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I feel so ashamed and angry with myself

(41 Posts)
FRANKIE Sat 07-Jun-14 17:58:09

My Dad died 7 years ago, leaving his wife, my stepmother, in my charge. I will call her Mildred. I did not meet her until I was 40, so have no bond with her. She has no children of her own, and is now in a residential home. (I have Power of Attorney). She was a spoilt self centred woman - and my own mother died a bitter, lonely woman because of my father's relationship with Mildred.
My Dad was a blue collar worker, and budgeted and saved to buy his bungalow. Mildred did a bit of shop work, but did not put any money into the house.
So now I am visiting her once a week, sorting out all her affairs, and have just sold my Dad's bungalow to pay for her care. And I resent every penny (675 pounds per week) that is being spent.
If it was for my own mother I would be happy to pay extra towards it to give her a comfortable life, but with Mildred I really, really begrudge it. She is now 92, and although quite frail looks as if she will live to a 100 !!
I am 72, and am not in need of the money - but when I look at my grandchildren and how they are struggling I do wish I had some of that money to help them along.
And it bugs me that in the next room there is another old lady who, through no fault of her own, lived in rented accomodation and had no savings but is getting the same treatment and good living as Mildred!!
It just seems so unfair - and I have enough conscience to know that I am being very uncharitable to an old lady; so, anyone got any advice for me on how to stop myself being such an awful person - so ashamed of myself.

NanKate Sat 07-Jun-14 18:11:20

Frankie my husband's cousin found herself in exactly the same position as you. When her step mother who was also in an expensive home died she left all her money to the local church - nothing for our Canadian cousin who had flown over regularly to see she was ok and phoned her every week.

Somehow she is not bitter and just accepts life is not fair. I would have been spitting feathers but what good would it have done me. I am not the Christian I hoped I was.

DebnCreme Sat 07-Jun-14 18:14:02

Life is unfair sadly. I think I would want to give up the PoA if that's possible and walk right away from Mildred even if it meant she was left with the remaining money. You don't want to end up bitter and twisted too. At least you would have more time and energy to offer support to your DGC. Good luck smile

Nelliemoser Sat 07-Jun-14 18:36:08

I would suggest finding out how you could "resign" as POA . It's not going to be easy to do this feeling as you do about her.

Don't beat yourself up about how you feel about her.

FRANKIE Sat 07-Jun-14 19:26:26

Thank you ladies for good advice - I forgot to mention that my Dad left the bungalow to Mildred for her lifetime, then to me and my two brothers - so may help you to understand my frustration!! But yes, life is not fair; but must say I feel better for being able to say how I feel - thanks again.

annsixty Sat 07-Jun-14 20:06:09

Why did you have to sell the bungalow to pay for her care if it was left to you and your brothers? Surely after she left it to go into residential care she had no rights. I realise I do not know if I am right or not.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 07-Jun-14 20:15:33

Yes. If the bungalow was only left to her for her lifetime I can't see why it should have been sold to pay for her care. It ultimately belonged to you and your brother.

You could just take the proceeds from the bungalow and walk away. After giving your brother his share of course.

If you are keeping Mildred in a nice home out of kindness, then how can you be ashamed of yourself? confused

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 07-Jun-14 20:16:55

Sorry - two brothers.

Ana Sat 07-Jun-14 20:25:33

It would certainly seem from this article that you shouldn't have had to sell the property.

Get legal advice asap.

Bez Sat 07-Jun-14 20:35:29

Reading that article I took it to mean that the person with the lifetime interest could benefit from income generated by the property not decrease the value - ie if the house had been let the money generated could have been used for Mildred's fees.

Maybe legal advice would be a good idea.

Ana Sat 07-Jun-14 20:54:20

I was referring to this paragraph specifically:

'As a person who is granted a life interest does not own the property and/or assets in which they have an interest such property and/or assets cannot be taken into account if that person’s finances are assessed for the purpose of care home fees. Similarly, such property and/or assets cannot be taken in the event that the person who is granted the life interest becomes bankrupt.'

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 07-Jun-14 20:57:06

FRANKIE have you invested the money from the sale of the bungalow and are paying the care fees out of the income generated?

ninathenana Sat 07-Jun-14 22:31:43

You are not responsible for her fees. She was permitted to live in the bungalow, it wasn't left to her. If she has no savings then LA is responsible for her care.

Ana Sat 07-Jun-14 22:39:12

Yes - that's my take on it. I'm surprised the solicitor who handled the sale of the bungalow didn't pick up on that.

Eloethan Sun 08-Jun-14 01:35:06

You can't help the way you feel and, because of the circumstances you describe, I think many people would find it difficult not to feel resentful.

Going by what others have said, I think it might be advisable to get some legal advice.

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 07:26:11

AgeUk is always a good place to start for advice with things like this.

I'd be spitting feathers angry

NfkDumpling Sun 08-Jun-14 07:39:26

Social Services are toads. They are very good at implying responsibility where there is none. I've known several people now who've lost their inheritance on SS say so.

nightowl Sun 08-Jun-14 08:03:20

Thanks for that Nfk. Quite a few of us have spent our entire careers working in Social Services without turning into toads.

As for the OP, legal advice is clearly needed. The rules of inheritance are so complex that only someone with legal training can advise.

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 08:33:57

Huge generalisation Nfk.

The SW involved with mum's care has been brilliant, extremely helpful and one of the friendliest people I have ever met - in fact we still email one another occasionally even though mum is no longer in her area!

HollyDaze Sun 08-Jun-14 09:08:09

As others have said Frankie, specialist advice needs to be sought. It's such a shame that the house was sold but you may at least be able to salvage something once you are being guided by a professional.

I do think the amount of £675 per week is extortionate - surely there are cheaper options?

kittylester Sun 08-Jun-14 09:25:45

Holly £675 seems reasonable to me sad

Elegran Sun 08-Jun-14 09:28:47

There are also much dearer options, Hollydaze

henetha Sun 08-Jun-14 10:55:07

Don't be too hard on yourself over this, Frankie. You have every reason to feel bitter.

NfkDumpling Sun 08-Jun-14 11:24:01

I'm sorry if I offended. I know there are lovely people working for Social Services. I even met one or two, but they were overruled by the system.

My Social Services experiences with both my parents were worse than horrible. As were those of my cousin in law and a close friend. I'm really pleased Kitty that you had supportive help with your mum and that the system can work.

(And £675 is very reasonable!)

petra Tue 10-Jun-14 20:46:11

Has anyone done this ( giving life interest in a property) looks interesting until you come to the capital gains tax. I think I will look into it further.