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Where to Put Granny ... & Who Gets to Decide?

Updated on January 5, 2013
Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom is a keen observer of life. She shares her personal experiences and opinions in helpful and often amusing ways.

Plan Now to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse

Do you have an elderly parent (or two)? Do you know their end-of-life wishes? Are they written down? Do your parents have enough money to live the way they want to until they die? Is there any reason they should not live out their final days according to their stated wishes? Is there anyone you can think of who might want to thwart their plan? Anyone, like maybe your sister or brother?

These are not rhetorical questions. They are very real. And if you have elderly (75+) parents, listen up. You might want to listen up, yourself, lest you find your own self fighting your own kids (and others) for your right to live independently on the money you've spent a lifetime earning.


The backstory

Many of you have followed my saga of the sister-in-law (SIL) who tried to steal the family inheritance. I've written about it in prose and poetry. I've written about the fiduciary who took over the "management" (and in her case, I use the term loosely) of our family's trust when we ousted SIL from the position of executor.

Many of you facing your own inheritance heists have commented repeatedly on my hubs over the months. I thank you for your interest and support.

If my story is familiar to you, I thank you in advance for tuning in to the latest chapter. If you are new to this particular family/fiduciary drama, I hope you will learn something valuable.

If I can save even one family, or one sibling, from the ordeal Hubby and I have endured, it will be worth it to me.

How prepared are you?

Do you have a will or family trust drawn up?

See results

2009: Out of the frying pan, into the fire

In September 2009 Hubby and his mother fought to remove SIL from the position of executor of our family trust. I would say we took her to court, but the case was mediated. Mediation means that instead of a judge or jury determining the outcome, the lawyers and their respective parties come to their own settlement agreement -- with the expert assistance of a mediator (another lawyer, of course). Supposedly it's less expensive than trial. If you go for this option, make sure the settlement agreement is legally enforceable -- and legally enforced.

Our settlement agreement assigned a paid, professional fiduciary to serve as power of attorney and manage the trust's assets. Hubby and his mom were overjoyed. For about five minutes.They were so relieved to get the trust out of SIL's hands and end the self-dealing (a fancy term for stealing money from her mother for her own personal use). They had no reason (yet) to suspect they'd been totally conned by the insider lawyers into handing my MIL's money and welfare over to their good-old-girl, essentially tossing all of us under the bus.

Alas, that is exactly what happened.

The fiduciary' talked a good game. She promised to look after Della/Granny, give her an allowance and visit her regularly. Within the first weeks she proved completely unresponsive. Hubby continually asked her, "Show me the money." She refused. Repeatedly.

Note that beneficiaries of a trust are legally entitled, with reasonable notice, to an accounting from the trustee (in this case, the fiduciary). My husband and his mother might as well have been talking to a wall. The fiduciary repeatedly failed to provide documentation that

a) all trust assets had been turned over in a timely manner (or at all) from the former trustee (SIL), or

b) that the assets were being properly invested and expenses prudently monitored

It seemed the louder Hubby and his mother screamed for accountability, the more the fiduciary stonewalled. Was there a problem here, we wondered? We speculated that yes, there was. But having no proof, we couldn't state for sure that the trust had been breached (breach of trust means that the terms of the trust document have been violated, that money is missing).

Our life under a rock

For nine months Hubby called and emailed the fiduciary. "What are you people doing over there? My mother wants to know if her money is safe! Have you moved all the accounts over? How much money does she have? Can she afford her lifestyle?"

He sounded like a slightly hysterical broken record. His mother was equally hysterical, not having a clue where she stood financially. Under the circumstances, wouldn't you be hysterical?

I'm frankly surprised the woman was able to flat-out ignore their petitions for so long. I mean, she's a licensed professional. This is her client she's ignoring. And ignoring. And ignoring.

Yet she continued to ignore his/their requests for an accounting of the trust. She ignored the supposed intervention of my mother-in-law's attorney. She ignored the supposed intervention of my husband's attorney. My husband even attempted to get the mediating attorney involved, but (surprise, surprise) got no answer or help there, either. The party line was that things were getting better, but we just couldn't see it. (Uh, if we can't see it, how do we know it's getting better?)

In April 2010 my husband had had enough. He demanded to fire the fiduciary. Except no one would lift a finger to help him. No one even bothered to explain his rights as either medical POA or trust beneficiary. Note that these rights are not explicitly spelled out in the Settlement Agreement and the SA is the only "contract" -- such as it is -- we have in place with the fiduciary. The one thing he did know, and lives in fear of, is the clause that disinherits him (or SIL) if they make any move against the trust. Wouldn't that just take the cake?

Granny's life takes a tumble for the expensive

In the same month, my MIL fell down and was hospitalized. When she came home she required 24/7 care.

My husband, being the medical power of attorney for his mother, selected a caregiving firm. He instructed the fiduciary to pay the caregiving firm. At no time was he given a budget. Believe me, he had asked till he was blue in the face. So in the absence of any financial information whatsoever, he used his best judgment and picked a provider. Could his mother afford it? He was never told one way or the other.

A month or so went by. Granny still required 24/7 care. Hubby intuited that the caregiving firm was charging an exorbitant amount. He sought a more economical replacement. The fiduciary never said boo about this new caregiver. Was the new arrangement truly affordable? Could the estate sustain this level of care indefinitely? (Because by then it was clear Granny would not be living "independently" ever again.)

Not a word was said. Hubby slowly let go of his daily campaign to find his mother's money. He had more important things on his mind: his mother's declining mental and physical capacity, plus supervising the caregiver.

Say NO to Elder Abuse

2010 settling into a false sense of security

An entire year wet by. Della/Granny continued living at home with 24-hour live-in care. No mention was made -- ever -- by the fiduciary, that the trust was now bleeding red ink.

We still didn't know whether or when all the trust assets had been marshaled (marshaling the assets is fiduciary code for figuring out how much money is really there). We had no idea whether SIL had drained the accounts. We had a reasonable idea of how much income Della made (having done our own little accounting during SIL's trust executor reign of terror). We knew basically what her monthy expenses were for rent, electricity, Jitterbug phone, hair appointments, etc. We knew what the caregiver was charging.

So even though we didn't "know know" we "knew" that Granny's monthly expenses were greater -- by a fair margin -- than her income. But, hey! We had a professional fiduciary on the job, so if she wasn't worried about it (and she appeared not to be), why should we be?

Again, we were neck deep in handling Della's medical life. Where she had started this adventure in 2009 with mild mental impairment, she was now declining swiftly into dementia, not to mention crippling arthritis and depression.

She was also rapidly approaching her 90th birthday. We figured if we all made it to September 9, 2011 we'd done a good job, and whatever happened after that was God's will.

2011 The year of shock and attorneys

As stated above, there was a life-and-finances-changing event in April 2010. Della/Granny went from living on her own to requiring full-time care.

Yet a full year went by with no mention of this change. The woman in charge of my MIL's finances (and thus her life), said nothing.

Not a word.

Until July 2011.

Imagine our shock when, instead of a call or even a letter from the fiduciary, Hubby received a formal letter from an attorney. The letter informed him that

a) the family trust is out of money, and

b) his mother/Della/Granny must immediately be put in a care facility more in line with her diminished financial status

Justice is not only blind, but deaf and dumb and biased against the poor saps who don't know the insider rules
Justice is not only blind, but deaf and dumb and biased against the poor saps who don't know the insider rules

So who gets to decide Granny's fate?

I'm writing this in January 2012. As of this writing, my MIL is still living in her home. She still is cared for 24/7 by her dutiful, wonderful caregiver.

We have been engaged in hostile, heated litigation with the fiduciary and her attorney for seven months now. This attorney has shown herself to be every bit as devious and despicable as her client. There's no doubt SIL (remember her?) is still behind the scenes, pulling the strings. She (SIL) will not stop until she gets her way. At this point, it's not about the money. If there's any crumb left (which, btw, we still don't know, as we still have yet to see an accounting), the lawyers will get the spoils.

That's part of the insanity here.We're not fighting over money. There is no money. Everyone knows that. It's not like this was ever a large or complex estate. It started out as a medium-sized pot. Just enough, we thought, for Della/Granny to live out her widowhood in reasonable comfort. In her own home. According to her stated wishes.

In her case, these were spelled out in the family trust document. Her intentions vis a vis her final living arrangements are not only clear, but emphatic. Residence in a retirement facility/rehab hospital/old folks' home -- call it what you will, it's a four-letter word and is to be avoided at any cost. Those are the terms stated in B/W in the trust. Those (among others) are the terms that the fiduciary is being paid to fulfill. Her job is to manage Della's money so as to keep her at home.Until her death. It's that simple.

Granny's Fate: You Be the Judge

What should be done with Della/Granny at this point?

See results

Opinions & Assholes -- too many to count

But the fiduciary apparently has a different agenda. In 2+ years she never suggested a single cost-cutting measure. We went from full-throttle spending to "she's broke!" in the space of a year. And now she's declaring, via a high-priced attorney, that there's only one solution to the problem she created. She's even taking us to court to get her way on this.

I don't think it's just me. This whole situation is insane. We have professionals who are being paid to watch the family's money and make sure it lasts Della's lifetime. They failed to do their job.. Now their default is, "Put her in a home!"

In fact, "Put her in a home!" is something of a mantra of everyone in this scenario, except for Hubby, Della, and our attorney.

1. We have a daughter (SIL) whose goal has always been to tuck Mommy safely out of the way in the cheapest possible venue. You know, the old, out of sight, out of mind routine. With Mommy stuck in a retirement home, SIL could roam the world on her parents' money (or so her plan went) with impugnity. But, having been removed from the trust in 2009, and having seen her mother exactly 3x in the past 2 years, why should she have any say in what happens to Della/Granny now?

2.Oh, and the lawyers. Those bastions of compassion, fairness and human kindness! They're multiplying again. We have the lying lawyer hired by the negligent fiduciary leading the rallying cry. Now there's another lawyer on the case, as well. The court, in its infinite wisdom, has determined that Della needs something called a guardian ad litem. She's new to the situation, but is diligently exploring living options for Della based on her "presumed" financial status. I say presumed because I can't imagine the fiduciary has been any more forthcoming with her about what really happened with the trust than she's been with us.

3. Oh, and you'll love this (I know I did). Just last night we discovered that Della's granddaughter has been asked to weigh in on the matter. Yes, she's been requested (by the evil fiduciary's attorney) to write a statement based on her weekly (give or take) visits with her grandmother. Why the hell not? She brings her kid by to visit for an hour on Fridays. Surely she has as much right as the rest of the committee to opine on where and how Granny should live, don't you think?

Who cares that the woman is protected by a written trust? Who cares that she is 90 years old and in failing health and probably has months, at the outside, left on this planet. What's really important? I mean, if we let Della/Granny die with some semblance of dignity, in familiar surroundings, then all these experts are wrong. If the fiduciary is forced to show a true accounting of the assets in the trust and what she did (or did not) do with them, then she loses. And Hubby wins. And we can't have that, can we?

But as I said above, this situation is insane.The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.

Failed by the Professionals, Failed by the System
Well, we looked to lawyers to save Della's money in 2009 and they failed us. We looked to the fiduciary to protect Della's money and she failed us. I honestly don't know what's going to happen with this case. But I see the other side marshaling their forces. They are determined to win at any cost. They will not rest until they get Della/Granny put in a home.

Well, hubbers, here's your chance to get in on the action. Surely your opinion is as valuable as any of theirs.

Accordingly, I'm marshaling my own forces. I encourage everyone to vote on what you think should be done with Della/Granny. You have at least as much exposure to her, as much knowledge of what her day-to-day life is really like, as any of them.

I will take the results of my poll to the judge when we go back to court in February. Seriously.There's just a handful of "them" and who knows how many (hopefully two handfuls, at least) of us.

Thank you. Mighty Mom

Update: The Sad (Inevitable?) Outcome

After 2.5 years of asking the simple question "Where's the money? What can Granny afford?" we finally got our answer.

Granny is officially broke. Penniless. The fiduciary effectively bankrupted the trust. She can not afford to stay where she is. What little money she had left is going to the lawyers. In fact, in true Grinchian fashion, the fiduciary's lawyer tried to take her last $1.

She is 90.5 years old.

The move will kill her.

There is no justice to be had here.

Epilogue - RIP Della. Everyone Else Go to Hell

It's been two months since we "settled" our lawsuit against the fiduciary. In exchange for a truly obscene amount of money she called off her attempt to get the courts to ORDER my mother-in-law into a care facilty. The lawsuit depleted my mother-in-law's estate by roughly 2 year's worth of living expenses. We won the "right" to keep my mother-in-law at home, per her own very explicitly stated (in a legal document called a TRUST) wishes.

Two months later -- almost exactly two months to the day of the court's approval of the settlement -- my mother-in-law is dead. She died this afternoon. She died in her own bed in her own home. It's almost like once she knew she was safe, that "they" (the fiduciary and her daughter) were not going to be able to move her into a home, she said, "Ok, I don't have to fight anymore. I got my wish. I'm checking out."

It was a helluva fight getting to this point. We fought it literally to the death. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

And we got to participate in a beautiful and holy experience with her. She died on her own terms. I believe everyone deserves that right.


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    • Aunt Jimi profile image

      Aunt Jimi 

      4 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

      Hard to believe that the 'fiduciary' has been allowed to remain licensed to practice her witchcraft. It makes no sense that the fiduciary never had to account for anything or respond to any of your husband's repeated requests for information. I guess the SIL is your husband's sister?

      You may not think so, but there will be a reckoning.

    • susansisk profile image

      Susan Sisk 

      5 years ago from Georgia, USA

      So sad that this kind of stuff seems to happen so often in families. So often the son or daughter chosen by mom, is the obvious wrong choice.

      A similar, but not quite as bad thing happened in my family with an aunt.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi MarleneB. I'm really sorry to hear that about your SIL.

      It's horrifyingly common, it seems. That's what would have happened in our family had we been unable to wrest the family trust out of SIL's hands. The money would have been all gone.

      As it was, the money all went. But at least Della got to live out her final days and die the way she wanted. It's not a small thing.

      I appreciate the vote of confidence. I have days when I question if we were insane to do what we did.

      Good to get external reinforcement that yes, it WAS the right thing!

      Thanks again. Take care and I wish the best for your family. MM

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      I can't even think of the words to describe how I'm feeling right now. It is truly horrifying what you have gone through. What brings it so close to me is that I have a SIL as well, kind of doing the same thing, only, she's outright spending the money and no one seems to have a way to stop her. It's sad that people are like that. It makes me wonder how they sleep at night, moreover, how do they look at themselves in the mirror the next day. Surely, they don't like what they see. But, what can we do? When the professionals who are supposed to protect us are evil, too, we are almost hopeless. God bless you for all that you did for Della. Through it all, you made a big difference in her life.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Sometimes I can't believe this really happened. But it did.

      Nope, the trust money is gone. The fiduciary got off scott free.

      I just want to warn others because this is really happening. And with the baby boomers getting old and senile, it's going to happen even more.

      Appreciate the support, MLDTD! Thanks, MM

    • movielardatadare profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      Un frickin believable. I'm going to have to write a reflection on this hub. I'm glad that Della was able to die at home because that would have been so sour (as if it wasn't already sour) if she would have died in a frickin retirement home in unfamiliar surroundings. I'm going to have to try to hold back my anger when I write a response to this one. I hope there's some way the fiduciary has to pay you guys back the trust. And pay ya'll back the trust plus a million.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello Life's 2nd Chances. Thank you. Our vivid memory of Della's final days on earth and her peaceful passing will be with us forever. They can't take that away. Gotta just let the money part go. We can't get it back. Nor would we want it!

      Ruth. You have such a knack for popping in with friend support just when I need it. Uncanny. Sorry to hear your son has been through the hell. But your/his words on forgiveness and patience are spot-on. I needed that reminder. Bless you. MM

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      MightyMom, I'm sorry to just now be sending you condolences, but it's also a blessing that things worked out the way it did. She, in the midst of her Loving family, and everybody else left out (by their own choosing.) The only thing I might say is that if forgiveness is a semi-problem, if you stay happy, that's all the coals that need to poured over "their" heads.

      Forgiveness is a process that is for you alone. "They" don't matter in this instance (as harsh as that may sound) because forgiveness is nothing more than a decision that you make to let their insanity go. Leave them to their own misery. Be happy.

      My son told me the other day (he's been through the hell) that he's learned patience. If we apply patience to a situation, person, whatever, ALL lies, all deception, all things negative, will be erased for us. We win.

      Take care my friend.

    • Lifes 2nd Chances profile image

      Colleen Lyon 

      6 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri

      Mighty Mom, Wow, what a long drawn out horrible process. It delights me that your Mother in Law was able to leave this world in peace and in her own home. What better way to begin her new journey. I am glad that someonne was there for her to put her well being first, no matter what. We all should be so lucky. Voted up and awesome. Take care, C.

    • sean kinn profile image

      sean kinn 

      6 years ago from Key West and Budapest

      Not sure about the "miserable" part. Most of the people who came after me over the years were sociopaths, and had no conscience. Also not sure about forgiveness - that's really hard to pull off as a human being. I recognize it as a weakness on my part, and just generally stay away from bad people, in case I'm tempted to retaliate. I have oft been accused of running away from trouble, but I'm such a happy camper, don't know who's right. :-)

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello sean kinn. Always good to meet fellow hubbers who are facing the same life challenges. I hope you get your saga with Mom figured out. It's not easy, I know.

      I am working on forgiveness and allowing karma to work its magic on those who have harmed my MIL and us. Our grief counselor says about my SIL (who we affectionately call the CWB -- not very nice, but neither is she) that she is "miserable." Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. She is as dead to us as my MIL is now. Only our last memories of MIL are of a picture perfect death in her own bed at home with her loved ones there with her.

      So you can't really put a price on that, can you?

      Anyway, great to meet you. Thanks for the comment. MM

    • sean kinn profile image

      sean kinn 

      6 years ago from Key West and Budapest

      Great guidance, and yes I've got my own ongoing saga with my Mom. The only think I would add from my perspective (and I'm still reading, so I apologize if somebody already covered this) is that most of the people who have done bad things to me over the years have had bad things happen to them - all by their lonesome. I still have a few people to go back and track down to confirm my thought process, but I think it's a bad karma thing, and anyone who stole my inheritance could have it with my well wishes - because it would be bad money - and would probably seal their demise over the long-term. :-) SK

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hey K9keystrokes. Thanks. Frustrating is an understatement. Worst thing in my life. Should be illegal! Thanks for the kind words and support. MM

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      6 years ago from Northern, California

      What a frustrating ordeal! I learned a great amount from your first hand experience with a fiduciary! What a terrible service agent you had. This is one to print and keep on hand. Thank you for sharing your story MM. I hope you are doing wonderfully.


    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thank you Toryangeluk. That is an excellent question and one I wish we had thought about sooner. I am a huge advocate for planning sooner rather than later beause we never know what the future might bring. But reality is families simply don't want to talk about "it" because of denial and a lot of internal pressures. The thing is, in the heat of the "crisis" is NOT the time to be finding out your parents are out of money. It's also not the time to be first having tghe discussion of which sibling(s) will take charge of caring for M&D at the end.

      So if you can get it all on paper -- early -- that's best.

      Thanks for such a thoughtful comment! MM

    • Troyangeluk profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      fantastic hub with so much information this has given me alot to think about.Do you think it is better to prepare at an early age or later on in life?

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hey Jet. Thanks for the support. How's life?

    • The Jet profile image

      The Jet 

      6 years ago from The Bay

      This hub makes me sad face... =(

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      stars439 your comment made me smile. Not much does these days. But it's good to remember that heaven is waiting.

      And our good efforts will be all worth it.

      Thank you and bless you.


    • stars439 profile image


      6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful Hub Precious Heart. All that matters is your and angel. Great hub. Sorry about mom. We know how that can be. Earth is weird. Heaven will be better. You will go there for doing the things that God would consider to be right. Right, and wrong still exists. The politicians, and the lawyers ? Who knows where they will end up. GBY. Keep On Truckin !

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Oh no, billybuc. Not you, too? We will never, ever talk to my husband's sister again.

      It's not a cut and dried "this is the BEST solution" issue. So many variables. But if the elderly person has documented wishes AND has the funds to stay at home -- it is a non-issue.

      I wish your fiance all the best. And good for you for standing beside her in this. It's a stressor on any relationship.

      BTW, I may contact you about your experience. I'm writing a book about our epic battle. If I can save even one other family from this HELL I am happy to do so!

      Thanks for your comment.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is a nightmare that is all too common. My fiance is going through this same scenario right now with her mother and I faced a similar battle for my mother, a battle that eventually cost me my sister. You have my empathy. Great hub, one that needs to be read by many!

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      May the almighty solve all your problems...

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA


      I'm forcing myself to let go and let God on this now. My faith in the justice system was shattered long ago. Good, honest people do not get rewards on this earth that way. We do get justice in intangible ways, though. Not allowing myself to have expectations.

      Praying for acceptance of the outcome.

      And resolution.

      And peace.

      Thanks so much for all your support. MM

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You are kidding me. There is going to be a special "hot spot" for some people and the people who represent them.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      There may or may not be a followup to this hub, depending on a few variables, including MM's mood following the mediation.

      Today we received the most ridiculous piece of correspondence yet. The lawyer representing the fiduciary wants $30,000. And she wants it to be paid out of my mother-in-law's trust. I seriously don't know whether to laugh or cry. I can only hope the judge will take one look at that demand and realize the woman's smoking crack. Seriously, there is no other explanation for this. $30,000 in legal fees to get an accounting from the fiduciary. In other words, $30,000 in legal fees to get the fiduciary to actually do her job.

      It boggles the imagination.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Blessings, ruthclark. I completely understand your motives and what you get out of helping. And I am Grateful with a capital "G" for your friendship and support. MM

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You are most welcome, my friend. And you know that to encourage others helps me more than (they or them?)who cares? That would be the beautiful paradox. God, as I understand God, did not bring us this far just to let us go now. Have a great day.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello ruthclark my new friend!

      How did I just know you would have words of healing and encouragement to offer.

      And they are so welcome.

      Just knowing the number of people in the light with us gives me tremendous peace within the storm.

      THANK YOU!


    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      A thumbs up for you, and I will soon read your other articles. The road we travel gets long and rough sometimes. But, we won't quit. One day at a time, one lawyer at a time, we'll stand with you. This situation is one we all will deal with at some point in time. Therefore, it concerns us all. I have shared this on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter. It will travel around the globe in short order.

      Well, If anyone had a reason for resentment, you do. But, resentment and anger would only give "them" control over you and that will never do.

      I don't know what the answer is for you and hubby and especially Granny, but I do know you have many friends who care and who are collectively keeping you in their prayers. For those who don't actually pray, I'm sure they are holding you up to the light they have.

      I used to work as a caregiver and this problem is more common than you know and growing worse, as greed grows. Why people think it's easier to steal than work, I'll never know.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I can't ell you how many of my friends have seen their parent's wishes undone at the end of their lives or upon their deaths. The result has been - in too many cases - the family being undone, which was the one thing their parents tried to avoid. The problem always seems to be in-laws. My Dad has set up his trust to include only blood relatives for this very reason. Hope his wishes are what actually happens. I don't think the odds are very good that they will be. My thoughts and prayers to you friend.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello marywanders,

      Oh no! Not another one. I just hate it when it's 2 against 1. I just hate it when daughters disregard their parents' wishes and do whatever they like with Mom's money.

      To say I can relate is an understatement.

      I'm so sorry this is happening in your family, too.

      Good luck.

      I strongly suggest you check to see what legal documents exist. Who is legally responsible for making decisions about Mom now that she is incapacitated?

      What a mess. Just so sorry.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      oh great i keep getting told there are a lot of crazy fsmily issues, my sisters are playing keep away with mom from most family members including me. i dont want her money and stuff but she is incompetent after a stroke and my sister wants to traet her like a doll and put her where she wants so she can visit and wants to keep all others away and just throw all of moms assetts away and disregard her wishes...did i mention the 2 sisters live with mom and dont help with any thing but spending moms money? they dont pay rent , utilities and mom pays most of their bills

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello Brenda J. Butler,

      I used to know a Brenda Butler eons ago, back in Boston. Not you, I'm guessing.

      Anyway, thank you for the advice. It sounds like you know the ins and outs of the legal side of this.

      I will ask our attorney about the set of statements.

      It's all just so horrible I want it all out of our life.

    • profile image

      Brenda J. Butler 

      6 years ago

      I just voted in your poll - said to leave your MIL where she is and tell the fiduciary to suck it up. I'm guessing that the fiduciary is lying when she says your MIL is out of money.

      See if you can get the court to insist on a set of statements in order to make a judgement. It is really not reasonable to try to make any kind of decision without one. Of course, you've been saying all along that it is not reasonable for you to make decisions regarding care of your MIL without knowledge of the financials ... and you are right.

      I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Best of luck with how it turns out. I know it would be more pain for you ... but that fiduciary deserves to be pursued re: the (at least) negligent way she handles her account(s). Still: protect your own retirement funds. Any collection of money will attract that kind of parasite.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thank you so much for the helpful link. I'm going to put a link to your site more prominently in my hub. Will probably take you up on the "offer" to write for your site as well (in a dispassionate way).

      There is more detail about our story and my family's history with how to choose living facilities.

      Thanks again.

      I keep saying this is going to be even more critical as the Baby Boomers march into retirement. Overwhelming need.


    • iguidenetwork profile image


      6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Really outstanding - we have run into that issue as well. In fact we started a site - around our experience with placing GG into assisted living.

    • NightFlower profile image


      6 years ago

      Aww i'm fortunate that this is not a decision I need to make and I don't look forward to having to make it in the future. Sometimes it can't be helped but our heart is never in taking this avenue when it comes to aging parents and grandparents. I am sorry.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Elder abuse is more common than most of us know. I am a nurse and well aware of it. So sorry you had to endure this horrible experience. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      You put this in perspective for me, Lynda. Thank you.

      AT LEAST my MIL has one child who legitimately cares for her welfare -- and is willing to sacrifice financially and emotionally -- to protect it.

      I do realize that reality is reality. Except for my dad, who put himself into a retirement home (more like the Love Boat for Seniors:-) after Mom died, I don't know ANY seniors who WANT to go live in a home. It's where you go to die. It signals, "I give up."

      I predict, especially with the economy as it has been, that we are going to see even more of this. Retirees' money isn't going to go as far as it used to. And people are living longer.

      It's almost like we need a revolutionary solution that "divorces" the idea of an inheritance from the care of the senior. Like take away the incentive for children to care more about the assets of the trust -- which they really are NOT entitled to, if you think about it -- than their own parent.

      I do know how disturbingly easy it is to get someone declared mentally incompetent. Been there, lived that in Round 1. That is exactly how SIL was able to jump over her mother as successor trustee. She had the old broad declared incompetent. Luckily, we were able to get that "ruling" reversed. Had we not, I doubt we ever would have gotten the trust out of her greedy hands. Not that it did us any good to remove her. We've just squandered even more money on greedy lawyers and postponed what is probably inevitable. *sigh*

      Agree, this subject really deserves to be put out there. Not something the average person thinks about until it's too late.

      Acaetnna -- Always a treat to see you, my dear. You are so supportive and kind. Thank you. The prayers part especially appreciated. If God is with us, who can be against us, right?

      Cheers, hubber friends. MM

    • acaetnna profile image


      6 years ago from Guildford

      OMG I am so very sorry that all of this is happening to you. My prayers are with you.

    • lmmartin profile image


      6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I work as a caregiver for senior who wish to live in their own homes, and I've seen some families that would rival yours. This is far more common than you think. Children are often more interested in protecting the assets than they are over their parent's welfare. As far as I can see, there is no iron-clad way to ensure your wishes are followed. All it takes is an application to have you declared incompetent (which is easier than you'd think) and you're at the mercy of the designs of others.

      I've cared for seniors who never see their offspring -- ever, but you can bet they're there at the end with hands outstretched. I've seen seniors who've been moved to assisted living against their will so the kids can sell the house. I've seen one senior in late Alzheimer's who is left all alone in an apartment with a caregiver who comes in for three hours twice a week because the kids are busy trying to preserve the assets instead of getting her the care she needs. I could go on and on, but I won't.

      Great article and something we should all give thought to. Lynda

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thank you for presenting a positive side to the trusts & estates issue, WannaBWriter. It's heartening to see it done correctly. Several variables, however. "Finding a trustee who is reliable." How do you do that?

      My own family trust worked 180 degrees opposite of my husband's. When Mom died everything went to Dad (note that had he predeceased her, I am not sure things would have gone as well, but they had good advisers). Then when Dad died my sister has done an awesome, honest and fair job of administering his estate. Night and day to the self-dealing my SIL started even before she conned her parents into doing the trust. Her plot is now -- in hindsight -- clear.

      Still working on finding the reliable trustee.

      Will keep you posted.

      Meantime, I urge your husband to make this a priority.

      My son's dad died unexpectedly. Thank GOD he had all his paperwork in order or it would have been a very different story for my son.

      Thanks for commenting. I do feel better! MM

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I am so sorry this is happening to you and some of your other commenters. It makes me very thankful that my brother and I worked together to make Mom's last years what she hoped they would be. Dad set up a trust with an old friend as the trustee. When the friend retired, he passed the trusteeship to his successor. A Financial House was managing the money. When Mom died, my brother and I became co-trustees, since Mom, of course was no longer in the picture. There was a smooth transition of assets to my brother and me, and everything was accounted for.

      We need to change our wills to a trust, but the problem is in finding a reliable trustee who is likely to outlive us. I know we should settle this soon, but my husband says he still has to get the papers together and other demands on his time have slowed him down. It's never too early to do these things, but it can often be too late, as you have discovered.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Wow! Glad I kept my thoughts to self on the other hub.

      Find a person who wants to live in Belieze of the same sex as the fiduciary and tell them they can have all the money and goods they can get by stealing the identity of said fiduciary, heck throw SIL in there too and steal her identity and ravage credit cards bank accounts and all as to the details of where folks disappear to every day never to be found again? Well I can't say, I just believe this type of thing needs to be served piping hot, very slowly, kinda like Pulp Fiction, "this is Marcel bring the torch and pliers" at the hock shop after getting his fudge packed. That's sorta sounds like what you all are getting.

      I say all this in jest as a killer trained by this fine country they told me I had to stop, I wish I could help in that department, I said jokingly I'd have done handled it had it been close to home I said jokingly.

      It's a shame that acting as a high risk civilian contractor, aka, mercenary, is reserved for out side the US or business would be booming. All said was just day dreaming mind you, acid flash backs.

      Wishing you peace,


    • anjegirl profile image


      6 years ago from Myrtle Beach,SC

      I think filing a complaint with the Bar Association in your state would set the tone for the upcoming events----lawyers get shadier with each passing generation and the only recourse one has is to file charges against them with the people who hold access to their licenses to practice----the State Bar---clearly you have a case against them---I will likely be taking my brothers to court this spring as they have attempted for a year to withhold my inheritance from me---death does truly bring out the worst in ppl.---good luck

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Oh no, PC. Not you, too! This problem is more common than I ever imagined.

      With the Baby Boomers retiring and nearing retirement, this problem is only going to proliferate. And some people (lawyers, fiduciaries, and yes, courts) are going to clean up on it. Others, like your wife and you, will sit helplessly by unable to do anything.

      You've given me another idea for a hub, tho.

      Diversification. It's not just for stock portfolios anymore (ha ha -- like it helped in 2008, eh?). Seriously, when you draw up your documents, think long and hard about who you're handing the power to. If you give your saucy new wife one POA, make sure you give the other POA to someone else. Or insist that there are 2 people on each decision and that they have to agree.

      You can't always predict human nature. In our case, we probably should have seen this coming. But who wants to presume their own sister will pull off an infamilia?

      Thanks for sharing your experience, MM

    • Pcunix profile image

      Tony Lawrence 

      6 years ago from SE MA

      We have a similar problem where my father in law foolishly gave his second wife power of attorney. Now that he is immobile after a stroke, she's long past caring what happens o him, but we can't do anything for him.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thanks so much for your support, angela. Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to get me worked up than to keep me in serenity these days. I'm working on it. Injustice really makes my blood boil. Injustice to good, honest, decent people like my Hubby and MIL makes me furious. Injustice that's calculated, greedy and malicious, as this entire campaign led by SIL has been, truly shakes my faith in humanity.

      instantlyfamily, I am always mixed when seeing new commeners on my hubs. Glad to be able to provide some information based on my experience. But oh, so sorry to learn that it's happening to someone else.

      I suggest you write about it, too. It may not win the lawsuit, but it feels good to get the poison out on paper.

      Fair warning: Next hub the gloves are coming off. I WILL name names. It's not slander if it's true!

    • instantlyfamily profile image


      6 years ago

      I am dealing with this issue right now. I found this information to be helpful and informative. Thank you!

    • angela p profile image

      angela p 

      6 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Didn't meant to get you all worked up... and for two years I know you have been worked up.. This is bull. I wish you could file charges against this fiduciary person. This has me all worked up now.. it bothers me that things like this can take place. Feel free to vent to me anytime about it.. I really would like to know what happens with this. Good luck to you.

    • Mighty Mom profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Reid 

      6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thank you, angela p. We can't believe it either. Yet we've been living with this WTF situation for 2+ years. We're now paying our attorney out of our own retirement. It's a principle thing. Having fought this hard to get SIL out of her pocket, we can't just sit by and let this heartless crew toss her away and split whatever $ is left. It's just WRONG.

      Anyway, I've already vented through the hub. I don't need to get all worked up again. But thank you!

    • angela p profile image

      angela p 

      6 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      What the h#$$..? I am so sorry that you and your family is dealing with this. It seems like to me that Della and her written trust would be what should be followed. This is a nightmare and I can not believe that the lawyers and fiduciary are acting like this. It should be illegal.


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