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How Can I Resolve Conflict With my Sibling Over a Parent's Care?
Sister has Mom living with her, charging Mom rent, etc. Problem is she thinks she has a free for all with all of Mom's money. I take care of all the finances, taxes, billing, bank, etc. She charges Mom $600 a month plus, and wants to charge even if Mom is not staying there, because that is what any place else would do. My husband and I never charged Mom in the 17 years we helped and took care of her. During the past months, I needed a break from helping Mom to take care of my own health. Unfortunately, sister is not fair with anything concerning Mom. I want to protect Mom's money for her, especially because she is almost 90 years old and has health problems. She is not in any facility, but we (my husband and I) are thinking of an apartment with the three of us, and hiring help for her and me. I need legal answers before I confront Mom with this mess.
These family situations are always very difficult. Everyone has different expectations and needs, and these can get confused with sibling rivalries or resentments that date back to childhood. The best thing to do, if possible, is to have a full discussion of all of the issues around your mother's care and expenses, starting with each of your hopes and expectations. Ultimately, any agreement should be put in writing, not because you would sue one another if the agreement were breached, but because it's a way of making sure you're both on the same page. This kind of discussion often needs to be facilitated by a mediator or attorney to make sure it doesn't break down in bickering. You may need more than one meeting. And, since you live in different states, some or all of the conversations may have to take place by telephone.