Ask a Question

How do I protect my family from my brothers threats?

My wife and I have made changes to our home to accommodate my father’s moving in with us after the passing of my mother 2 years ago and several medical issues including mild dementia and several serious falls.

We are the primary caregivers as well as medical and financial POA’s. He still owns a home out of state that he is unable to live in unassisted and I am currently trying to sell it to help finance his care. My brother wanted to buy the home but offered no reasonable compensation as my dad still has a home equity loan left to pay. I offered him a great deal ( ½ the value of the home’s value) but he still tried some of every other option to get it for next to nothing.

Time was passing and my father’s assets were dwindling with the cost of day care facilities, in home care givers and medical expenses, so I told my brother in no uncertain term that he is no longer an option and the house is now on the open market. He has not spoken to me since and barely speaks to my father but has been calling every family member in a rant telling them that as soon as my father passes he is going to sue my wife and I for everything we own, as we are wasting away his true inheritance.

He has not seen my dad since mom’s funeral and for years before that. He recently even told my dad no when dad asked him if he could come visit him.

He has supplied no financial help but told the entire family that his lawyers are ready!

Caregiving is hard enough physically, emotionally and financially on myself, my wife and 3 children. We dont charge my father for anything at all, and my wife is patient with my dad and doesn’t need this extra stress. This is now starting to strain our marriage.

What steps can I take to protect my family and put my wife at ease over these never ending threats?

Status: Open    Apr 17, 2016 - 08:26 PM

Elder Law, Relationships

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

4 answers

Expert Answers

Apr 27, 2016 - 01:19 PM

There is not much you can do to stop the threats. Some times those who threaten the most are the ones least likely to take action later. However, what you can do is to continue doing what is right for your father. As long as all of your actions are in his best interest, you should be ok in the end. You may also want to speak with an attorney about the specifics of your father's estate plan. We can often advise people how to structure or restructure a plan in such a way so as to minimize the likelihood of any successful challenge. It's like bolstering the defenses to the castle when expecting an attack.

Voted Best Answer

May 01, 2016 - 07:04 AM

Please consult an elder law attorney to make sure you are doing everything correctly and legally. Keep records of everything. Keep EVERY receipt. Every statement etc. I know this seems like a lot of trouble, but if your actions are ever questioned, you will have documentation. Why did you offer the brother the house for 1/2 the value? I know you ment well but... As POA it is your duty to get the best price for the house that you can. Put the house up for sale and if he wants it he can make any offer to the RE agent like everyone else.


Apr 25, 2016 - 10:37 AM

The only help I can offer is to tell you to take a deep breath and verify your standing with an attorney. Not knowing the laws of your state, you should be able to consult an attorney to verify just what your POA covers and exactly what 'powers' you actually have. Make sure dad has a will and names an executor if he hasn't already and it isn't too late due to his dementia. As long as your ducks are all in line, your brother has no standing except to rant to his little hearts content. If he can't fund a reasonable purchase of the house, I doubt he can finance the attorney fees to fight a will or state determined estate division. I too am dealing with eldery parents, one currenlty under in-home hospice care. Tho I have siblings and adult children, neices and nephews in the area, the lions share has fallen to me. I also see the vultures circling, waiting for the day that (they think) everything will be up for grabs. Helping my parents deal with needed legalities is hard, but a necessity. Life over the last 4 years has been very trying, but also knowing that they will be gone soon enough and not there for me, my children and my grandchildren to see, love and drive crazy, makes the work and stress a little easier to bear. Try not to take the tantrum of your brother too seriously. He won't be able to touch your assets and his standing to touch dad's are doubtful. Good luck, Kerrie


May 02, 2016 - 06:18 AM

Is your father veteran? There are benefits from VA that may help, if he qualifies.

Answer this question

Recently Active Members