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Discussion Starter #1
My Father in law is a recent widower who is not a very good decision maker. My late MIL was deciding everything including finance, recreation, friendships, you name it.
Shortly after MIL died, BIL approached 86 year old FIL and advised him to give up his driving licence and to gift his 2014 Nissan Rogue to SIL who is going through a divorce. My husband only heard of this gifting when BIL asked SIL for legal info to put in transfer papers on their 3 way group chat. I would think that's his way of telling my husband of the gifting. My husband was a little surprised and troubled by it but has since accepted that it's my FIL's right to gift his car to whomever he wants to.

Before passing, my MIL had always been fair to all 3 kids. "Gifting" all 3 equally. She once sold her lightly used car to BIL for $5,000.

A week passed, my FIL blurted to my husband yesterday that he sold the car to SIL for $5,000 towards her future inheritance since she doesn't have money now. This surprised my husband. My FIL can be very confusing and unclear. My husband doesnt know if BIL and SIL know of my FIL's wish.

Now, if my husband brings it up with them, they might think its him who planted the idea in FIL's head. If he doesn't, then my FIL's wish is not granted.

My husband has already drawn up papers for SIL to sign a month ago when FIL lent her $10,000 towards divorce lawyers (again deducting future inhetitance).

My husband is now very torn whether to tell his siblings about what FIL said or just keeps his mouth shut to avoid sibling hatred. FIL may or may not have told siblings of his wish (no papers are signed - my husband is the executor of wills) but may rely on my husband to follow through like he did last time with lawyer loan.

FYI, my husband worries if FIL is asked to tell siblings himself, FIL may say my husband tells him to say so:confused:

What should my husband do?
 

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I am the executor of my parents estate and their POA for their affairs while alive. Before I took on this role, we set very clear expectations as a family including with the siblings. In my family, there is complete trust and transparency between my siblings and parents. I told them I wouldn't do it unless I had their trust and they didn't question my intentions. That being said, I always keep my siblings in the loop, especially because my dad is getting a little more forgetful in what he tells me and what he agrees to. If this was my family, I would be asked my dad to clarify if he was gifting or selling something. My parents have always gifted (they won't ever accept money from their kids), but I would still ask.

For you spouse who is the executor, I think he should just ask his father for clarification. Explain he has heard its both versions that it's a gift and it was $5000 sale to be paid out of the estate. Confirm which one did FIL really want and go with that. That's the simple answer is that clarity is needed.

The more difficult question is the how is the approached with the siblings. This is a question of relationships and family dynamics. Lots of options depending on the dynamics.

In my family, its easy, I have the responsibility, I ask my dad, inform my siblings, if they have any questions they can my dad, if he forgets, I set a conference call with all parties to confirm what he means. Usually, it's my dad forgot and gets a little confused. This works because their is absolute trust that I am always acting in my parents best interest and am fair. There have even been times where my parents have offered one of us something that is beneficial to the individual, but they still tell the other siblings if we think it not fair.

In your spouses case, he can bring it up with his siblings and just say what he heard from dad, and see if there is clarification or he can go to dad first. If this is going to bring conflict, I would just bring the parties involved (dad, SIL, and executor) on a call and confirm together and notify any other siblings (they aren't part of the decision)

Another way to look at this, is for a $5000 gift, it's split between (x siblings, didn't mention how many total siblings), so even with the three mentioned here, you are talking about $1667 out of your inheritance (less if there are more than 3 kids). Does that amount really matter when you have a sibling that I going through a divorce and needs help right now? It seems like a pretty small about to have family relationship upset over. That $1700 will be gone in a blink but the relationship will stay for the rest of their lives.
 

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It might be wise to consult a lawyer and get papers signed acknowledging these transactions now. When the time comes to probate the estate you don't want a lot of, shall we say, forgetting and changing of minds. Get proof now while you can or you may end up the goat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My husband wants to pave a smoother road ahead dealing with his dad and siblings. In the name of transparency, he is thinking about showing his 2 siblings monthly bank statements as well as investment accounts so all can see the transactions clearly. This will only happen once FIL is ok with it.

My husband thinks that FIL is not very financial literate and being transparent might ease any suspicion. Having said that, he worries that siblings might eye the money and wanting to "borrow". My husband is financially successful on his own and wishes for his father to enjoy his remaining years but his siblings are not in the same boat.

Is it a good idea to suggest to FIL to show his savings?
 

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I've told my kids not to expect much inheritance even though most likely they will do well once my wife & I croak. I want them to succeed (or fail) on their own. I never let on what our worth is...its none of their business.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Eder, that was the case when my MIL was alive. But now my husband is helping his dad with finances. There may be suspicion on their part. Otherwise, I fully agree.
 

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I agree the dynamics are different when one sibling takes over the financial management of a parent. Family dynamics can vary from a nuclear explosion to a walk in the park. Maybe it is enough for hubby to make clear to everyone, including dear old Dad, that he will be documenting outgoing of everything on spreadsheet for accountability at a later date, and that may be an opportunity to also say this includes: charitable gifting, family gifting, and advances to individuals on monetary inheritances, and bequests. That way, the 'message' is out there, and hubby can clarify with Dad just what his intentions are with each 'gift'. Just a thought.

I wouldn't want to be in this situation albeit there has been some semblance of that issue relating to my own mother, now long deceased.
 

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I've told my kids not to expect much inheritance even though most likely they will do well once my wife & I croak. I want them to succeed (or fail) on their own. I never let on what our worth is...its none of their business.
While I understand the sentiment, I suspect adult children would have to be living on another planet to not know within a ballpark-accurate degree the net worth of their parents.

As for none of heir business, if you become incapacitated, perhaps they will then believe you were a pauper, unable to afford high quality care, and park you in a care facility run on minimum standards.

As for success or failure on one's own, would you not hope (and know) that you have raised children who have their own ambition and drive to be independent? My own child knows full well that dad has sufficient resources that said child can probably coast through life on dad's coattails, but also regards that proposition as distinctly unappealing.

My sibling and I, at an early age, told our parents we did not want or need their money. They worked for it. They spent unstintingly giving us a good upbringing, and they deserved to enjoy their later years with no thought to leaving an inheritance. My wife and I are already receiving the same message. A bit depressing to think you might have raised a child from whom you must conceal your income and assets, lest knowledge of same would stifle that child's ambition and enterprise and cause said child throttle back and wait to be put on the gravy train.
 

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My own adult children have a sense of my net worth but really only know there will assets left over, and because they are also POAs, and Executors, they already have a lot of basic information in their possession to make those duties easier. But that is not what this thread is about.

The issue here for the OP is how does one manage expectations in a semi-POA situation. No full authority under POA and yet a potential minefield if things go off the rails. It is the most awkward of situations really (many different twists to the same theme) and one that a lot of adult children find themselves in. Family discussion would be the best way to find some common alignment on how to proceed if that is possible but most times there are one or two individuals who just want to be difficult about things.
 

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As for none of heir business, if you become incapacitated, perhaps they will then believe you were a pauper, unable to afford high quality care, and park you in a care facility run on minimum standards.
They are under strict orders to put my bat suit on me & push me off Chinaman's peak in Canmore should that eventuality occur.
 

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If I were the OP, I would encourage my siblings to understand that any advances are on their inheritance. Otherwise it is unfair to the other siblings and their father. You can expect the siblings to check with Dad and if he backs down then so be it.

My Dad insisted on giving my Ex a stipend for $50k in his will to show his appreciation for her. I never got into how much she got from me (half plus alimony). But my brother resented it. When it comes to money, life does not seem fair!
 

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I have some experience and a suggestion to make on this subject.
My mum is 92, and in the early stages of dementia (she knows most of what is going on, but forgetful, and needs a full-time attendant - we tried a care-home, but she hated it so she has stayed in her home with an attendant). Mum has 5 kids - me, and my brothers, and a sister. One brother has a very different view on how we should be supporting my mum - the rest of us are very aligned. Dealing with my brother has been stressful - but, recently much more manageable. Initially, he had a very fixed idea on how to "use" mum's resources - his idea was to "hire" his daughter (at a rather inflated rate), among other things. We did not allow this to materialize, but he was quite upset, angry etc - suggesting that his view of "mum's care" was a better choice than the other 4 siblings in the room.

Our approach is one where all 5 siblings meet - (on zoom) - once per month. The meeting agenda is ALWAYs the same - the agenda items focus entirely on our mum's physical, emotional and mental care, as well as supports that we can supply to ensure her final years are comfortable, loving, and meaningful. Also - we do not include our partners (wives, or anyone else) to be included as primary care-givers. the decisions are made among the 5 of us - otherwise - other agenda's, perspectives, etc serve to lose the intent of the issue at hand.

So far, we have made very good progress, but meeting often, having an agreed-upon way of making decisions, and an agreed-upon objective have been keystones to that success.
It can be done.
 
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