Siblings sort it out
Linda Fodrini-Johnson, 67, suspects inheritance calculations play a role in differences she and her three brothers have over managing the finances of their mother, Bernice Bidwell, 90.
Fodrini-Johnson says she and one brother, 60-year-old Craig Bidwell, "don't need to inherit" from their mother, who recently had a stroke and suffers from congestive heart failure. But disabilities have prevented the other brothers from working in recent years.
"There is tension," says Fodrini-Johnson, who lives in Walnut Creek, Calif., and runs a company that provides care-management services. "You hear it and feel it, but nobody articulates it because it would be disrespectful to Mom."
She points to a recent disagreement over her mother's hair. She wanted to take her mother to a hairdresser instead of using the one at her mother's assisted-living facility. But other siblings resisted.
No one came out and said it was about the cost, Fodrini-Johnson says, but that seemed to her to be the motivation. The siblings also debated whether to remodel and rent their mother's San Francisco home -- so it could bring in some money -- or allow a grandchild to serve as temporary caretaker of the place.
To avoid conflict, Fodrini-Johnson says, she solicits her brothers' opinions and explains the reasons for her decisions as well as the details of her mother's finances. But as her mother's power of attorney, she has the final say.
Her three brothers declined to comment on the hairstylist incident, or said they didn't know about it. Two brothers, Craig and 63-year-old Gary Bidwell of San Francisco, say they discussed renting their mother's house to bring in extra income to offset her expenses.
When it comes to the idea of an inheritance, the three brothers are of similar minds.
Robin Bidwell, a 59-year-old in Colfax, Calif., says he sustained an injury at age 48 that has prevented him from working. While he receives a pension and Social Security, "I wasn't able to put money away. I don't live the life I want to live, but I don't look to my mother's inheritance to be on top of things," he says. "I believe my mother's care is first and foremost. That, to me, is more important than anything."
"An inheritance would help, but I am not looking forward to it," says his brother Gary, a 63-year-old who retired on a disability pension in 1998. "I don't want an inheritance if I have to lose someone I love."
Like many adult children, the third brother, Craig, says he hopes to receive an inheritance -- in his case to help pay for a new home he and his wife plan to build. However, the retiree says he is grateful that his mother is able to afford the high-quality care she receives.
"Whatever my mother has is hers," he says. "It's not my inheritance. I didn't work for it. My brothers didn't work for it. My parents worked for it."
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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Time for families to coexist in the same house again and pool their resources..
Home builders need to build houses that can accomodate multi generational
families and older folks (mine included) need to realize that it isn't fair to
live off of children If they can co exist together..
My dead beat brother sure isn't any help!
It's a problem shared by many!
ALSO STAY OFF THE DAMN GAMBLING BOATS!
THAT'S WHERE A GOOD BIT OF MY FOLKS MONEY WENT!!!
Seriously guys, time to stop looking at mom & dad as money that happens to be attached to a person and start viewing them as people who may or may not have money. If you take care of yourself then whether they have money or not is a non-issue.
How is it that when you try and post a simple response up here to what someone has said that it is considered spam? Yet ths blog is full of dozens of single ads and get rich quick scams. This is what should be monitored. Get your priorities straight MSN.
'many women are looking to date older men.'
ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha....
if you believe that, i have a bridge in brooklyn....
well, it is their money. just because they make it to retirement age doesn't mean the kids will have a windfall. that money should go to help care for them until the end and then pay for funeral costs. it shouldn't be turned over to the kids so taxpayers end up paying for the last years of their parent's care.
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