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Widowed mother - siblings try to make a plan

Bogleheads • View forum - Personal Finance (Not Investing) - www.bogleheads.org
I am one of five siblings. Our stepfather passed away several months ago. I cannot understand this, but for some reason, when he retired, they chose the option (I forget the name of it) where his pension payments ceased upon his death. Our mother is now living on Social Security only and withdrawals from savings.

She is 75 and has health problems. The house, although paid off, is more than she can handle, in several ways.

Her favorite child (sorry to say, but true and acknowledged by all) is our youngest brother. He is proposing to have her sell her house & land. He will sell his house as well and together, they will buy a larger home with either an existing mother in law suite or one that can be added on - keeping all living areas on one level, no stairs for her to climb. She does not want to go into any kind of senior living situation or apartment - and yet, she still wants her own place. At first, it sounded like a grab to me, since he would receive all of her assets up front now and in this scenario, there will be little to nothing left to divide upon her death.

Her house and land, altogether are probably only worth $150K. She has about $60K left in savings, no debts. Seems to me that if her health goes further down hill and I expect it will, we'd have to sell it any way to pay for her healthcare expenses not covered by Medicare and she would end up living with us anyway.

I've spoken with a couple of my other siblings and we think that whatever our brother gets from our mother, it's probably not even enough for all that he will go through in being her primary caretaker (with the rest of us as secondary caretakers) - so maybe that is a better way to frame the situation. In any event, our youngest brother wants to have a family meeting this summer.

I realize this sounds like a cold analysis, but we are not a very close family - the only one of her children that our mother is close to, is her youngest child and it has always been this way.

At this upcoming family meeting, I can't think of anything else to add except that if my brother wants to take this on, this is his decision.

Outside of the family dynamics/issues, are there any financial considerations I am blind to in looking at this?
Date: Jun 20, 2017   


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