Keeping Wishes


Keeping Wishes

I have become executor of my brother's estate. My mother is beneficiary.

My brother (let's call him Mike) and my younger brother (let's call him Dave) don't get alone. Couldn't stand to be in the same room. This came from years of Dave taking advantage of my parents and ultimately "borrowing" $40,000 from my them. He seldom worked and is always inappropriate in his language in groups.

Mike died recently and left his 401k and life insurance policies to our mother.  Now mother wants to use all of Mikes money to pay off her house so she can leave it to Dave.  I know Mike would not like this. Our father wrote Dave out of will a long time ago and Mike upheld his decision and rewrote Mother's will to exclude Dave. Now that Dad and Mike are both gone it is up to me to protect their wishes and her money in the event she needs it in later years. I know that Mike intended for his money to be for my mother and not for Dave's benefit. I also believe he would rather I have his residual money than share it with Dave.

How should I handle this? Thank YOU.

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I am pretty sure, if anything is left for Dave he will not appreciate it nor will he take care of it. It sounds like he hasn't taken care of anything in the past. He sounds like he is lazy and doesn't want to work for anything.


Sorry to say, but do you have a lawyer? Did your parents rely on a lawyer for their affairs that you could trust with these concerns? Family mess will always remain family mess and the best way to place yourself outside of it is to get the law on your side. I completely agree with your decision to protect your mother. Find a lawyer who will help you put teeth into it.


Hi--I'm so glad you blogged about this! I think it's so hard to sort through what's right when you see so much wrong happening.\r\n\r\nMy suggestion: Follow Mike's wishes as indicated in his will, giving his money to your mom. As an executor, it's important to follow this wishes. Following his wishes ensures you do the right thing, which is what you must do as his executor. I worry that if you don't (and instead give money to yourself) then Dave will sue you and you will be open to other potential problems.\r\n\r\nI think it would be helpful for you and your mom to meet with an elderlaw attorney to discuss your mom's wishes for the money. The attorney can help your mom work through her decision. As long as your mom is not cognitively impaired, then she has the right to do what she chooses with her money. It may be difficult and frustrating. However, you create more problems for yourself if you insert yourself in the decision rather than following the wishes.\r\n\r\nPlease keep us posted!