to think we should inherite larger share of MiL property?

(261 Posts)
Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 12:55:45

I have been caring for my very nice but sometimes difficult MIL for 3 years in her large country house. I left my job p/t teacher and we sold our small London house to move in. Over the last 3 years we have done substantial work to the house let alone a ridiculous amount of de cluttering from 2 generations of hoarders living there (not kidding couldn't get into 3 rooms). My dh has to stay away 3 nights a week commuting to his old job. We have also prevented the house being sold for nursing home fees (she has dementia and is incontinent).
So when we just had the house valued to see what our options might be for the future I was very disappointed to hear my dh say half would go to the brother. He hasn't helped out at all and we lost money on our house in London as prices have returned to 7% increase. MiL's property is now worth more now as prices are picking up and all the work and effort we have put into it. I have just had argument with dh as I don't feel he is valuing my efforts and also depriving the children of their inheritance.
Aibu and greedy or should we/I be compensated. I have looked for a nice teaching job here but cant find one (2 interviews). I feel like I don't want to carry on with the loneliness, the burden of caring and managing this large house and garden( on my own most of the time ) if it wasn't to improve our financial position. After all the brother i L. is not spending all his time doing up the house and not being able to get away and is actually financially well off. I'm also worried I've messed up my career.

CalamityJones Thu 12-Sep-13 13:00:44

The idea of divvying up your mil's assets before she's even dead doesn't sit very well with me. And was your plan to move in so you got a bigger share of the inheritance or because your dh loves his mother? Why did you have to sell your London house to move it?

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:03:10

All that reads like is you went to 'help' her because you thought it would be financially beneficial to you in the long run?

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 12-Sep-13 13:05:29

You sound a peach! Maybe the brother should have more, you've lived there rent free for years.

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Sep-13 13:06:42

You've presumably pocketed the profit from the sale of your London home and lived rent free ever since.
Your claim that by giving his brother his rightful share your dh is "devaluing your efforts" is as good as admitting you did it for the money.
Have you seen a copy of the will? She may just have left it all to a charity for homeless donkeys. and good for her if she did

CalamityJones Thu 12-Sep-13 13:06:59

Good point, onesleep. How much rent have you paid your mil, op?

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 13:07:12

Did you have a conversation with BIL before you sold your London House & moved in or before you spent your money on her house?
It's a big step to have taken without any legal advice & you all being aware of the implications.

GobTheGoblin Thu 12-Sep-13 13:07:19

Does the mil have a will? You may find that she wants it split 50/50 or even leave it to the cats home. As it is her property it is hers to do as she will with it.

AllThatGlistens Thu 12-Sep-13 13:07:20

Oh dear god.. Has your MIL actually even passed away??

Talk about picking over the remains shock

RunRabbit Thu 12-Sep-13 13:07:36

Agree with the other posters and yes, you are BU and greedy.

If you gave up so much to look after her it should have been done because you care for her not what you can get out of it.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 12-Sep-13 13:07:50

You seem nice.

Why are you having a house that doesn't belong to you valued?

lainiekazan Thu 12-Sep-13 13:07:54

If the plan was that you looked after your mil but in return got the lion's share of the house's value (the whole lot would seem unreasonable, given that you say it is a country house) then that should have been agreed in advance.

If your mil has dementia then it is probably too late for her to take proper advice and draw up a will, or do you have power of attorney already?

Squitten Thu 12-Sep-13 13:08:20

Perhaps it's your MIL's decision as to what happens to her property rather than you and your DH doing it for her... hmm

Chusband Thu 12-Sep-13 13:08:38

You don't get a say in it. Depends on what her will says.

sparechange Thu 12-Sep-13 13:09:16

Have you had to pay her any rent, or pay bills while you've been living there?

I have some sympathy for you and have been in a similar situation myself, but at the end of the day, you are caring for family, and you can't really put a price on that or on family members not pulling their weight.

It is too late now, but perhaps you could have rented your place in London out rather than selling it and got the best of both worlds.

specialsubject Thu 12-Sep-13 13:09:22

seems that the OP is doing most of the work and has given up a lot. No judgement here.

Is there a will? (You've all got problems if there isn't and MiL is no longer competent to make one)

if you don't want to do this any more, say so. Then you and hubby move out, the home gets sold to pay the care fees and depending on how long she lives, there may not be anything left to discuss. But you will probably have your life back.

PrimalLass Thu 12-Sep-13 13:09:33

I don't necessarily think YABU as it seems to be you doing the work not your DH, and definitely not his brother.

quoteunquote Thu 12-Sep-13 13:09:53

It could be sold and money used for her to go into a nursing home,

It is really not nice to be thinking what you may or may not get when someone dies.

If she left a will , and decided to equally divide everything, then that is what she wanted,

Do you pay rent?

OTTMummA Thu 12-Sep-13 13:11:44

You sound vile.
Why don't you do everyone a favour and get a job, any job.
You clearly resent looking after your MIL so just leave it to a professional who isn't after her house when she slides of the mortal coil.

WowOoo Thu 12-Sep-13 13:12:36

I don't believe this is genuine.

If it is, everyone else has said what I think already.

MaxPepsi Thu 12-Sep-13 13:12:47

I kind of see your point but your MIL has 2 sons. They should inherit equally as that is what she wanted when she was of sound mind.

DH's gran died last year. She had 4 kids. 2 looked after her (her daughter effectively putting her life on hold) the other 2 couldn't even be bothered to visit.
However all four of them inherited equally. As an outsider I found this very unfair on DH's aunt and his dad and think the other 2 siblings should have recognised this and offered them something extra.
The eldest did, the youngest however swooped in and took whatever he fancied before we'd even buried her.

Your BIL may well recognise the efforts you have all put in.

DuelingFanjo Thu 12-Sep-13 13:12:54

When it does come to it you may have a case to argue that you have spent money on the property and so therefore deserve to get that financial contribution back, particularly if you have a paper trail to prove it.

However, do you really want to be getting into the legal fight it will involve at a time when two people will be struggling with the loss of their mother?

If your MIL wanted to give more to your husband then she would. Do you even know if she has made a will.

PresidentServalan Thu 12-Sep-13 13:13:54

YABU and grabby. She's not even your mother! It's none of your business who gets what and when. Agree with the pp who said you sound vile.

Ragusa Thu 12-Sep-13 13:14:21

Bleeeeurgh. Is this serious??

TakingThePea Thu 12-Sep-13 13:14:55


Like others have said, you and your husband should be helping his mother because you care, not to get more of the house.

Why would it be depriving your children of their inheritance? Your BIL was around before you or your children - what about his inheritance?

Giving up work and moving etc are issues you obviously would have discussed before. I don't think it's right to complain 3 years down the line.

I hope I don't come across as harsh - you do just sound greedy tbh.

Does your MIL have a will?

Silverfoxballs Thu 12-Sep-13 13:15:00

She may leave it all to a cats home you know.

Never rely on an inheritance

wigglesrock Thu 12-Sep-13 13:15:02

I don't understand why you don't work? Or the "nice teaching job" comment? As others have said what's your rent situation like? Who pays for the utility bills?

Jesus, this is your husband's mother who is ill - catch yourself on, show a bit of compassion.

OTTMummA Thu 12-Sep-13 13:15:13

It doesn't sound like she went ahead to look after MIL out of the kindness of her heart though, she is quibbling over 'inheritnence' before the MIL has actually passed fgs.
If you are not happy i don't blame you!
But to be divvying up her assets in your head whilst she is still alive is distasteful.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 12-Sep-13 13:15:15

Don't quite know what to say - if this is genuine, poor MIL! Sounds like you're just waiting for her to die so you can get your hands on her cash - and trying to dress this up as altruism. Not nice at all.

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 13:15:26

Hang on.
The Op is caring for her demented MIL, it's not an easy job. Money aside I think it's a caring thing to do & she shouldn't be described as vile.
Niave, maybe.

Ragusa Thu 12-Sep-13 13:19:21

She's not caring for demented MIL, she's doing up the house if I understood correctly. The MIL is in a home, or did I misunderstand?

starfishmummy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:21:52

Charming. I hope mil has left it all to the local cats home.

lainiekazan Thu 12-Sep-13 13:21:54

My mil has dementia and fil is frail. None of their dcs wanted to care for them. In mil's case it would be a 24-hour responsibility, anyway. So they are in homes and their house has to be sold.

Had I the physical and mental strength to look after them and no other responsibilities, (dh and I) would have made sure that our efforts were compensated. That would be fair. And the same if either of dh's brothers/wives had stepped up the plate.

But the problem is with OP is that the potential inheritance seems to be large, they have already cashed in their house and are living free, and that no discussion has taken place with the brother about what is fair division of assets.

Assuming, of course, that mil dies soon. Dementia is not particularly life-limiting and sufferers can plod on for years.

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 13:22:38

I think the abuse being directed at the OP is pretty nasty, actually. Have any of you ever cared for someone with dementia? It's gruelling, often unrewarding and physically unpleasant work. We don't know the backstory of why the OP decided to give up her job and care for someone who is not a blood relative. Maybe it was in the expectation of getting a share of her property, but maybe it wasn't. So could you all please extract your judgy pants from your arse cracks and ease up a bit?

OP, in my experience, getting angsty about how property is divided up on death, and who is more deserving of it, is a pointless exercise. (I dont think it's bad taste to be thinking about it before the person dies - it's just a factual thing for me.) If your MIL has a will then it may be out of both your and your DH's hands anyway, if she's made it a specific bequest.

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 13:23:31

Ragusa, sorry I misread.
She sold her London home, moved into MILs rent free, put MIL in home now wants more than 50% of the that right?
Yup, vile.

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:23:39

Eastwick - its not an easy job BUT I don't think anyone is forcing her to do it and she seems to be doing it simply because she thought there would be financial gain from doing so rather than because she actually wants to help - now that may not be the case but that is how her post read.

My mum was full time carer for grandparents (her parents and her in laws) for close on 20 years in total between them all. She did it because she wanted to and at no point expected, or requested, any form of 'payment' after their death. Yes it is frustrating when other siblings aren't pulling their weight but that is a whole different argument.

heidihole Thu 12-Sep-13 13:25:18

YANBU. Like fuck would I be looking after my mil like that. If DH wants to do it, fine. But sounds like its you who have ditched the career and made the sacrifices to do it.

BOF Thu 12-Sep-13 13:25:32

I simply don't believe that other posters, if they were in this situation, would not at least secretly think it unfair that the do-nowt brother was up for half of everything.

This is a classic example of MNers making themselves appear like Mother Teresa on behalf of some unseen character in the drama, whilst actually using the occasion to be rude and dismissive to the person asking for advice.

Bowlersarm Thu 12-Sep-13 13:25:55

That is a good point about living there rent free, if you do, that'll all tot up over the years.

Really though OP, I think you should be doing it because yiu want to rather than financial gain. If you do benefit financially then all well and good, but I wouldn't expect it i were you.

Whoknowswhocares Thu 12-Sep-13 13:25:57

Hmm not just doing up the house either. She's had it valued too!
Not exactly the actions of a concerned DIL [ hmm]

That said, it would appear that both her DH and his brother are letting the OP take a very big share of the caring. Perhaps the core issue is more resentment at being left saddled with the lions share of the graft?

PoppadomPreach Thu 12-Sep-13 13:27:15

I completely agree, BOF. Looking after someone with dementia cannot be fun at all, but that has been completely overlooked by many posters.

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 13:27:31

Ah, I hadn't realised that the OP's MIL is now in a home and it's the fact that she and her DH are living there that have prevented it from being sold to cover nursing home fees.

I think in that case she's been hugely naive to think that she/DH would automatically be compensated. Not vile, but short-sighted, to give up her job and sell her own home in the hope of something which was not agreed or formalised at the time.

Bowlersarm Thu 12-Sep-13 13:27:46

BOF you have a bit of a point there. MN is so sanctimonious at times. I think people forget that posters say on here things they wouldn't in RL- it's like an extension of thought, testing an idea or the waters, so to speak.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 12-Sep-13 13:29:40

Where is the OP?

PoppadomPreach Thu 12-Sep-13 13:29:44

For everyone saying she has been living rent free (which we don't know but let's assume that's the case) - do you not think that may be fair consideration for being of FT carer? I presume that OP is not being paid a salary.

FatPenguin Thu 12-Sep-13 13:30:40

I'm confused - is your MIL living in her house with you or in a home? If you are living with her then it must be very difficult for you caring for her with dementia. However I don't think you deserve to be 'compensated' for this, what a horrible choice of words I hope you didn't say that to your OH.

SeaSickSal Thu 12-Sep-13 13:31:06

You're being greedy and mercenary.

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 13:32:08

Yes poppadom, we should only care for our infirm elderly relatives (giving up our jobs, family lives and financial security) because we want to.

I am a heartless bitch though, by the standards of posters on here - my Alzheimer's-ridden mother is in a home, because I had no desire whatsoever to care for her myself.

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 13:32:09

This is a classic example of MNers making themselves appear like Mother Teresa on behalf of some unseen character in the drama, whilst actually using the occasion to be rude and dismissive to the person asking for advice

^ This.

Op I really feel for you, dementia is hard on everyone.

I think your mistake here has been to toil away selflessy for years and not had this conversation before.

I understand why you want what you want, I think you would have saved them a fortune in fees etc, and also surely peace of mind?

I do not trust care homes at all, and I would not want a relative in one especially not with dementia.

IF i was the other brother, I would want you to have a bit extra for having the strength and skills to care for my mother!

Op, life isn't fair.

I know of a couple who cared for elderly aunt, no dementia but physically disabled, they cared for her for four years, and they knew she nad her children had no home. she left millions to cats, and a very small lump sum to her own family.

In your situation I would simply accept the will/money or fact brother is getting half, and pull out, and start your career again.

You cant build your life on sand. You are the fool for giving up so much without concrete assurances first. on the other hand, perhaps you didnt realise your quality of life would dimish.

good luck.

lainiekazan Thu 12-Sep-13 13:32:23

My mil was a nightmare before she went into a home. She was always a battleaxe but just imagine a confused battleaxe. She was ordered out of hospital, a cottage hospital, and her current home say they need a sense of humour to cope with her. So caring for a demented person is not just a little personal care for a sweet, dotty old lady.

And if someone is not your own mother, it's likely to be just graft: Changing nappies, washing, nighttime waking (dementia sufferers often lose the ability to distinguish night from day).

So I don't blame OP for thinking there has to be some pay back for this. But - hoping to get an entire country house may be a little too hopeful.

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 12-Sep-13 13:32:30

Hmm. My MIL was widowed 5 years ago, lives 250 miles away, SILs on different continents. One didn't bother coming to her father's funeral but aCcepted an all X's paid trip with her three DC a year later. The one who made the funeral had MIL for a holiday once.

DH goes to see his mother once every three/four weeks to pay bills, make sure she and the house are OK.

DH and I have agreed that when the time comes we will do our best for our mothers (I'm an only child - he will do it on his own). What he agrees with his mother and sisters is entirely his affair and I am pretty sure there will be a three way split and if any money from MIL's estate goes into funding a care home, the SILs will vociferously object. I shall not get involved because I think something should have been said years ago.

SeaSickSal Thu 12-Sep-13 13:32:38

Can I just point out also - the brothers seem to be fine with sharing the house. It's the OP who has a problem with it.

DoJo Thu 12-Sep-13 13:32:46

I have to say, I agree with the OP that there should at least be some consideration of the work that has gone into the house, however inheritances don't work like that and her MIL could have left the house to whomever she wanted. If it will come down to a decision made between the two brothers, then it would be nice if the brother who has not been there would acknowledge the work that has gone into the house and his mother's care and offer to split it in favour of the OP and her husband, but nobody is really in a position to demand this unfortunately.

Ragusa Thu 12-Sep-13 13:34:13

Erm, no. I wouldn't presume that just because I'd cared for a family member for a while that that meant I would be 'entitled' to a bigger share of any inheritance. You shouldn't do that kind of thing with the expectation of financial reward. How would you feel, as an aging parent, if you knew that a DC who had moved in to care for you had only stepped up to the plate on condition they'd be paid for their 'inconvenience' further down the line?

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 13:35:37

I think lots of comments on here reflect how we as a country view, caring really and we know its diabolical!

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Sep-13 13:35:41

But she admitted quite freely in the op that he 's doing it to improve their financial position. What strikes me as particularly distasteful is her surprise at her DH's "decision" on how to divvy up the proceeds, apparently not understanding that there are rules of inheritance where there is no will, and the decision will not be theirs to make.
Was she hoping to take advantage of the MIL's dementia? hmm

ShedWood Thu 12-Sep-13 13:35:45

I'm not sure the OP is getting a fair ride here, being a carer is a hugely difficult role.

However, it would be more reasonable IMO to ignore the inheritance and instead say to your DH & BIL "caring for your mother is a full time job, and is preventing me from getting a job, so I am henceforth going to charge the going carer's rate of £X per hour split 50/50 between DH and BIL, and that wage will come out of MIL's estate".

If BIL doesn't want to pay that then he can hire in someone else to do the role, you can move out and get a job elsewhere and everyone, but I imagine if both your DH and BIL has to look into it to see how much a carer charges and what kind of 24/7 care your MIL needs that they'll be happy to "pay" you, and you won't feel like you're losing out.

If you genuinely don't feel you can do the role for love anymore then treat it as a job.

GrrArgh Thu 12-Sep-13 13:35:56

I'm sorry to be blunt, but it looks like three years ago, when you sold the house, gave up your job and moved in with MIL, maybe you had not thought through the full ramifications of your choices.

House prices are always mobile, and taking a career break of undetermined length has most probably harmed our career a little. But in all seriousness, how did you see those two factors at the time?

It is only natural that the house is split 50/50 when she does go. If there was to be any other solution, why wasn't it discussed before you made the decisions about your house and job?

SJisontheway Thu 12-Sep-13 13:36:01

I'm not supriaed the op has disappeared with the abuse she has been getting.

OP it is not unusual or unreasonable for the primary carer of an elderly parent to be favoured in the will. Your problem is that none of this was discussed up front. I think its time to sit down with the family and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Its a tough situation and you have made considerable sacrifices.

Feminine Thu 12-Sep-13 13:36:37

You are being a little greedy.

and sneaky too!

didn't you want to help her?

PoppadomPreach Thu 12-Sep-13 13:37:37

fishandJam I am really sorry your mother has Alzheimer's and totally understand the need for her to be in a home. But I do fail to see why you interpreted my c

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 13:37:40

Ragusa, those are very fine sentiments. But I think you need to walk in the shoes of someone who has cared for a dementia sufferer. (Note that word "dementia". Not just someone who's a bit old and doddery. I know someone who had their jaw broken by their father, whose Alzheimer's made him have violent hallucinations and throw his faeces at pedestrians outside his house.)

NotActuallyAMum Thu 12-Sep-13 13:38:04

I didn't read this as the MIL is in a home, I read it that by moving in with her the OP and her DH have prevented this from happening

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 13:38:15

poppadom, I was actually in full agreement with you - maybe the sarcasm didn't translate very well!

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 13:38:36

I'm wondering who has Power of Attorney?
If it's DH & BIL presumably there was some communication before ££ was spent on country house restoration?
This doesn't add up to me.

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 13:39:11

we had our grandfather living with us for 6 weeks and it was quite hellish, didnt know where he was, always wandering off, couldnt do or understand anything.

op has been at this for years, doing a job most of us couldn't and wouldn't do for our own parents let alone her husbands.

for all those who think she is greedy, i wonder then if your inheritance will cross your mind as you parent goes into home that costs 1000 a week and is shite....

PoppadomPreach Thu 12-Sep-13 13:40:57

fishandJam I am really sorry your mother has Alzheimer's and totally understand the need for her to be in a home. But I do fail to see why you interpreted my comment as some kind of criticism of those who, very understandably, choose to put very sick parents into care?

My point is simply that in the event the OP is caring for the MIL, it seems fair she does not pay rent?

My reading of the OP is that MIL has avoided going ing into a home, and thereby not had to sell her home to pay for this, by virtue of fact OP has looked after her?

But maybe I've got this wrong.....

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:41:34

Toxic - for my grandmother we happily paid for a great care home for her with not a single thought about inheritance. It was her money being used to give her the best life possible at that time. Not everyone is driven by money

PoppadomPreach Thu 12-Sep-13 13:42:06

Aah sorry - didn't realise my half message had posted - and didn't detect your sarcasm fishandjam!

CeliaLytton Thu 12-Sep-13 13:42:19


I understand the sacrifices you have made and how hard it must have been for you, but it is up to your MIL, and then the brothers between them, to decide how to split any inheritance.

Would you have done all this caring if not for the chance of inheritance? I expect the answer is yes, because you care about MIL, and therefore you know you have done what is right, regardless of financial gain.

BIL might be able to live with the fact he has not supported his mother over the years, but you would not.

Don't let this take over your life. Either carry on caring for MIL because you want to, or if it is going to be too detrimental financially long term for your family, make other arrangements. But don't let the money come into it. flowers

Ragusa Thu 12-Sep-13 13:44:29

I know what dementia is, and is like to live with. Additionally, I grew up with a Grandmother who had severe and completely incapacitating rheumatoid arthritis, and was a v difficult character on account of her constant pain. My mum provided 24/7 care for her but I think the idea that she would consequently have been entitled to more inheritance than her other siblings (had there actually been any money) would have been abhorrent to her.

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 13:45:36

Apart from anything else, you and your husband will have absolutely no say in how the estate is distributed.

If there is a will then that will include your mil's wishes and has to be distributed that way by law. If she has dementia then she can't write another will.

If there is no will then the estate will be shared between your husband and his brother equally. That is also the law.

Since there is nothing that you can do, I would suggest not giving it another thought.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 12-Sep-13 13:45:56

I think it is entirely normal when caring for someone with Dememtia to get resentful towards absent siblings (or inlaws) in this case. It hugely effects your life and it is recognised that Carers in this situation are more prone to depression and ill health.

OP, take a step back from this and reflect what you want from your life. Now is probably the time to decide what you want from the future and put things in place it make this happen. Never underestimate the benefits of having siblings getting on with each other. This has happened between me and my Brother about the right way forward for care of my Mum who has Dementia.

I was at the GP having my Blood Pressure Meds increased yesterday and he said he sees these family arguments happen time and time again and has to deal with the fallout. The stress of a fallout just isn't worth it. Recognise that it is probably resentfulness you are feeling, look at what you can do to change th situation and move on.

Parmarella Thu 12-Sep-13 13:48:41

Sounds like you have taken on a very hard role, hat off to you for doing that work.

Sorry it is not (probably) going to work out as you hoped financially. Maybe time to reconsider your career?

Being a carer is tough work, maybe try and find another job.

It is a tough job, and as you can see, it is not appreciated enough by MIL or family, so....why even do it?

I love my MIL, but would never sign up for being her carer (selfish).

About the inheritance, that was a mistake in your thinking and has nothing to with you, it is up to MIL, her will and the brothers. ...unfortunately for you!

burberryqueen Thu 12-Sep-13 13:51:15

i hope she leaves it to the local cats' home

DeWe Thu 12-Sep-13 13:52:06

Hang on. There's nowhere she says she was only looking after her mil for financial gain. If she was I guess she'd have given up by now, probably a long time ago.

She has loss of earning for teaching for 3 years, her dh is commuting to work (costing transport cost) and staying away (presumably paying rent in London). That alone is probably going to be in the region of at least £100K.
She has spent three years caring for her MIL-dementia is hard. You need to be on call 24/7, because dementia sufferers are just as likely to wake at night and do something dangerous as during the day.
That's saved her mil/the inheritance the cost of a care home, which is roughly £30K a year. That's roughly another £100K over three years.

At the same time they've been doing up the house. Maybe some people love doing that sort of thing, but I hate it. Again, if they'd got someone in it would have cost them.

She's not saying they should keep the house outright, she's saying a larger part.
However I think that sort of thing should probably be discussed, distasteful though it feels, before it starts. It would have been perfectly reasonable to say that they needed to have enough to get a similar house to the one they'd sold in the same place.

My parents know someone who did exactly the same just before the 80s housing boom. They were caring for 7 years. Hving had a house where they wanted, the size they wanted and sold it to care for parents in their home, 7 years later they found that their 1/3 of the inheritance and what they'd saved went nowhere near even looking at being able to buy a house. So from having a house they'd nearly paid off the morgage, they couldn't get a morgage to cover a smaller house.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 13:52:08

why did you sign up to it? Seriously? You have no skin in the game.

tell your dh and his bro to sort it out between them because there is no benefit to you of the current arrangement, and significant downside.

Editededition Thu 12-Sep-13 13:54:59

This is really about whether people care for their elderly loved ones because of love and a sense of duty, or for financial reward, isn't it?

When the subject came up for discussion, did the OP and her DH decide they should give up their own home, move, and care for MIL because it seemed the caring, family thing to do and they were able to make those changes to support her ....or because they thought there would be financial gain at the end of it?
Obviously the DH thought it was the first option. Hence why he will be splitting an inheritance equally with his sibling.
If the OP thought it was the latter reason - then she should really have made it clear to her DH in the first place, and an agreement made before they moved in.

Equally - if an estate is being split between siblings why should it matter that one may already be financially more secure than another. The parent wanted each child to have the same share.

Wills are not about what people are entitled to, or think they ought to be. They are about the last wish of the person who made them.
It is dreadful to think those wishes might be over-ridden because the person concerned is no longer here to argue.

boschy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:55:15

OP, I think you are a SAINT and I could not do what you are doing for my own mother, let alone MIL.

so, I would suggest DH and BIL take over the caring responsibility (either doing it themselves or paying for a 24 hour carer) and you lay down the responsibility.

as I understand it, you have not been able to work for 3 years, so DH and BIL should understand that you have had enough.

I dont think you are in the least bit mercenary or the other insults thrown your way on here.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 13:55:23

Thanks * Toxic* yes I haven't discussed this in great detail with my dh before we moved, I trusted it's what he wanted. I like my Mil I've known her for over 20 years she's had demensia for 5 years. I should have said that I would like to move in a year to be nearer my mum and some good schools. This is why my husband had the place valued. We not sure whether to take her with us, sell up and put her in care (not really keen on that). As the area I would like to move to is expensive we need to consider whether we can get a house big enough to manage all of us which is why we need to know how much we can have. I felt since it was for her a larger share would seem fairer.

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Sep-13 13:55:38

It's right there in the op, DeWe, in plain English.

Damnautocorrect Thu 12-Sep-13 13:55:40

You can certainly and should claim from the estate for maintenance work you've done / had done (obviously you can't claim labour). Effectively it will be halved. But no sorry you shouldn't get more other than that, it was your choice, presumably so she receives a nicer better level of care. Not to protect your inheritance

Ilovemyrabbits Thu 12-Sep-13 13:55:48

OP did provide some caring according to her OP so it does seem that she has had her hands full at some point. Is MIL actually in a home? She mentioned fees, but is that for the future rather than now? If MIL has dementia and is living in the house, why would they be selling it? Isn't change the worst thing for dementia sufferers? If MIL is in a home already, selling is presumably an option, but it seems fair BIL would get half.

The fact that the OP moved in 3 years ago means there is actually something to inherit, house-wise. That means even with 50% of the house proceeds, the OP has benefitted greatly from her choice 3 years ago to help her MIL. I appreciate that it may seem unfair the other brother is inheriting when he's done nowt, but welcome to the world. This happens whenever someone dies.

Rent free living for 3 years should offset the 7% gain they would have had from staying put. It will also be off-balanced by the general rise in the housing market and selling the big country pile as opposed to the small London house. The loss of career was a choice and we all make them. Stay at home with the kids? Lose your career progression. Take on caring responsibilities for a spouse or parent? Ditto. OP is clearly concerned about her career limitations, self imposed though they are to some degree. If it's teaching, agency work is always a good way in and can help to improve prospects and increase the chance of getting a good job. It's not like she worked in an environment that is unforgiving in this regard.

OP asked if she is being greedy and I have to say yes. And a bit presumptuous. She's entitled to think about MIL going and who gets what. It's natural to some degree. But it expecting more than a fair share is greedy and could divide a family for ever.

OhDearNigel Thu 12-Sep-13 13:55:52

This is a classic example of MNers making themselves appear like Mother Teresa on behalf of some unseen character in the drama, whilst actually using the occasion to be rude and dismissive to the person asking for advice

^This. I'm sure there would be stacks of MNetters on this thread would be simply queuing up to give up their careers so they can look after various ILs for absolutely no benefit at all. Stacks of 'em

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 13:57:25

OP, do you or your husband have power of attorney for you mil?

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 13:57:47

Thanks Bocshy

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 13:58:06

Tbh, if this was, say, me and my sister, we'd be having a chat about what the will says and how it's actually going to happen......or if not, things might have to change, right now.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:00:28

Both brothers have power of attorney. I have stayed out of any financial decisions but I'd need to think about what we can afford to do and make plans. I wish I'd said something at the start.

Ilovemyrabbits Thu 12-Sep-13 14:03:22

Jelly aren't you going to be up on the deal though? Even with just half?
You have the proceeds from the sale of your own house and half of MIL's house. How is that not enough???

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 14:03:49

Well OhDearNigel I definitely wouldn't be able to look after either of my parents and fortunately they have no money or property, so nothing to tempt me there. My mum has always said that she will go into a home if the time comes and we all know that we would kill each other if we had to share a home. I love them, but I couldn't live with them.

I really think that the OP has come to this 3 years too late. This should all have been discussed before the OP and her husband sold up and moved in.

Kewcumber Thu 12-Sep-13 14:05:23

Not that this is a helpful comment but the time to be clear about this was 3 years ago!

If you don;t want the situation to continue as it is, you need to be clear about what would be acceptable to you and fair to your DH's brother. Decide what the alternative is if you can't agree something - eg selling MILS's house using funds to pay her expenses/care home fees and anything (if anything) left over when she dies to be split equally.

I'm afraid you will probably have to suck up whatever you've lost out on financially over the last 3 years unless you can get BIL to be fair and offer you something as MIL is obviously not competent to make a decision.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:05:32

But jelly listen to me for a sec. You are the one losing out here. Caring counts for jack shit in the scheme of things, certainly not on your CV. It's his mother, not yours. Why are you the one sacrificing your life for all this? Go back to work FGS. tell your DH and his Dbro to cough for a home/ carer.

CaptainUndercrackers Thu 12-Sep-13 14:06:49

Hats off to you OP, I think you are doing an amazing job for your MIL and those giving you stick should think on. Sadly many of us will end up in the position of caring for our elderly relatives and it's tough. Don't know about the inheritance thing in terms of legal entitlement. But I can understand your concerns, and resentment. I do think that regardless of money issues you would be well advised to rope in your BIL to provide respite care on a regular basis. She's his mother, why should you get left with all the work 24/7? Him and your DH should be showering you with rose petals for taking care of their mum for them.

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 14:06:50

Even with power of attorney can you sell the house and divide the money now? Wouldn't that be a bit of an issue with the authorities and the rules for acting on you mils behalf?.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:07:33

I would take this to DH's Dbro- say that you cant cope anymore and that you are going to sell the house and put MIL in a home. He'll be bringing a deal to the table smartish, I'll bet.

Settle when he gets to 70/30

Ragusa Thu 12-Sep-13 14:07:35

I don't understand the thing about you moving to a more expensive area and 'needing to know how much you can have' in order to do this. The brothers won't inherit until the MIL dies but you would need the funds immediately you move house with MIL in tow, surely? Or am I missing something? Is your DH is planning to use 'his share' of the house proceeds (by exercising power of attorney) to buy the new house, before your MIL dies??

Thymeout Thu 12-Sep-13 14:08:47

I do know what it is like to care for someone with dementia and incontinence, and I think some posters have been very unfair to OP. She's been taking the brunt of this situation, more so even than her husband.

As fire says, there's nothing that can be done now if the house was left 50-50 in the will. But natural justice says you shouldn't be left out of pocket for the time and money you have put in to ensuring there is something to inherit. Without you, your MIL would be in a home, the house would have been sold and the money would be disappearing at a huge rate in carehome costs.

Could you calculate your expenses, including recognition of lost salary and house renovation and set it against a market value rent? Find out what care home fees would have been. Then have a conversation with your BIL. He could agree to do a deed of variation when MIL dies. He needs to realise that he is very much in your debt.

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 14:09:44

If the house is sold now the money is still your mother in laws until she dies.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 12-Sep-13 14:09:47

Could your MIL pay CH fees from her income then Jelly ? I

GrrArgh Thu 12-Sep-13 14:10:01

I think if I were the brother, I would be extremely cross if I heard that my SIL wanted me to lose out on part of my inheritance because she'd made the adult decision to put her career on hold and live rent-free for three years. I'm not saying that's how it is but if you're going to present this to him, make sure you are watertight in your figures.

3 years eh?
How old is your husband and his brother?

You made MILS house habitable for you, right? You gave up your work so you could be a sahm in the country, not pay rent/mortgage in exchange of looking after an elderly lady.

And now you feel entitled to a larger share of her inheritance?

Your compensation was living rent/mortgage free and the country life style.

The money from the sale of your house could have been invested wisely, and put together with 50% of mils estate once she passes, could perhaps buy you a new home?

Do however keep track of the work you have done, as you may have increased the value of the property. However, you and your dh (as well as dhs brother) will benefit from that one day.

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 14:10:22

I don't understand the thing about you moving to a more expensive area and 'needing to know how much you can have' in order to do this. The brothers won't inherit until the MIL dies but you would need the funds immediately you move house with MIL in tow, surely? Or am I missing something? Is your DH is planning to use 'his share' of the house proceeds (by exercising power of attorney) to buy the new house, before your MIL dies??

Ragusa that's how it read to me too, but sincerely hope that that isn't the plan. The OP could get into all sorts of trouble that way.

CeliaLytton Thu 12-Sep-13 14:11:01

If you want to move, you would have to do it on any money you have available. If however MIL would be better off coming with you, could you discuss with BIL the need for a bigger house for the meantime, so a greater share of the proceeds from the house as it is sold, with a legal arrangement that when MIL is no longer living with you, you will downsize appropriately and return his share? Or could the split be 45/45/10 to the two brothers and MIL, enabling MIL to effectively pay rent on any new property, bearing in mind you will have to have somewhere bigger than you world otherwise?

If BIL is only interested in financial gain he would rather that than all the inheritance used for care home fees.

Charlottehere Thu 12-Sep-13 14:11:27

Yabu of course

CeliaLytton Thu 12-Sep-13 14:13:24

Absolutely no legal knowledge at all BTW but just looking for a solution that would enable you to move and keep caring for your MIL.

VoiceOfRaisin Thu 12-Sep-13 14:14:06

Caring for someone with advanced dementia is a big ask. Well done OP. You clearly have affection for your MIL as you call her "very nice".

I can see why you might want to move nearer your own mum and schools and so are thinking of the future. However, I think you should disregard any idea of an inheritance. I don't think it does anyone any good to plan their life around an expected inheritance - after all, it may never happen.

You should plan what is best for you and your MIL. It might well make sense for her to sell her house and use the money to fund a care home whilst you resume your career near your parents. I doubt 3 years out of p/t teaching will have harmed your prospects very much and presumably you multi-tasked with being home for your little ones.

When (?if) the money from the house sale runs out, the funding should be picked up by the government so you can relax.

I am sorry if you thought you were "earning" whilst caring for your MIL if nobody else saw it that way. That's tough but what you have done is a good thing and you can be proud of yourself. Sadly, I think YABU to expect a share of the house at all (let alone a "larger" share). Sorry. Maybe you need a break.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:15:28

Both brothers own a quarter share of the house, something that was set up many years ago by their father. Their M now owns his share. So we could effectively take our share out if we sell up and move. (Whether she comes with us or goes into a home). Her half would then pay for her nursing home if she comes with us then we are protecting that half of her money.

SunshineMMum Thu 12-Sep-13 14:15:33

Op I have a slightly different perspective on this, as a close friend gave up her own home, job to care for her Mother. I also know what it is like to be a carer, albeit it in very different circumstances to yours.

I know what it cost her personally to do this and there were similar issues to those you describe You must be very worried about the future, I'd get some sound financial advice sad

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:16:59

Oh come on people! Yes, legally it's still MIL's money but she's a mentally incapacitated old lady. It's perfectly possible for the brothers to come to an informal agreement in respect of the property now, and that should reflect the unpaid care work that the OP has done and that she will have NO LEGAL benefit from which is why I'm telling her to get back to work now, and so should you.

CaptainUndercrackers Thu 12-Sep-13 14:17:09

Quintessential - looking after an incontinent old lady with dementia is hardly 'living the country lifestyle'. It's not exactly a life people dream of is it?

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 14:18:43

Protecting it from what?

Your posts keep reading as if your more interested in keeping her out of a care home so her money isn't spent rather than doing what is best for her? Perhaps I am reading that wrong and I really hope I am but that is how it seems to me.

Often with late stage dementia being in a nursing home is the best thing for the person and their family because they are safe. You say you want to go back to work so who would look after your MIL then? It seems you have young children so again do you want that pressure as things get worse? Perhaps when you move you would be better focusing on finding the best possible care home in the area so she is safe and looked after and you can start to build your career again and focus on you a bit more.

Thymeout Thu 12-Sep-13 14:18:44

GrrArgh - you've left out the small point of caring for his elderly mother for three years. Would BIL have given up his job to do it?

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Sep-13 14:19:56

Oh I love the way the OP is supposed to love her MiL so, so much (far more in fact than her MiL's sons) that she should care for her 24/7 with no thought of her financial future. But of course, don't we all? hmm

If in the future, should I require this level of care, I would be honoured if one of my sons should undertake it. And of course I would expect them/their family's to be financially recompensed, if that is the choice they made. In what way is that unfair?

What is abhorent is that people expect to inherit from their parents without helping them when they need it. Visiting on alternative Sundays and inviting them over at Christmas is one thing, looking after a dementia sufferer is another.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 12-Sep-13 14:21:46

I think you need to be quite careful at this point Jelly and get sne good advice regarding Mother in Law's share. What if you buy a house using some of her money and her Dementia proceeds in a way that you are unable to cope with her at home eg. She becomes violent and needs an EMI unit.

If she or the rest of you can't fund the fees ( I was advised about 1k a week for EMI care) then I think SS will be asking questions about her share of the house and they may deem this to be deprivation of assets. Could be totally wrong but you have to be really really careful.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:22:25

Put it this way, if my Dsis looked after my DM for, say, 5 years. sparing me the worry and expense of a nursing home, I'd say "you have the house. You deserve it". I dont think I'm an especially nice person, so I dont understand why the OP's DBIL hasnt made the same gesture.

D0G Thu 12-Sep-13 14:22:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrrArgh Thu 12-Sep-13 14:22:56

I haven't left it out, Thymeout. I am just pointing out that he might not see things the way she does. It sounds like everyone thinks the arrangement is voluntary (because it is) and presumably done out of kindness, duty, for personal reasons like not enjoying job anyway...We don't know. He might not appreciate that she wants him to pay for it. I'm just saying be very sure how you present this (this thread is surely a heads up for how poorly these things can go?).

Ragusa Thu 12-Sep-13 14:23:17

I am totally confused now. So my final advice would be this: OP, get legal advice on the implications of all this - you need to know about your obligations under the POA, and the rules on deliberate deprivation of capital for care home fees.

CaptainUndercrackers Thu 12-Sep-13 14:23:39

If in the future, should I require this level of care, I would be honoured if one of my sons should undertake it. And of course I would expect them/their family's to be financially recompensed, if that is the choice they made. In what way is that unfair?

^^ this.

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 14:25:21

Good point Wyken - I believe the time span is 7 years for giving someone the assets before it wouldn't be counted?

OP - I think that you went into this situation thinking that you were doing the best for your family and that if you knew then what you know now (about the amount of help BIL would give etc.) you might have made a different decision.

I am very wary about ending up in your situation. DH, his brother and the brothers wife all work but I am a SAHM with young children. It would be very easy for them to simply expect me to pick up the slack and start caring for MIL should anything happen to her. But I am hoping to gain some independence and start working again sooner rather than later and I would not want to make a commitment to MIL which ruled out my being able to work - unless my role was properly defined and valued by the rest of the family. Otherwise I think they would take me for granted.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:27:01

grr i agree, and I'm always quite amazed in MN how polite and conflict-averse people are around their siblings. In our family this would have been thrashed out over a bottle of rose on Day 1, and I'm sure it would have been in this case if either the DH or the BIL were making any sort of personal sacrifice to make this situation come about, but as per fucking usual it's not them. It's unpaid, unskilled and crappy work by women that is preserving these guys' inheritance. Aggghhhh. FFS. When are we going to learn?

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:29:37

I must admit I have lots of mixed feelings about this and because I'm isolated up here in the house for 3 years away 200's miles from my old friends. This is why I put my confusion out to MN'ers for advice. I have always been terrible with money and will no doubt follow my husbands lead, as its his mum and his house. I do however think it is mad not to consider saving the vast amount of money care homes cost. The priority to care was something I did for my husband for his mum. But there comes a point when I may have made my dc lot worse as I had a well paid PT job and now I have none and may even have to rent.

GrrArgh Thu 12-Sep-13 14:32:24

As someone pointed out, three years out of teaching isn't the end, you can catch up presumably.
This is obviously not working for you. Have you talked to them about the realities of selling up and getting f/t care for their mother?
This may well focus both of them into realising that (as someone put it below) you have been working to your detriment to preserve their inheritance.

Thymeout Thu 12-Sep-13 14:32:57

Rich - I think part of the problem is people simply don't realise how long people with dementia can live. 5 years in my case.

There's a crisis, someone isn't coping, it's an emergency. A relative steps in, thinking it's short term, they can manage, put their lives on hold for a year or so. And then it turns into a much longer scenario with no end in sight.

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 14:32:57

Op I agre with Richman.

Say you have had enough and want to go back to work. They will SHIT themselves when they realise how much care homes fees are or even staff to come in. They are taking massive advanagte of you.

£30 grand is a very conservative estimate, the home I worked in over a decade ago charged 500 a week for a basic crap room! ( they had an allocation of just under a pound for food per day).

In the worst case scenario, as your DH doesnt seem to appreciate your work either, what if he leaves you>

You will be out of job market and no one looking out for you.

Good on you for the penny dropping, no one will look after us in this life
( the irony) you must take care of yourself, start by saying, enough, i want my career back.

You are all holding on for a slice of pie, protecting it - but in the mean time you are laying your precious life on the altar of time.

Are you really saving anything?

is it so vital your DC get more inheritance?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:34:55

Ok- past performance is no guarantee of future returns ....... you were terrible with money, You don't need to be in future. Just educate yourself. It's actually really simple. Call a nursing home. Find out what it would have cost your DH and DBIL to have MIL in a home. Use that as a starting point for the negotiations with DBIL (obviously your DH has to be onside). However, if he's not, you should tell him he needs to find another arrangement, cos there's nothing in it for you. Do not be a mug about this. Seriously.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:40:49

Thank you Richman I think its time for a family meeting. I don't think many people realize how much cost is involved in care homes. We had to pay nearly £900 for my mum to go in for respite care whilst we went camping for our summer holiday.

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 14:44:57

jelly, I agree re care home fees and visiting carers. The home my mum is in costs over £3k a month. To have visiting carers in her own home (including overnight stays, which she needed) would have been £2k PER WEEK.

Definitely time to sit down and thrash this all out. With a brew!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:47:27

No problem. Look, I know this shouldn't just come down to money , but at the same time, it's easy for your husband to agree a 50/50 split, having not made any sacrifice on his own part, other than a bit of a harder commute. If he was the one having random conversations about Nazi hedgehogs and changing tena pants, he'd probably have a different view on it. Personally, I feel BIL should already have broached the subject, and maybe it's one of those things he feels he shouldn't bring up until it's a done deal (i.e. when the will is read, he'll suggest a DOV in your favour) but I still think it's worth DH and DBIL having a chat now, so that the expectations are known.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:48:49

Fishandjam and cake. I just wanted to get my argument into perspective. I've become a drudge.

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 14:51:08

Good point Wyken - I believe the time span is 7 years for giving someone the assets before it wouldn't be counted?

Just wrote a long post and lost the lot.

Sirzey I was going to say that there is no time scale with deprivation of assets. If the assets are transferred or used at a time when there is a reasonable expectation of the mil needing care then this could well be seen as deprivation of assets. The mil already has dementis so this would be a cause of concern.

Also the brothers can't use their power of attorney to spend the mils money and assets as they see fit. There are rules that need to be taken into account. One being that everything has to be done to protect the mils money and it has to be used to benefit her and not the wider family.

firesidechat Thu 12-Sep-13 14:52:56

dementia not dementis.

myfriendflicka Thu 12-Sep-13 14:52:57

Legally, there is an issue here, apart from anything else.

It depends on the MiL's will, if there is one.

Do you or your husband (or anyone else?) have Power of Attorney for her? This is usually set up by an elderly person before they lose capacity so that their assets are protected.

The person with Power of Attorney (it can be more than one person), is supposed to take financial (and other, including medical) decisions in the best interests of the person they have it on behalf of. It is overseen by the Office of Public Guardianship.

As your MiL has probably lost the capacity to make legal decisions because of her dementia, you need to get that sorted out before you speculate on shares of property or anything else. if you haven't got Power of Attorney you will probably need to take legal advice. I would contact the Office of Public Guardianship if you haven't done this already:

phantomnamechanger Thu 12-Sep-13 14:54:22

I think families don't thrash this out enough beforehand TBH

If ever MIL needed 1:1 care in her own home to prevent her having to go into care, I would be willing to do it/have her come live with us, but given that the other option is her DC finding a live-in carer, it would not be unreasonable for ME to be that paid carer and insist on financial recompense. It is hard work looking after an elderly person!

Perhaps the BIL should have been paying OP the going rate (well, his 50% of it) all along.

Perhaps BIL and DH could agree a monthly payment to you individually, to be deferred until they inherit. Get it in writing, with a start date.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:56:21

The brothers have power of attorney and 1/4 share of house.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:56:43

1/4 each

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 14:59:11

hang on- who gets the other half, or are there 4 brothers?????

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 15:01:03

When you gave up your job & moved in with MIL was there absolutely no discussion about money with BIL?
I'm wondering if you all presumed certain things but never vocalised them? Maybe MIL made some provision in her will in the event of her needing long term care.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:01:56

The other half is MILs

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 15:03:42

Oh, I see. So your DH currently owns 1/4 of the house, and will inherit another 1/4 when MIL dies.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:05:48

I did ask my husband before we moved but didn't get much of a reply it all seemed so distasteful in light of our urgency in discovering how bad she was and wanting to look after her. I just assumed (wrongly) that he would sort something out. I hope to raise my point next week with BIL who we haven't seen since before holidays (even though he is only 1/2 hour away.)

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 12-Sep-13 15:07:59

well i think to start with, you and DH need to be on the same side, and "take it" to BIL. If Dh doesn't get it, then you need to present the alternative, but no point in having a family conference where DH and BIl basically agree that you should continue to look after MIL in order to preserve their inheritance (to put it harshly)

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:08:10

As brother lived 200miles away and they don't talk that often (but are close, man thing)

wigglesrock Thu 12-Sep-13 15:09:29

I was snippy earlier - I'm sorry. But, you need to seperate the inheritance issue from the best way to care for your mil. The dementia is not going to get any easier. Even if an arrangement could be made financially is this really what you want?

My granny is in a nursing home - she has dementia. It's not forgetfulness or absent mindedness - she can be cruel, hurtful, so very hurtful, she refuses to wash, go to the toilet, brush her hair, eat sometimes. My father and I were her main carers, it was too hard for us. She needed professionals who knew what they were doing and weren't blinded by how much they loved her.

My granny is very old - like in her 100s - apart from dementia she's as fit as a fiddle. Please be careful, think of 10 years down the line. Focus on what's best for you and if that means her house needs to be used to fund her care then that will be the best option.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:11:20

Yes Richman I feel I might be on my own in this. But then I could get lucky and get a job, then I would feel I have some power. Does it show that I feel unappreciated by my dh?

Leopoldina Thu 12-Sep-13 15:13:42

read what flika says. You are almost certainly far too late to make any arrangements about what happens to your MIL's half share of the house - if she's had dementia for five years, it's unlikely she'll have capacity to alter any will that exists. To the extent there is a will and it leaves everything to the cats home, or your BIL - you are not going to be able to change that now.
I'm not sure what you are trying to change - trying to get your BIL to hand over his quarter of a house he already owns? again, too late. Horse has gone / door is bolted.

diddl Thu 12-Sep-13 15:15:48

Would it be such a disaster if the house was sold for nursing fees?

Inheritance is helpful, sure, & I know my dad would like my sibling & I to inherit his house.

But realistically, if he needs a care home, it'll have to go for fees.

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 15:18:40

If you get a job locally who will care for MIL? If she needs a Carer will BIL chip in?

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:18:53

Wiggles 100 years amazing MIL only 88 but has all those actions you describe apart from she like to east all the time. I had to get sugar substitute as I was scare she was going to make hereself diabetic the amount she was helping herself to from the kitchen It was my husband who originally wanted to care for her to protect his inheritance as he is low paid work. I originally suggested a care home as my mum had managed one, I knew they can be good. But I also knew he wouldn't allow it.

You need to look at it from the perspective of how much the family is saving by you taking this on.

But you should have thought about all the implications before moving. But hindsight is a fabulous thing...

Leopoldina Thu 12-Sep-13 15:19:45

well that sounds like your solution. You get a f/t job, and your DH quits his low paid job and looks after his own mother.

CinnabarRed Thu 12-Sep-13 15:20:06

I'm sorry you feel unappreciated by your DH. That sucks in any situation, but yours is particularly stark. If you wanted to post a new thread in Relationships then you'd get loads of support.

diddl Thu 12-Sep-13 15:23:07

" It was my husband who originally wanted to care for her to protect his inheritance as he is low paid work."

So why didn't he??

I agree you should look for work & let your husband take over asap!!

And that he doesn't seem to appreciate you looking after his mum is bloody awful.

sashh Thu 12-Sep-13 15:23:08

Her half would then pay for her nursing home if she comes with us then we are protecting that half of her money.

You mean you are protecting it for your dh and BIL, not for MIL.

Q - are you giving MIL the best care money can buy?

If not then she would be better off in a home and why shouldn't her assets be sold to pay for it?

Why have you done improvements on a house you don't own?

WandaDoff Thu 12-Sep-13 15:25:14

I looked after my demented MIL for nearly 7 yrs.

I didn't get anything left in her will & DP got the same as his siblings even though we looked after MIL for years.

It's just the way these things seem to work unfortunately IME.

Tell you what though, here's some thanks & brew & cake.

I'd give you a big shiny medal as well if I could because I've been where you are & is not easy.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 12-Sep-13 15:31:39

My understanding is also that there is no time limit for SS to look back for what they deem to be deprivation of assets.

I agree it's Wigglesrock about separating inheritance issues from your MIL care. My Mum was fairly independent a year ago. Now she is in a flat in a CH and essentially a ward of Social Services as she is found not to have Capacity and neither my Brother or I have the Health or Welfare POA, just the financial one. We're awaiting a Best Interests decision at her Case Conference next week to see if she stays there or comes home with Live in Carers.

My Brother and I don't speak anymore apart from minimal Mum related emails. Mum has told the SW I am evil, plotting against her and doesn't want me involved in her care. My Brother has told me he considers me only to have best interests at heart, said if it went to a case conference he will tell thm I am financially motivated, fired me and is reducing DH's hours.

If you told me this would happen a year ago I wouldn't have believed you. I've been told to try and arrange Mum's finances to cover 10 years by her Psychiatrist and SW.

We are an example of when things go badly wrong. Be very very careful of how you go forward from here, think about the future now before doing anything else. To give you an idea of the cost of a Live in Carer if that helps, my Brother had arranged one which was £77 a day, plus food. £100 a week to the agency, then up to £60 every two weeks travel costs.

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 15:31:58

You need to make your husband realise its not his inheritance it's his mothers life and to not let her go into a care home when that is the best thing for her is frankly awful. Yes it stinks that people have to pay for care but if that is what is needed to keep her safe and happy then that is what should be done. He certainly shouldn't expect you to give up everything to take on that task which unfortunately will only get harder over time.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:41:26

Thanks Wanda your amazing and you didn't even vent and gripe on MN. Got to pick up dcs now 1hr round trip -##ing countryside. smile

primroseyellow Thu 12-Sep-13 16:02:37

YANBU and I am quite shocked at some comments. You have been far more selfless than many people would, helping care for MIL so she can stay at home. I suggest MIL needs to pay you for her care and for any work done on the house at sensible rates, taking into account the presumably rent free home you have, if the inheritance will eventually be split 50/50. I don't know why people object quite so much to a practical sensible discussion about what is going to happen after someone dies.

dufflefluffle Thu 12-Sep-13 16:14:09

I get where you're coming from! You have put in all the effort and are right to think you should be compensated. Unfortunately there does seem to often be the case where one child ends up with the burden of care - my mother looked after her own mother but wasn't left a bean as she was female and it all went to her (twin) brother. She was very accepting of it as her upbringing had been the same.
Would it be possible to work out how much you have spent on the house and deduct that from the house sale proceeds before splitting the rest? And can I ask what did you think was going to happen when you took this on? - I would have been very reluctant to look after my MIL - even for a country house but having said that my DH looks after his mother who has been dying for about 20 years and she is the type that will leave it all to the Cat's Home!! We have come to terms with that and it doesn't affect how DH cares for her but then again she is his mother (NOT mine). All those who thinks OP is mean to be thinking this please marry my ds and look after me in my old age for nothing at all - I'm planning on being really difficult.

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 16:25:04

Go on everyone, pile in pile in hmm. "Vile"? Seriously? How many vile people do you know who look after elderly, confused, incontinent relatives, and have given up their job and home in order to do so? The mistake she has made is asking this in AIBU, otherwise known as "Please Kick The Shit Out Of Me."

I don't think YABU OP. You have given up an awful lot to look after your MIL, and caring for someone with dementia is just about the hardest task in the world. I think you should be recognised for this.


When I uprooted my kids to move to Norway to look after my own elderly parents (dad in wheelchair after a stroke and mum with levy body dementia) I was called a blooming saint, and this was for looking after MY OWN parents.

The mistake here is not thinking through the consequences prior to leaving (hey, neither did we and we are still frantically trying to clear up the mess we made of things by moving! The financial loss to our own immediate family has been tremendous sad)

AND expecting any financial reward.

No, it is never a good idea to move in with elderly parents, you may have a heart of gold, but in the cold light of day, nobody will thank you for it.

And why is this? Because nobody is going to recognize your good deed, and nobody is going to reward you, if it means giving up on something themselves.

Good and decent people give up a lot to help others. People who wont do the same, are equally as unlikely to recognize neither the financial benefit THEY have from it, nor grant any benefit to you for doing so.

At the end of the day, when the will is read out, no sibling is going to say "but hang on, sibling x has given up so much, lets allocate some more to them". They just arent. And why not? Because of greed and lack of empathy.

You can be sure as heck that the person who has NOT gone to live with elderly parents, is not going to be the person who will voluntarily give up on anything that is legally or rightfully theirs, even though it would be morally right to do so.

Jan49 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:38:16

I find it very strange that in 7 pages there is still no mention of whether your MIL has a Will or not or whether your DH and BIL are just expecting to inherit her half of the house as next of kin.

You say you're disappointed that your DH said half would go to his brother, but your DH isn't the one who decides where MIL's estate goes. That's decided by a Will or by law. No one is depriving your dc of any inheritance. I'm shocked that you say your DH wanted to care for her to protect "his inheritance". There is no inheritance as your MIL is alive.

Looking after a person with dementia is a very difficult task and if you feel now you don't wish to continue whether for financial reasons or others, then you and your DH (and probably your BIL) need to discuss it.

EastwickWitch Thu 12-Sep-13 16:40:26

I apologise, I agreed with vile.
However, the 1st post was very money oriented.
I'm still trying to understand who would pay for the care if the Op found a job locally.
I think she may have been very naive, not even discussing finances before the arrangement was made.

fallon8 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:42:30

Hopefully,she will live to a ripe old age,thus no money for you to squabble one forced you to do this,you had your eyes on the main chance

MrsDibble Thu 12-Sep-13 16:42:39

I think everyone is being a bit mean.

You sound like you are lonely and having a hard time looking after Mil etc.

I don't think you can question who gets what though. It's just the way it is, and it's never a good idea to get into an argument about inheritance.

Is the real issue that you are just unhappy with the situation you have ended up in

Really would advise you not to bring up the inheritance question with anyone though as it will never end well.

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Sep-13 16:46:11

Your issue is with your dh, op. He's the one who decided protecting his inheritance to bridge the gap from his low paid job was the way to go - hmm. So completely blatant about it shock

Jan49 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:51:49

At the end of the day, when the will is read out, no sibling is going to say "but hang on, sibling x has given up so much, lets allocate some more to them". They just arent. And why not? Because of greed and lack of empathy.

My siblings did. My gm's estate was left equally to me and my siblings (she had no surviving dc) but my siblings offered to allocate more to me as I had done much more. I said I was fine with just having my equal share. So we divided the money equally. I appreciated the fact that they offered.

FredFredGeorge Thu 12-Sep-13 17:01:55

Maybe take out some life insurance in MIL (given that you're living their rent free at the moment, you probably have sufficient interest)

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 17:02:49

My father has moderate and worsening dementia, and I would not give up my home, career and life in order to look after him full time. We are currently deciding how best to proceed next. My sister can't do it either - however neither of us are not "decent and good". He is entirely beyond our skills. We are not the same as Japan and India in this country culturally - society has developed in a different way to the ones which have elderly people in the family home being looked after by the woman of the house.

The mistake was not talking about this upfront. Unfortunately in some sections of British society talking about death and money and wills are more or less taboo and not naice, and unfortunately the OP is reaping what her DH and his brother have sown by not doing so in advance.

OP you can't carry on like this. You're not a nurse. Have your MIL go into a suitable home and sell the house in order to pay for it. You only get one life. Live it.

digerd Thu 12-Sep-13 17:13:49

As BIL and DH each own 1/4 and MIL 50%, any improvements to the house should be shared in proportion to ownership partners.

Friends wife refused to look after her mil although she was 86 when FIL died aged 91 and MIL was fit. She told us that she had done her bit looking after her DM while her sister did nothing. Her DH was an only child so she knew they would inherit everything and her MIL had only DH to rely on hmm

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Sep-13 17:15:47

I wouldn't have equated living rent free in someone's home to being financiallydependant on them, Fred?

GrrArgh Thu 12-Sep-13 17:19:50

Digerd why should it have been her duty to look after her MIL? Surely this was her DH's issue to sort out, not hers?

(Sorry, I am very down on men who expect their wives/partners to deal with their mothers, with little or no input from the men themselves. Look how many anti-MIL threads there are, this is partly thanks to lazy men not bothering to take much notice of their mothers, IME/O.)

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 17:23:40

digerd, what kind of "looking after" are we talking about here?

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 17:30:52

digerd have you ever looked after an elderly relative? its bloody hard work and I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to take that on alone. Make sure they are safe and looked after of course but not everyone can take on caring roles beyond that

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 17:42:29

Not to mention, the getting up five times a night because they are wandering around, the constant washing of e.g. sofa cushion covers because they have soiled themselves again (as well as the clothes obviously), the tears when they done so, the falls, the bumping into things they didn't see, the entire house shorting out when they decide they'd like to mow the lawn and they mow over the lead. Oh and my dad's current fave - shitting in the bath because he can't remember what it's for. He obviously associates it with some kind of bathroom activity.

That is what looking after someone with dementia entails. And given that some dementia sufferers are only in their early 70s, the prospect is that it will go on for years. To the posters who called the OP vile - shame on you all.

CaptainUndercrackers Thu 12-Sep-13 17:52:39

Hear hear Hester, well said.

OP - how much is MILs 50% of the house worth?

then divide that by half (dh's inheritance) - is it more than you'd have earnt in the last three years if you carried on working? will it still be more if you carry on for another 3years?

and beyond that does it feel 'worth' 3 years of your life?

you need to work out if 'how much is saved' of her money feels worth how much you're doing and for how long it would be worth it.

maybe that's what has hit home for you - that actually you're doing all of this for 25% of the value of the house that you thought was saving everyone a huge loss and having a big impact but actually the brothers don't seem that fussed.

if that 25% is huge and you're desperate not to lose it then carry on. if it's not and you're seeing it in a different light maybe it's time to sell up, the sons get their 25% outright share each and the 50% that is hers goes to care home costs.

incidentally my friends father lived for about 12years with alzheimers. he got it young and the doctor's even said it would be rapid but it wasn't.

SunshineMMum Thu 12-Sep-13 18:16:11

Totally agree Hester, I have been shocked by the vitriol on this thread. I don't think carers get anywhere near the recognition they deserve.

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 18:16:55

Very good point Swallowed.

For my great grandma it was over 20 years. It can be a long drawn out process and you really do need to consider the long term not just the here and now.

BOF Thu 12-Sep-13 18:18:49

Good advice, SAF.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 18:23:51

Hester you made me laugh - not many know what its like to pull frozen false teeth out of the fridge or have to throw away your favourite cake tin coz MiL was shitting in it! The reason for the consideration about money is, if we move next year to consider what property we would need where we could still accommodate her. As down south (near my mum) the properties are more expensive than this area. If family meeting does not suggest any additional money, we probably couldn't carry on in new property as we didn't make a huge amount on our property a we sold when things we deep in recession. We couldn't manage without a downstairs for her to live in as she falls over,and room for ourselves to have some quiet in, especially for dc.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 12-Sep-13 18:26:23

I understand where you are coming from op and refuse to believe half the posters calling you vile etc are being completely honest with themselves re considering their financial future.

Depending on how advanced your mil dementia is she may well not have capacity to change an existing will. And we're you contest it it is unlikely a judge would ward your DH more than he already has been left, because 50/50 is almost always seen as being "fair" in the eyes of the law. Even when in reality it is not.

Sirzy Thu 12-Sep-13 18:26:31

Seriously Jelly if she is at that stage please consider a care home not just for her sake but for yours.

maddy68 Thu 12-Sep-13 18:27:16

Should be left equally between her children

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 18:29:11

It should be equally left as long as her children are also treating her equally in these extreme circs.

ssd Thu 12-Sep-13 18:33:06

op, you have done the care, you should be more of the £

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 12-Sep-13 18:38:46

I don't think it should be left equally to children if one child has gone above and beyond the usual parent child relationship.

Bollocks that 50/50 is fair.

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 18:44:27

Of course!

wigglesrock Thu 12-Sep-13 18:46:59

Jellybeanz1 I know I said earlier but you really need to think long term. Your mil is ill, she is falling down, is doubly incontinent, I don't see how a move will be any better for her than residential care. I've seen it with mine, it's heartbreaking, it so painful to hear someone who helped teach you to read, taught you how to say your prayers smile and cheat at cards blush call you a whore, that you're a thief, trying to hurt her, poison her etc.

Regardless of the money/will stuff I think you're closing your eyes and ears to the difficulties that the future may hold.

Retroformica Thu 12-Sep-13 18:55:10

I think it should be 50/50 but brother should be paying for career to allow you breaks/to work.

Do you get a careers allowance? Not sure if that applies in these circumstances.

viperslast Thu 12-Sep-13 19:22:41

If you have given up work to care for your mil to protect both brothers inheritance then you should be reimbursed for that - by both of them and carers allowance if applicable. With nursing homes at £8/900 pw you have saved them a lot in 3 years.

However that should be yours and is a separate issue to the sale of the house which should follow the will set out by your mil. If she has had dementia for 5 years it can't be altered now anyway.

Personally I think this family meeting should exclude you and include your dh talking to bil about exactly what they are going to pay you as soon as the house is sold. It is wages not inheritance. If your bil refuses then I am not sure what happens but I would start by speaking to a solicitor. It is a shame it wasn't dealt with up front but that doesn't mean it is too late. Whilst it is an emotive situation morally you are totally right to ask for this.

Cravey Thu 12-Sep-13 19:27:26

Is it wrong that I'm hoping you don't get a bloody penny. This is a horrid, grasping, nasty post. The woman isn't even dead yet. Mind your own business wind your neck in and shut up.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 12-Sep-13 19:29:38

It should be 50/50 between her children and if family decide to provide care rather than let the house be sold for car fees then they should all help out.

I hope my son doesnt settle for a low paid you expecting me to provide a decent inheritance and a DIL only providing care to gain money would be distasteful.

Surely given you have the cash from your own house sale, no rent /mortgage or childcare you have saved an enourmous amount. Seems greedy to then want more than a half share in the house. BIL may not have provided any care but neither has he lived rent free for years.

Jan49 Thu 12-Sep-13 19:35:46

To the people who say the MIL's inheritance should be split 50-50 between the 2 brothers: she doesn't actually have to leave it to either of them. She might have a Will leaving it to a charity. OP keeps avoiding answering the question of whether a Will exists or not. Family members can help look after each other without needing an inheritance to persuade them.hmm

LessMissAbs Thu 12-Sep-13 19:43:40

Perhaps your MIL thinks well of your DB for carving out a career for himself and being independent, and doesn't want to deprive him of half his inheritance?

We have some gravediggers up the road from us. Similar situation - run down country house, ageing parents, they can't keep away. Son gives up his job to do their garden sorry become a landscaping contractor . Daughter gives up her job to, well, do nothing but hang around to ensure she doesn't lose out. Their lives are on hold until they inherit. Vile. Its horrible to watch from a distance.

Did anyone actually ask you to give up paid work and move in with your MIL OP, or did you just hope this would provide you with an automatic financial bonus on the woman's death.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 12-Sep-13 19:57:19

Jan49, imagine if the 50% MIL owns is willed to the local cat shelter grin

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 12-Sep-13 20:16:16

* Cravey* you don't sound too nice yourself to be honest.

Looking after someone with Demntia is very similar to looking after a new born baby - at least as far as the hours, the washing and the endless mopping of bodily fluids are concerned.

The difference is that firstly this "baby" weighs over 10 stone and so may hurt you. You also can't comfort yourself with "this too will pass" as it won't! It will only get worse. There are no lovely cuddles and smiles. And the only "firsts" you get are negative ones:- first time granny forgets your name, first time granny hits you, first time smears poo on the wall, first time granny calls your child (who she adored) something horrible that makes them cry.

ModeratelyObvious Thu 12-Sep-13 20:16:40

OP, if your DH is in a low paid job, what if you went back to teaching and he became the carer?

ModeratelyObvious Thu 12-Sep-13 20:20:10

If you sell the house now both DH and BIl will get 25% of proceeds, there could maybe be an adjustment for expenditure on renovation.

MIL would then have money in the bank that could either be used for care home fees or for respite care in your new house if you take her with you. It might well be reasonable for her to pay rent at your new house.

Whatever you do, remember that it needs to be best for the whole family emotionally, including your kids.

Good luck.

CPtart Thu 12-Sep-13 20:29:14

So you don't want "the burden of caring" now you're not going to gain as much financially as you thought?? MIL living longer than you thought is she??

Easy answer. Care home it is and kiss goodbye to the lot!

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 20:35:58

I think if anyone is able to judge MILS condition, its our OP who has dealt with it every day for three years. I do not think she is closing her eyes and ears at all not like some on this thread

Fairy1303 Thu 12-Sep-13 20:36:29

I hope you don't have financial P.O.A OP. does she have money in savings? Get her a live in carer and move on if you feel that you would like to return to work. You actually don't get a say in whether she sells her house, because it is HERS. Does she have the mental capacity to decide if she wants to go to a care home or remain at home?

Does she have the mental capacity to decide whether or not her home is sold? Does she understand the implications of that?

I understand that caring for someone with dementia is bloody hard, but divvying up her assets before she's even dead is absolutely disgusting.

Toxicshmoxic Thu 12-Sep-13 20:43:24

I totally agree Fairy that divvying up her assets before she's even dead is absolutely disgusting would be disgusting were not this sitation as it stands.

We had a similar thing in our family. Some very rich and well off children, who could not even invite their mother to their homes at xmas, bar ONE, all put her in a cheap home hundreds of miles away from them, to shave a few hundred quid off the bill.

They had their hands in pies before the lady had passed on, whilst she was languishing in this home. One or two of the siblings thought they were so so caring because they visited her twice a year for a few hours.

The estate she left was larger than average and none of them needed the money.

This situation is rather different. This OP isnt a vulcher picking over loot whilst someone lies dying. She has put her whole life on hold, rather naively, to care for this lady, and now the penny has dropped that she has been landed in, a rather shite situation. She is very right to wonder whats going on and what will the future hold.

WholeLottaRosie Thu 12-Sep-13 20:46:08

OP are you/ MIL getting any benefits such as Carer's/ Attendance Allowance?

Fairy1303 Thu 12-Sep-13 20:47:45

P.s. wrt finances and care homes -

If she has over 23k she will be expected to fund the whole lot of any care home. If she has under this the LA will pay SOME towards it, leaving her with personal allowance of £23ish per week. Ss will pay an upper limit of roughly 525 per week (including her own contribution) so if her contribution is 400 per week, ss will pay the 125. If you chose a home that charges more than this, a third party will have to make up the difference. Many EMI (dementia) homes can charge up to 1000 per week, sometimes more. They will sometimes negotiate with ss though to get down to the 525 but not all so always check first.

In short, tbh if her dementia progesses and you are no longer able to care for her, there may well be no inheritance anyway. What's most important is her well being, not the money.

I don't doubt btw that you have cared well for MIL, and that you love her, but I think your hard work has clouded your judgement a little on this issue.

AndAnother Thu 12-Sep-13 20:48:06

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:20:04

The only reason we are considering the money is I would like to move in a years time. In which case we would sell the house my dh and his brother would then take out their quarter. If she does come with us we would need to relocate some of her house money in our future shared property, if she doesn't it will all go to to a nursing home. If she needed hospitalisation it would be free but dementia you have to pay for, despite it being an illness. This is not about a will which I don't know about. It could go to a cats home but I think the Government would contest that as they would want to recover the nursing home fees.

CrapBag Thu 12-Sep-13 21:29:31

Good god this thread has shown some of MN at its utter worst!!!

People are actually gleefully hoping that the money goes to the cats home when the OP gave up her career, sold her house to care for her MIL because her DH doesn't want the money to go on care fees. Now she wants to move for the sake of her DCs and be nearer her own mum but people are utterly fixated on this being all about the money!! shock

I am actually gobsmacked.

OP, YANBU. This clearly isn't all about the money for you. You sound like you actually care and you want to take your MIL with you, although I am not sure this is the best option, but you know the situation better than anyone, including your MILs own children. To me, this situation is the doing of your DH who refused to discuss it with you in the beginning, but from the looks of it expected you to give up everything to care for his mum whilst he swanned about doing exactly what he always has, not giving a shit what sacrifice you have made, for his mother.

Get him to have a frank discussion with BIL. If a suitable solution is not reached (and yes I do think you should get more given the giving up of your career, selling your home and uprooting your family, the wages you have lost over the years and the free full time and very demanding care that MIL has had) I would seek legal advice as this does seem a tricky situation.

hellymelly Thu 12-Sep-13 21:40:44

ok, I got to page 6 so may have missed something, but anyway here is my take on it all -
1. You should have kept the London house and rented it out, not sure why you sold it?
2. A rent and/or bills should have been agreed with BIL before you both moved in.
3. As you have given up work to be her carer it would have made sense for a fair proper salary for her care to be worked out for you, the care would then have been your job, and the agreed rent could have been deducted from this leaving a sum to either be paid from the sale of the house when she dies, or the salary to be paid to you out of her own money now.
Then you wouldn't resent the job, as it would be a fairly paid one. No one would be taking advantage on anyone else, and the huge role you are playing in keeping your MIL with family and in her own home (which would only otherwise be achieved by a paid full time carer anyway) would be seen to be respected. That seems fair to me. Care home fees are about £600 a week. Not sure how much a full time carer is, DH's Grandma had them but I don't know what they cost. Hundreds a week certainly.
If you are now keen to move, but happy to continue care, then surely her house should be sold and a new one bought jointly by you two and her ?
I realise it might sound mercenary to be paid to care for a relative, but if you have given up work to do it, and she is financially secure enough to pay for care, then your DH and BIL should be compensating you for it.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:52:15

Thank you those who have posted good common sense. I wish I had been more logical although I did wanted my dh to make the decisions as it was his mum ( it made me feel uncomfortable and I didn't want him to have any regrets). Im not sure if I will be able to cope if she gets really bad anyway wiggles horror stories. We have a lot to discuss at the family gathering. I think I should be involved in the discussion as its my life although I will be guided by the brothers wishes I am using this as a time to rethink and put into place some considerations for me which were left out for the first 3 years..I think I lost a lot of my confidence when I stopped working.

viperslast Thu 12-Sep-13 22:15:50

Caring for someone with dementia is not an easy task and it only gets harder.

One thing, totally unconnected sorry op, if you are considering moving mil to a home please consider it carefully now. The reason homes can work for dementia patients is because they become institutionalised meaning the way of life becomes one they can cope with after a settling in period. However if you go too far down the line the patient is not able to or safe to go through that process. I know it sounds insane but they need a certain amount of erm... consciousness? ? To learn the new lifestyle. I work with a lady now whose lovely family fought to keep her in her home for as long as she was aware that it was her home iyswim? Sadly now she cannot go into a home, she could never acclimatise to it so has to have 24hr care in the home as her needs are now beyond her family. This costs £2000 pw. Everything she had has gone to pay for it whilst her family have to cover living costs. Once she passes away her home will go to cover the mortgage on it and her family will have absolutely nothing left.

It is horribly sad because the mess was born from good intentions. Anyway, like I say not your question but something to be aware of that doesn't get talked about.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 12-Sep-13 22:27:30

Why do you have to sell your mother in laws home to move? Surely you would use the proceeds from your previous housse sale, the money you have saved from living rent free and mortgage the rest?

If she moves in with you, who gets to decide how much she has to hand over for her room in the house towards the purchase. Will you give the BIL a share in your property when she dies? Somehow i doubt it.

Caring for older family members is what a lot of adults do, sadly money seems to play a big part in that. Its hard work i dont doubt but i couldnt charge a close family member for care.

Fishandjam Thu 12-Sep-13 22:35:30

Good advice, viperslast.

I'm signing off now - those of you calling the OP vile and greedy, I suspect you'll think of this thread if you ever end up having to care for someone with dementia. Maybe you'll have a bit more empathy by then.

Floggingmolly Thu 12-Sep-13 22:41:12

So if your mil wants to come and live with you when you move; she may only do this if she invests in your shared property?
So you're planning on getting your inheritance by stealth while she's still alive ?????

Cravey Thu 12-Sep-13 22:44:28

Mum of two young kids. I think I'm lovely thank you. I also care for a relative with dementia. I don't however spend my time worrying about who she is leaving her money too. I responded to the op first post, after all she did drip feed slightly. But I won't take back what I said. It's a hard job she's doing but if she doesn't want to do it then she needs to sort out other care. This isn't about compensation as the op nicely put it in her op. not in my mind anyway.

boschy Thu 12-Sep-13 22:50:40

Dear god, I cant believe the bitchiness of some people on this thread.
OP please listen to the kind ones who are making helpful suggestions and not the others...
and I do hope you can find a solution and most importantly regain your confidence.

Editededition Thu 12-Sep-13 22:52:04

I am not arguing with your points hellymelly but have to say I have never known a family care situation, amongst my friends, where 'compensation' has ever been paid to the family member who 'cared'.

Of those whose families did care (rather than use a nursing home or live-in) two were DIL's and both approached it as they would have done if it were their own mother. Being 'taken advantage of' simply didn't enter into it - the son & DIL made the decision to look after Mum. End of.

So I find the concept of 'compensation', and being 'taken advantage of' by husbands and BILs' to be a little odd. It almost places the person outside the family unit?

YeahWhat Thu 12-Sep-13 22:59:37

I think a 50/50 share would be fairest.

The fact the OP and her DH lost money when they sold their house shouldn't effect the brothers inheritance.

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 23:07:01

Some of you lot are fucking horrible. You really are. I've been on mn for four years and this is the first time I've said anything like that. You're like a pack of fucking hyenas. You're the vile ones, not the OP.

WafflyVersatile Thu 12-Sep-13 23:11:06

If you give up a job/career to look after children then your marriage breaks up, that would be taken into consideration in the divorce settlement. I think it's perfectly understandable to want your sacrifice to be recognised in this instance.

Financially I think it may be difficult to untangle where you lose, where you gain and where others lose and gain. ie, living rent free versus loss of income.

It isn't unusual though for carers to get the short straw in wills in favour of other siblings who wouldn't even do a couple of weeks respite care to allow the carer to have a break. People are weird. Even if it is unfair, without an agreement in place the inheritance is what it is.

Could you negotiate with your DH's DB for him to cover 4 or 6 weeks a year respite care by doing it himself or paying for it?

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:24:08

Thank you Viperslast (I was not aware that you can leave it too late). We may have to talk to her social worker and doctor in reference to moving. It does worry me that she may not cope in a strange new house as she has lived in this one all her life. Happy mum She cannot afford to stay in her home if we move as she doesn't have any savings to pay for care. I don't like the idea of her being in there with only different carers coming in. I'd rather she was in a home but it will be the brothers decision. Im not going to have them have regrets down the line. If the house were sold the brothers would take out their 1/4 of the house left to them by their father. That is not enough for a suitable house as I have no job and dh is low paid. (we only made a little from the sale of our house most of it was on the mortgage). I find the idea of charging for care distasteful too, but in the real world caring costs money. I have lost money taking this life choice, and if I go on caring it will have financial implications for all my family. If it were just about money my partner and his bro could have taken their money out of the house 5 years ago and put her in a home when they got power of attorney. But they love her and know how much she love being in her house.

WafflyVersatile Thu 12-Sep-13 23:32:15

If there is a change on the cards then it is a good time to lay your cards on the table and talk through the different options. His brother might recognise that it's better to give you a bigger share than to pay for a care home.

However the move might disorient her in which case she may be too much to deal with and have to go to a care home anyway.

There are no easy choices here, jellybeaz. sad I don't envy you. Good luck.

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 23:38:44

Jellybeanz I think you have been enormously restrained and dignified in the face of some real cuntishness on this thread. Good luck to you x

Jellybeanz1 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:41:54

Thanks every one, I'm off to bed as she usually wakes me a couple of times. I'll just let it unfold. I feel more chilled now. Maybe I just needed to talk and dh wasn't. In fact I've bored myself now so definitely time to sign off before I bore you all any more.

YeahWhat Thu 12-Sep-13 23:43:51

I feel like I don't want to carry on with the loneliness, the burden of caring and managing this large house and garden( on my own most of the time ) if it wasn't to improve our financial position

Does your DH know this?

Mimishimi Fri 13-Sep-13 02:56:56

YABU. You sound grasping. She can leave what she damn well wants to whoever she wants. Why did you leave your job to take care of her? Go back to work and let her hire a nurse if needs must.

LolaCrayola Fri 13-Sep-13 04:14:29

I can't believe some of the nasty responses here. The OP hardly lives rent free, she has given up her home and career to care for her MIL, who otherwise I presume she would be in a care home and the BIL would get nothing. Sadly, when someone has dementia you have already lost them. Why shouldn't the OP safeguard her future? I am sure if the MIL didn't have dementia it would be what she wanted too.

Fairy1303 Fri 13-Sep-13 06:56:04

Jellybeanz - what level is her dementia at? Does she wander? Would she need carers at night or just in and out during the day? Is there any telecare in situ? Lifeline/alarm on door etc?

If she has no money in savings and wants to remain at home, but you don't like the idea of different carers in and out, it might be worth speaking to her sw about third party direct payments. This is a sum, worked out based on the cost of a carer a the level MIL needs, so you can pay someone private (and regular!) to help.

DP are usually paid directly to the person but if MIL lacks the menal capacity for her finances then you will need third party.

That may be a good option for you. Not care home, but not a care agency with different people n and out either. If you need any help pm me, I am a sw.

Where are you based?

CPtart Fri 13-Sep-13 07:13:34

If its going to be"the brothers decision" whether she stays at home then let them do the caring.
You get back to work. You said yourself DH is low paid.

FourGates Fri 13-Sep-13 07:17:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fairy1303 Fri 13-Sep-13 07:26:01

OP it may also be worth speaking to princess royal trust for carers. They offer great support.

Are you getting carers allowance?

TiredDog Fri 13-Sep-13 07:37:25

Jelly. I think you are voicing what many people briefly think. My mum often talks to me about 'my inheritance'. She has dementia and if my Dad dies I will need to make some decisions fast. Do I carry on working or give up and use 'her money' to finance me being her carer? That would mean incorporating it into my property (extend to house her)

Will my siblings be ok with that...

I don't have the choice to do it without settling the finances before I left work...I'd still be 'expecting' (need) some financial recompense to ditch my career to care.

However... I think a financial split would depend on what was agreed prior to your decision (nothing?) in which case you can't expect anything unless rest of the family choose to acknowledge your work in caring for their parent

Saminthemiddle Fri 13-Sep-13 07:43:33

I read this thread with interest OP as just had a similar conversation with a close friend. I stopped reading other poster's comments when they became abusive - I don't see how people saying can say such things when they don't have the full story.

Firstly, I think you are a saint, a very caring person to look after your MIL with dementia, especially after the biscuit tin incident. I am sure there are loads of other incidents but it seems like you just have to cope and carry on as you are caring for her on your own. It sounds as if both your DH and BIL have buried their heads in the sand and don't want to make a decision so you are going to have to become very strong and have a plan to make things change.

I hope you are claiming carers allowance and this is going in your pocket. Also, you will be entitled to help, check with your MIL's GP surgery.
It sounds as though you need to plan now as her dementia and care needs are only going to get worse.

Obviously I don't know how she is, but it seems the best way is to sell her house and take your share and use her share to put her in a nursing home, wherever that is, is your DH and BIL decision.
You need to get your life back on track for you and your DCs sake.

Saminthemiddle Fri 13-Sep-13 07:45:57

sorry, meant I don't see how people can say such things....

Sirzy Fri 13-Sep-13 07:47:38

Jelly if the burden of care is being left to you then it certainly isn't just the brothers decision what happens next, you have had the role of primary carer for 3 years and probably know better than them what her current health is like, this is unfortunatly only going to get worse over time so you need to speak up and say that you are not happy to continue and what you think should happen next. Make it clear that you will carry on supporting your MIL but you can no longer have such a large caring role. Thats not selfish, that is sensible.

diddl Fri 13-Sep-13 07:58:05

But what if a time comes when you are not able to give her the care she needs, OP?

If MIL has dementia, is that likely to happen?

I see that your husband & BIL own half the house between them-but what does that mean if MIL needs to sell her half?

Fishandjam Fri 13-Sep-13 08:06:39

jelly, you could try posting in the Elderly Parents board. You'd get good advice and some handholding, without abuse from fuckwits.

Thymeout Fri 13-Sep-13 08:18:03

I think you need a neutral 3rd party to advise and mediate over this, e.g. the family solicitor?

There would be legal issues anyway if DH and BIL wanted to exercise their PA to sell the house, whether to pay carehome fees or to enable her to relocate with you. And, if you used her money to buy a bigger property so she could live with you, what would happen after she died? Would BIL have any right to inherit a share of MIL's money that is now tied up in your new home?

If a solicitor felt that there should be some recognition of your financial sacrifice over the last 3 years - I've no idea if he/she would - your BIL is likely to be more receptive than if the subject is broached by DH.

I am not sure about this but there is something called a 'lifetime interest' in the house probably provided for mil by fils will when he left 1/4 each to his sons.

Op were you expecting that when you move you would get mils 1/2 to out towards any property - I understand your position but that does seem a bit unreasonable expectation. She can't agree for herself and if you take more then that is going against fils will. Also if she does have to go into a home anytime after buying jointly with you, you could still be done for deprivation of assets and end up in a terrible financial mess if SS want mils share of the jointly owned house.

You really need to get specialist legal/financial advice on all options before the family meeting.
but make it clear that YOU are not happy having given up work to be isolated from family and friends, and ask what the brothers will be doing regards care when you get a job. [cat among the pigeons type emoticon]

Personally my own solution would be for you to go back into well paid teaching and your dh to give up his badly paid job to care for your mother if he wants the money protected so badly. Work out what his travel and work accom is paying and see how much income he has left over after that. If its less than you could get teaching then he can pack in work.

Don't despair after 2 interviews- you got interviews, they didn't chuck your application in the bin! Perhaps you failed at interview because your heart was not really in it, what with not knowing who would pick up the slack re mil or how much support you would get with the kids etc.

longingforsomesleep Fri 13-Sep-13 10:54:41

Do MNers really not speculate on potential inheritances? I love my 90 year old mum dearly but I can't help occasionally wondering what her house is worth. My PIL have also told us that they are skipping a generation and leaving everything to grandkids which, while the rational part of me thinks, it's their money, they can do what they want with it, I can't help feeling slightly peeved! Isn't that normal? Or am I vile, grasping, evil etc as well?

Jelly - I have only skimmed this thread but it seems to me that the most important person in this whole scenario is you. You talk about what your dh and his brother want and what is best for your MIL. I think you've done your bit and it's entirely reasonable now for you to want to reclaim your life and let them decide how THEY are going to look after THEIR mother or pay for her care.

Personally I think this must be putting your emotional and physical health under immense strain (which will have an impact on your dc) and a nursing home would be the best option.

Loa Fri 13-Sep-13 11:17:55

If you want to move for a school by x date make that clear to your DH and his DB that is what is happening. Renting is an option you haven't mentioned but could be better if you can't access the money tied up in DH share of the house.

If you want to get back to work - tell them that is what is happening. Don't ask. Then tell them what this means in term of MIL care.

Don't ask for permission if that what you want to happen. Give them rough dates that things will be happening and when things need to be sorted by.

Both your DH and his Dbro have a vested interest in you continuing doing all the care and your DH has not be considering the impact financial and otherwise on you or protecting you.

Try and keep DH and you wanting access to his share of the house a separate issue to his mother care and possibly a different conversation not involving Dbrother till later. If they want MIL to move with you make sure you point out the financial implications of this and get legal advice.

You have your DC schooling and your career to consider and after 3 years you are right to start prioritizing these and getting your DH and his brother thinking about MIL care and future much more indepthly than just expecting you to sort it and cope.

HesterShaw Fri 13-Sep-13 11:37:00

longing of course they all speculate about inheritances. But they won't admit it. They are too hypocritical saintly.

fluffyraggies Fri 13-Sep-13 11:46:09

longing - Personally I think this must be putting your emotional and physical health under immense strain (which will have an impact on your dc) and a nursing home would be the best option.

I was going to say this ^ ^

OP, the money is important, of course, (and i don't blame you for thinking ahead) but it sounds like the time has come for your DH to realise that the plan of you looking after his mum for as long as it takes (ie till she dies) and thereby saving the money tied up in the house, is no longer viable. It is having too much of a negative effect on you and family life to continue.

A person with dementia is on a road of deterioration, sadly. It's not like caring for someone who is simply physically impared - whos needs are quantifiable and predictable over the course of years. Dementia is not something you should be trying to cope with indefinately. Not the best for MIL or you. IMO now is the time to bring the subject of selling up, taking your quarter, using it as best you can, and letting the old lady go into quality care.

(whole other thread there re:quality care, i know)

Loa Fri 13-Sep-13 11:51:04

I don't think there is any point speculating about inheritances - I assume that anything left with will be spent on care home fees - (have you seen how much they cost ?)if not that is nice.

It's not yours till its in your bank account so its daft to rely or plan a future on it till it is and its often used as an future carrot to make you take a course of action that may not be in your best interest.

Cravey Fri 13-Sep-13 12:25:56

Jelly, inheritance aside, have you joined the dementia society. They really are helpful in terms of knowing what to do next. I think you say you have a social worker. Get onto them. You need some form of respite for yourself and mil. You also need to tell your dh that this isn't working for you. Ad maybe leave the talk of inheritance to the immediate family.

Bearbehind Fri 13-Sep-13 12:26:14

It seems to me that the OP entered into this for entirely the wrong reasons (low paid DH wanted to 'protect his inheritance').

Whilst I don't doubt it is incredibly difficult caring for your MIL you should not expect to be financially rewarded for it.

It would serve your husband right if it were left to a cats home as it seems he has used you- I'd be completely pissed off with him in your situation.

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 13:19:42

I'm with Hester and CrapBag.

Op probably didn't know how wearing it would be,how long it would go on etc. And she is contemplating bringing MIL with them if they move, but is worried about the financial implications of doing that, extra bedroom on ground floor etc.

OP is a saint, in my view!

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 13:24:16

And people saying that she is living there rent free - I'm assuming MIL isn't paying any rent although she only owns half, and OP's DH probably has accommodation costs during the week as he works away,

Jellybeanz1 Fri 13-Sep-13 14:05:24

Thanks so much MN'er for such good advice. Today has been lucky for me. Fishandjam Fairy Fourgates Hester Cravey Thymeout Flibbery etc. I will join the dementia society today as soon as I have posted this. Good advice about elderly thread and solicitors for proper legal advice. I didn't think that SS would probably want to take money back out, or bil if we couldn't carry on caring in the new home. I don't want my children to be forced out of their home so that will need rethinking.
Yes Cravey she does wander and we have alarms on doors and neck pendant but really she shouldn't be in the garden unsupervised as its steep. She did go wandering out in the snow in her slippers and dressing gown. My dd spotted her out of the window and said 'grandmas walking in the snow' that was a horrible moment. The alarms go off after the doors have been open a while. My private plan is to start to apply for jobs in the area I want to move to so that I'm out of the equation.

Fishandjam Fri 13-Sep-13 14:19:22

You could also try Talking Point on the Alzheimer's Society website (link above). They have helper moderators on there, who actively post advice. They certainly helped me a lot when my mum was first diagnosed.

ModeratelyObvious Fri 13-Sep-13 14:41:49

You don't need to have found another job. It is ok to say you do not want to do this anymore. It isn't going to get easier and will only get harder.

<hugs> to you, it must be hard.

YeahWhat Fri 13-Sep-13 14:51:28

If you do want to care for your MIL in your new home but only want to do it if you are rewarded financially ou must make this clear to your DH and DBIL NOW.
There is nothing wrong with wanting this but you must be honest and upfront.

You can be the most lovely caring and kind DIL ever AND still ask for financial compensation. These things should not be mutually exclusive. Your DBIL may be more than happy to do this.

You need to learn from the mistakes you have made with your current situation.

Personally, I couldn't do what you are doing sad I love me MIL but I wouldn't look after her even to protect any inheritance.

Abra1d Fri 13-Sep-13 14:57:46

I have some sympathy for you, OP. You don't want to end up with few assets for your own retirement and more vulnerable years.

Fair is fair and with less state provision for retirement in the future, women should make sure they don't lose out.

Loopylala7 Fri 13-Sep-13 15:22:07

I actually feel you are not being that unreasonable, it's a bit like the tail of the prodigal son. Even though he does diddly squat, mil wants to seem faire, but of course doesn't see who is really bothering to help her in everyday life. My nose would be a little out of joint too, but it's always a little tricky dealing with IL's, you can be more honest with your own family, but it's harder being honest about DHs family. I think the best thing you can do is rise above it, try and get more job interviews lined up and press on with your career. If you're working away from home DH may notice how much you were doing once it stops and have a word with BIL about pulling his finger out and helping.

hellymelly Fri 13-Sep-13 16:40:33

I thought a bit more about my earlier post, and I think the key thing is to take the emotion out of the situation, and just be pragmatic and practical. She needs care, you are happy to provide it at this stage, but would like to be financially compensated for the care and it to be treated like a job (which it is). Get all the advice you can legally, and draw up a clear plan between you, your DH and BIL. Plan for what happens if things change and she needs care that you either can't or don't want to provide. Have an open honest meeting where all three of you work out a plan that everyone can live with.

JustinBsMum Fri 13-Sep-13 16:41:11

It seems to be the norm that the females in the family do the caring and because neither elderly rellie or sons feel it is the males' role then the women are just expected to get on with it without any special reward or recognition.
So there is seldom any financial reward, certainly not from elderly rellies.

FixItUpChappie Fri 13-Sep-13 16:49:39

seems that the OP is doing most of the work and has given up a lot. No judgement here.

^^This. I hardly think the OP sounds vile what with providing care for her MIL at what seems like great personal expense. Why would she pay rent? They have moved in to care for MIL...I would think it natural that be rent free confused

Of course its not nice to talk about inheritance and wills before a person passes but the reality is OP is aware of this information and I can understand why its difficult to swallow when she has been such a key figure and this brother has done nothing. Maybe not nice to feel hurt, but human nature IMO.

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