Family issues - legal & otherwise
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|Fri, 03-14-2014 - 10:02pm|
This is about my Mom & sister. My Mom is 90 yrs. & my sister will be 58. The issue is my sister has Tourette's syndrome, ADD & maybe something else. All tthroughout our lives, my parents refused to believe anything was wrong with her & never had her professionally diagnosed. I remember she did OK in school, but as an adult it was difficult for her to keep a job at times and she's been unemployed for quite some time.
My concern is what happens after my Mother dies? My Mom is active & healthy although currently her knee is in pain & she might have to go for another knee replacement surgery. She had one already & this is for the other knee. Nothing else is really wrong with her physically & she still drives her car. Anyway, the issue remains as to how my sister will live & function on her own. My Mom & sister have been sharing a condo apartment for the last 10 yrs. and prior to that they shared the family home in the suburbs. So my sister has never been married & never really lived on her own. After my Mom passes, I cannot support or take care of my sister. She will have some money to move into an apartment and support herself. But financially, she is not able to manage her money. She spends it faster than she needs to. So when the money runs out, there is nobody to support her. I've told my Mom this and she knows I can't support her and she doesn't expect me to. She also doesn't care because she will be dead.
Now comes the thorny legal questions. If my sister runs out of money & can't pay for housing or food, how do I research what my rights or obligations are? I don't have the money to pay for an institution. Maybe she will have to go back on welfare & Medicaid? Does welfare or Medicaid pay for housing & food? The other issue will be her lifestyle. Currently living with my Mom, she has an affluent lifestyle. Thanks to my late father, he was a Wall Street executive and my Mom lives off his military pension, savings, Social Security, etc. so my sister is able to have her own room, attend college, have a very comfortable lifestyle. I know after my Mom passes, that is going to end fast. My Mom has stipulated in her will, the condo apartment they share will need to be sold and the profits from the sale divided among 4 people (my 2 kids, me & my sister).
So these days, as my Mom is entering her 90's & my father in law is 93, I am thinking about my sister's future. The scary thought is she may end up on the streets homeless. And my scary thought is I don't want to feel guilty for that.