I take care of my mom and offered her home. My sister says half the house belongs to her, and now she needs a mortgage. What do I do?

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Expensive Quentin,

My mom is in a wheelchair, and might now not take care of herself.

I, having a sturdy energy of lawyer, moved her into my house and offered her home. My father, who handed away in 2009, and my mom had a joint will leaving all they owned to my sister and I.

After I offered the home, my sister claims that half of the cash belongs to her. I informed her that the cash belongs to our mom, as she continues to be alive, and that I’ll use it in the perfect curiosity of our mom.

My sister needs me to make her a mortgage, utilizing our mom’s cash. My sister will not be very reliable. She has a $25,000 debt with the IRS, and retains a crack-cocaine addict as a live-in boyfriend.

What are my authorized obligations to my sister?


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You’ll be able to e mail The Moneyist with any monetary and moral questions associated to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and observe Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Expensive Bob,

You don’t have any obligation to your sister, authorized or in any other case.

As your mom’s energy of lawyer, you might have a fiduciary responsibility to her. Which means you’re legally obliged to behave in the perfect pursuits of your mom, and make monetary choices together with her permission, and ones that profit her long-term care. That care might get dearer.

This responsibility doesn’t embrace making a case to your mom to lend your sister cash as a result of your sister believes that she is owed cash from an inheritance that doesn’t exist. The proceeds from the sale of your mom’s home belong to her, and ought to be used for her. and her alone.

I’ve acquired quite a few letters over time from individuals who acted as energy of lawyer, resembling this letter author who invested and misplaced $40,000 of her mom’s cash within the inventory market, and this lady who had a battle royale together with her aunt over her grandmother’s property.

I’ll let you know what I informed them: Being an influence of lawyer will not be a job that ought to be taken frivolously. Not solely have you ever taken on an superior duty of caring for an additional particular person and their funds, however you’re additionally susceptible to authorized proceedings should you act improperly.

I perceive that you just need to please everybody, and you are feeling answerable for your sister. However you aren’t answerable for her, and also you can’t please everybody. So don’t strive. You’ll be able to observe the regulation, and do what’s proper on your mom, as you might have completed so constantly to date.

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