Merry Christmas 2019 and Happy New Year 2020

snowhiker

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Merry Christmas 2019 and Happy New Year 2020.

I'm taking mom over to my Niece's house for an early, 10-11 A.M. Christmas Brunch. What, if anything, is everybody else doing?

Again, Merry Christmas 2019 and Happy New Year 2020.
 

Chewy509

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Just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy a safe and pleasant holiday period.

For all others who also celebrate other events at this time I also wish a:

  • Happy Hanukkah
  • Io, Saturnalia!
  • Happy and Joyful Kwanzaa
  • Happy Constitution Day
  • Joyful Feast of Winter Veil
  • Happy Malkh-Festival
  • Happy Festuvus
  • A peaceful Anastasia of Sirmium feast day
  • And reasons greeting for those that celebrate Newtonmas

PS. Apologies if I missed a holiday you celebrate.
 

snowhiker

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I'm stuffed with food. I took home two times the amount of food in leftovers that I brought to our pot-luck brunch. We did a gift exchange. I hope everybody enjoyed or will enjoy their holiday season. {see previous post for comprehensive list}
 

time

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Late Christmas for us - hadn't seen our second daughter for 3 1/2 years, but she's visiting Australia for a few weeks.

Other than that, work gave me a whole leg of ham (no idea what to do with this, I suspect it's better to bake it with a glaze). Standout food included tons of tiny savory quiches that my eldest daughter made, some Brie with crackers and antipasto, marinated mushrooms, Vietnamese glass noodle salad and some amazing couscous that included roasted almond slivers, pistachios and pine nuts. Dessert was sticky date pudding with freshly made caramel sauce (courtesy eldest again) or some chocolate brownie, along with vanilla bean custard or chocolate hazelnut custard, topped off with double cream. Drinks included Moet Chandon on Christmas Eve, and alcoholic ginger beer or red wine aged in rum barrels for Christmas Day/evening.
 

jtr1962

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My siblings came by and we all had dinner with mom. Stuffed shells and meatballs. My only wish was that mom had her faculties. Very painful seeing her like this thinking of how she was. Didn't exchange gifts since everyone was too broke to buy anything. Considering this will be my last Christmas, I wish it could have been better but that's life. Hope everyone here got what they wanted.
 

jtr1962

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Hopefully just hyperbole but let us know if there's anything we can do.
Not really. I'm stuck in a place where my life sucks, there's literally nothing I can do now to change it, and there's no future to look forward to (i.e. I'll likely be homeless after my mom dies). About three months ago I got really sick with the flu, still had to take care of my mother, and had a two month recovery before I felt completely normal.

I almost feel like starting another thread on all this, but I'm not seeing the point. There's nothing within reason anyone here can do. For starters, I'd need about half a million to buy my siblings out of their share of the house. Even though mom's will stipulates splitting everything three ways, since I've been her sole caretaker now for over 5 years you would think they would let me have the house but no. Then there's the issue of getting breaks occasionally from being a caretaker. Since she came home from rehab on January 26, 2018 I haven't had a day off. We can't afford to pay people. And I can no longer earn money, even if someone had a consulting job I could do from home. I'm just too exhausted from taking care of mom and the house to have anything left to work. That's it in a nutshell, although there are other issues as well. Basically, after all this, I seriously decided #57 will probably be my last birthday. I just have to get my affairs in order and decide how to go out. Doing something like Nicholas Cage did in Leaving Las Vegas doesn't seem bad. I have enough to buy hookers and drink myself to death.
 

Stereodude

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Not really. I'm stuck in a place where my life sucks, there's literally nothing I can do now to change it, and there's no future to look forward to (i.e. I'll likely be homeless after my mom dies). About three months ago I got really sick with the flu, still had to take care of my mother, and had a two month recovery before I felt completely normal.

I almost feel like starting another thread on all this, but I'm not seeing the point. There's nothing within reason anyone here can do. For starters, I'd need about half a million to buy my siblings out of their share of the house. Even though mom's will stipulates splitting everything three ways, since I've been her sole caretaker now for over 5 years you would think they would let me have the house but no. Then there's the issue of getting breaks occasionally from being a caretaker. Since she came home from rehab on January 26, 2018 I haven't had a day off. We can't afford to pay people. And I can no longer earn money, even if someone had a consulting job I could do from home. I'm just too exhausted from taking care of mom and the house to have anything left to work. That's it in a nutshell, although there are other issues as well. Basically, after all this, I seriously decided #57 will probably be my last birthday. I just have to get my affairs in order and decide how to go out. Doing something like Nicholas Cage did in Leaving Las Vegas doesn't seem bad. I have enough to buy hookers and drink myself to death.
You're describing self inflicted problems that can readily solved with a little flexibility. Take your share of the money from the house and move somewhere living is actually affordable. That's not NYC. Why you would choose to be homeless in NYC instead of being comfortable elsewhere is beyond me. You can get a good house in lots of places with the amount of money you'll have with your split of the house money. They can even be warmer places with better weather.
 

jtr1962

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You're describing self inflicted problems that can readily solved with a little flexibility. Take your share of the money from the house and move somewhere living is actually affordable. That's not NYC. Why you would choose to be homeless in NYC instead of being comfortable elsewhere is beyond me. You can get a good house in lots of places with the amount of money you'll have with your split of the house money. They can even be warmer places with better weather.
I can't physically drive. That leaves out most of the country. Can't afford a car even if I could drive. I hate suburbs anyway and I hate warm weather. The places where you don't have to drive all have hideously expensive housing regardless of where they are because such places are in short supply nationally. Also, the last time I moved was 41 years ago and it was a major hassle, even though it was something like a 7 or 8 mile move. Moving now with tons more stuff to another place much further would be exponentially worse. Besides that, I'm happy with this location. Why should I upend my life so my siblings can profit off high housing prices which got that way because of real estate speculators? Had prices kept pace with inflation, the house would be worth marginally over $200K, not almost four times that. Moving is a stupid answer. Living in a place I'll hate just waiting to die is no better than being dead. Besides, have you looked at housing prices lately? Even in the exurbs they're still stupidly expensive. Then there's the issue that I did all the work caring for my mother and basically have had no life since 2014. I should get something out of it.

If you want to give me helpful suggestions, tell me how I can make the money I'll need in the next few years by investing what I have. I was ready to go all in on bitcoin if it dropped under $1K but that never happened. There has to be something I can make 25x or more on my money in a few years. I frankly don't even care if it's legal or not. I'm getting desperate.
 
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Stereodude

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Who said you needed to buy a car or drive? And how do you know you'll hate living someplace else? It sounds like you haven't ever tried it.

Further, what are your siblings going to do to you if you don't move out? They can't sell the house with you in it. You could always offer to move in with them. :geek:
 

jtr1962

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Who said you needed to buy a car or drive? And how do you know you'll hate living someplace else? It sounds like you haven't ever tried it.
I'm a city person. Always have been, always will be. Either you understand that or you don't.

Further, what are your siblings going to do to you if you don't move out? They can't sell the house with you in it. You could always offer to move in with them. :geek:
My sister is in Yaphank in Suffolk County. Middle of nowhere. Even she's bored living there but when she married her former husband wanted to buy the house there to be near his sister. Wouldn't want to live with her. It's the kind of place you run out of things to do in 3 hours. My brother is in the Rockaways. Still NYC, but not really near anything, so I really would want to live with him, either. The subway takes well over an hour to get him into Manhattan. I do make the trip in 35 or 40 minutes or less most of the time. His house is too small for two adults with lots of hobby crap to live comfortably in anyway.

The game plan actually is to just refuse to move. I'll give them whatever I can afford towards their share, and they'll have to live with it unless they want to try use courts and lawyers to force me out. Problem is I know some shady people from one of my previous jobs who could make their lives a living hell if they tried it. 👿
 

Handruin

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Not really. I'm stuck in a place where my life sucks, there's literally nothing I can do now to change it, and there's no future to look forward to (i.e. I'll likely be homeless after my mom dies). About three months ago I got really sick with the flu, still had to take care of my mother, and had a two month recovery before I felt completely normal.

I almost feel like starting another thread on all this, but I'm not seeing the point. There's nothing within reason anyone here can do. For starters, I'd need about half a million to buy my siblings out of their share of the house. Even though mom's will stipulates splitting everything three ways, since I've been her sole caretaker now for over 5 years you would think they would let me have the house but no. Then there's the issue of getting breaks occasionally from being a caretaker. Since she came home from rehab on January 26, 2018 I haven't had a day off. We can't afford to pay people. And I can no longer earn money, even if someone had a consulting job I could do from home. I'm just too exhausted from taking care of mom and the house to have anything left to work. That's it in a nutshell, although there are other issues as well. Basically, after all this, I seriously decided #57 will probably be my last birthday. I just have to get my affairs in order and decide how to go out. Doing something like Nicholas Cage did in Leaving Las Vegas doesn't seem bad. I have enough to buy hookers and drink myself to death.
I'm sorry that things have been so rough and your mom's health has declined so poorly. I can appreciate the loss of hope and emotions are high right now. Before my mom passed her health declined gradually to the point she no longer could speak or could walk. The timeline wasn't quite like yours but her health was failing over the course of a couple years with the last couple of months being the most heart breaking. During this time family tension was at its worst making it difficult to make large life decisions.

Is your mother in hospice? There should be some resource available through Medicaid, Medicare in your state that might help you care for you mom if her state of health is so poor. These might be able to give you the break you need to just get your head above water for a bit while you care for you mom.

Changes is really hard, harder as you get older for sure. Your mental and physical well-being are being challenged right now from all this stress and I'd hope you can seek someone local to talk to through this. What you described is a $250K inheritance which I understand doesn't suite your needs to remain in your current location but it's a considerable sum that you can draw from for a period of time while you work through the hard times after your mother has passed. Ask them for some time to sort your living situation while things are still reasonably well. Healing from the traumatic loss of will take a while but it does get easier over time. Making snap judgement calls now or immediately after the loss of your mother may put you on a course to completely alienate your remaining close family. I'd encourage you to talk to them now and explain how difficult this is and see if they can give you 12 months of no action on the house until emotions can be managed. That way there is a plan and you can reevaluate in 12 months versus going right to litigation in the heat of it all.
 

jtr1962

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I'm sorry that things have been so rough and your mom's health has declined so poorly. I can appreciate the loss of hope and emotions are high right now. Before my mom passed her health declined gradually to the point she no longer could speak or could walk. The timeline wasn't quite like yours but her health was failing over the course of a couple years with the last couple of months being the most heart breaking. During this time family tension was at its worst making it difficult to make large life decisions.

Is your mother in hospice? There should be some resource available through Medicaid, Medicare in your state that might help you care for you mom if her state of health is so poor. These might be able to give you the break you need to just get your head above water for a bit while you care for you mom.

Changes is really hard, harder as you get older for sure. Your mental and physical well-being are being challenged right now from all this stress and I'd hope you can seek someone local to talk to through this. What you described is a $250K inheritance which I understand doesn't suite your needs to remain in your current location but it's a considerable sum that you can draw from for a period of time while you work through the hard times after your mother has passed. Ask them for some time to sort your living situation while things are still reasonably well. Healing from the traumatic loss of will take a while but it does get easier over time. Making snap judgement calls now or immediately after the loss of your mother may put you on a course to completely alienate your remaining close family. I'd encourage you to talk to them now and explain how difficult this is and see if they can give you 12 months of no action on the house until emotions can be managed. That way there is a plan and you can reevaluate in 12 months versus going right to litigation in the heat of it all.
Actually, she's been stable mentally and physically for the last two years but she stabilized at a level where I have to take care of all her basic needs. That includes cooking, shopping, bathing, putting her on the toilet, getting her in bed, etc. She hasn't been able to walk without assistance since November 2017. She had a cranial hematoma which likely caused this but she was mentally going down hill since at least 2015, maybe earlier. The hematoma was fixed but the rehab place did a poor job getting her functional again. Now I need to wheel her everywhere. She's not near death or anything to be in need of a hospice. In fact, she could go on ten more years like this. Her sister is in a similar state after having a stroke at age 86. She just turned 90 in October but it doesn't look like she's going anywhere anytime soon. My mom is going to be 81 in January. I could be doing this well into my 60s, even 70s, if she lives long enough.

Unfortunately, we fall into the hole where our income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to pay for enough help to make any significant difference in my situation. Medicaid would even pay me something as her caretaker but we don't qualify. Medicare doesn't give you squat. In fact, it didn't even cover her entire stint in rehab after her operation because of "failure to improve", even though legally Medicare can no longer deny coverage for that reason. The rehab place is still billing us for $23,000 but I'll be damned if I give them a cent since they didn't really help her.

The issue here is the combination of whatever I may eventually get from an inheritance, plus what I have saved, isn't enough to pay for a roof over my head and my living expenses for the remainder of my life. Hopefully my investments will do well before my mom passes but there's no guarantee. There's also lots of issues with physically having to move. Besides not wanting to, there's nothing I could get which would suit my suits on the money I have. I have a lot of hobbies. I want to do things like build a train layout. That obviously precludes an apartment. If I'm going to move to a tiny apartment where all I can do is sit in front of a TV all day I might as well be dead.

There's also the fairness issue. I lose a place I want to live in but the money will basically just be fluff to my brother and sister. They can get by without their third of the house. I even told them I'm happy to split mom's other assets between the two of them. I just want a place to live. If I get the house free and clear, I can get by on my assets. Then there's the fact if I wasn't doing this, there would be no house to split. Mom would have needed custodial care since at 2015. Do the math. At $15,000 a month that's $900K and counting. The house would be gone, and we would be well on our way to exhausting her other assets before Medicaid would pay for everything.

That's it in a nutshell. It's not just the future, but there's no real way to improve things in the here and now, either, short of hitting the lottery or marrying a rich girl. I originally had hoped my siblings could each take mom for a week or two a few times a year to take the load off me but they're logistically and physically unable to. Neither can lift her a bunch of times a day like me. Their jobs just won't give them the time off, either.
 

DrunkenBastard

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Assuming they are working for a reasonably sized business with at least 50 employees and have been there for over a year, they can avail themselves of the FMLA and take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for your mother:


Surely they could at least pitch in to get a nursing aid to help out from time to time and give you a physical and mental break.
 

DrunkenBastard

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Who said you needed to buy a car or drive? And how do you know you'll hate living someplace else? It sounds like you haven't ever tried it.

Further, what are your siblings going to do to you if you don't move out? They can't sell the house with you in it. You could always offer to move in with them. :geek:
They could file a partition action and get a court to force the sale. The new owners could then begin the eviction process. May take a year or two depending on court workload.
 

jtr1962

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Assuming they are working for a reasonably sized business with at least 50 employees and have been there for over a year, they can avail themselves of the FMLA and take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for your mother:


Surely they could at least pitch in to get a nursing aid to help out from time to time and give you a physical and mental break.
Problem with both those things is they just don't have the money to either miss work without pay, or pay for us to get help. They're both basically living paycheck to paycheck. As I mentioned also, neither one is physically up to the task even if they could get the time off from work. My sister had a knee replacement last year. My brother is getting a hernia repair in a few weeks. They're not candidates to lift someone multiple times per day, even someone like my mom who maybe weighs 115 pounds, give or take.

In truth, I'm fine taking care of my mother without any help until she dies, provided I get the house. That's a fair trade in my mind but my siblings don't see it that way. In fact, they don't even think I should get anything. Their reasoning is I lived here my entire adult life, and they didn't. Of course, I tell that option was open to them if they wanted it. My parents never told any of us that we had to get our own place. They left voluntarily. In any case, even if you add up the cost of my support beyond what my siblings got, it's nowhere near what my mom's care for the last 5 or 6 years would have cost.

One possibility I see here to get out of this mess is taking out a home equity loan which I use to pay myself for all the time I put in so far at the going rate. A full-time live-in aide would cost about $250 a day plus room and board. I've gotten the room and board but not the pay. I've been doing this for at least 5 years, so I get a home equity loan for 365x5x$250 = $456,250. That brings the equity in the house down to about $300K. It's only the equity which has to be split 3 ways. I take out a loan for another ~$90K for each year after this one until the equity is zero. At that point there's no equity, so nothing to split. I don't spend the money. I just keep it in an account. After my mom passes, I just use it to pay off the outstanding home equity loan in full. Any thoughts on this strategy? I have POA, so I'm pretty sure I can do this.

Another person I talked to online who was in practically the same situation just had the house transferred to his name before his mother died. Medicaid allows someone who has been a full-time caretaker in the house for two years or more to get the house with no look-back period. This also protects the house from Medicaid in the event my mother ever had to go into a custodial care facility. He got a lawyer for this and claims it was all legal, even though the will stipulated splitting everything evenly with his siblings. My thoughts are whatever assets remain have to be split, but if the house is put in your name before the person passes it's no longer part of the estate. I'm sure I could kiss any relationship with my siblings goodbye if I do this, but such is life.
 
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jtr1962

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I should also mention that having an aide come in and help really isn't any kind of a break for me. I still need to get my mother up and put her to bed which are the hardest parts. To me getting a break means someone else is taking care of my mother in their place, so I can do whatever I want all day and all night. The insurance company actually paid for an aide to come in 2 or 3 days a week for a few weeks after mom returned from rehab. It wasn't really any help to me in terms of giving me a break. I had to stay home anyway to make sure they didn't steal anything, plus I can't really do what I want having a stranger in the house. So the only real way for me to get a break is for my siblings to take my mother for a week or two, and they're just not able to do this.
 

DrunkenBastard

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I don't see how your mother could qualify for a heloc with no income coming in. They also usually have variable interest rates.

A "caretaker child" as you seem to be is a valid way to get around the transfer penalty that Medicare may otherwise impose. But I believe your mother would have to transfer title of the house to you while she is alive. You definitely need to talk to a lawyer with experience in these matters.
 

snowhiker

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/sarcasm

Jtr you killed my Merry Christmas/Happy New year thread. No worries. Your absolutely shitty situation excuses it. ;)

tl;dr:

Do your research on all your options and then; HIRE A LAWYER and execute them. Don't fuck around on this. GET IT DONE in 2020. No longer talk with your siblings about your financial situation. You tried talking, they don't give a shit and they aren't going to change their minds. Go silent. Change the subject if it comes up. Don't give them any reason to think you are doing anything behind their back. They will interfere with your plans. Go completely dark.

/detailed reply

I have mentioned in another thread that I'm in a very similar situation as you. I'm about 5 years younger than you with an 84 yo mother who I exclusively take care of. Fortunately she is in better physical/mental health, but that could change quickly. I have one brother and one sister. My siblings have already agreed to give me 100% of her house and this was formalized in her trust. So your situation and the various implication are of great interest to me.

You said, regarding your siblings split of your house is that, "the money will basically just be fluff to my brother and sister." You also mentioned they are living check-2-check and don't have the time, energy or will to help you with your mother. Which is it? If siblings are living check-2-check they actually could use some cash from the sale of your house. You also said, "they don't even think [you] should get
anything..." from the sale of the house. That's ridiculous. At best they should be looking at a 60/20/20 split if not 70/15/15 or 80/10/10 split, especially since they have done nothing (financially or "time/help" wise) to help care for your mother. Do your siblings love or care about their mother and her well being? Or are they just licking their chops at the sale of her house?

The HELoC seems complicated. But if it's your only option do it. Otherwise, just get the house transferred into your name. If you have a 100% PoA then legally transfer the house and any other assets into you name. EVERYTHING. Do it now. Don't tell ANYBODY you are doing it. Just do it and get it done. Then don't tell anybody till after your mothers passing.

---note: I don't know the legal aspects of not mentioning the asset transfer. Your lawyer may notify all parties after the transfer so they have a chance to legally respond. I don't know for sure.---

Your plan of just living in the house and not selling it can/might work, but it will be stressful and destroy any relationship you have with your siblings. Plus if things get legally nasty all the inheritance money will go to lawyers on all sides. If your siblings have been, and continue to be, shitty to you then you don't need give them shit from what is left of the inheritance. If your siblings don't turn into shitheads after your mothers death you can give them a $250 or $500 (or whatever) check each month to help them out. Don't give them a lump sum so they have to remain civil with you or you cut them off.

It seems to me the relationship you have with your siblings isn't that great now anyways (at least financially and/or mother's care wise) so who cares if you have to "kiss any relationship with my siblings goodbye" after her death. The fact that you mentioned that you know, and are thinking of using "shady people" who could "make things difficult" for your siblings tells me the relationship between you and them isn't that great anyways.

/bottom line

Get your mother's house and all other assets transferred into your name so you will have less financial nonsense to deal with after your mothers death. Do it now.
 

jtr1962

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/sarcasm

Jtr you killed my Merry Christmas/Happy New year thread. No worries. Your absolutely shitty situation excuses it. ;)

tl;dr:
Sorry about that. I've been meaning to post about all this for a long time. Since my holidays have been mostly shitty lately, I guess it made sense to do it in a Christmas/New Year thread.

Do your research on all your options and then; HIRE A LAWYER and execute them. Don't fuck around on this. GET IT DONE in 2020. No longer talk with your siblings about your financial situation. You tried talking, they don't give a shit and they aren't going to change their minds. Go silent. Change the subject if it comes up. Don't give them any reason to think you are doing anything behind their back. They will interfere with your plans. Go completely dark.
That has its own drawbacks which I'll explain in response to your other points.

I have mentioned in another thread that I'm in a very similar situation as you. I'm about 5 years younger than you with an 84 yo mother who I exclusively take care of. Fortunately she is in better physical/mental health, but that could change quickly. I have one brother and one sister. My siblings have already agreed to give me 100% of her house and this was formalized in her trust. So your situation and the various implication are of great interest to me.
Good that your siblings saw the light and everything was formalized. My mom made her will long before any of this happened. It hadn't entered any of our minds about her needing long-term care. In retrospect, I should have pushed her to include a clause in her will to the effect that the person providing her long-term care in her home would be entitled to more than 1/3 of the house, assuming she needed long-term care. We could have even stipulated how much extra per year the portion would be. Obviously, someone providing care for only a few weeks would be entitled to far less than someone providing care for 5 years and counting. I might have pushed for a sliding scale where the person providing care gets the entire house after 5 years. The numbers more or less seem to work out for that.

You said, regarding your siblings split of your house is that, "the money will basically just be fluff to my brother and sister." You also mentioned they are living check-2-check and don't have the time, energy or will to help you with your mother. Which is it? If siblings are living check-2-check they actually could use some cash from the sale of your house.
Both actually. Now they're living paycheck to paycheck but the terms I offered them was to split all mom's other assets besides the house between them evenly, provided I get the house free and clear. That would come to something in excess of $100K each as of now, but could be more later depending upon how the markets do. I even offered my brother continued use of the garage for one of his cars and car parts. They could pay off most or all of the outstanding mortgages with the money, depending upon when my mom goes and how much is left to pay. That would be good enough for them to retire comfortably by their 60s. Getting another ~$250K each from the house would be fluff under those terms, in that it's nice to have, but it won't affect them detrimentally if they don't. My brother was even talking about using that money to get a second house, which is obviously fluff.

You also said, "they don't even think [you] should get
anything..." from the sale of the house. That's ridiculous. At best they should be looking at a 60/20/20 split if not 70/15/15 or 80/10/10 split, especially since they have done nothing (financially or "time/help" wise) to help care for your mother. Do your siblings love or care about their mother and her well being? Or are they just licking their chops at the sale of her house?
To be fair, my brother does cook a lot of meals for my mother and tries to visit for a short time before work (he works 4PM to 12PM). That's worth something, which is why I offered him the perk of continuing to use the garage. My sister helped me clean and go through mom's clothes before she returned from rehab two years ago, but other than that, she has mostly been AWOL. Yes, she visits when she can, but given that she's 55 miles away with a full-time job and a house of her own, plus she's supporting her daughter, I don't really expect more than this. I realized given both their situations, the help they can give is limited, which is fine, but in return I should get something for my troubles. Telling me "they appreciate it" isn't enough.

It still seems like it bothers them they both worked full-time jobs all their lives and I worked sporadically. Yes, that's true but I remind them I had severe carpal tunnel syndrome since my late 20s, went through severe depression from college through mid 20s, and have always had a chronically low energy level, even in grade school. There were limits on what I could do. Besides, lots of adult children in NYC, even those without any issues, stay with their parents into their 30s or 40s even. Our former next door neighbors had both their 40-something adult children living with them. Housing prices in NYC are ridiculous. If you go it alone, you spend most of what you make just for the roof over your head. Forget ever saving or retiring. They both had the option to stay home if they wanted to but choose to leave. That's on them. And monetarily, the only difference my staying made to them is whatever it cost my parents to support me, which was mostly food, less the going rate they would have paid for all the work I did around the house. I told them it's probably a wash.

The HELoC seems complicated. But if it's your only option do it. Otherwise, just get the house transferred into your name. If you have a 100% PoA then legally transfer the house and any other assets into you name. EVERYTHING. Do it now. Don't tell ANYBODY you are doing it. Just do it and get it done. Then don't tell anybody till after your mothers passing.
Two issues with putting the house in my name now. My mom gets a big break on the real estate taxes because she's over 65. If it goes to my name, that's about $4,000 annually more going towards real estate taxes until I turn 65, or over $30K total. That's a not insubstantial sum.

The second more pressing reason is I have a defaulted student loan and the government could potentially seize everything I own, including real estate in my name. Here's the short version on that. I was making regular payments of $50 a month for well over 20 years. I could afford to pay just enough to cover the interest, so the balance neither went up nor down. In 2009 the loan was reassigned from the law firm which had been handling payments to New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. The balance suddenly went up because they added collection costs. The law firm didn't. They also used a portion of every payment towards collection costs, instead of all of it going towards interest and/or principal. My month payments went first to $105, then to $200. Since I got work sporadically, I might miss a payment or two, then double or triple up when I got work. Unfortunately when I missed three payments the loan went into default, even though they're supposed to give you nine months. After that it went into the onerous collection system. In case you're not familiar, once you're dealing with student loan collection agencies they're going to add all kinds of fees so you're making payments for the rest of your life, but the balance never drops. Even though the amount I owed before default was in the area of $15,000, they can easily make things so they would take the house, all my other assets, and my entire Social Security check once I start collecting it. I've heard stories of people who owed small amounts like a few thousand but the collection companies got hundreds of thousands from them. I've been trying to resolve all this since 2012. Until it gets resolved it's very dangerous putting the house in my name. This is also why I support any candidate for President who will forgive outstanding student loans. Note that from mid 2014 until 2018 I had a good consulting job. Unfortunately this came after the loans went into default. I probably could have paid off the loans if they were willing to settle for a reasonable amount but once it goes into default and collection settling is no longer an option. They don't want a settlement. They just want to take all your assets and most of your income forever, regardless of how much you originally owed.

---note: I don't know the legal aspects of not mentioning the asset transfer. Your lawyer may notify all parties after the transfer so they have a chance to legally respond. I don't know for sure.---
Strictly speaking, my brother and sister have nothing to do with the house besides the will. There should be no need to notify them.

Your plan of just living in the house and not selling it can/might work, but it will be stressful and destroy any relationship you have with your siblings. Plus if things get legally nasty all the inheritance money will go to lawyers on all sides. If your siblings have been, and continue to be, shitty to you then you don't need give them shit from what is left of the inheritance. If your siblings don't turn into shitheads after your mothers death you can give them a $250 or $500 (or whatever) check each month to help them out. Don't give them a lump sum so they have to remain civil with you or you cut them off.
Here's the irony. We actually all get along pretty well other than on this one issue. I don't really discuss it with them any more. I'm not thrilled about the lack of help I'm getting but I see things from their point of view. It's a shame they can't see it from mine. When my brother tells me if I really want to stay in NYC I can just get a condo or coop his doesn't understand anything. Besides all the work I put into the house, being in an apartment is very limiting for a person like me. If you're a couch potato who just watches TV all day I suppose it's fine but that's not me. I won't have any kind of life like that.

It seems to me the relationship you have with your siblings isn't that great now anyways (at least financially and/or mother's care wise) so who cares if you have to "kiss any relationship with my siblings goodbye" after her death.
I don't have too many people in my life as it is, so I'm reluctant to end the little human contact I do have. I have a friend who no longer talks to his brother on account of something similar. His brother wanted some money, even though he didn't care for his father, but the father left everything to my friend who did care for him in his last years. And he no longer talks to his daughter for other reasons. It's a sad situation and I don't want to end up that way. I'd like to remain on speaking terms with my siblings, but of course having a roof over my head takes priority.

The fact that you mentioned that you know, and are thinking of using "shady people" who could "make things difficult" for your siblings tells me the relationship between you and them isn't that great anyways.
Well, that's sort of a last resort if things get bad. These are not nice people I'm talking about. Think of them as a combination of American Gangster and New Jack City. I'm not sure I would want to sic them on my worst enemy, never mind my siblings, but it's an option if things go south.

Get your mother's house and all other assets transferred into your name so you will have less financial nonsense to deal with after your mothers death. Do it now.
I would like to at least get my mother's non-house assets transferred out of her name in the event she needs long-term custodial care. If my siblings would agree in writing to my terms, I would start splitting her other assets ASAP. Since there's no look-back period on the house for Medicaid purposes, that could even be done a week or two before she might need custodial care. Hopefully she won't, but it's important to think about preserving her assets.
 
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Stereodude

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...This is also why I support any candidate for President who will forgive outstanding student loans...
Except it's not going to apply to you. First of all, it's a vote grabbing platitude that will likely never pass Congress. Second, if it were to pass it's most likely only to apply to recent student loans that are owned by the feds (more or less). Third it would have plenty of conditions. It seems really unlikely that the feds are going to pay off collection agencies holding defaulted student loans.
 

snowhiker

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Except it's not going to apply to you. First of all, it's a vote grabbing platitude that will likely never pass Congress. Second, if it were to pass it's most likely only to apply to recent student loans that are owned by the feds (more or less). Third it would have plenty of conditions. It seems really unlikely that the feds are going to pay off collection agencies holding defaulted student loans.
This. 100%. Sorry it's true.

First we have to stop giving away free, government insured loans to 18 yo kids who want to go to Harvard to get a "crap" degree. I wish I could loan some dipshit $300k, be guaranteed I'd never lose my principle, charge crazy fees, and never allow loans to be wiped clean via bankruptcy.

Plus forgiven student loans are considered income by the IRS, AFAIK. So you'd owe takes on the forgiven amount.

For a start I'd be happy if some laws were passed that put a cap on the amount of fees, penalties and jacked up interest rates that apply when loans go into default. A $15,000 loan should never blow up to 100k or 150k or 300k due to defaults. I wonder what percentage of the trillion dollar student loan debt is crazy tacked on fees.
 

jtr1962

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Except it's not going to apply to you. First of all, it's a vote grabbing platitude that will likely never pass Congress. Second, if it were to pass it's most likely only to apply to recent student loans that are owned by the feds (more or less). Third it would have plenty of conditions. It seems really unlikely that the feds are going to pay off collection agencies holding defaulted student loans.
My loan is held by the feds, not by a collection agency. They tried a few times to sell it to collection agencies but the collection agencies couldn't get a dime off me, so it reverted back to the Feds. I actually got blacklisted by the collection agencies, which means they want to have nothing to do with my student loan, so the feds are out of options trying to get a third party to collect on their behalf. I also sent them tons of documentation about a year ago detailing everything done that was wrong and/or illegal, and it was plenty. For starters the promissory notes stipulated that collection fees could be a maximum of 25% of the original principal. Haven't heard back since from anyone.

No, the feds wouldn't pay off all the collection fees to collection agencies holding loans but since most of those fees are illegal anyway they wouldn't have to. It would be like a loan shark trying to collect fees in small claims court. Ultimately most outstanding student loans are owed to the feds, even if someone else is trying to collect them. The amount owed to the feds would be zeroed out, so there would nothing for the collection agencies to collect. They would no longer be needed, and hence they could no longer try to collect their fees.
 
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jtr1962

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First we have to stop giving away free, government insured loans to 18 yo kids who want to go to Harvard to get a "crap" degree. I wish I could loan some dipshit $300k, be guaranteed I'd never lose my principle, charge crazy fees, and never allow loans to be wiped clean via bankruptcy.
Agreed. Loans should be replaced with grants, but we should only give grants to people who will get some real benefit from college, not who will go and get some useless degree where they will never make enough to pay off their loans. To me loaning money under onerous terms to 18 year olds, most of whom never managed more money than their allowance, is exploitation. I certainly didn't know what I was getting into at the time, or I never would have signed the papers. I remember a lot of high school teachers said stuff like even if you can't pay off your student loans, they'll usually stop bothering you after a few years. That may have been true for them, but it wasn't after the early 1980s.

Plus forgiven student loans are considered income by the IRS, AFAIK. So you'd owe takes on the forgiven amount.
Under the plans being floated, it wouldn't be considered income. Also, recently Trump changed things so loans forgiven for death or disability are no longer considered income:


The loans will ultimately die with me in the event some arrangement isn't made beforehand, and at least whoever is left won't have to use some of my remaining assets to pay taxes on the discharged loans.

For a start I'd be happy if some laws were passed that put a cap on the amount of fees, penalties and jacked up interest rates that apply when loans go into default. A $15,000 loan should never blow up to 100k or 150k or 300k due to defaults. I wonder what percentage of the trillion dollar student loan debt is crazy tacked on fees.
A lot of the outstanding debt is collection fees, and most of those fees are illegal but there's no real enforcement. That's why any of the student loan forgiveness programs would cost far less than people think. It costs the government nothing to basically tell all these collection agencies sorry, but you're not getting your fees, especially since the bulk of those fees were illegally added in the first place. The majority of promissory notes stipulate collection fees can't exceed 20% or 25% of the original principal.

We should treat student loans like any other debt. For starters, a portion of every payment from day one should be applied to principal. Instead, the way it works is payments are applied only to interest, then to collection fees, and finally to principal once there is no outstanding interest or collection fees. Obviously this means people pay much more than they would for other types of debt. I figured based on the amount I paid so far that the loan would be paid off fair and square had the payments been applied differently. And there shouldn't be collection fees. When people go into default, it's typically because they don't have money to make payments. So what sense does it make adding fees which make it even harder to repay the loan once they get back on their feet? It doesn't except doing so gives politically connected collection agencies enormous profits. If you default on your mortgage or credit card payments they don't add tons of collection fees. There may be late fees, but that's typically a fixed amount, like $35, not some percentage of the outstanding debt, or some number they pull out of their behinds just to get your entire net worth like the student loan collection agencies do. The clock keeps running on the interest, but that's it. Sometimes they even forgive some interest if you start making payments again.
 
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Stereodude

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For a start I'd be happy if some laws were passed that put a cap on the amount of fees, penalties and jacked up interest rates that apply when loans go into default. A $15,000 loan should never blow up to 100k or 150k or 300k due to defaults. I wonder what percentage of the trillion dollar student loan debt is crazy tacked on fees.
There's something they should do before that. Presuming getting them out of the student loan business isn't an option, the first thing should be to limit the amount a student can borrow to some ratio of the average starting salary for recent college graduates with a job in the field of the major of the student. A credit hour for underwater basket weaving is worth much less to the student than a credit hour in a legit engineering program. If there was a finite money supply for degrees, especially worthless ones, they'd either have drop the cost of those degrees or eliminate them.

College/University costs are out of control drastically outpacing inflation because there's virtually no limit to the amount of money students can borrow to then turn around and pay the school with. Colleges & Universities are straight up businesses, not institutions of learning performing a public good. They're in ammenities races with one another to see who can have the most resort like accommodations for students further driving up costs. Being a business, they'll happily sell someone a worthless degree and set the students up for financial ruin. They don't care. They got their slice of the money. They're basically running an expensive 9 month a year "summer" camp for young adults in way too many cases. Since students and parents are apparently terrible at determining the value of the education they're buying (with someone else's money that they borrowed) the cycle currently has no endpoint.

If you had to pay for school out of pocket or with loans that were fairly hard to get and further the loans were from a lender that was quite concerned about your ability to pay back the loan the system would self correct fairly quickly because almost no one could afford the current tuition prices. People used to be able to go to a public university (not community college) and pay for it almost entirely out of pocket with a part time entry level type job. That's a pipe dream now.

Additionally, we need to remove the stigma of not going to college. Not everyone is college material nor does everyone need a college degree. There's no shame in learning a trade. Many of them pay quite well even. It's a total lie that you'll never amount to anything if you don't go to college, but that's what is drummed into most kid's heads from when they were little. That's how you get kids in college already running up loan debt when they don't even know what they want to do.
 

jtr1962

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There's something they should do before that. Presuming getting them out of the student loan business isn't an option, the first thing should be to limit the amount a student can borrow to some ratio of the average starting salary for recent college graduates with a job in the field of the major of the student. A credit hour for underwater basket weaving is worth much less to the student than a credit hour in a legit engineering program. If there was a finite money supply for degrees, especially worthless ones, they'd either have drop the cost of those degrees or eliminate them.

College/University costs are out of control drastically outpacing inflation because there's virtually no limit to the amount of money students can borrow to then turn around and pay the school with. Colleges & Universities are straight up businesses, not institutions of learning performing a public good. They're in ammenities races with one another to see who can have the most resort like accommodations for students further driving up costs. Being a business, they'll happily sell someone a worthless degree and set the students up for financial ruin. They don't care. They got their slice of the money. They're basically running an expensive 9 month a year "summer" camp for young adults in way too many cases. Since students and parents are apparently terrible at determining the value of the education they're buying (with someone else's money that they borrowed) the cycle currently has no endpoint.

If you had to pay for school out of pocket or with loans that were fairly hard to get and further the loans were from a lender that was quite concerned about your ability to pay back the loan the system would self correct fairly quickly because almost no one could afford the current tuition prices. People used to be able to go to a public university (not community college) and pay for it almost entirely out of pocket with a part time entry level type job. That's a pipe dream now.

Additionally, we need to remove the stigma of not going to college. Not everyone is college material nor does everyone need a college degree. There's no shame in learning a trade. Many of them pay quite well even. It's a total lie that you'll never amount to anything if you don't go to college, but that's what is drummed into most kid's heads from when they were little. That's how you get kids in college already running up loan debt when they don't even know what they want to do.
Agree with everything you wrote. I'll also add that far too many jobs now require college degrees, even though strictly speaking the job can be done with a high school education. This is likely an end result of far too many people going to college who really shouldn't or don't need it. Traditionally, only fields like medicine or engineering or science required college or post-graduate degrees. Now a lot of stupid office jobs do.

Student loans are the number one reason college costs are out of control. I suggest they be replaced entirely with grants, but grants will only be given to majors which have good earning potential, and really require a degree, so that the government will eventually get back what the grant cost from the higher income taxes the person will pay over their working life. We don't need to bankroll people to get degrees in advanced basket weaving. If some rich person's kid finds that subject interesting, and their parents feel like paying for their degree, fine, but taxpayers shouldn't pay for useless degrees.
 

Stereodude

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Agree with everything you wrote. I'll also add that far too many jobs now require college degrees, even though strictly speaking the job can be done with a high school education. This is likely an end result of far too many people going to college who really shouldn't or don't need it. Traditionally, only fields like medicine or engineering or science required college or post-graduate degrees. Now a lot of stupid office jobs do.
That's because it's probably the easiest and laziest legal way for an employer to narrow down the pool of prospective candidates. If college ever becomes free everyone will go and it won't be too long after that before you'll need an advanced degree for most jobs.
 

snowhiker

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^^^ Agree with SD and JTR regarding the student loan mess.

Lets see: 1) promise everybody kid in America a college education; 2) guarantee loans to those kids; 3) college/university education costs skyrocket as a result; 4) students with crap degrees and huge debt they can't pay; 5) banks happy; 6) oH mY gOd coLlEgE sHOulD bE fREe fOR eVeRYbOdY!!!!; 7) everybody with an IQ over 70 NEEDS!!!!1!1111!! to go to college; 8) people finally realize we have a problem with the system.

/infinite-double-facepalm
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Irregardless of your student loan status JTR, you should still have your mother's house transferred completely into your name only. Then when you inherit the rest of your mother's assets you can pay off your student loan and be free and clear. Then dole out any monies to siblings as you see fit.
 

Handruin

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How did things go with your wife's operation? How's she been doing?
 

Handruin

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I'm glad to hear her operation went very well and I hope she continues to heal and feel better soon.
 

sedrosken

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All I got for Christmas was food poisoning -- the whole house was laid up all day the 26th because one of our cousins brought something in with the holiday dinner and didn't know herself until she got home. Guess who had to go to work in that mess? Of course, saying that's all I got is a gross over-exaggeration, but you know, comedic timing and all that.

For New Years I got the news that my mom was not, in fact, recovering properly as we had been led to believe, but in fact she needed emergency spinal surgery to remove a salmonella infection that somehow ended up there as well as removing (and replacing with some sort of metal cage contraption -- can you tell I'm not overly familiar with the concept?) two of her vertebrae. With everything they'd had to do for her so far -- bypass a couple years back as well as having a pacemaker put in -- it was a risky op, but if they hadn't done it, she'd have definitely died.

I'm happy to report it went fine. On the other hand I used up some of my vacation time thinking I was going to go see her, or attend her funeral if worst came to worst, but I was informed no one had any room to house me while I would have been up there and my car's not exactly going to make the trip. So, staycation it is... Now that we know she'll be alright I'm much less worried about not being able to head up right this minute. It's going to be a lot of work if she wants to walk again, but truth be told, she was getting winded really easily anyway, so I doubt that'll bother her overly much.
 

Newtun

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At least you got the good news that your mother's surgery went well, and I'm sure the whole forum joins me in wishing her and your family the best.
 

sedrosken

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That's true. It was a very long operation -- over twelve hours -- it could have easily gone wrong somewhere. I should really be more grateful. But she'll be all right, that's the important thing. Thanks.
 
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