The Family Meeting

After my dad was admitted to the nursing home following his surgery, we all decided as a family to have a meeting to discuss future plans. My parents had a trust set up in 2000 to place all of their assets in. They owned 11 rental properties, several pieces of heavy equipment and quite a bit of cash. They needed to make sure they were protected legally. In this trust, they also made wills, powers of attorney, etc. Both of my parents were of sound mind when they made these legal documents. After finalizing the paperwork, my dad met with my oldest sister and I one day to explain it all to us since we were to be the executors of the estate and trust. He told us the basics about where the bank accounts were but he would not discuss the specifics of the will with us. He told us flat out, “You can fight about it when I am dead and gone.” Little did we know that the fight would be on before he passed away.

All of my siblings (with the exception of my brother that lives in another state) met at my parent’s house to discuss my dad’s situation. My brother (BD) had already talked to an attorney about the situation and explained to us all just exactly what should be done. He suggested that my mom needed to remove all of the cash from the bank and give it to us kids as a “gift” and then we could give her the money back to keep in case she needed it. Well, mom was not in agreement about giving the money away. D told her she still needed to get the money out of the bank just in case dad had to be in the nursing home indefinitely. Now, keep in mind that with their monthly social security checks and rental income, my dad was set. There was no reason to hide assets from social security. There was plenty of income to cover these expenses. Mom, not really knowing what to do since her whole life has been basically turned upside down agreed to get the money out of the bank and put it aside for future use. We discussed a few other things about the property and ended the meeting with BD upset with the fact that my oldest sister D (OSD) was going to get my dad’s backhoe. Other than that, everything at our meeting went well.


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