Dear Penny: Can We Protect Dad From His Money-Hungry Girlfriend?

Dear Penny,

My father is in his mid-80s, and my mom died over a decade in the past. He began relationship a lady his age 10 years in the past, who subsequently moved in with him, although they don't seem to be married. She has a home close by, however his house is extra handy as a result of it's all on one flooring and he paid for every part. 

Earlier this 12 months, his well being points made transferring him right into a nursing residence mandatory. This lady has now made a cope with my father that she will keep on at his home after he dies. Apparently there are stipulations she doesn’t agree with in a contract his lawyer drew up, however so far as I do know, Dad will simply cave into her calls for. 

One of the stipulations prevents her ne’er-do-well grandson, who has a historical past of theft and substance abuse, from spending time in Dad’s residence. Dad has intensive collections of antiques and collectibles that would simply disappear. Dad has additionally mentioned to me and my siblings that if anybody will get contentious, he'll simply reduce them out of the desire.

We are involved that this association will actually complicate all of our lives when Dad dies. He has not considered potentialities, like what if she hooks up with another person and that particular person strikes in?

I respect that his cash is his cash, however this prolonged dwelling association has us actually steamed. Communication has by no means been good in our household. It seems like she had a monetary curiosity in him all alongside and now we’re caught along with her, even after he dies. Any recommendation for the way to consider this, shield household belongings, and transfer ahead?

-Distressed Daughter

Dear Distressed,

 

Is your main concern that your father’s closing needs gained’t be carried out? Or are you extra nervous about nonetheless having to cope with Dad’s girlfriend when he’s gone? The means you’ve laid issues out makes it sound just like the latter. 

 

Your dad’s girlfriend is in her 80s. She’s lived in his residence for a number of years. I believe your father is being cheap. You might not like her, however she’s been an essential a part of his life for a decade. It’s comprehensible that he doesn’t need to uproot her when he dies.

 

 

That mentioned, should you haven’t communicated your considerations along with your father, it's worthwhile to — with tact. This dialog must be about your dad and how one can greatest fulfill his needs. (Repeat, his needs.) Don’t accuse his girlfriend of being after his cash. Don’t counsel that she’ll be able to shack up with another person the second he dies. Instead, you would possibly ask your dad how he would really feel if his girlfriend had one other relationship, realizing that particular person might keep over on the home. Just as a result of he hasn’t shared his ideas and emotions with you doesn’t essentially imply he hasn’t thought them by way of or mentioned them along with his legal professional.

 

It’s additionally cheap to ensure it’s spelled out who’s liable for bills associated to the house whereas your dad’s girlfriend remains to be dwelling there. It appears like your father might have put the house in a life property. It’s a typical estate-planning software when somebody desires to let one other particular person reside of their residence after their loss of life with out bequeathing it to them. In these preparations, the tenant is often liable for these prices.

 

As far as your dad’s collectibles and antiques go, there’s no purpose these things would want to remain within the residence. He may depart them to you, your siblings or anybody else by way of his will or a belief. Keep in thoughts that collectibles are sometimes far more precious to the collector than they're within the market. If there’s a selected merchandise that you really want, merely asking your father for it and explaining why you maintain it expensive could also be much more efficient than badgering him about his girlfriend’s deadbeat grandson.

 

I think, although, that your dad could also be absolutely conscious of your considerations. Communication isn’t nearly making your self heard. It requires listening, even should you don’t just like the solutions you get.

 

There are lots of conditions the place relations have good purpose to fret that an older cherished one is being manipulated by a major different. This doesn’t look like a kind of occasions. Your father appears like he’s nonetheless of sound thoughts and desires to look out for his long-time companion after he’s gone. He should still have to work out some particulars, however happily, he has an legal professional.

 

Given your father’s age and well being points, he might not have lots of time left. Please heed his warning and don’t make this contentious. He deserves peace, not squabbling. 

 

Robin Hartill is a licensed monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Send your difficult cash inquiries to [email protected].

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