/threatened.
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:14 PM   #56
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Unless OO has demonstrated that he is litigious by having previously sued you, and your siblings, I don't really understand what you are so afraid of after mother passes. Beyond lawsuits, just ignore him and don't feed the fire. If he is litigious, then I don't think you've got anyway out of the box, but to move cross country or overseas...


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Old 10-18-2015, 07:12 PM   #57
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I agree your Mother has created a monster who has figured out how to get attention. I think the only thing you and your sibs can do is to get a restraining order. What worries me is that he may be a physical threat. Personally I wouldn't want to be in his sights, ever. Mass shooters typically are males who feel disrespected/threatened.
Something along this line has kept me up many nights. We have seen him go into rages, just bat-sh!t crazy rages. During what was essentially an 'intervention' with him at one point, he ran out, drove away in his pick up truck to his nearby home, and returned driving like the blazes both ways. We actually video'd the 'intervention', thinking he would behave if he knew he was being taped. We have it on tape where me and my brother are talking about being ready to dial 911 if he gets out of the truck with a gun, and discussed running in opposite directions, maybe he'll only get one of us, and you can see my finger on the "9" button of the phone. You don;t want to experience that feeling.

Every time I read or hear about a domestic squabble that leads to a shooting, I tense up inside. The fear has been way too real for us. I just want him to go away.

He didn't have a gun that time, but being in a position where you literally fear for your life, and are thinking this could be it, I may never see my wife and kids again, well, it has an affect on you. I hope you never, ever experience it.


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Unless OO has demonstrated that he is litigious by having previously sued you, and your siblings, I don't really understand what you are so afraid of after mother passes. Beyond lawsuits, just ignore him and don't feed the fire. If he is litigious, then I don't think you've got anyway out of the box, but to move cross country or overseas...
Litigious isn't the concern. I don't think are any lawyers crazy enough to take any case he would present, and if one did, we'd just turn it over to an attorney on our side. Ho hum.

I don't think an RO can protect us against him getting stoned one night and deciding he needs revenge that night. He also could be a major nuisance (better than a physical threat though), and going through the legal system will be a lot of work, I would think. I just want it behind me/

I met with Mom and was able to talk about all these charges from the OO. I asked in such a way that it was clear to us (DW was there too) she didn't OK them, but she wouldn't really admit anything, because she won't say anything bad about him in front of me. But she understands I can't manage her accounts for her if someone is making charges and I don;t know what's legit or not, so she said she will ask him to turn over the cards. DW & my impressions was, she is mad at him (disappointed?), but won't say it in front of us.

Follow up, after the Cubs


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Old 10-18-2015, 08:47 PM   #58
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Your Mom and your sibs are in a tough spot.

Her attorney should be involved in her decisions and I still think you (and sibs) need an attorney to call your own.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:30 PM   #59
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I've been in the trust business for a long time. I can't provide you with legal advice, but can comment on my observations from years of experience.


First, don't put family members between another family member and the money. That's where the value of a corporate trustee comes into play. Of course, companies have different fee structures, but depending on the value of the trust you may be looking at an annual fee of 1.5% or less. There are frequently minimum charges that make anything less than $1,000,000 too expensive. Trust companies are used to dealing with crazies. However, if the crazy is too crazy, and the fees do not justify the trouble (account size will influence this) they may resign. That does not mean you have to take over, but there will need to be an avenue on finding a successor. This is usually in the covered in the document.


Having a clause in the trust about not making distributions based on subjective behavior is difficult. Also, in order to enforce something that requires you to report the activity only subjects you to more harassment. I agree that the trust provisions and the OO's behavior should be separate issues. Don't try to mix the two and leave the distribution of funds to the trustee.


The second point I would like to make is your mother's current vulnerability. My advice is to suggest to your mother that she draws up a trust now and funds it with her assets. She could consider making the bank her current trustee so that there is an objective party between her money and the OO. At some point, your mother's capacity could deteriorate and she could be abused financially. If she does become incapacitated, the trustee would be fully responsible for her financial affairs, leaving you out of it. Of course, anything of this nature should be addressed with her attorney. The attorney should be one that specializes in elder law and/or trusts & estates. Good luck to a terrible situation.
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:12 AM   #60
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I've been in the trust business for a long time. I can't provide you with legal advice, but can comment on my observations from years of experience. ....
Thanks Dancfo. Good to hear from someone with 'insider knowledge'. I've got some things to catch up on around here, will respond to your informative post later.


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