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After visiting my mother, there is not a lot of time for her left on earth. Even though she and I never had a good relationship, I did feel sad noticing her vulnerabilities.

I have now learned that my older sister is named as one of the POAs on the will along with my brother. Over the years, I have to admit that my sister is so out for herself. When I was in my 20s, I realize now that she was playing for a guy I had stopped dating. One time I had mentioned that I was going on a date with another guy, the cinema which one and so on. This was before I figured that my sister could play this low. That guy was right there watching us park. (It was monday night). and guess what around 11pm at night, my sister is calling telling me what kind my date was driving. She still says that her friendship with Stalker guy had nothing with our relationship.

She even played informant with my brother's ex wife. I kept wondering how she was able to be where he was so often.

She also lied to me that she was paying for everything for her 2 kids at college. My father said he was paying for everything. Fortunately, before he died we almost had that face off. My sister still wanted to say that no one else was paying til she realized that Dad was right downstairs. and this is from someone who complained every time our parents offered me something used out of their house. She had a lot of their furniture.

So the big questions here is:
1. What have been other people's experiences with siblings when it came time to enact the will? Were you happy with results? Do you wish you had done something different.
 

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When my widowed Dad passed a few years ago, what was left of his estate was liquidated and distributed equally amongst the siblings, as per his wish.

Despite my persona in the political threads we’re all laid back and chill, so there was zero issue.

When my wife’s Grandma passed (and beforehand) there were maneuverings and some claws amongst the sister siblings, but none that had lasting effects.

When my wife’s Aunts husband’s Mom died 20 years ago, the family was split in two, and has never reconciled.
 

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When my widowed Dad passed a few years ago, what was left of his estate was liquidated and distributed equally amongst the siblings, as per his wish.

Despite my persona in the political threads we’re all laid back and chill, so there was zero issue.

When my wife’s Grandma passed (and beforehand) there were maneuverings and some claws amongst the sister siblings, but none that had lasting effects.

When my wife’s Aunts husband’s Mom died 20 years ago, the family was split in two, and has never reconciled.
Was there a lot of money involved?
 

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My mom's time is getting short as well. What has worked well for us, (myself and my 2 sisters) is that we had very open and frank discussions about her wishes for her estate and what is in the will. We even had the will redone because what she said she wanted to do and what was written in the will didn't match up. So now, when she passes, there will be no surprises and no fights because it has all been openly discussed in advance.

Also, during those discussions, she showed us her investments and she gave me POA over her finances. While looking over the accounts, I found some big tax issues that were going to be a problem. We were able to make some changes which will save us a bundle in taxes.

So my advice would be to get all the involved parties together with your mom and discuss what assets she has, how it is divided in the will and why. That way, if someone is not getting an equal share, your mom is still around to explain why or to change the will if necessary.
 

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It's really pathetic that weddings and funerals often bring out the worst in family members. I worked with funeral homes and the bereaved for several years, so I saw lots of turmoil that families go through and had plenty of time to decide how I would conduct myself when the time came that our parents passed away. I was determined I wouldn't start any drama and would not allow myself to get dragged into any drama either.

Before my father passed away in 2006 (who was 100 years old at the time), my eldest sister C had pretty much run through a lot of his savings. She was caring for him, so she helped herself to the tune of nearly $100K in just a matter of 3 or 4 months. I had two older sisters, C and T, and one younger sister C (initials so as not to state their names).

He called me one day to complain that C was "spending all my money." I phoned T to tell her what was going on and asked her to go down to the courts and legally apply for guardianship/conservatorship. She didn't want to do it, but I didn't want to do it over her since she and C were the older daughters, and C had clearly shown herself to be untrustworthy. So I had to convince her and because I didn't want to be involved in any drama, I asked her to spend the bulk of what was left over on a house for C so that she could have ample space to care for daddy and get him out of his unacceptable living quarters (I never understood why he insisted on living there. He just wanted to save all his money as if he could take it with him). Well, she didn't do that LOL, but she performed perfectly as his guardian/conservator. Even though C kept claiming he had a will, no will was found among his personal effects, with his attorney, nor to have been filed with the court, which means he died intestate, so his estate had to go into probate. After attorneys and probate costs were paid, T fairly and evenly distributed the money between the 4 of us along with a detailed ledger of all his accounts and expenditures. And this was a sister who had treated me very poorly while growing up too.

You think your mom may pass away soon, your mother with whom you don't have a good relationship (and also doesn't appear you spend much time with), and yet you're already anticipating drama. I hope you will think about this and reconsider.

As far as the Power of Attorney, why even bother being concerned about that since you were not an option for your mom to give it to? At any rate, you need to see/read the POA because it might not be all that you think it is. I used to manage insurance accounts as a third-party administrator. I would often get requests from POAs who wanted to make changes to the principal's policy, such as changing the amount of the policy or changing the name of the beneficiary, in which cases I either had to inform them that they could do that or inform that they didn't have the power to do that. Most Powers of Attorney have a check list on them, on which the principal checks off the types of things that the POA would be allowed to do, such as make legal decisions about their property and finances, and/or make medical decisions, and/or have control of the insurance policy(ies).

So, unless you saw the written POA, you don't know the power(s) it bestows or its limitations. It might just be a medical POA or it might include everything legal, financial, and medical. Just don't assume it includes everything because it doesn't necessarily. You have to see it to know for sure.

One thing it surely doesn't include is any authority over the will. If your mom has a will, only the executor has any control over it. That might also be your sister but so far, it doesn't appear that you know since it seems you think the POA has something to do with the will. She doesn't unless she is also named as the executor of your mother's estate, but that is not something that the POA bestows. Your mom would have had to give her Power of Attorney and name her as executor of the estate as two separate and mutually exclusive documents. It's possible that she did, but it's also possible she named someone else as executor. You will have to find out.

I have now learned that my older sister is named as one of the POAs on the will along with my brother.
So, I'm trying to say you are confused as to what is what and hope I explained things a little more clearly for you. A person or people cannot be named as "one of the POAs on the will" because a POA has nothing to do with a will. Power of attorney ends with the principal's death since its purpose is to give a person the power to act on a living person's behalf. Its purpose is to permit a person to do things that the principal (your mom in this case) cannot do for themselves, such as make financial transactions because the principal can't go do it themselves or make medical decisions (if they are in a coma for example) and can't speak for themselves - things like that.

After your mother passes and provided your mom does leave a will, the executor of the estate executes the will. The executor's job is to pay bills, pay property taxes and any other debts, go to court on behalf of your mother's estate, and implement your mother's last wishes as she laid out in her will as far as her bequeathments (who is to receive her property and liquid assets and how much).

Should it turn out that you are displeased with the executor's execution of the will, you can always petition the probate court, which is something entirely different from contesting/disputing the will itself. If, for example, you're displeased that your mom bequeathed more to your sister than to you, then you contest the will (which likely turns out to be a great big legal battle and might not be permitted if the will states it cannot be contested). But if the executor inappropriately handles the provisions laid out in the will or mishandles your mom's property, then you petition probate court, which essentially means charging the executor with mismanagement. So, if your mom states in the will that you are to receive $50,000 but the executor (who just might be your sister) only gives you $20,000, then you have recourse through probate court.

Everyone who is named in the will is entitled to receive a copy of the will. So if you don't receive a copy, you can always request one from the court, plus wills become public record once they are filed in court to be probated. Therefore, you can know what you are supposed to receive.

My effort here was to let you know how POAs work, the difference between POAs and wills, and the difference between the agent of a POA and an executor of a will. I just wanted to answer your questions and hopefully clear up your apparent confusion. However, this is not an exhaustive explanation of wills since they can become very complicated by trusts, testamentary trusts, and any codicils a will might contain. Also, I'm not an attorney, so I don't know what I don't know, which is why I suggested you check on things to learn of any specifics.
 

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Thinking about my mention of testamentary trusts, it occurs to me I left out any mention of the possibility that your mom likely has an (or more than one) insurance policy, which may or may not be mentioned in the will. She might have included it but she might not. An insurance policy is independent of a will and may remain independent unless she chose to mention it in the will or if she chose to establish a trust to secure its execution through the will, in which case it becomes a testamentary trust. If she chose not to mention it in the will or if she chose not to establish a testamentary trust, then execution of the will has nothing to do with payout of the insurance policy. The policy will be paid to the named beneficiary(ies) by the insurance company according to their record of your mom's last named beneficiary.

I thought it important to mention this so that you have no false expectations and fully understand the difference between the will's bequeathments and an insurance policy's named beneficiary(ies). If, for example, your mom has a million-dollar insurance policy on which she named your sister as sole beneficiary, but her will states that her estate should be divided among her children equally, understand that the will has nothing to do with the insurance policy. So you and your brother - in my hypothetical example - will not be entitled to one red cent from the insurance policy because it's not part of your mother's estate. Her estate includes her personal effects (jewelry, clothes, furs, home furnishings, heirlooms, china, crystal, cars, and other such valuables), her real property (house/houses, land, and such), her liquid assets (cash, bank accounts, investments and such), and also includes her debts that should be paid by the executor out of the estate money. So you, your sister, and your brother would share everything equally from the estate, while only your sister would receive the million-dollar insurance money.

I don't know if you needed me to clarify all this but just in case, I didn't want you to be confused by what I stated in my previous post.
 
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