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Hi, all-

My FIL passed away in May 2015. It quickly became apparent that my MIL was not doing well mentally & she just nose-dived after losing her husband.

She couldn't be left alone and most of the care giving fell on my wife & 3 of our kids.

It took a year for my wife to find a facility for her mom and during that year my wife, who was working full-time, was driving an insane number of miles, making 2 round trips most days of the week to either drop off/pick up our daughter, who would watch MIL during the day, or to pick her mom up for daycare, then take her back home at the end of the day.

At night one or more of us would stay the night at MIL's house.

At the time I created a spreadsheet & kept track of the mileage. Using a rate of 0.40 cents per mile I came up with a total of about $6,600 for which I think we should be reimbursed.

MIL just passed away & I want to get this dealt with now, assuming there is anything to be dealt with.

Do you think this is an unreasonable request?

This amount is actually very low, as there were a lot of doctor's visits my wife took her father to that are not included and other out of pocket expenses that weren't reimbursed.
 

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Who would pay the bill? Presumably your MIL's estate? Was there an agreement ahead of time that these expenses might be covered, say between your wife and her siblings?
 

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I know many people who spent years driving around caring for elderly relatives. It would never have occured to them to claim. It's all part of being family.
Who is set to inherit from her will? If it's your wife then you will get money from that anyway.
 

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It's extraordinarily petty and unreasonable. Unless you want to pay the parents estate back for all the money they spent raising your wife, then deduct your 6 grand from that, I'd just drop it.
 

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Who is set to inherit from her will? If it's your wife then you will get money from that anyway.
If his wife was set to inherit everything I don't think he'd be asking this question. More likely she has siblings and he's looking to squeeze out an extra 6 grand from their inheritance.

In other words, starting a fight with the rest of her family that will breed lifelong resentments over 6 thousand dollars. Can you imagine being her family? Not only does your mom just die but now you've got your sisters husband looking for his mileage pay.
 

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If his wife was set to inherit everything I don't think he'd be asking this question. More likely she has siblings and he's looking to squeeze out an extra 6 grand from their inheritance.

In other words, starting a fight with the rest of her family that will breed lifelong resentments over 6 thousand dollars. Can you imagine being her family? Not only does your mom just die but now you've got your sisters husband looking for his mileage pay.
Yes true. Even if she shares the inheritance he should be very grateful for that.
 

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just…. Wow!!

Some things we do in life leave a lasting impression. Your wife’s and daughter’s will be their kind and caring heart. Long after your wife is gone her children and extended family will remember her dedication fondly. We should all be so lucky.

When each person’s time is up all that is truly left is their lineage (family), reputation, and material goods. Our legacy is a combination of these items and how our actions prioritize them. It is clear your wife through her actions is built a legacy where family is the most important and as a result has built a reputation as a kind and loving woman.

You on the other hand…. With actions and thoughts like this you will only serve to tarnish you wife’s legacy.

Something tells me this cheap, self-centered pettiness, is something you are known for…. And yet your wife still loves you.

Just think of it this way… A person’s legacy is built not bought. So when your time comes, what do you want your legacy to be?


here is another way to look at it… Jeff Bezos, when his time comes and he gives hundreds of billions to charity; but how will most remember him?? “He gave a lot to X cause… but….”
 

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I'd like to disagree with the general sentiment here ...

Just kidding. You all did a kind act by volunteering. Don't taint it with a fight over money. You are either taking it from other family members, or indirectly from me. I had to do much the same when my father went into cognitive decline two states away. Most of us take our turn in the barrel, eventually.
 

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This was a cost incurred taking care of family. In short, you should not expect reimbursement. In fact, I'm a bit astonished you would ask this question. Take your spreadsheet and throw it away.
 

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Did you factor in interest on the money at all?

j/k

If you do something like this electively then you incur the costs. Don’t want to pay for gas, don’t go.
 

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You sound fun.
If you go after mile reimbursement it’s my hope that if you’re ever in the same situation as your MIL that your own kids come after you for the same thing. I can’t even comprehend the reason you’re wanting this.
 

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I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for mileage compensation and agree to a rate..........prior to making all those trips. I do think it is unreasonable to have kept a tally if there were no reimbursement agreement. If there is no agreement in writing, the executor of an estate would not be able to agree to substantiate an unwritten debt and pay it. If there is no written agreement, there is no debt and you don't have a valid claim against the estate. Executors have fiduciary duty and agreeing to new debt postmortem would be a breach of that fiduciary duty.
 

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Hi, all-

My FIL passed away in May 2015. It quickly became apparent that my MIL was not doing well mentally & she just nose-dived after losing her husband.

She couldn't be left alone and most of the care giving fell on my wife & 3 of our kids.

It took a year for my wife to find a facility for her mom and during that year my wife, who was working full-time, was driving an insane number of miles, making 2 round trips most days of the week to either drop off/pick up our daughter, who would watch MIL during the day, or to pick her mom up for daycare, then take her back home at the end of the day.

At night one or more of us would stay the night at MIL's house.

At the time I created a spreadsheet & kept track of the mileage. Using a rate of 0.40 cents per mile I came up with a total of about $6,600 for which I think we should be reimbursed.

MIL just passed away & I want to get this dealt with now, assuming there is anything to be dealt with.

Do you think this is an unreasonable request?

This amount is actually very low, as there were a lot of doctor's visits my wife took her father to that are not included and other out of pocket expenses that weren't reimbursed.
Is there a will? With or without a will, who inherits from your MIL's estate? Does your wife or children inherit anything from it?

I'm wondering because my impression here is that you, your wife & children did all the work and expense of caring for your MIL but someone else in named in a will to inherit.

Is this the case? Or it is something different?
 

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Was your daughter paid to watch her grandmother? Caregivers are not inexpensive. If you're going to go for reimbursement expenses, go for the caregiver costs. How many siblings will be looking to split how much in assets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited by Moderator)
Who would pay the bill? Presumably your MIL's estate? Was there an agreement ahead of time that these expenses might be covered, say between your wife and her siblings?
I would hope from the estate, but...the only agreement was an unspoken one from my wife's 3 older brothers that all the work & responsibility would be placed on my wife's shoulders. Par for the course for how they've always treated her.

...starting a fight with the rest of her family that will breed lifelong resentments...
I think the lifelong resentments are already there.

"Mileage pay"? Watch out for sharp objects, I'd hate for you to pop.

You on the other hand…. With actions and thoughts like this you will only serve to tarnish you wife’s legacy.

Something tells me this cheap, self-centered pettiness, is something you are known for…. And yet your wife still loves you.
1. You are wrong.
2. Something is lying to you..

BTW- You should write for Hallmark. I'm serious.

I had to do much the same when my father went into cognitive decline two states away.
Wow, you were driving to your father's house multiple times a week, at 2AM, because he was freaking out that the police were coming to arrest him for being in someone else's house?

Those must have been small states.

Take your spreadsheet and throw it away.
Not going to do it.

And I have multiple backups.

Did you factor in interest on the money at all?

j/k

If you do something like this electively then you incur the costs. Don’t want to pay for gas, don’t go.
No, but I could add interest. It's a simple enough formula. How much would you suggest?

This was absolutely not 'elective'. Someone had to take care of granny and someone did. Sadly that did not include any male siblings or their family members.

You sound fun.
If you go after mile reimbursement it’s my hope that if you’re ever in the same situation as your MIL that your own kids come after you for the same thing. I can’t even comprehend the reason you’re wanting this.
I really don't see my kids "coming after me" when I'm dead, but whatever. I would expect them all to help out, if they live nearby. That's how they were raised.

This is a complete recipe for disaster for your wife.
Mmmm, I don't think so.

Is there a will? With or without a will, who inherits from your MIL's estate? Does your wife or children inherit anything from it?

I'm wondering because my impression here is that you, your wife & children did all the work and expense of caring for your MIL but someone else in named in a will to inherit.

Is this the case? Or it is something different?
@EleGirl Bless you.

There is a trust, all 4 siblings inherit equally as far as I know.

You are SPOT on about the division of labor, it was easily 90% my wife, our kids & myself.

There were some other expenses, groceries, etc that weren't reimbursed. I'm not really sure what the total would be for that, probably not much. $1,000?

Was your daughter paid to watch her grandmother? Caregivers are not inexpensive. If you're going to go for reimbursement expenses, go for the caregiver costs. How many siblings will be looking to split how much in assets?
No compensation for our daughter. Hah, although my wife did pay the next door neighbor to help keep an eye on grandma on certain days.

Eventually it got to where all 6 of us were spending a night at the house. One of the brothers managed to spend one night a week at the house, but that was "all he could do." I don't think he did that for very long, though. Another brother used to take his mom out for dinner on Wednesdays. The third brother did...nothing.

So, 4 siblings. I honestly don't know how much is left in the estate. MIL was in a facility for 5 years & that ain't cheap.

God, it was awful the last 2 or 3 years. My mother in law was just a tiny living skeleton, stuck in a bed. I really don't know why, or how, she held on so long.

Does your wife know about this spreadsheet?
Yup. She has a copy.


OK, so I'm getting the feeling that some of you think I'm a blood sucking leech and most of the rest of you think I'm being petty.

Well, I assure you I am not a blood sucking leech, believe it or not.

As for the pettiness, I think somewhere deep down I might believe I'm being petty, but I'm having a hard time finding it. That might be why I posted my question. There is a lot of resentment in this dynamic and I think that's making it difficult for me to see anything else.

This afternoon, I brought up the spreadsheet to Mrs. Noman again and she said she is going to talk to her brothers, more likely just the eldest brother, as he was the power of attorney and now he's the executor. She said she feels the whole money thing is petty, but...she too has a lot of resentment, far more than me, I would guess, at how this has all played out.

All the siblings work full-time, but her brothers just couldn't manage to help.

We lived the furthest from my mother in law's house, but who do you think was driving 40 miles round-trip, in the middle of the night, multiple times a week, when 18 year old son called, freaking out, because grandma was freaking out and trying to leave the house in a panic because she thought the police were coming to arrest her for being in someone else's house?

Yup, that would be my wife. So grandma would end up at our house, for a few hours, until she calmed down, then my wife would drive her back home. Actually that would be 2 round trips.

Brothers? They couldn't, or wouldn't, be bothered.

This whole mess (about 7 years now, I think) has just been a ****-ton of responsibility, stress and emotional Hell for my wife, with her no-account brothers nowhere in sight. In fact, two of them moved out of state as soon as grandma went into the home. And my wife justifiably has a lot of resentment for her brothers. As do I.

She effing well DOES deserve some compensation, considering what she's done and what she's gone through. SHE was there a few weeks ago when grandma was transitioning. No brothers to be seen.

And this resentment sits on top of resentment that has built up over the years because of how her brothers have treated her, like she's second-class to them. In actuality the only sibling who is like my father in law, who was a great man, is my wife. The other apples rolled so far from the tree they're in the next valley.

Mrs. Noman will have her say and I'm betting her brothers will all come out worse for wear. I'm guessing there won't be any reimbursement, which is fine. Mrs. Noman & I are embarking on a new life and will be just fine.

Now that grandma is gone, I expect we won't be seeing much of the brothers and that's fine too.

It's really sad to see how some family members treat other family members. It's like they feel entitled to dump on someone because they're related.

Nailhead, or whoever said I should throw my spreadsheet away, I'm not going to do that, but I think I am going to close it and leave it closed.

It's time to move on to our new life.
 

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You both need to let go of the resentment or it will harm you both.
Its often the case in families that one will do more of the caring for elderly parents. Sometimes that's due to distance, other commitments and other reasons. Often it's the daughters who do more as well.

In your place I would have had her live with us if she was bedridden till she went into care. It would have saved all that driving around. Or at least moved her nearby.

It does sound as if 2 of the brothers did help. You said one stayed with her one night a week and the other took her out once a week. That's something at least. It's also good that your children were willing to help out.

If I were you I would let it go and be grateful for the inheritance you do get.I am sure it will be far more than you spent. If you took them to court it would cost you far more than the amount you may or may not get.
 
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