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Brother putting inheritance ahead of mom's safety. Advice?

My older brother refuses to discuss moving my mom into memory care. He says if we do that there will be no money left for an inheritance. I don't care about an inheritance, I just want mom to be safe. She has fallen several times, leaves the stove on and has gotten lost once.
Status: Open    Mar 09, 2015 - 04:42 PM


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Expert Answers

Sep 04, 2015 - 01:57 PM

Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. When family members are concerned about their potential future inheritance, rather than providing the care needed for their loved one, this can create a dangerous situation for the person in need of care, not to mention, familial strife. If you have tried reasoning with your brother to no avail, you may want to consider family counseling or mediation.

If neither of these options will resolve the issue, it may be time to consider obtaining the legal authority to make these decisions without his input. This may require obtaining a Power of Attorney on behalf of your Mom, or if Mom no longer has the capacity to execute such documents, commencing a Guardianship proceeding to obtain the legal authority to make decisions on Mom's behalf. I would also recommend that before you proceed with any of these options, that you consult with an Elder Law Attorney in your area as soon as possible. An Elder Law Attorney may be able to provide you with some insight as to various care options available to your Mom and the costs associated with each option, including whether she may be eligible for government benefits. In the event she is able to qualify for some financial assistance with her care needs, this may allow you to resolve the issue of putting appropriate care in place, while avoiding the unpleasant conflict with your brother. It is best to know all of your options with respect to available care for Mom, and then decide which course of action to take. In the interim, you should also consider obtaining a private home health aide to assist Mom with her day to day care needs, until the conflict with your brother is resolved. Your mother's safety and well-being should be the number one priority.

Sep 10, 2015 - 09:15 AM

If you have authority under a Power of Attorney document, you may be able to take action without your brother. However, it seems like you are ready to seek protection for your mother. If your mother is no longer able to make decisions for herself, you could consider asking a court to be named as her Guardian. The court would need to determine whether your mom is incapacitated and whether you are a good fit to make decisions for her. A Guardian is the only person responsible for making health care decisions, including the most suitable living arrangement. If you do not wish to take such an active role, you could seek assistance from an elder abuse hotline or other local resource to intervene.


Sep 02, 2015 - 09:09 PM

Hi! Your mom is very lucky to have you and what you are explaining sounds scary! Does anyone have a Power of Attorney or the like for her? If not you may want to consider a 'respite' stay at a local community that your mom can try it out but more importantly your brother may be able to see how much more safe she is when someone else is managing some of her day-to-day needs. This is a tough spot for you but follow your gut on this one and keep advocating for her!
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