Author Topic: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.  (Read 457365 times)

BNgarden

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1300 on: May 12, 2018, 09:54:25 AM »
I must be missing something.  [edited]...you don't want to tell MIL your plans, but you've told BIL.  Will BIL not talk to MIL about this?  And, is not telling MIL just to maintain the option to pay off creditors or is it somehow a 'kindness' or other reason?

Why not just come clean on your intentions [edited]?

IDK but it seems there are relatively easier ways to get out of the middle.

ETA: Sorry for possible foam...edited for brevity
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 12:00:09 PM by BNgarden »

CheapskateWife

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1301 on: May 12, 2018, 04:54:24 PM »
I must be missing something.  [edited]...you don't want to tell MIL your plans, but you've told BIL.  Will BIL not talk to MIL about this?  And, is not telling MIL just to maintain the option to pay off creditors or is it somehow a 'kindness' or other reason?

Why not just come clean on your intentions [edited]?

IDK but it seems there are relatively easier ways to get out of the middle.

ETA: Sorry for possible foam...edited for brevity
No worries....its a super complicated situation.  We have not told either BIL or MIL yet what we intend to do...but after discussing much this weekend, we intend to bow out of executorship and ask her to find someone else to inherit the house.  We want out, free and clear.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1302 on: May 12, 2018, 05:23:15 PM »

There is just no reasoning with her on things like this.
[/quote]

95 year olds tend to have 95 years of accumulated thinking that isn't going to be swayed easily.
[/quote]

Marty, what a great way to think about it and express it.
This may help me be a little more patient with some people I know.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1303 on: May 12, 2018, 08:10:04 PM »
I must be missing something.  [edited]...you don't want to tell MIL your plans, but you've told BIL.  Will BIL not talk to MIL about this?  And, is not telling MIL just to maintain the option to pay off creditors or is it somehow a 'kindness' or other reason?

Why not just come clean on your intentions [edited]?

IDK but it seems there are relatively easier ways to get out of the middle.

ETA: Sorry for possible foam...edited for brevity
No worries....its a super complicated situation.  We have not told either BIL or MIL yet what we intend to do...but after discussing much this weekend, we intend to bow out of executorship and ask her to find someone else to inherit the house.  We want out, free and clear.

It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

AMandM

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1304 on: May 13, 2018, 11:22:00 AM »
It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

This.

My father named my husband as executor. Then we found out that since we live in a different country from Dad, having my husband as executor makes the estate count as a foreign estate and be subject to higher tax. So we asked my sister (who lives near my father, speaks the language better than DH does, is familiar with the legal system there, etc.) if she would mind being the executor. She agreed, and Dad agreed to change his will, but he's a procrastinator and 83 years old, so DH may well end up having to refuse.

calimom

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1305 on: May 13, 2018, 07:22:34 PM »
It would be tempting to sell the proceeds from the mobile home after the eventual death of MIL and pass the proceeds along to BIL's ex-wife to make up for some of the back child support her kids' deadbeat dad has owed all these years. Of course I'm painting with a broad brush of assumption (what is the ex-wife like? are the kids still minors?) And of course it would not end well with the BIL but sounds like no scenario will be satisfactory with him.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1306 on: May 14, 2018, 07:51:01 AM »
It would be tempting to sell the proceeds from the mobile home after the eventual death of MIL and pass the proceeds along to BIL's ex-wife to make up for some of the back child support her kids' deadbeat dad has owed all these years. Of course I'm painting with a broad brush of assumption (what is the ex-wife like? are the kids still minors?) And of course it would not end well with the BIL but sounds like no scenario will be satisfactory with him.
That is an interesting idea...the state of CA pays support to the intended recipients whether they receive it or not, and then charge appropriately exorbitant fees to the non-payer for being a burden to the Tax Payers...maybe we'll send the proceed to the state child support office in his name.

fredbear

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1307 on: May 14, 2018, 10:12:25 AM »
...the state of CA pays support to the intended recipients whether they receive it or not, and then charge appropriately exorbitant fees to the non-payer for being a burden to the Tax Payers...maybe we'll send the proceed to the state child support office in his name.

I got to watch this play out with my half-brother, who declined or was self-proclaimed unable to pay his child support.  His father paid it for him, until his father died.  Then, nothing.  His ex complained to CA.  I don't know as they actually paid his share to her, probably did, but do know that they terminated his licenses, to drive and to practice his "profession."  Their computer's memory is flawless (as is his ex's).  Now it is years later and he remains unable to drive or do his "work."  A good example of a threat that turns counterproductive when once it is converted from threat to action; without those licenses AChe is functionally unemployable, so there is no way he will ever be able to pay CA back.  The "child" is probably 35 or so.  On the other hand, to do him strict justice, losing those licenses was not the blow to him that it might be to most people, as he never was very employable, and even when he was, felt degraded by mere labor, as his true calling was to be a spiritual leader to the rest of us.   

So if you send it in in his name and they actually credit his account, and if it is enough to clear amount, penalty, and interest, you might get BIL mobile and employable.  It .. could happen, and it would be a familial thing to do.  On the other hand, for reasons I have mentioned elsewhere in the comments, I would never do any business with California nor advise anyone else to do so.  It is a grave error to let them know you exist, but worse if they start to believe you might have money you consider your own; they will know it belongs to the Franchise Tax Board and needs to be extracted from you. 

saguaro

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1308 on: May 14, 2018, 11:03:48 AM »
It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

I was ready to say "no" to my parents' timeshare which my parents bequeathed to me and my sisters.  They set that up when they bought the timeshare 25 years ago but by the time my folks passed that thing was a financial albatross.  Luckily we were able to get the timeshare company to buy it back but it was touch and go with them for a while as they (the timeshare company) really didn't like doing it. 

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1309 on: May 14, 2018, 11:21:40 AM »
It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

I was ready to say "no" to my parents' timeshare which my parents bequeathed to me and my sisters.  They set that up when they bought the timeshare 25 years ago but by the time my folks passed that thing was a financial albatross.  Luckily we were able to get the timeshare company to buy it back but it was touch and go with them for a while as they (the timeshare company) really didn't like doing it.

I really don't understand timeshares. You can often get equal cost hotels by doing a little research for each trip, and it doesn't require locking into a certain brand. In fact, we try to stay at timeshares for cash. At worst, they've tried to pitch us or get us to attend a sales meeting, but 2 or 3 rejections and they stop.

When my in-laws die, we will absolutely reject the timeshare that they own. Thank goodness my folks never got roped into that kinda nonsense.

saguaro

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1310 on: May 14, 2018, 11:53:21 AM »
It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

I was ready to say "no" to my parents' timeshare which my parents bequeathed to me and my sisters.  They set that up when they bought the timeshare 25 years ago but by the time my folks passed that thing was a financial albatross.  Luckily we were able to get the timeshare company to buy it back but it was touch and go with them for a while as they (the timeshare company) really didn't like doing it.

ETA: A few years after my folks bought their timeshare, my sister and BIL bought one as well.  Not a good deal, they somehow managed to get rid of it after a few years, but before those things became largely unsellable.

I really don't understand timeshares. You can often get equal cost hotels by doing a little research for each trip, and it doesn't require locking into a certain brand. In fact, we try to stay at timeshares for cash. At worst, they've tried to pitch us or get us to attend a sales meeting, but 2 or 3 rejections and they stop.

When my in-laws die, we will absolutely reject the timeshare that they own. Thank goodness my folks never got roped into that kinda nonsense.

My folks decided on the timeshare instead of buying a vacation cabin in the same area.  They reasoned that the timeshare would be cheaper, they didn't have to deal with maintenance/taxes/utilities plus the risk of vandalism/squatters while the cabin was unoccupied, especially during the hunting season. Plus they had some friends who were in the same timeshare program who pitched it.   I understood the reasons they had, but still was skeptical about them taking on that kind of arrangement.  But it was their money.

I later found out that their lawyer, who did their estate planning and taxes, advised against it, saying it was a bad deal, but they went ahead anyway.  And they named me and my sisters as beneficiaries assuming we would want the place as something to vacation to.   I signed a quitclaim taking me off as beneficiary just before my Dad passed (my Mom was already gone) but it was just a couple of weeks before Dad died, so wasn't sure it got recorded in time.  So was relieved when the timeshare company agreed to a buy back.   I was prepared to do whatever it was necessary not to take on that thing. 

ETA: A few years after my folks got their timeshare, my sister and BIL bought one was well.  Total waste of money, they got out of it after only a couple of years but before those things became as unsellable as they seem to be now.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 11:59:34 AM by saguaro »

CheapskateWife

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1311 on: May 14, 2018, 11:56:42 AM »
It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

This.

My father named my husband as executor. Then we found out that since we live in a different country from Dad, having my husband as executor makes the estate count as a foreign estate and be subject to higher tax. So we asked my sister (who lives near my father, speaks the language better than DH does, is familiar with the legal system there, etc.) if she would mind being the executor. She agreed, and Dad agreed to change his will, but he's a procrastinator and 83 years old, so DH may well end up having to refuse.
Wait, so are you saying that we could just not do anything?  Shred the will and pretend it doesn't exist? She passes and we have the memorial, file a quit claim deed on the trailer and gift it to the mobile home park and then not do anything about her bills, creditors, or anything?  Let them keep sending bills to her address, but no one answers them?  No filing of final taxes.  Nothing? I'm kindof liking this idea :-)

marion10

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1312 on: May 14, 2018, 04:47:43 PM »
I would consult an attorney- I would not destroy a will- but you do not have to accept being the executor. You can decline and I assume the state will appoint someone. As others have pointed out , you do not have to accept a bequest. People die intestate all the time.

SwordGuy

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1313 on: May 14, 2018, 04:54:28 PM »
It's important to recognize two things here.  Doesn't matter what's in the will, no one can make you be an executor of an estate and no one can make you accept their bequeathed property.   Say no now, but recognize that if she doesn't listen, you can say no later, too.

This.

My father named my husband as executor. Then we found out that since we live in a different country from Dad, having my husband as executor makes the estate count as a foreign estate and be subject to higher tax. So we asked my sister (who lives near my father, speaks the language better than DH does, is familiar with the legal system there, etc.) if she would mind being the executor. She agreed, and Dad agreed to change his will, but he's a procrastinator and 83 years old, so DH may well end up having to refuse.
Wait, so are you saying that we could just not do anything?  Shred the will and pretend it doesn't exist? She passes and we have the memorial, file a quit claim deed on the trailer and gift it to the mobile home park and then not do anything about her bills, creditors, or anything?  Let them keep sending bills to her address, but no one answers them?  No filing of final taxes.  Nothing? I'm kindof liking this idea :-)

No, if the person specified in the will won't do it, and doesn't assign someone else to do it, the government will assign someone to be executor. 

You only have to be executor if you want to be.  It will all get sorted out one way or another.  Your choice is whether that includes you as executor or not.

Same as if they give you the trailer in the will.  You just refuse to accept it.   Then the executor has to deal with it because it's not your problem.



NoraLenderbee

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1314 on: May 14, 2018, 05:20:39 PM »
I would consult an attorney- I would not destroy a will- but you do not have to accept being the executor. You can decline and I assume the state will appoint someone. As others have pointed out , you do not have to accept a bequest. People die intestate all the time.

Yep, you can refuse to be the executor. However, you'll probably have to go through a court procedure to have them appoint a replacement executor. It would be worth discussing with a lawyer before she dies. You might also want to see if DH can file a quit claim before she dies. It would be better to get his name off the title before he "inherits" it.

Good luck. This stuff can be complicated and leave permanent bad feelings--over what's basically trash.

babybug

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1315 on: May 14, 2018, 06:03:01 PM »
I actually just got some glorious news. I'm off the hook and no longer executor for an out-of-country estate.

My parents, who are not at all Mustachian anymore because they started making serious money later in life, wanted me to be the executor for their estate and to-- get this-- manage my estranged fuckup sibling's trust and dole out such money as he needs to continue enabling his cranially-rectally-inverted ways while still saddling me with the responsiblity of making sure the moron doesn't drink himself to death or throw a booze-filled tantrum and drive into someone who matters. After decades of enabling the little dipshit they wanted to drag me onto the codependent merry-go-round in their place. This is despite the fact I took off nearly twenty years ago and left the freaking country to avoid the stupid family drama.

Luckily, they found an estate lawyer who bitchslapped some sense into them. They aren't going to make my idiot sibling executor (said sibling went bankrupt without having actual bad life experiences, just bad financial decision making). We will be paying someone else to just liquidate everything in sight.

I am So. Fucking. Relieved.
Just scrolling the thread.  Grimsqueaker, I have the same messed up family dynamic and I left that country 20yrs ago, returned 3yrs ago and left again never ever to step back in that viper nest.  Yeah, tonly gets worse ...

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NorCal

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1316 on: May 14, 2018, 09:36:19 PM »
Well, this isn't exactly inheritance, but this seemed like the thread to put it in.

My father-in-law's live in girlfriend of 20+ years "Ann" has late stage cancer.  She's not doing well.  The doctor gives her several weeks.

My FIL is self employed and has zero saved for retirement at 70.  He plans to work until the day he dies.  He's always worked hard enough to pay the bills, and has always taken plenty of time off during his working years.

When "Ann" got sick, they lost half of their income and had to go to Cobra.  They were negative cash-flow and couldn't pay the mortgage.  We gave them some money to get them through with no expectations of repayment, and are happy to be in a position to support them.

It's clear FIL will have to sell the house very soon after she passes.  I don't think his self-employment income will support his spending, and I don't think there's a reasonable path to getting there.

The frustrating part is they NEVER GOT MARRIED.  After living together for nearly two decades, he just didn't want to do it.  Now he doesn't qualify for Social Security survivors benefits.  While I'm sure it wouldn't be huge, it could have been the difference between cash-flow positive and cash-flow negative for the rest of his life.  I totally get that marriage is a very personal thing, but so is living on the edge forever.

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Threshkin

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1318 on: May 14, 2018, 10:02:15 PM »
Well, this isn't exactly inheritance, but this seemed like the thread to put it in.

...snip...

The frustrating part is they NEVER GOT MARRIED.  After living together for nearly two decades, he just didn't want to do it.  Now he doesn't qualify for Social Security survivors benefits.  While I'm sure it wouldn't be huge, it could have been the difference between cash-flow positive and cash-flow negative for the rest of his life.  I totally get that marriage is a very personal thing, but so is living on the edge forever.

Here in Colorado they would likely already be considered married since they were living together and presumably sharing finances.  Common Law state FTW (or loss depending on your perspective)

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1319 on: May 14, 2018, 10:23:47 PM »
Well, this isn't exactly inheritance, but this seemed like the thread to put it in.

My father-in-law's live in girlfriend of 20+ years "Ann" has late stage cancer.  She's not doing well.  The doctor gives her several weeks.

My FIL is self employed and has zero saved for retirement at 70.  He plans to work until the day he dies.  He's always worked hard enough to pay the bills, and has always taken plenty of time off during his working years.

When "Ann" got sick, they lost half of their income and had to go to Cobra.  They were negative cash-flow and couldn't pay the mortgage.  We gave them some money to get them through with no expectations of repayment, and are happy to be in a position to support them.

It's clear FIL will have to sell the house very soon after she passes.  I don't think his self-employment income will support his spending, and I don't think there's a reasonable path to getting there.

The frustrating part is they NEVER GOT MARRIED.  After living together for nearly two decades, he just didn't want to do it.  Now he doesn't qualify for Social Security survivors benefits.  While I'm sure it wouldn't be huge, it could have been the difference between cash-flow positive and cash-flow negative for the rest of his life.  I totally get that marriage is a very personal thing, but so is living on the edge forever.
Try to convince them to get married asap! Because they've been together so long, SSA will consider them wed by virtue of common law. If they own property together, that may make it even easier. It may sound morbid to push this, but it could save his bacon big time. We know/knew a couple who did this. Pictures of them together over the years made their case.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 08:22:05 AM by Dicey »
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expatartist

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1320 on: May 15, 2018, 12:16:43 AM »
Inheritance drama? Yes we've got some. My father died a few months ago. He was diagnosed with untreatable aggressive leukaemia and had only a month to live.  Though his will was pretty straightforward and his 5 children received relatively equal portions of his estate, during the process there's been a bit of what some might call drama:

* One sister (the executor) has repeatedly accused the other of attempted patricide
* Right after the diagnosis, the other sister accused a brother of squandering his finances on prostitutes and shopping sprees to win our dad's sympathy and a larger share of the estate (he already had a slightly larger share of the estate, it didn't increase at all)

The remaining brother and I try to give some perspective and watch from the sidelines. It's a fucking family tragedy in the making.

AMandM

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1321 on: May 15, 2018, 11:19:23 AM »
* Right after the diagnosis, the other sister accused a brother of squandering his finances on prostitutes and shopping sprees to win our dad's sympathy and a larger share of the estate

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works. "Aww, poor Dicky, his apartment is full of brand-new things and piles of used condoms. I better increase his inheritance so he'll feel better"?

I'm sorry for the loss of your father, and for the tragedy in the making.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1322 on: May 15, 2018, 11:25:58 AM »
* Right after the diagnosis, the other sister accused a brother of squandering his finances on prostitutes and shopping sprees to win our dad's sympathy and a larger share of the estate

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works. "Aww, poor Dicky, his apartment is full of brand-new things and piles of used condoms. I better increase his inheritance so he'll feel better"?

I'm sorry for the loss of your father, and for the tragedy in the making.

I thought the prostitutes we're to cheer Dad up...

NorCal

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1323 on: May 15, 2018, 08:56:26 PM »
Well, this isn't exactly inheritance, but this seemed like the thread to put it in.

My father-in-law's live in girlfriend of 20+ years "Ann" has late stage cancer.  She's not doing well.  The doctor gives her several weeks.

My FIL is self employed and has zero saved for retirement at 70.  He plans to work until the day he dies.  He's always worked hard enough to pay the bills, and has always taken plenty of time off during his working years.

When "Ann" got sick, they lost half of their income and had to go to Cobra.  They were negative cash-flow and couldn't pay the mortgage.  We gave them some money to get them through with no expectations of repayment, and are happy to be in a position to support them.

It's clear FIL will have to sell the house very soon after she passes.  I don't think his self-employment income will support his spending, and I don't think there's a reasonable path to getting there.

The frustrating part is they NEVER GOT MARRIED.  After living together for nearly two decades, he just didn't want to do it.  Now he doesn't qualify for Social Security survivors benefits.  While I'm sure it wouldn't be huge, it could have been the difference between cash-flow positive and cash-flow negative for the rest of his life.  I totally get that marriage is a very personal thing, but so is living on the edge forever.
Try to convince them to get married asap! Because they've been together so long, SSA will consider them wed by virtue of common law. If they own property together, that may make it even easier. It may sound morbid to push this, but it could save his bacon big time. We know/knew a couple who did this. Pictures of them together over the years made their case.

Unfortunately, California is not a state that recognizes common law marriages.  I think it's already too late, as she is confined to her bed, and can barely speak.  Everything being done on her behalf is under a power-of-attorney (that FIL can't actually find).

expatartist

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1324 on: May 15, 2018, 09:15:26 PM »
* Right after the diagnosis, the other sister accused a brother of squandering his finances on prostitutes and shopping sprees to win our dad's sympathy and a larger share of the estate

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works. "Aww, poor Dicky, his apartment is full of brand-new things and piles of used condoms. I better increase his inheritance so he'll feel better"?

I'm sorry for the loss of your father, and for the tragedy in the making.

Right?! Twisted sister kind of logic.


I thought the prostitutes we're to cheer Dad up...

;)

All this is making me very very happy I live 7000 miles away.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1325 on: May 15, 2018, 11:57:26 PM »
Well, this isn't exactly inheritance, but this seemed like the thread to put it in.

My father-in-law's live in girlfriend of 20+ years "Ann" has late stage cancer.  She's not doing well.  The doctor gives her several weeks.

My FIL is self employed and has zero saved for retirement at 70.  He plans to work until the day he dies.  He's always worked hard enough to pay the bills, and has always taken plenty of time off during his working years.

When "Ann" got sick, they lost half of their income and had to go to Cobra.  They were negative cash-flow and couldn't pay the mortgage.  We gave them some money to get them through with no expectations of repayment, and are happy to be in a position to support them.

It's clear FIL will have to sell the house very soon after she passes.  I don't think his self-employment income will support his spending, and I don't think there's a reasonable path to getting there.

The frustrating part is they NEVER GOT MARRIED.  After living together for nearly two decades, he just didn't want to do it.  Now he doesn't qualify for Social Security survivors benefits.  While I'm sure it wouldn't be huge, it could have been the difference between cash-flow positive and cash-flow negative for the rest of his life.  I totally get that marriage is a very personal thing, but so is living on the edge forever.
Try to convince them to get married asap! Because they've been together so long, SSA will consider them wed by virtue of common law. If they own property together, that may make it even easier. It may sound morbid to push this, but it could save his bacon big time. We know/knew a couple who did this. Pictures of them together over the years made their case.

Unfortunately, California is not a state that recognizes common law marriages.  I think it's already too late, as she is confined to her bed, and can barely speak.  Everything being done on her behalf is under a power-of-attorney (that FIL can't actually find).
IDK, but this case did happen in CA, within the last 10 years. They married on his deathbed and she was able to collect his Social Security.
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MarciaB

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1326 on: May 16, 2018, 03:37:55 PM »
Well, this isn't exactly inheritance, but this seemed like the thread to put it in.

My father-in-law's live in girlfriend of 20+ years "Ann" has late stage cancer.  She's not doing well.  The doctor gives her several weeks.

My FIL is self employed and has zero saved for retirement at 70.  He plans to work until the day he dies.  He's always worked hard enough to pay the bills, and has always taken plenty of time off during his working years.

When "Ann" got sick, they lost half of their income and had to go to Cobra.  They were negative cash-flow and couldn't pay the mortgage.  We gave them some money to get them through with no expectations of repayment, and are happy to be in a position to support them.

It's clear FIL will have to sell the house very soon after she passes.  I don't think his self-employment income will support his spending, and I don't think there's a reasonable path to getting there.

The frustrating part is they NEVER GOT MARRIED.  After living together for nearly two decades, he just didn't want to do it.  Now he doesn't qualify for Social Security survivors benefits.  While I'm sure it wouldn't be huge, it could have been the difference between cash-flow positive and cash-flow negative for the rest of his life.  I totally get that marriage is a very personal thing, but so is living on the edge forever.

Did Ann make substantially more than he did? Because as far as I understand survivor's benefits (I'm a widow myself, but not yet drawing SS benefits) a person can qualify for several different benefits (your own SS, survivor SS) but can only take one at a time. Meaning, he would want to take whichever was higher (his own, or hers). He couldn't take both. He can start with one and then make a switch, but he can't double-dip.

So if he and Ann made about the same amount, or if she earned less in her lifetime, then her benefits aren't of benefit to him (because his are more to begin with).
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sol

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1327 on: May 16, 2018, 08:02:45 PM »
Under normal circumstances survivor SS is half of the regular SS and you have the choice to take that or your own benefit but not both.

The complication is that SS benefits are not linear, such that you usually have to earn far more than twice as much to get double the benefit.  This means it usually only makes sense to take the survivor benefit if the survivor had little or no earned income of their own.  Usually your own benefit will be larger.

NorCal

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1328 on: May 16, 2018, 08:35:04 PM »
Under normal circumstances survivor SS is half of the regular SS and you have the choice to take that or your own benefit but not both.

The complication is that SS benefits are not linear, such that you usually have to earn far more than twice as much to get double the benefit.  This means it usually only makes sense to take the survivor benefit if the survivor had little or no earned income of their own.  Usually your own benefit will be larger.

Good to know.  I don't pretend to be an SS expert, as I'm young enough that it doesn't matter for me personally yet.  I guess my concerns might be irrational.  Maybe (I hope) FIL knows the math and has determined it doesn't matter.

Sometimes he does things that are financially savvy (he pays a lot of attention to what he can write off as a business expense, and does a ton of DIY projects), but I also know he carries a balance on his credit cards and has no savings.

Mostly, I'm worried about the guy.  They were life partners, and a couple that lived paycheck-to-paycheck on dual incomes.  He's going to be both personally and financially devastated, and there's not a lot we can do to help.

Physicsteacher

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1329 on: May 16, 2018, 09:42:43 PM »
Under normal circumstances survivor SS is half of the regular SS and you have the choice to take that or your own benefit but not both.

That's actually the case for spousal benefits while the spouse is alive. For a widow or widower, the max benefit is the higher of the deceased's benefit or the surviving spouse's benefit based on his or her own earnings record.

MarciaB

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #1330 on: May 16, 2018, 09:56:37 PM »
Under normal circumstances survivor SS is half of the regular SS and you have the choice to take that or your own benefit but not both.

The complication is that SS benefits are not linear, such that you usually have to earn far more than twice as much to get double the benefit.  This means it usually only makes sense to take the survivor benefit if the survivor had little or no earned income of their own.  Usually your own benefit will be larger.

Um, no. Survivor benefits, unlike spousal benefits, are 100% of the deceased's benefit going to the widow(er) as long as that benefit is higher than the survivor's own. And, as you say, you can only take one of the two (yours or theirs, whichever is higher).

But - the lesson here is that the person in question needs to get himself to a SS office and have a talk with an agent about his particular situation. Get the actual facts about his actual situation. And then make some decisions (get married? stay the course? etc.)
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