My very anti mustachian in laws split 20 years ago, just prior to our wedding. They were completely broke, so my spendthrift MIL started bonking her boss at work, and planned to elope with him. Boss ended up killing himself so she sued her work for workplace harassment and received about $80k, decided to retire at 45, leaving FIL (aged 65) completely penniless. She kicked him out of the social housing they lived in. Rather than see him homeless we took out a second mortgage on our home for 20k loan to buy him an on-site caravan to live in, and he agreed to leave it to us in his will, so we would eventually get some money back. (Side note #1 Six months later MIL moved out of social housing onto her next victim who owned his own house. If she had left FIL in the house he would have been set for life, rent limited to a percentage of his Centrelink pension. SN#2 unbeknowns to us FIL applies for and gets a first home owners grant of $7000, and despite the 2nd mortgage we are paying off he uses it and other cash to buy a brand new car)
Flash forward 20 years. FIL is now 85 and starting to flag. MIL has spent all her cash long ago, and swoops in. FIL signs power of attorney for her. She takes possession of his car, and sells the caravan for slightly more than we paid, moves him into aged care and starts to run interference on any discussions with FIL. I asked him (politely) what the plans were, and he told me with a big grin he planned to spend the lot. MIL rushed in at that point and starts screaming at me for upsetting FIL. "What's he supposed to do, save it for his old age" etc. I was really rattled so left it, although I was really CROSS. Later same day MIL tried to smooth it over saying how much she appreciated our help cleaning out the van, which really gave me the yucks.
Two weeks later MIL sends an email that FIL has decided to hand over the van money, which I was not expecting. She really tried not to, it was difficult, she had to consult with Centrelink etc that it would not affect his pension. The money was eventually ungraciously handed over and she put on the transfer "gift from Dad" which irked me but whatever. Note that she did not hand over all of it, only refunded the purchase price from 20 years prior and she retains the $2000 extra. I cop a lot of flack from extended In laws for hounding FIL for the money, even though literally all I had done was ask what his plans were.
Flash forward one more year and FIL dies. The will has been recently rewritten so that MIL shares in the (very small estate) equally. We paid for the funeral, (despite the fact she picked everything) she kept the car which apparently is not part of the estate and a share of the cash (a few thousand) while we got $200 after paying for the funeral.
What's the moral of this tale? I really don't know. It took me a long time to get over the anger, looking back maybe I should have written off the $20k, we don't really need the money now, but at the time it was a lot of money, eg the deposit for our house was $7500 only 3 years earlier, so it was a lot then. We were put under a lot of pressure from my husbands extended family to do it. My MIL now tells anyone who will listen all I care about is money, but I think she is projecting her own actions onto me. So I learnt some hard lessons and moved on. Would I do it again? NO!!