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Any advice? MASS law w/inheritance?
Old 07-22-2014, 09:39 PM   #1
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Any advice? MASS law w/inheritance?

Have read posts along these lines, and thought "awwww, bad story".

FIL is 90 in MA. GF/caregiver is 70. She is with him maybe 80% of time, has her own apartment.

Her daughter (mid-40's) and gf/caregiver took FIL out to eat today. Daughter wants to buy FIL's house and he said no; it is meant for his son (my DH). Truthfully, we would love to live there, but taxes are $7000/yr and would be a stretch for us.

So, gf is pressuring FIL to marry her if she is to remain with him as caregiver. FIL shared this with DH.
He is legally blind and dependent on others to leave his home. He adamantly does NOT want to leave his home to live any other place.

DH contacted high school atty friend, after FIL agreed (FIL and his gf share same atty). If they marry, according to MA law, gf/wife would receive a minimum of 1/3 of estate. THAT is not a worry; they have been together about ten years. It is her daughter that concerns us. The daughter has called DH twice in the last two weeks, telling DH that her mom will not be back as a caregiver. GF is back, as of today, and told MA Elder care rep that FIL's family is only after his money.

If you have read thru this dirty laundry, how would you proceed, if at all? It is such a quandary. DH and i are taking off for MA Thursday AM, but will most likely take FIL out for breakfast, and whatever he agrees to. We are worried, but FIL is a tough, tough, tough WWII veteran, convinced everybody is out to get his $$. We cannot say much if he is not asking for advice, and he never does.

Any advice? Retirement is not all fun & games.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ohyes View Post
So, gf is pressuring FIL to marry her if she is to remain with him as caregiver.
If that's the case it's not a good sign. There are other caregivers, of course, but it's your FIL's decision to make.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:09 PM   #3
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Yes, that is scenario exactly. Not good, but absolutely his decision.

I guess we know there is nothing we can do, but hate watching FIL be coerced. FIL has said gf will get $25,000 all along, but there is no will. FIL has paid her monthly.

It is the daughter that creeps us out.

DH has always maintained that it Is his dad's money, that DH has done nothing to earn any of it. That still stands, but watching gf's daughter move in.....we didn't foresee that.

Frustrating.



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Old 07-22-2014, 10:52 PM   #4
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Does FIL realize if he marries, Will or no Will, upon his death his son will not get the house?
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:16 PM   #5
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Given the semantics and threats the caregiver has already made - and clear manipulation on her part - I would rather EXPECT that something additional will happen behind the scenes to make things worse.

As in, after FIL passes on, a will mysteriously appears that has FIL's signature on it, thereby passing all assets (including the house) to the GF/wife(?). IF she doesn't already retitle the house into her name before he passes on.

Remember - he's legally blind, so I certainly wouldn't put it past her to do a "here honey, please sign this....it's for a medical doctor test authorization", only to find out it was something else.

And I find it odd that they first try to have the daughter buy the house...and when that fails, THEN she tries the "marry me" ultimatum Doesn't really make sense - UNLESS their goal was to have FIL sign over the house for an alleged sum that turned out to be far less than they verbally talked about, given FIL's poor eyesight? (either that, or somehow manipulate the funds out of him after the house is sold, so they end up with the money one way or the other).

Why demand marriage after you refuse to sell your house? Obviously she isn't interested in his love, or else she would have suggested marriage first.

All you can do is point out to FIL that if his "gf" truly cared about him, why give him an ultimatum to marry her? Why is she so adamant that he marry her? Isn't her living there for free and getting paid $25,000 in exchange for her caregiving enough? Or is she simply after his house? What reason could there possibly be to demand marriage, other than to legally obtain his assets?

It is a difficult situation, since she is apparently taking adequate care of him, so you have to ask yourself if he will continue to receive adequate care after they're married (or roll the dice that she doesn't start mistreating him), versus rolling the dice on a new caregiver, if he calls her bluff and she does actually walk (which I doubt she will).
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:43 PM   #6
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I think the key issue is whether or not the caregiver/gf is providing good care and if FIL is happy and doing well. If she is, and if he is, then your hubby has a lot to lose by stepping in to change the direction things are going at the risk of causing caregiver/gf to leave. If FIL does not seem to be getting good care and/or if he is not happy with the situation, that's another matter. Having FIL declared incompetent or convincing him to cooperate, if possible, and either bringing him home with you (happy days!) or placing him in a NH would actually be in his best interest.

Do you know how much FIL is paying the caregiver/gf? If the amount is less than market rate for the area, that means caregiver/gf has given 10 years caring for FIL while receiving less than normal compensation. Now that FIL is 90 and might be near the end, she might realize that there is no guaranteed final settlement for her. Everything will go to the son in distant Arkansas who hasn't been caring for his dad daily.

If caregiver/gf has been receiving full compensation based on the local market for in-home caregivers in that area, she has no complaint. The only issue will be that if she leaves and FIL is unhappy and the new caregiver doesn't do as good a job, you've created a problem that might be tough to fix.

I'm curious. Was caregiver/gf originally a legitimate caregiver, working through an agency for example, who cared for FIL and as time passed became his gf? Or, was she his gf and when he developed a need for care, she became his caregiver?

This is the third scenario I've become aware of in the last few months where long term, apparently successful caregivers wanted to establish a scenario where they would be guaranteed beneficiaries when the care recipient passed.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:20 AM   #7
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You need to explore with FIL what he really wants and how GF/caregiver fits into that picture and proceed accordingly and ignore GF's daughter as much as possible. If FIL says GF doesn't fit into the picture then it would be best for you to arrange for another caregiver for FIL and have the cost come from FIL's funds or from a HELOC on the house and let GF and daughter have a nice life. If GF is in the picture, then you'll all have to work something out.

While GF's daughter's interest in buying the house sounds illegitimate, your DH might call her bluff by telling FIL that he doesn't want the house and that FIL should allow GF's daughter to buy the house for its fair value as determined by an independent appraiser hired by DH with FIL retaining a lifetime interest in the property with the proceeds from the sale going to DH. That should shut her up.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for your valuable input. Some of it DH and I had thought and there are points you have made that had not even crossed our minds.

For brevity's sake, I left out a lot (it would take pages) and some of it may be more important. So, allow me to unload some more.

DH has a sister in Maine. FIL has told her she would get his property there. She and her son (FIL's grandson) have helped some. FIL's gf has MS and has to be in hospital from time to time or goes back to her apartment for a few days to take a respite. So, my SIL and her son have taken up the slack, as needed. FIL far prefers to be home with gf.

And, that is another concern. GF/caregiver is unsteady and petite. FIL gets around better than she does.

I have no idea how much FIL pays gf....I guessed $300/mo when my SIL and i were discussing it once and she just said, No, a little more than that.

Gf was "just gf" for years before becoming his caregiver, well, because he started needing her help more and more. She puts up with a LOT (FIL is not a fun guy, quite cantankerous - been that way as long as I have known him --35 yrs).

He is also not a big respecter of females. The only female I ever knew him to respect was my MIL (passed away 14 years ago) and that is based on her telling him to "Shut up" and he would. He did not talk to her like he does other females.

GF deserves 1/3 of his estate, minimum, in DH's and my opinion, and we realize it is not our opinion that matters because we did not do one thing to build his estate. She has kept him alive longer and has given him a reason to live. They enjoy going out to eat twice a day, taking rides; they do have some fun.

It's her daughter creeping around that bothers us. Cannot remember if I mentioned earlier that the daughter has never gotten along with FIL. As a matter of fact, the daughter and her mother don't get along well. But, they are allies right now.

And, the property is quite nice. Back yard goes down to the Ipswich River. Lots of trees, set way back from the little meandering cow path/road.

Thanks again. It helps to type this stuff, too.

Wish us luck on this trip - if only to keep our mouths shut and to think, speak & behave honorably.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #9
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Tough situation . I would try to put a band aid on it by having your FIL give the GF a decent raise . This may keep things status quo for awhile .Your fIL is 90 and the GF has MS this situation is doomed to fail at some point . In the meantime you can be researching assisted living places because that is where he is headed . Finding another caregiver that is honest and that your father likes may be next to impossible and a lot more expensive .I have dealt with several older relatives who refused to move into assisted living & once they made the move they were really happy & well taken care of .
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:41 PM   #10
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Turns out FIL has been paying gf $1000/mo. More is unraveling and will report back.

We ended up not going to MA tomorrow .... Took a small trip to Eureka Springs instead to kinda loosen up.



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Any advice? MASS law w/inheritance?
Old 07-24-2014, 07:26 AM   #11
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Any advice? MASS law w/inheritance?

My parents had a similar concern years ago with my maternal grandpa and his second wife (married in his 90's again after wife of 50+ years passed) kids wanted his house and possessions. Sit him down and lay it out rationally in private, help him craft a will in an attorneys office and convince him top resell the house now to your family member for $1 and get the deed transfer done.

Once it sinks in to the daughter that the house is off the table, pressure will cease. If the gf is truely a gf in your DAds best intetest at heart she will stay, if not she will leave and your litmus test for her seriousness in his care will be validated. This is an opportunity to test snd find out. Use it to your advantage. Cue your Dad in to this very thought as well so he understands.

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Old 07-29-2014, 02:14 AM   #12
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This happened to a patient of mine years ago whose 'gf/caregiver' tried to get a substantial portion of his $ & other of her relatives were similarly involved. It happened to another patient of mine as well whose 'friends' were helpful to an extent but really wanted $ or for her to buy them expensive things. Your FIL could very well be in this same scenario.

If your DH doesn't have a POA there isn't much he can do, but the equivalent of Adult Protective Services in FIL's state can be contacted and may be helpful in seeing that he isn't being exploited. And it might be worthwhile to contact a good elder-law attorney in his state who could make it clear to gf's daughter that she has no rights to anything and should stop pressuring him to sell. In any case it would be worthwhile for FIL to have an attorney who would look over anything he might be asked to sign.


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Old 07-29-2014, 10:32 AM   #13
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Update of sorts:

FIL is talking to an attorney (DH's friend from way back; so, FIL has known this guy for decades). Atty shares with DH that FIL is agreeable to moving to an assisted living facility. (FIL does not drink anymore, but this place even has a pub. DH and I may get on the waiting list while we are up there).

Everything is looking somewhat better. Gf/caregiver was not answering FIL's calls. He misses her and is very lonely. We are anxious to get FIL moved where there will be people to talk to. (Hoping there is no long waiting list to move in!)

When DH and his dad spoke this morning, well.... guess who just reappeared. GF is taking him shopping this morning.

The atty told DH that he fully expects gf's daughter to try something else. He tried to explain, but DH didn't understand.

We remain ready to get to MA and help FIL as needed. FIL asked us to wait until "things are settled". It is difficult not to worry about what if's, but at least there is an attorney watching out for him.

Atty has advised DH and my SIL to get along with gf/caregiver, whatever it takes. DH has had good relationship with the gf (called her every day she was in rehab because he thought her kids were avoiding her), but my SIL and gf/caregiver have had words more than once.

We hope this continues upward and that gf and her daughter do no harm.

Today is DH and my 34th anniversary.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:39 PM   #14
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Haven't read all the posts soh I don't know if this has been discussed by someone else. And that he's a ww2 vet, what about approaching it from a different point? What about suggesting that he put the house in a Trust to keep the government's hands off of it? Then he can send the money and the assets in the trust to anyone he wants. Not necessarily the caregiver

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Old 07-29-2014, 05:42 PM   #15
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OMG this is so much like the post on proboardsnotMSNmoney.com but from the other side. Everyone over there thought it was odd when the girlfriends daughter wanted the house

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Old 07-29-2014, 05:43 PM   #16
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I hate text to talk I hope you can read my two posts and recognize what I'm trying to say. 1 get a trust and 2 good luck with the daughter

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Old 08-01-2014, 01:45 PM   #17
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FIL has PAID her? That may legally remove her from the GF status, should they not marry.

Most attorneys will advise older clients not to marry due to financial clashes. A friend's father remarried in his eighties. New wife decided he should sell several of houses and antique cars so they live a better lifestyle. She didn't realize he had - prior to marriage - signed over all his property into a nonrevocable trust, and everything is in his sons and daughters names. She's tried everything but she can't break that trust. The judges involved all seem to realize she's been after his money, and have helped protect the rights of his family.

Perhaps FIL would consider signing over a portion of his assets over to DH prior to marriage, if that's the route he wants to take. That would protect his son. Nothing his caregiver could do about it after the fact.

Just a thought.


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Old 08-04-2014, 09:26 PM   #18
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Yes, atty has asked FIL not to marry right now and FIL agreed. Right now, FIL is in ME with DH's sister and her son. Nephew is bringing him back to MA tomorrow. We think they are trying to talk him into entering an assisted living place near them. If he likes that idea...great. We want him in a safe place, where he is happy. Do we think that will happen? No, we think he will opt for MA to be closer to gf.

Too much guessing/thinking/wondering. It is all for naught. Bottom line: we want him safe and happy.

Atty told us FIL has $8000/mo in pensions and SS. Yet, FIL is afraid there are not enough funds for assisted living. He has always been a bit of a tightwad. AND, nephew (35yo) has let us know he thinks assisted living costs too much. auuuuggghh

Yes, he has paid gf $1000/mo for years, tho we do not know how many years.

We remain ready to head up there, when FIL is ready.

Crazy stuff....and i thought it only happened to others.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:11 PM   #19
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I have to say, 1000 a month for care is super cheap if he was happy. Looking from the other side, if the caregiver was my mom, I would have been telling her to get paid, or marry him, you can't waste a lot of good years of your life and end up with nothing in the end.

Glad it is working out. My dad is moving to an assisted living next week. He is happy to have nice meals and someone clean up after him.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:13 PM   #20
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I have to say, 1000 a month for care is super cheap if he was happy. Looking from the other side, if the caregiver was my mom, I would have been telling her to get paid, or marry him, you can't waste a lot of good years of your life and end up with nothing in the end.

Glad it is working out. My dad is moving to an assisted living next week. He is happy to have nice meals and someone clean up after him.
Thanks, BB.

This kind of feedback helps us not get so carried away. We know GF has extended FIL's life...given him a reason to live.


It is a day to day thing. We think FIL is moving next week. Gf was with him today; yesterday, she told him she does not want him in her life. FIL told DH yesterday that he wishes we would come up at Christmas?? We won't do that because airfare is high then and ice/snow is/are a huge factor that time of year.

Today, FIL mentioned us coming up sooner.

So, we wait....

Thanks, to all of you, for the feedback. I am SO tempted to arrange a trip to a FL beach right now....but, this does not appear to be a great time.
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