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sunnybohemia

Sister has my parents fooled she is poa, executor of will, trustee of MY trust

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I need help. Parents still alive. Dont know how exactly, but over 2-3 yrs my 47 yo sis convinced my feeble parents to give her POA, to make her executor of entire will AND to give her her inheritance outright (she drinks scotch, 2 bottles wine and takes Xanax nightly.) she convinced them MY inheritance should be in a trust with her as sole trustee. The reason she used for this trust is that over 4 yrs ago I had a drug problem. However I have been clean/sober for over 4 years and am much more financially responsible. I don't trust her and she has too much power over this trust as trustee and I'm afraid. Theres no restriction on her. What can I do.? Sunny.bohemia@'yahoo.com

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Dont know how exactly, but over 2-3 yrs my 47 yo sis convinced my feeble parents to give her POA, to make her executor of entire will AND to give her her inheritance outright (she drinks scotch, 2 bottles wine and takes Xanax nightly.)

 

First of all, there is no such thing as an executor of a will.  An executor is a person who has been appointed by the appropriate court to administer the estate of a deceased person.  While it is common for a person making a will to nominate someone to serve as the executor of the person's estate, the nominee does not actually become the executor until and unless appointed by the court.  Moreover, because no one in your post appears to be dead, any discussion of executors is moot.

 

Second, an "inheritance" is money that one receives from the estate of a deceased person.  While folks sometimes refer to giving an "inheritance" while the giver is still alive, it is nothing more than a gift; it is not an inheritance.

 

Third, I'm curious how you purport to know the specific details of your sister's alcohol and prescription drug consumption.  Does your sister live with you such that you observe her on a daily basis?

 

 

 

I don't trust her and she has too much power over this trust as trustee

 

Since it sounds like you're describing a testamentary trust (i.e., a trust that is created by a will), and since your parents are still living, it appears that no trust yet exists.  I'm also not sure what "too much power" means (perhaps you have read your parents' estate planning documents, but we obviously have not, so we have no idea what the terms of the trust might be).

 

 

 

I'm afraid.

 

Of what?

 

 

 

What can I do.?

 

I'm relatively certainly you can do lots of things, including lobbying your parents to change their estate planning documents (just as you claim your sister did).  However, you need to be aware that it is entirely your parents' choice how they dispose of their estate.  While they are still alive, it really is none of your (or anyone else's) business.  I find it odd that you seem to be concerned about how much money you're going to receive when your parents die instead of how they might use their current assets to make their lives more comfortable, regardless of what that means in terms of any future, potential "inheritance."

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If she misbehaves as trustee of a trust of which you're a beneficiary, you're free to hold her to account via the relevant court.  Same goes as to acts taken as executor of any will once your parents are gone.

Meanwhile, having a POA doesn't mean she's free to run their lives; it means she's able to do X on their behalf as outlined in that document -- with their consent (and if it's a durable poa, she's still responsible for what she does on their behalf even if they are incapacitated). 

If your parents are spending money they need for their own care on her, you're free to talk with a local elder abuse entity about addressing that.

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Let me explain better /further. First of all, it is not the money I am primarily concerned with - it is that they are planning on giving sis all these powers (poa, nominated her as executor and then giving her xxx dollars outright (not in a trust that I or anyone else is a trustee of), yet putting what is to be my xxx Dollars into a trust of which she, the younger, drinking sister, would be trustee and thus control me even though I don't drink etc.....

I haven't seen the wills or trust but I know my parents.

Also they give her stuff now but not me and never say it will be evened out later (expensive items) I don't ask for anything now as they are alive, but she does....

In answer to your other questions i see her drink heavily and take pills every day ive seen her in 12-17 years - i see her several weeks/months per year. no, I haven't seen the estate documents but I was told that since I drank many yrs ago any $ they leave me will be in trust with her as trustee. Yet any $ they leave her will be outright with no trustee But I'm sober and shes not, she's greedy and I'm not - help! Tell me what to say to my parents before its too late --- thanks, -sunny

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You explained yourself clearly enough the first time around.  She cannot "control" you through your parents' inheritance, even if they decide to make her trustee (unless you're saying that you're willing to jump through someone's hoops over money, which is a bigger problem).

There's nothing to do about this aside from talk with your parents once or twice and then let it go and deal with it as you need to.

 

"Also they give her stuff now but not me and never say it will be evened out later (expensive items) I don't ask for anything now as they are alive, but she does...."

I'm sorry, but this isn't relevant to any legal issue; it's a purely personal thing, and your parents are free to do as they like.  They aren't obligated to leave you anything, I trust you realize (or maybe not).  Your parents may simply be playing favorites, and it matters not a whit if she's a substance abuser and you are no longer.  That's stuff to discuss with a counselor.

 

"... help! Tell me what to say to my parents before its too late."

I'm sorry, but this isn't something strangers can help you with.  Again, maybe something to discuss with a counselor if you just can't get past the nonsense and you "have to" say something to get it off your chest with them.

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By the way, if it helps at all, it may be that your parents' care and expenses will mean there won't be anything left to be put in a trust.  In fact, it may be best for mental health if you'd adjust expectations in this regard (and deal with the greedy sister thing separately, with counseling help).

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Let me explain better /further. First of all, it is not the money I am primarily concerned with - it is that they are planning on giving sis all these powers (poa, nominated her as executor and then giving her xxx dollars outright (not in a trust that I or anyone else is a trustee of), yet putting what is to be my xxx Dollars into a trust of which she, the younger, drinking sister, would be trustee and thus control me even though I don't drink etc.....

 

But that's their decision.  You don't have to like it, but whether or not you like their decisions is neither here nor there.

 

 

 

I haven't seen the wills or trust

 

Then how do you purport to know what they say.

 

 

 

Also they give her stuff now but not me and never say it will be evened out later (expensive items) I don't ask for anything now as they are alive, but she does....

 

Not sure what to say about this.  Sometimes parents will favor one child over others.  Sometimes a child who begs and begs gets what he/she asks for and the child who is self-sufficient gets less.  That's part of life, and life isn't fair.

 

 

 

Tell me what to say to my parents before its too late

 

Ok.  Try this (and remember, you asked):  "Mom and Dad, I love you.  I don't care what you do with your assets, but I hope that you use them in a way that makes your comfortable for however much more time you have on this Earth or in any other way that makes you happy.  Use it to buy things to make you comfortable.  Give it away to me or my sister or the International Society for the Protection of Wombats if that's what makes you happy.  All I care about is that you're happy."  Say that and mean it.  Then let it go and mind your own business.

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Apparently I still haven't been totally clear and for that I apologize. There IS plenty of .$ that will be left over - I've had that discussion already (mom and dad please spend this on yourselves". They say they have what they want and need . What I am upset about is my sister acts the opposite. And not only does she want the. $ for herself, she wants to control others with it. Especially me since she wants her part outright and mine in a trust she controls, even though I'm older, more responsible, and no longer drink etc (4 years sober) I don't want to control her or be controlled by her. But she wants to control me . Please help me avoid her control

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Ok.  So your sister is a horrible person.  Nothing you can do about it.

 

If your parents want to set up their estate planning such that your "inheritance" goes into a trust of which your sister is trustee, that is their prerogative.  Who does or doesn't drink alcohol and how much is not relevant to anything.  You're free to try and talk your parents into changing their estate planning, and they're free to do so or not.  Again,  it is their prerogative.

 

It's their business.  They get to decide.

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Apparently I still haven't been totally clear and for that I apologize. There IS plenty of .$ that will be left over - I've had that discussion already (mom and dad please spend this on yourselves". They say they have what they want and need . What I am upset about is my sister acts the opposite. And not only does she want the. $ for herself, she wants to control others with it. Especially me since she wants her part outright and mine in a trust she controls, even though I'm older, more responsible, and no longer drink etc (4 years sober) I don't want to control her or be controlled by her. But she wants to control me . Please help me avoid her control

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That depends on the terms of the trust and state law.  I don't think anyone's interested in going 'round and 'round about this, when the essential answer was already provided a while back.  If when the time comes she won't provide you with a copy of the trust, then you enlist aid of counsel.

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So what CAN she do as trustee of my trust?

 

As previously noted, it depends on the terms of the trust and the laws of your state.

 

Take a look at this (although note that it is specific to California):  http://davidtate.us/files/A_Summary_of_California_Trustee_Responsibilities_Beneficiary_Rights_and_Elder_Law_Dave_Tate_Esq2._8.22.08_.pdf

 

You might also google "[name of your state] duties of trustee" or "[name of your state] responsibilities of trustee."

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It's florida. I am concerned about my parents being taken advantage of by her and realizing it, which would hurt their feelings forever, and I'm concerned that her being trustee of my inheritance but her inheritance being given to her outright and not in trust, will ruin our relationship, I don't care about the $ - SHE DOES - over all else. So please stop telling me my parents are doing what they want - I guarantee they don't want to realize shes using them as a bank and convincing them she needs to be poa, executor and trustee of my $ is because she's dishonest and I also guarantee thru don't want to leave us a legacy of being enemies. Nor do they want me to not have my half- they just don't want to realize the hurtful truth that her campaigning to have all this in the will, coupled with all the $ she asks for and gets now (and I ask for nothing and get almost nothing now which I'm happy and proud with myself about) - is dangerous - to them (parents) now and both of us offspring later.

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You don't seem to get it. Money can only come between you and your sister if you let it. If your parents are mentally competent, then they are entitled to make poor financial decisions. It is their money. If thye want to support your sister financially while they are alive, there is not a thing you can do about it legally. If they want to give her expensive gifts because she asks, you can not do a thing about it legally. If they want to make her their POA, there is not a thing you can do about it legally. If they wish to give her money upon their death, there is not a thing you can do about it legally. If they wish to put money in a trust for you upon their death, there is not a thing you can do about it legally. If your sister is the trustee, then she has fiduciary responsibility for that money though it is still yours. If she breaches that trust, then you have a potential legal claim for that breach. you are far, far from that happening.

 

If neither of your parents is mentally competent (such as those with dementia), and your sister is having them sign legal documents they are not fit to understand, then you need to speak with a lawyer who specializes in elder care issues. Bear in mind that the law doesn't care about "unfair" or ill advised.

 

You must also realize that while I give you credit for getting your act together and remaining sober for 4 years, the fact that you are not currently abusing and your sister might be, does not mean a thing to the courts. No judge is going to reverse the desires of your parents based on a short term sobriety and an allegation that your sister overindulges and has a Rx for a medical condition. Reality might be that you are the better "risk", but the court doesn't know either of you and doesn't care one bit about your family dynamics. Any decision they make it going to be based on legal facts.

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It's florida. I am concerned about my parents being taken advantage of by her and realizing it, which would hurt their feelings forever, and I'm concerned that her being trustee of my inheritance but her inheritance being given to her outright and not in trust, will ruin our relationship, I don't care about the $ - SHE DOES - over all else. So please stop telling me my parents are doing what they want - I guarantee they don't want to realize shes using them as a bank and convincing them she needs to be poa, executor and trustee of my $ is because she's dishonest and I also guarantee thru don't want to leave us a legacy of being enemies. Nor do they want me to not have my half- they just don't want to realize the hurtful truth that her campaigning to have all this in the will, coupled with all the $ she asks for and gets now (and I ask for nothing and get almost nothing now which I'm happy and proud with myself about) - is dangerous - to them (parents) now and both of us offspring later.

 

There are basically three ways to deal with this.  First, do nothing and deal with the consequences.  Second, do nothing now, and, when your parents have died, seek to invalidate the trust and/or remove your sister as trustee.  Third, seek a conservatorship or adult guardianship over your parents now.  Be aware that, if you choose either the second or third route, you may not get what you want, and I obviously cannot know whether you have sufficient evidence to succeed in either regard.

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