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Old 07-12-2014, 10:55 AM   #41
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Understand now how death in family causes riffs

It didn't in mine. Only one of my siblings or in-laws play a musical instrument and they aren't into jazz...
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:26 AM   #42
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Luckily this won't be an issue in my family. My dad is 88 and lives in the house I grew up in with my youngest sister and her family, in fact has for the last 15 years or so. The rest of my siblings all own our homes and my youngest sis said she would take care of my dad if she could live there and have the house. We all agreed and so she and her family live there and take care of my dad.

Ideally all of us think he would be better at a retirement home but he refuses as that is 'where the old people are'! I hate to tell him this but he is one of the oldest people in the county he lives in!

I don't think my sister anticipated him living another 15 years, when she made that offer, but they have adjusted and it seems to work. He has his own room and pretty much stays there except for dinners, etc. He can see his grandkids all the time, etc and we all know he is being taken care of. So when he passes they will just take over that room and I don't anticipate any issues from any of the siblings.

Within my own household, well I just have the one daughter, so I don't see an issue when my wife and I pass on either. Of course I won't be around to see it either!
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:16 PM   #43
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When my mom died, we had no problems dividing her estate. While she didn't have a will, she did make her intentions known.

When my wife's father passes, we're expecting nothing. He remarried after her mother died and while he assured his 2 daughters would inherit everything once he and his new wife died, we're sure that has gone by the wayside now that years have passed. Even if my wife and her sister get the estate, we think her kids will contest it. I'm sure I'll be venting like Lisa99 when the time comes.




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Old 07-13-2014, 09:46 AM   #44
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Same here. When the dust settles, it'll be miraculous if I can cover their final costs without dipping into my own pocket. Then again, writing a check might be worth it if it means not having to deal with my ne'er do well sister.

DW, on the other hand, is going to have a much harder time. Not one, but 2 siblings with legitimate Hoarders-level OCD. One of them, nearly 50, never launched and still lives with MIL. DW, as the "responsible" child, has already been named as the executor of her Mom's estate. Between dividing the assets, and dealing with inevitable fights over sentimental items, my DW is dreading it. Thankfully, MIL is 81 and healthy, and may live another 15+ years. We'll be delighted to kick that can down the road as long as possible.


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I like how you use the term "kicking the can" in reference to avoiding dealing with "kicking the bucket".


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Old 07-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #45
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If the wife dies later, the estate will go to whomever she wants it to go to. So stop thinking of her as "the new/second/not really the real wife" and start being nice to her...now.

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He remarried after her mother died and while he assured his 2 daughters would inherit everything once he and his new wife died,
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:07 AM   #46
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Luckily this won't be an issue in my family. My dad is 88 and lives in the house I grew up in with my youngest sister and her family, in fact has for the last 15 years or so. The rest of my siblings all own our homes and my youngest sis said she would take care of my dad if she could live there and have the house. We all agreed and so she and her family live there and take care of my dad.

Ideally all of us think he would be better at a retirement home but he refuses as that is 'where the old people are'! I hate to tell him this but he is one of the oldest people in the county he lives in!

I don't think my sister anticipated him living another 15 years, when she made that offer, but they have adjusted and it seems to work. He has his own room and pretty much stays there except for dinners, etc. He can see his grandkids all the time, etc and we all know he is being taken care of. So when he passes they will just take over that room and I don't anticipate any issues from any of the siblings.

Within my own household, well I just have the one daughter, so I don't see an issue when my wife and I pass on either. Of course I won't be around to see it either!

It could be an issue if his will just divides everything evenly as legally she may need to buy the rest of you out. This happened to friend of mine. Fortunately he now owns the Silicon Valley house outright after many years of paying his siblings.

I would make sure dad 's will specifies that she gets the house.


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Old 07-13-2014, 10:15 AM   #47
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My parents were frugal. On vacations they'd eat in their motel room, stuff like that. Never bought stocks, but dad showed me ~$300K in US Bonds one time in safe.

Dad passed, mom now has alzheimer's and all bonds are gone from safe. Sister and brother (live close by) are caretakers for mom. Sister tells me there were never any bonds in the safe.

I've left it at that other than remarking to my wife and now this comment. My sister has done a wonderful job taking care of mom.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:17 AM   #48
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My parents were frugal. On vacations they'd eat in their motel room, stuff like that. Never bought stocks, but dad showed me ~$300K in US Bonds one time in safe.

Dad passed, mom now has alzheimer's and all bonds are gone from safe. Sister and brother (live close by) are caretakers for mom. Sister tells me there were never any bonds in the safe.

I've left it at that other than remarking to my wife and now this comment. My sister has done a wonderful job taking care of mom.
My husband is legal guardian of his mom. One of his tasks was to figure out what assets she has - including stacks of paper bonds. He was able to reconstruct, at least partially, what her bond holdings are/were by working with the US Treasury. He had to show he had legal authority (guardianship papers) - but they were very helpful.

MIL's dementia comes with a bit of paranoia - she's especially paranoid about the bonds. So, when they "appear" from whatever hidey hole she's currently hiding them in, SIL and DH take the opportunity to photocopy them.

Also she titled them in a combo of names when she purchased them. Some were jointly titled with FIL (who's since passed), some were jointly titled with various kids. At her death, they'll be able to cash them.


Another note on the power of the executor for a will (vs a trust). Distribution of assets is usually monitored by the probate court - so distribution MUST follow what is written in the will. Not a lot of leeway for the executor. Even a trust is theoretically supposed to follow the wishes as written (but are not overseen by the probate court).

If the will calls for uneven distribution, the executor is supposed to follow that. Even if the executor and the other parties disagree.

My dad's trust cut my brother out of an inheritance. (There were significant reasons.) My sister wanted to divide things equally as executor, but was advised that she had to follow the letter of the trust. My sister and I chose to gift him amounts, after the distributions, to make it more equitable. (And since he was dying, to allow his estate to break even rather than be negative.)
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:24 AM   #49
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My dad is 88 and lives in the house I grew up in with my youngest sister and her family, in fact has for the last 15 years or so.
My grandfather had a similar arrangement with his youngest daughter. It was hard on her, but couldn't have been more wonderful for him and the grandchildren. He lived well into his 90's, thriving on the family connection and close ties to a new generation.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:39 PM   #50
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Given that both of my parents are remarried to younger, healthier spouses, who in each case have their own children from a prior marriage, I am hoping to avoid this whole issue. And, in any event, there is nothing among my parents' meager possessions that I either want or need.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:55 PM   #51
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There are times when it is good to be an only child.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:04 PM   #52
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There are times when it is good to be an only child.
I just made this same remark to my wife about our daughter. She will have it made in the shade, unlike DW, who just went through this mess with her siblings when her mother passed a few weeks ago. We actually had to pay to bury her but the idiot kids were still fighting over a bunch of useless cigarette-smoke saturated crap...
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:40 PM   #53
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One thing one can do is to digitize old family pictures. Then at least that becomes not a source of fighting. (Plus often color pictures from the 1960s and 1970s are starting to fade). I did this with my parents photos, and gave my sister a dvd with the pictures. Later I have digitized most of her pictures so her 3 kids won't fight over them. (Also digitized pictures take a lot less space) A good scanner is in the $200 range, and does prints slides and negatives.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:59 PM   #54
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This thread makes me truly grateful to be an only child.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:12 PM   #55
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IIRC RichInTampa er by the bay once noted that in terminal illness the noise and interference by relatives is directly proportional to the distance they live from the patient.

My experience is that in death the least caring in life make the most noise and want the most goodies.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:27 PM   #56
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My experience is that in death the least caring in life make the most noise and want the most goodies.
In dealing with my family and my grandmother's passing a few years ago, I can definitely agree with this!
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:36 PM   #57
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If the wife dies later, the estate will go to whomever she wants it to go to. So stop thinking of her as "the new/second/not really the real wife" and start being nice to her...now.

Amethyst (a second wife...of a second husband!)
There was a prenuptial. It's been over 20 years, so who knows where it would stand.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:50 AM   #58
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IIRC RichInTampa er by the bay once noted that in terminal illness the noise and interference by relatives is directly proportional to the distance they live from the patient.

My experience is that in death the least caring in life make the most noise and want the most goodies.
I was the most distant when my parents died and did little to nothing to help them in either case. I brought DW and kids up in each case for a last visit. I came back for the end in my mother's case and was there for both funerals. That's it. My brothers lived close by my parents and did about as much as I did. My sisters carried the load especially with my father who had a several month death watch. My mother went from ok to dead in a couple of weeks.

My brothers were the ones that wanted the junky furniture from my dad who passed away last. My brothers were picking out stuff while he was still alive. My father told my sister that was to be his executor to make sure I got something. I took a painting no one wanted that my DW had said she liked during one visit and a couple of DVDs I hadn't watched that nobody took before I got there.

My father's principal asset was his condo and about $17,000 in cash in his safe deposit box. One of my brothers that had signature authority on the box cleaned it out the day my father died. When my sisters found out, they threatened him with total shunning if he didn't bring the money back. He claimed dad wanted him to have it but he eventually brought it back. He still fought with my other brother over 10 to 20 year old junky furniture. I thought it was bizarre.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:27 AM   #59
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As one of six kids I too am glad our family has always gotten along well with one another. Dad passed away first and ten years later Mom got colon cancer. All kids lived in the area and we all took turns caring for her. As her time neared she explained that everything was to be split evenly between the six of us. The better jewelry went to my two sisters and that was fine with us brothers. We asked Mom about all of her possessions and she said we should each draw numbers and then pick accordingly. After round one the order reverses and continues until all is claimed. So that is how we handled it after she passed and it was actually rather fun. After all picks were made there were some trades and that was that. DW and I have told our kids that is how we want our possessions divided too.

Sorry to hear about all the strife some families have to deal with. Losing a loved one is bad enough without having to deal with all of the stupidity some people bring to the table.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:43 PM   #60
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I am glad that my parents don't have anything valuable (none for me) to divide. My siblings can have whatever that's lying around. My sister hoards so she will probably get most of it. The rest can go to dumpster, charities, etc..

I once witnessed a legal fight between siblings It was a restraining order hearing. They had disagreement over who gets their mom's house and were fighting each other, enough to submit a restraining order against each other.
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