Cincinnati, OH asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Health Care Law for Ohio

Q: My mother-in-law has dementia. Prior to his death, my father-in-law ask my husband to take care of his mom.

We moved into their house 2 weeks before his dad died. My husband's brother, David, is executor of estate and power of attorney for my mother-in-law. Per my husband, a verbal agreement was made that when my mother-in-law passed, her house would be sold and we would receive a larger portion for taking care of his mother. For 3 years, my husband solely took care of his mother. Side note: my other brother-in-law, Chuck, lived in the house as well. For the first 6 months we were charged rent, but it was decided we only need to pay our part of utility bills. My husband and I paid 95% of the food and toiletries. It was talked about moving my mother-in-law to a specialty home because her dementia was getting worse. Suddenly, David told us we had to move out within 3 months because he sending their mom to Florida. He sold the house, put the proceeds in an account for her facility care. I asked my husband about us getting money but per David she is still alive therefore no money.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about the difficult situation you’re facing. Given the verbal agreement and the substantial care your husband provided for his mother, it’s understandable that you feel entitled to a larger portion of the estate. However, verbal agreements can be challenging to enforce legally, especially when it comes to estate matters.

First, consider having a family meeting to discuss the situation openly with David and other family members. Present your case calmly and provide evidence of the care and expenses you have covered over the past three years. This might help in reaching a fair arrangement.

If the discussion does not lead to a resolution, it might be necessary to consult with a legal professional who specializes in estate law. They can help you understand your rights and explore the possibility of making a claim based on the care provided. This will ensure that you and your husband are treated fairly and that your contributions are acknowledged.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.