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ASK MERRILY/Mom's care and estate

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Jan 29,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

Mother became ill a few years ago and put my brother (B1) in charge of her estate and care. My brother (B2) and I are upset because his focus is saving money and preserving the estate.  Our focus is the best possible care for her. The problem is that we have NO say in the matter since B1 is in charge.  He takes our suggestions as attacks on his judgment.  His focus on money has resulted in less than great care - for example, mother recently broke her hip due to a caregiver not doing her job. We feel powerless, angry and frustrated.

Dear Powerless,

“ . . . . . we have NO say in the matter since B1 is in charge.” “We feel powerless.”

Yes.  B1 is in charge, and you have no power.  

Powerlessness has companions anger and frustration and is one of the most deeply painful places to be.  Facing a situation you cannot change puts you squarely up against yourself.  It provides rich opportunity for investigation into your personal issues of powerlessness, anger, frustration, and reality.  

Your mother put B1 in charge of her estate and care for a reason.  Maybe she considered that 1 person in charge is more efficient than 3, or that B1 is the most suited for the job.  She trusted him enough to choose him as executor over you and B2.  Ouch!

Your option based on reality is to breathe into the truth of what is.

Other options may not bear fruit.  You could ask your mother for inclusion in her affairs.  But be prepared to be told to mind your own business as her decision is in place.

B1 may feel alone with his responsibility and could possibly value your input.  You could ask if he would like to include you and B2 in his decision making processes, allowing that the buck stops with him.  Sibling dynamics may complicate this option.

Finally, can you absolutely know that Mom’s broken hip was due to the caregiver not doing her job and that more expensive care would have prevented it? 

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks. Email questions to, or use online form at .

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