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to object to paying for care for my in-laws?

(46 Posts)
fircone Mon 17-Aug-09 13:23:20

Pil have always lived high on the hog - best of everything.

Now they're in their 80s and need to consider help: gardening, cleaning and probably personal care too.

Now, dh's brothers have mooted that the three sons should be responsible for the payment of this and I am livid. Mil spends money like water. She has masses of expensive jewellery, only buys food in M&S, vists the hairdresser evey week, they used to go on five holidays a year etc etc. Now if they've run out of money that is THEIR problem.

I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable feeling so mad, and I know if I object to paying I'm going to fall out with dh in a big way, but it doesn't seem fair. I budget really carefully and now I feel I have scrimped for nothing.

Also, pil have always been incredibly mean with other people. they wouldn't even let dh go away to university because they refused to contribute to his grant.

moondog Mon 17-Aug-09 13:25:15

Christ no. Don't cough up anything. \i wouldn't.

Longtalljosie Mon 17-Aug-09 13:27:04

What state help are they eligible for? If the money really is all gone, they can claim for help with things like personal care.

Someone will come along in a minute and tell you what the threshold is, but I think it's about £16k savings.

Look up the information - and tell DH if you as a family are going to have to go without to support them, they need to have a proper conversation with your ILs about how much money is left

hatwoman Mon 17-Aug-09 13:36:29

is there a chance that the brothers are - somewhat manipulatively - trying to protect "their" inheritance? if they are it possibly makes no sense - because they'll end up paying inheritance tax on it.

if, on the other hand, they really have run out of money then, like longtalljosie says they would be eligible for at least some state help.

either way it sounds like you all need a proper conversation with all cards on the table.

stillstanding Mon 17-Aug-09 13:40:05

I'm not really sure what the situation here is - have the in-laws run out of money yet or not?

If so and they are really struggling I would find it hard to stand idly by although I appreciate how frustrating it must be for the OP given their past attitudes to money.

If not then I see no reason why their children need to weigh in now although it may be worth them pointing out to their parents that maybe M&S shops may not work in the long term.

I agree with hatwoman that a proper conversation has to be had with all.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 17-Aug-09 13:42:31

It is more reasonable if the three sons go in once a week to mow their lawn and keep their garden tidy. They could do it in such a way that each does this only once per month.

It is really lucky that your inlaws has 3 sons who can share the load between them. No need to pay for things you can do yourselves.

Also, I am surprised if your inlwas dont already employ a cleaner. The cost of that wont be so big.

Aside from this, I am sure there are lovely retirment flats they can move into?

My husband has shovelled snow of my parents mega big yard nearly every day last winter. We have snow from October till April. We pop in a few times a week and help where it is necessary.

We have also been sending money to his family for the last few years.

There comes a time where the tables are turned, and you have to start caring for your elderly family. It is only fair, they cared for you when you were little, fed and clothed you, so it is only reasonable to care for elderly parents.

auntyitaly Mon 17-Aug-09 13:46:41

You mustn't pay - it would be extremely unfair. Just because someone is vulnerable (ie, in this case, old and a bit frail) doesn't mean, sadly, they won't try it on.

I can see what hatwoman means, tho' - having to sell the PIL's house to fund short-term care might be a false economy long term for their children who would inherit it.
But..... if your PIL are skint and either of them ends up in a home, the house will be sold to pay for care fees and your DH and his brothers won't even be repaid for their care contributions, let alone inherit anything.

Call Help the Aged and ask for a chat with one of their (excellent) benefits advisors - they will tell you what your PIL can and can't get free. Don't talk to the Council (who provide it) before you do - they are mostly desperately stretched and will try to send bills for everything.

Bear in mind that 'eldercare' bills often last 15-16 years, so mention that to DH and co before they go merrily volunteering.

Good luck, and don't pay. I can't see you being guaranteed to get any repayment, and I don't think PIL merit a lifelong bailout.

hatwoman Mon 17-Aug-09 13:47:58

good point quintessentialshadows about helping out themselves (though it may be difficult for lots of reasons - or end up (as often seems to be the case) with one son (or their dw/p) taking on an unfair share. not a reason not to put it on the table as an idea though.

GooseyLoosey Mon 17-Aug-09 13:49:01

I was ready to say YABU and that I do support my father in several ways and would not appreciate dh voicing any objections to this. However, having read the details, I am not so sure. If MIL still visits the hairdresser every week and shops only in M&S for food, they they need to do some economising before I would consider giving them financial help. Of course it also depends on your own financial position to a degree - if you are very well off, then I would be more relaxed abour providing support. If you are not, then I would not wish to finance my in-laws having a better life style than I do. If this is the case, YANBU.

MarthaFarquhar Mon 17-Aug-09 13:50:16

Social services will not fund or arrange a gardener.

They may qualify for a carer to do some minimal house work, if they qualify for personal care as well. However, these are chargeable services, and your PILs would be means-tested.

In many cases it is cheaper and easier to arrange for a private cleaner than to pay the full contribution towards a carer doing this.

I agree with QS though if you live within a hour or so, then doing a few chores for your parents once a month is not such a big ask.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 17-Aug-09 14:00:36

There seems a little resentment that they spent the money on themselves rather than other people but its their money and they cant take it with them so why not enjoy life whilst they can.

I presume DH was well cared for as a child, lots of parents dont supplment loans/grants for uni but thousands of people still go.

If there are three children plus extended family, QS's idea re taking turns is a great way - it doesnt take long to clean or do the garden if its done regular.

auntyitaly Mon 17-Aug-09 14:04:44

Well done hatwoman for yet more fine advice!

Well, I'm sorry if I sound a little strident today but from experience it pays to be careful about accpeting these commitments.

As the voice of doom on this thread, may I share with you that one of my oldest friends agreed to fund care for her ancient, sick auntie - pushed the boat out in the final weeks to keep her at home - only to find vast bills still coming in five years later. In the meantime she discovered the dear old lady had disinherited her. Might sound dramatic, but similar happens more than you think.

Could you not suggest PIL either move to a smaller, more manageable flat and live off the house sale cash, or, failing that, that they do equity release (which is a rip-off, but at least won't cost you anything.)

KirstyJC Mon 17-Aug-09 14:07:05

Just to re-iterate that SS will not provide help for domestic chores - they would just cover personal care and provide help heating up ready meals if neither PIL is able to cook.

I think it depends on where you live, but in Somerset if one person needs to go into a care home (residential or nursing) if the other is left in the matrimonial home, then SS would not expect this person to be homeless - so would not ask them to sell the home to fund the care, so long as one person was still living there. This would change once both were in care though.
Means testing is about £22k I think, ie if you have more cash or assests (inc house, but see above) then you would pay a proportion of personal care costs.

You need to sit down with all 3 brothers and them, and get it all out in the open. I have seen too many families start wars over these sort of resentments so stop it before it starts!!

Good lucksmile

fircone Mon 17-Aug-09 16:17:18

Thanks for your comments.

It's true that I can't stomach financing a life for the pil that we ourselves do not - or will not - enjoy - fil has a quite generous pension but dh has none at all.

I don't know what pil's exact financial position is, but I suspect that they have equity released already - and they only live in a tiny house. I agree that any idea of paying for stuff now in the hope of recouping it through an inheritance is a shaky one. We could be letting ourselves in for 20 years of bills.

Dh's brother says he wants a 'brothers' conference' but I know him: he is quite forceful and dh is always trying to be amenable so will be bound to go along with whatever the other two suggest.


StayFrostyDMisaVileRag Mon 17-Aug-09 16:29:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chichichien Mon 17-Aug-09 16:40:13

This has to be talked through, the siblings and the parents together. There are options so there's no point in angry knee-jerk reactions.

If their house is tiny what sort of gardening and cleaning is needed?

If mil still shops in m&s, it won't take much to reduce the weekly shopping bill.

higgle Mon 17-Aug-09 16:41:25

I manage a homecare service which does some social services funded work. If your pil need personal care they might well get that through Social Services and would get some financial help with capital up to £23,000. If they were "fully funding" i.e. have over this they would still probably get it at a cheaper rate than paying privately. They would not get funded domestic help. Most people want to stay at home for as long as possible and if you contribute towards this then it does preserve the house for inheritance. If both were to go into a care home then the house may have to be sold to pay for care. On a personal basis I'd feel pretty mad about being asked to subsidise this pair, but it might be better to offer minimal support than risk discord.

OrmIrian Mon 17-Aug-09 16:45:26

I can see why you are annoyed fircone. But realistically what do you think should happen? Assuming that they need help and DH won't want to see them in trouble?

chichichien Mon 17-Aug-09 16:48:02

I would feel morally obliged to help my old parents out

Ponders Mon 17-Aug-09 16:52:09

If there is a meeting then the 3 brothers' wives/partners should be present as any financial arrangements agreed will impact on their lives too. Nothing should be agreed without the full consent of all concerned.

tatt Mon 17-Aug-09 16:56:20

If MIL is still spending money like water then no I don't think you are being unreasonable not to want to give money. However offering help in kind (like tending the garden) would be appropriate. As you budget carefully you could afford to help them budget and make sure they are getting any help they are entitled to. And maybe they need to be introduced to online shopping or one brother needs to arrange a monthly delivery of large items for them (from somewhere cheaper than M&S).

It is perhaps also time to consider who will hold power of attorney for them when they are unable to manage their own affairs.

Longtalljosie Mon 17-Aug-09 17:45:13

Well, at least you will have to establish that your in-laws are worse off than you are. The idea of paying for them to continue living the M&S life while you check out the basics range is ridiculous.

cheshirekitty Mon 17-Aug-09 20:31:17

Do you have children? Will you be financing them through uni? You have to think about your dc and their future, they need your money more than your pil's.

Maybe helping out physically, rather then financially might be the way to go.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 17-Aug-09 20:45:18

The first thing the brothers should do is sit down with their parents and go through their finances. See if they can manage to cut their coat according to their cloth. Sell off most of the jewellery - (to your sister-in-laws maybe if they really want to keep it in the family!).

I think you and your DH should also run through your own budget, and if there is a surplus put it into savings accounts intended for your DCs education so that they don't miss out like your DH did. Fixed term accounts (better rates and can't be raided!)

beanieb Mon 17-Aug-09 21:12:55

Do the three brothers love their parents?

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