Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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cheese_breath
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:She needs to stay strong and not let BIL off the hook if for no other reason that the children's sake. Although it might be painful they need to see that actions like this can have bad consequences. Letting BIL slide by with few or no consequences might teach them an entirely different lesson.
I agree with the posts up thread that this may end up being counterproductive. While it is a lovely idea for the BIL to get his just desserts, it shouldn't come at the expense of the sister. Anything aimed at hurting the BIL needs to be VERY carefully tailored so it isn't just burning joint marital assets or otherwise ending up punishing OP's sister. Sometimes the cost of justice comes too high...
You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
Da5id
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Da5id »

cheese_breath wrote: You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote: You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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patriciamgr2
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by patriciamgr2 »

What "pooled trust" protects your mother's assets from Medicaid (etc) reimbursement lawsuits? Unless other Forum members are familiar with this asset protection scheme (&, if so, please share information), I'd suggest getting full details on that as well while you're gathering information. Any time ownership of a senior's assets is changed, it's worth reviewing IMO.

Good Luck to your mother.
Da5id
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Da5id »

cheese_breath wrote: The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
Obviously our opinions differ. I think teaching lessons is a priority among many, and rather less than others. You appear to think it is paramount, even if punishing BIL causes serious and permanent financial harm to sister for example. Each to their own.
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Nate79
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Nate79 »

I'm curious if the legal authorities and the employer has been informed (not sure who would do that). This guy is handling other people's money and it would be very bad if he is doing the same thing even today with their money just because they haven't caught him yet.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote: The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
Obviously our opinions differ. I think teaching lessons is a priority among many, and rather less than others. You appear to think it is paramount, even if punishing BIL causes serious and permanent financial harm to sister for example. Each to their own.
That's a good thing about this forum. We can agree to disagree and still be friends.

In the end we're both just giving our opinions and advice. OP will decide which, if either, is appropriate for his circumstances.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
spammagnet
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by spammagnet »

cheese_breath wrote:The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
Delivering moral lessons to kids is not the focus of this episode. Kids are pretty smart. They'll recognize that what happened was bad, and who's to blame. Whether or not BIL goes to jail or has his right hand lopped off will not determine the choices they make in life.
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celia
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by celia »

phatkev wrote:My concerns/questions are the following:

1. I am concerned that he will claim that the money was used to pay for my mother's expenses. How can we prove that he used this money inappropriately?
It is more of a situation where you would ask him how he used the money. As a former medical and financial POA for an elderly relative, I can see possible answers for these situations. Remember that with your mother's precarious health, her expenses would be nothing like what you or I would need to spend. At first glance, some expenses might seem strange, so I will give some examples.
phatkev wrote:1. My mother had a CD with a little money in it. The state took out a warrant to take past taxes (I might be messing this explanation up) Either way, it's bad. <-- possible unpaid income taxes in her early years of being sick, before she had someone look after her expenses.

2. Nearly every utility and bill had several carried balances with "past due" notifications from not being paid in previous months. <-- to be expected once her assets were gone or when she first became sick and not paying attention to bills

3. For a while, the credit card with 25K balance was being paid consistently with the minimum payments, only to be nearly matched by the amount of monthly interest. Being a boglehead, I nearly vomited on seeing that. I have the statements until Dec 2015, which, according to the credit report, was the last time any payment was made on that account. <-- BIL finally admitted to himself the situation was unsustainable, so why would he keep pouring money down the hole? See #4 for what the original expenses could be.

4. For the other credit card, in July 2015, there was an $18K cash advance taken out! (Another boglehead wretch!) Then, minimum payments were paid on that credit card.<-- could be to pay the lawyer for the pooled trust and other legal expenses --OR-- to take a lump sum to pay off the other overdue bills --OR-- to fix up the house just before it was sold

5. My mother had a Fidelity IRA with about 50K in it. All the money was taken out of that account and the balance is zero. <-- She DID have large expenses when her care was $10K a month. This would have covered only 5 months.

7. There are bills being paid that make no sense. For example, my mother still has auto insurance but she doesn't even have a license anymore, and has not been medically able to drive in 7 years. Also, they are paying $140/month for cable, phone, and internet, but no one in there has a computer.<--If she still owns a car, it is irrelevant if she drove it or not. It is prudent to keep it insured for liability purposes. An aide may have been driving it to get food, medicine, or get your mom to doctor appointments. If it is while there were live-in aides, I assume there were multiple aides as no-one can work 24/7 without having breaks. Aides also get sick and need to go to the doctors and have family emergencies. Use of the car on their off-hours could be a "fringe" benefit. (When my relative was sick, I decided to give her (very) used car to another relative who was caring for the sick one. It would be a gift. But the interior cloth ceiling liner of the car was hanging down almost a foot so I paid a few hundred to have that part re-upholstered. The care-giver used the car to drive the sick one around.)

For cable/phone/internet, the house needs a phone so an ambulance/fire can be called in an emergency. Cable could be useful if you need back-ground noise that is soothing/calming (no commercials that increase in volume), and the aides would likely want use of the internet. When they first move into the house, of course these would be continued if they already existed. It may not have ever occurred to discontinue them.
Phatkev, May I suggest that as part of your record-keeping, you develop a time-line showing your mom's transitions from different living situations and medical situations. The expenses may fit in as being reasonable for what was going on in her life at that time. (You could do it in Excel and then have the ability to "stretch" the timeline. (It doesn't need to be to scale--ie, every year the same length.)

One time when I was going to physical therapy after a healed ankle surgery, one of the things that was recommended in the exercises was to jump lightly on one foot on a trampoline while holding onto something steady like a counter or table (I had balance issues). We had a 3-foot wide kid's trampoline in the closet that I pulled out and used. If I had bought one for the exercises, that would have been a medical expense, right? Who would have thought a trampoline or car upholstery was a normal expense for someone in my situation?


I don't recall if your mom's age was mentioned, but is she eligible and collecting Social Security? If she is at least 66 and her ex is already collecting, she should be able to collect half of his SS if it is larger than her own. By all means, don't let medical insurance lapse.
cherijoh
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cherijoh »

delamer wrote:
Meg77 wrote:...
I had an attorney client years ago who was married with a picture perfect home and family. He started getting late with the mortgage payments every month; then he requested a small loan "to pay property taxes." When he applied we saw his latest tax returns and credit report and realized his income had decreased steadily over 4 years from $600K or so when we originated the mortgage to $100-120K. His property tax bill alone was $30K. You can almost understand how/why he racked up $300K in credit card bills (which he wanted to roll into a new mortgage).

I knew instinctively that his wife had no clue; she would breeze in happily from the country club in designer tennis outfits occasionally and would always bring a check right over, confused about how it wasn't paid, when I managed to get her instead of him with a late payment alert. Soon enough the fairy tale came unraveled when she figured out how bad things were after we had to threaten foreclosure. They filed for divorce and sold the home. After all the debt was paid (luckily they had lots of home equity), she probably got only $200K from the divorce. They have 3 kids, and she hadn't worked since college. Sometimes I still wonder about both of them and how they are doing now.
An unfortunate and cautionary tale, Meg77. I have never understood why a significant minority of grown women decide to be willfully ignorant about their household income and assets. It is one thing not being involved in the details of your asset allocation, it is another thing to not know that the bills are not being paid or that your husband's income has fallen by 80%. And that ignorance is even worse when there are minor children that are dependent on their parents to care for them.

I say this all as a grown woman myself. Even if a husband is a saint on earth, he could die or become disabled or otherwise lose his ability to manage his affairs, and a wife needs to be prepared.
It boggles my mind, but I expect there are a number of middle-aged women who fit this bill or would if their husbands were bad stewards of the family's finances.

Delamer's point about losing their husband is very valid. A friend of a friend was widowed in her mid forties when her older husband passed away from a massive heart attack leaving her with two teenaged boys. She was a SAHM and he had handled everything related to finances. Fortunately they had money set aside for the kid's college and at least somewhat adequate insurance. But she had a very steep learning curve to deal with on top of her grief. I know my friend was worried that she would be vulnerable to a bad advisor since she could easily be taken advantage of due to her ignorance.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

patriciamgr2 wrote:What "pooled trust" protects your mother's assets from Medicaid (etc) reimbursement lawsuits? Unless other Forum members are familiar with this asset protection scheme (&, if so, please share information), I'd suggest getting full details on that as well while you're gathering information. Any time ownership of a senior's assets is changed, it's worth reviewing IMO.

Good Luck to your mother.

A pooled trust is usually run by a non-profit to allow families to set aside a small amount of money protected from Medicaid to buy small items not covered by long term care/Medicaid. The BIL would not have control of it. On the other hand, who knows whether any of her money ever went into the trust, or how much has been spent.

I suspect that her money is completely gone and it would be a waste of time to try to figure out where it all went at this point. Gone is gone, and BIL has enough debt that there is no reason to chase down this piece of it. Once Medicaid takes over Mom's care they have already verified that she has no assets, and any pieces remaining, including funds in the trust are subject to claw back provisions, so she has no estate.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by mouses »

I have probably noted this before, but a formative event in my financial life was, as a young woman, reading about 2-3 famous women who should have been set for life financially due to their careers, but who found out that their husbands had ruined them financially, not only wasting their assets to zero but racking up huge debts including to the IRS. One was Debbie Reynolds (two of her husbands did this) and another was Doris Day. They were all old enough in their careers so that they had a hard time rebuilding their finances, and had to work much longer than they had planned.

Listen up people - never ever get into a situation where you lose control of your finances. I don't care if you're twenty and marrying God's gift to humanity,
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Ninnie »

mouses wrote:
Listen up people - never ever get into a situation where you lose control of your finances. I don't care if you're twenty and marrying God's gift to humanity,
Somehow I think the people who most would benefit from this advice aren't spending too much time on bogleheads.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Gufomel »

Ninnie wrote:
mouses wrote:
Listen up people - never ever get into a situation where you lose control of your finances. I don't care if you're twenty and marrying God's gift to humanity,
Somehow I think the people who most would benefit from this advice aren't spending too much time on bogleheads.
This thread has actually been very enlightening to me. I'm in my late 20's. Both my wife and I are very frugal and conscientious about our spending. My wife and I verbally discuss where we're at pretty frequently on certain budget items such as restaurants, groceries, clothes, etc. However, with an accounting/finance background I handle all of the details regarding our budgeting, bill payments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, etc. My wife rarely sees our accounts. I've shown her our accounts on 1 or maybe 2 occasions so that she has at least some idea of what we have.

I have zero temptation to do anything unethical and she has zero reason to distrust me. I told her about this thread, and she said if I ever start asking to go on a vacation or begin buying extra stuff she'll start to get nervous (ha!). But that does not mean something can't happen down the road.

I already knew that it would be good to get my wife more involved in actually looking at our accounts, but this thread has quickly opened my eyes to how important that really is. Probably not all the details, as she likely wouldn't have the endurance to look at our finances in the detail that I do, but a periodic look at each of our accounts and what's happened / where we're going. If for no other reason, in case something happens to me she at least has a small amount of awareness of what she needs to do. Further, it protects against mishandling of finances in a way that happened in the sister's family of the OP.
delamer
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by delamer »

mouses wrote:I have probably noted this before, but a formative event in my financial life was, as a young woman, reading about 2-3 famous women who should have been set for life financially due to their careers, but who found out that their husbands had ruined them financially, not only wasting their assets to zero but racking up huge debts including to the IRS. One was Debbie Reynolds (two of her husbands did this) and another was Doris Day. They were all old enough in their careers so that they had a hard time rebuilding their finances, and had to work much longer than they had planned.

Listen up people - never ever get into a situation where you lose control of your finances. I don't care if you're twenty and marrying God's gift to humanity,

I was at a party recently with several female friends/acquaintances from my neighborhood; we all live in comfortable homes in a HCOL area. The homes range in value from about $575K to $800K. All the women are in their late 50's to early 60's. One acquaintance made the comment in the course of conversation that "I'll be eating cat food in retirement anyway." It was said with a slight laugh, but it was out of context enough that it is obvious that it reflects some real concern. Based on past conversations with her, I am sure that she and her husband have a below-average income for the area (based on their professions) and I know that her 3 kids all have significant student loan debt.

I don't have any reason to think there was financial malfeasance on her husband's part, but it seems to be a case of general financial neglect and living above their means that may be attributable to both of them. And I know other couples in the area in the same age bracket who are now scrambling to put together a decent retirement. In most of these cases, there was no traumatic financial event (job loss, disability, spouse hiding spending, etc.), just a pair or two of rose-colored glasses that finally broke but maybe when it was too late to save their retirement.

It is sad and makes me want to find out where things went wrong (not that I'd ever ask). These are all couples that were able to afford nice homes in a very good school district at one point (and have lived in them for 20 years or more) and in almost all cases both husband and wife have at least a bachelor's degree. These are the families that have all the basic tools to succeed financially, but have not. Maybe their home equity will save them?

(Sorry that I got a bit off topic with the above, but I have been thinking about it a lot since the party.)
pennywise
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by pennywise »

I have zero temptation to do anything unethical and she has zero reason to distrust me. I told her about this thread, and she said if I ever start asking to go on a vacation or begin buying extra stuff she'll start to get nervous (ha!). But that does not mean something can't happen down the road.
Your wife's thoughts really make no sense--what happens is that the partner with no clue about finances doesn't know ANYTHING about solo vacations, buying extra stuff etc until it's way too late and the financial damage is done, as is the case in this situation with the OP's sister.

I'm sure many of us know women who have blithely lived a life, especially as a partner to a high earner husband, with absolutely no clue about how the family money is managed, and who have been shocked and often placed in real financial straits when death or divorce occurs.

My warning situation was a friend whose husband was a doctor; she never worked other than as a receptionist prior to marriage, and after they married was a SAH wife and parent for the next 20+ years. Although he had to retire after a disabling medical condition he managed their investments till the crash, then worked as a health care 'consultant'. They lived in a top neighborhood in a multimillion dollar home, sent the kids to private school, drove luxury cars etc. And then one day he dropped dead of a heart attack at 50 YO and she found out she had not only no income but no savings, no investments and little ability to generate any....sold the fancy house, and at this point is living with her kids in her dad's house rent free. She just got laid off from her part time job as a receptionist that she managed to find. Nope, nobody should live his or more often HER life in ignorance of how the money is made, spent, saved and invested in the family!
Gufomel
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Gufomel »

pennywise wrote:
I have zero temptation to do anything unethical and she has zero reason to distrust me. I told her about this thread, and she said if I ever start asking to go on a vacation or begin buying extra stuff she'll start to get nervous (ha!). But that does not mean something can't happen down the road.
Your wife's thoughts really make no sense--what happens is that the partner with no clue about finances doesn't know ANYTHING about solo vacations, buying extra stuff etc until it's way too late and the financial damage is done, as is the case in this situation with the OP's sister.

I'm sure many of us know women who have blithely lived a life, especially as a partner to a high earner husband, with absolutely no clue about how the family money is managed, and who have been shocked and often placed in real financial straits when death or divorce occurs.

My warning situation was a friend whose husband was a doctor; she never worked other than as a receptionist prior to marriage, and after they married was a SAH wife and parent for the next 20+ years. Although he had to retire after a disabling medical condition he managed their investments till the crash, then worked as a health care 'consultant'. They lived in a top neighborhood in a multimillion dollar home, sent the kids to private school, drove luxury cars etc. And then one day he dropped dead of a heart attack at 50 YO and she found out she had not only no income but no savings, no investments and little ability to generate any....sold the fancy house, and at this point is living with her kids in her dad's house rent free. She just got laid off from her part time job as a receptionist that she managed to find. Nope, nobody should live his or more often HER life in ignorance of how the money is made, spent, saved and invested in the family!
To be clear, my wife's comments about the vacations/buying stuff were tongue in cheek. Perhaps an inside joke that's meaningless on a message board. We realize that both spouses need to be as knowledgeable as possible about the family's financial portfolio / transactions. Stories like the one on this thread are good eye openers and encouragement to get on the right track.
edge
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by edge »

Sorry. This is just bad myopic advice. Unless the OP is interested in financially supporting his sister and rug rats.
cheese_breath wrote:
Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote: You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

edge wrote:Sorry. This is just bad myopic advice. Unless the OP is interested in financially supporting his sister and rug rats.
cheese_breath wrote:
Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote: You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
So after the divorce BIL is just going to merrily pay whatever the court orders? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched. There’s someone close to our family strikingly similar to OP’s BIL...Spendthrift, arrogant, but can give the impression he’s a nice guy. He’s even a financial advisor for EJ. His ex already had him back to court once for failure to pay child support. It’s sporadic now, but she’s trying to be nice hoping he will reciprocate. But the nicer she is the more he takes advantage of her. The main difference between him and OP’s BIL is that he hasn’t robbed the family of their life savings.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
edge
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by edge »

Um, you seem to be missing the point. It is more about protecting the sister's business. There is risk to her depending on how deep the BIL's problems are and what exactly he has done. She doesn't need child support, she needs her business. Going on some misguided crusade against him may blow her up too.
cheese_breath wrote:
edge wrote:Sorry. This is just bad myopic advice. Unless the OP is interested in financially supporting his sister and rug rats.
cheese_breath wrote:
Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote: You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
So after the divorce BIL is just going to merrily pay whatever the court orders? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched. There’s someone close to our family strikingly similar to OP’s BIL...Spendthrift, arrogant, but can give the impression he’s a nice guy. He’s even a financial advisor for EJ. His ex already had him back to court once for failure to pay child support. It’s sporadic now, but she’s trying to be nice hoping he will reciprocate. But the nicer she is the more he takes advantage of her. The main difference between him and OP’s BIL is that he hasn’t robbed the family of their life savings.
aqan
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by aqan »

I'd hire an attorney at once.. this is a complicated situation you want to make sure things are done properly.
Is there anything else left on your mom's POA (Property, House etc?) that he can take?
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

edge wrote:Um, you seem to be missing the point. It is more about protecting the sister's business. There is risk to her depending on how deep the BIL's problems are and what exactly he has done. She doesn't need child support, she needs her business. Going on some misguided crusade against him may blow her up too.
cheese_breath wrote:
edge wrote:Sorry. This is just bad myopic advice. Unless the OP is interested in financially supporting his sister and rug rats.
cheese_breath wrote:
Da5id wrote:
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
So after the divorce BIL is just going to merrily pay whatever the court orders? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched. There’s someone close to our family strikingly similar to OP’s BIL...Spendthrift, arrogant, but can give the impression he’s a nice guy. He’s even a financial advisor for EJ. His ex already had him back to court once for failure to pay child support. It’s sporadic now, but she’s trying to be nice hoping he will reciprocate. But the nicer she is the more he takes advantage of her. The main difference between him and OP’s BIL is that he hasn’t robbed the family of their life savings.
So what is it you're expecting from this arrogant self-indulgent guy who has several maxed out credit cards, 'borrowed' $60K (that we know of) from his wife's business, owes almost $50K in back taxes, has a lien against their house, and wants her to give him more money so he can move out by making nice to him? Cheerfully pay back everything? Voluntarily divulge whatever else he has done that we don't know yet? Graciously help fixing all the problems he caused? Good luck with that.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Saving$ »

Mordoch wrote:
Saving$ wrote: Goal 5: Deal with the credit card debt in the manner the lawyers advise.

Goal 6: When things settle down in a few weeks or months, you can decide if you want to resurrect /recreate the past. You may have enough documentation to find out really happened to your mothers assets, and if the BIL is telling the truth. Before you do this, ask yourself what course of action you will/can take if you find out he is lying about using all her assets for her care. If there is no money to be had from him, finding out he stole more than you think is a waste of time and effort...
I view goal 6 as potentially problematic advice because it should be completely possible to get the credit card debt declared as fraudulently charged and invalid if they (ultimately with the help of law enforcement and the DA) can legally establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the money was used improperly and not properly to pay for part of his mother's expenses....
Goal 5 is meant to address the credit card debt.
Goal 6 was not meant to have anything to do with the credit card debt. Goal 6 is a decision on whether or not to pursue recreating what happened to this mothers assets - ie did the BIL also play fast and loose with those...
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by edge »

You seem to have a most remarkable case of tunnel vision or maybe you just don't know how these things work. I have zero expectations for the BIL.

If I was the OP I would recommend that his sister ensure that her business is safe/separate from the BIL if it isn't already. Otherwise clients he has potentially screwed may try to suck her dry to make themselves whole. Best thing to do is divorce immediately and consult a lawyer on how to create as many corporate veils as possible and completely separate the corporate entity from the BIL.
cheese_breath wrote:
edge wrote:Um, you seem to be missing the point. It is more about protecting the sister's business. There is risk to her depending on how deep the BIL's problems are and what exactly he has done. She doesn't need child support, she needs her business. Going on some misguided crusade against him may blow her up too.
cheese_breath wrote:
edge wrote:Sorry. This is just bad myopic advice. Unless the OP is interested in financially supporting his sister and rug rats.
cheese_breath wrote: The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
So after the divorce BIL is just going to merrily pay whatever the court orders? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched. There’s someone close to our family strikingly similar to OP’s BIL...Spendthrift, arrogant, but can give the impression he’s a nice guy. He’s even a financial advisor for EJ. His ex already had him back to court once for failure to pay child support. It’s sporadic now, but she’s trying to be nice hoping he will reciprocate. But the nicer she is the more he takes advantage of her. The main difference between him and OP’s BIL is that he hasn’t robbed the family of their life savings.
So what is it you're expecting from this arrogant self-indulgent guy who has several maxed out credit cards, 'borrowed' $60K (that we know of) from his wife's business, owes almost $50K in back taxes, has a lien against their house, and wants her to give him more money so he can move out by making nice to him? Cheerfully pay back everything? Voluntarily divulge whatever else he has done that we don't know yet? Graciously help fixing all the problems he caused? Good luck with that.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Doom&Gloom »

edge wrote:You seem to have a most remarkable case of tunnel vision or maybe you just don't know how these things work. I have zero expectations for the BIL.

[snip]
+1

IMO the best that can be hoped for at this point is to contain the situation and prevent further damage/loss. This seems to be the first step and the only necessary one. Recovery of assets seems to be a pipe-dream but certainly one worth investigating. It seems a terrible situation for everyone.

Once that is done, OP and his family may need to consider whether they have further ethical obligations.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Eagle784 »

Totally agree - kids are much better off understanding the nuance of not cutting off your nose to spite your face.
edge wrote:Sorry. This is just bad myopic advice. Unless the OP is interested in financially supporting his sister and rug rats.
cheese_breath wrote:
Da5id wrote:
cheese_breath wrote: You need to understand the context of my comment, specifically the children. You don't want them learning one can escape consequences for bad behavior with smooth talk and bullying. The last thing OP's sister needs is one of the children adopting dear old dad as a role model because he got the best of mom.
Depends on what you think are good consequences. I think the kids are going to have enough issues, and "messaging" isn't the biggest of them. I still think the highest priority is the sister and her kids and their welfare, and if going all out against the BIL doesn't serve that priority, well, sometimes there is no justice.
The kid's welfare isn't very well served if they're taught by example that doing whatever they want is OK as long as they can escape the consequences.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by phatkev »

I wanted to give an update and get some feedback about what to do.

After several months, $1500 in legal fees, countless hours of phone calls, I've been appointed conservator of my mom so I now have the authority to look into the finances.

Here's what I found so far.

From her bank account statements, my BIL, the former POA, had some very shady transactions and gross negligence. Each time there was insufficient funds, her bank charged $37 for each transaction. For the past 2 years, there were $4300 in insufficient fund fees. Also, I found out that he was using using my mother's car, put nearly 200K miles on it, and was insuring it under her name for the past 9 years, paying for that insurance with her finances. My mother has been disabled and unable to drive for the past 9 years. The insurance premiums totaled $7000. He even filed for 3 accidents in that car where he was the driver. Also, there were several ATM withdrawals done from her account each month ranging from $200-800/month. I found that she had 3 state tax warrants where they cleaned out her bank account ($2000 at a time) for back state taxes he didn't pay. There are several unpaid bills for a lawyer that set up a pooled trust, and other medical bills. As I mentioned in earlier posts, he also took out $45K in cash advances and hasn't paid them for over a year. Her IRA of $125K was also cleaned out.

Now in fairness, she did have tremendous expenses for 5 years, that after her pension and alimony income, costed her $65K/year. So it definitely is possible that she went through her expenses legitimately (at least when she had those high level of expenses). And I imagine that he was trying to make her qualify for medicaid by spending down all of her money, and now she does and has her full time aid paid for by the state. However, there are still many shady things that don't all add up. There were a lot of ATM deposits that he made, but it didn't add up to $45K (though I am still waiting for some back statements for a few years - including the ones when the cash advances were taken out.

My mom has a pooled trust set up which allows her to qualify for state aid while still maintaining some of her assets. However, if she were to come into any more money, or after she dies, any assets she has goes directly to the state. So now it seems that there have been illegal things my BIL has done, and we could potentially pursue them. But, I would need to use my own money in legal fees, likely not get any money back for my mother, and if I do get any settlement, it would just all go back to the state. It's a little disheartening.

Any advice? What would you recommend? I don't think I'm going to pursue any legal action against my BIL, though the state may and the credit card companies might. He was ordered by the courts to provide an accounting of all finances he provided for my mother from the time of his POA, which was 9 years ago. There's no way he will be able to do that and he probably will ignore it. I'm planning to just drop this, as unsatisfying as it may be, and just apply for more state assistance for my mom, because her monthly expenses exceed her pension. In the end, she will be ok, which is the most important thing.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by sawhorse »

:shock: :(

Have you reported this to authorities as elder abuse and fraud?

Because of his job, I wouldn't be surprised if he has defrauded clients, and I think you need to report him to whomever is in charge of regulating financial advisors.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

phatkev wrote: ... Now in fairness, she did have tremendous expenses for 5 years, that after her pension and alimony income, costed her $65K/year. So it definitely is possible that she went through her expenses legitimately (at least when she had those high level of expenses). And I imagine that he was trying to make her qualify for medicaid by spending down all of her money, and now she does and has her full time aid paid for by the state....
Forgive me for saying this, but you're still acting like you think BIL is a good guy. And you're rationalizing a reason to excuse his actions. If he had paid down Mom's excess money on her care instead of blowing it on his own selfish desires, she still would have qualified for Medicaid at the same time. He’s a crook who defrauded the Medicaid system as well as his own family.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by FelixTheCat »

phatkev wrote:He was ordered by the courts to provide an accounting of all finances he provided for my mother from the time of his POA, which was 9 years ago.
This is what I would recommend. A full accounting of the finances and the reasons why. Let him explain details such as "For the past 2 years, there were $4300 in insufficient fund fees."
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Wakefield1 »

Where did the Individual Retirement Arrangement balance go?
This sounds like simply a white collar felon. Nothing more.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by PVW »

phatkev wrote: Any advice? What would you recommend? I don't think I'm going to pursue any legal action against my BIL, though the state may
From the information you provided, it is reasonable to believe that your mother has been criminally exploited. While you can decide to not pursue a civil case against your (ex?) brother in law, it is generally up to the state to decide on criminal charges. You probably are not mandated to report this abuse, but your mother will be in contact with many people that are mandated to report it if they see evidence of exploitation. If someone else reports it, you may have to testify to what you know and answer to the court why you did not report it.

I suggest you make a report to the relevant state agency that handles elder abuse. Just report what you know. If it's in Connecticut, then here is the information
http://www.ct.gov/dss/cwp/view.asp?A=2353&Q=305232
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

You have enough on your hands just dealing with your mom's care. Make sure you don't do anything that would lead to your being liable for her debts, and let the state deal with your BIL if they want to. Bureaucracies are slow but they often get there eventually. You'll need to cooperate with any investigation, but I don't know why you would have to spearhead it.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by livesoft »

Now how do you keep yourself from looking like his accomplice?
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by boomer »

As some have others have stated, this is definitely a case of Elder Abuse. This agency should be alerted so that your brother in law can be prosecuted.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Whakamole »

livesoft wrote:Now how do you keep yourself from looking like his accomplice?
I would be concerned that the state would look back at these financial transactions and think it was constructed to set her up for state aid. OP, what does your attorney say, because I would listen if they recommend reporting it, if for no other reason than you are now conservator of your mother's assets and it appears she has been robbed of her assets.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Dottie57 »

Whakamole wrote:
livesoft wrote:Now how do you keep yourself from looking like his accomplice?
I would be concerned that the state would look back at these financial transactions and think it was constructed to set her up for state aid. OP, what does your attorney say, because I would listen if they recommend reporting it, if for no other reason than you are now conservator of your mother's assets and it appears she has been robbed of her assets.
+1
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by michaeljc70 »

phatkev wrote:I wanted to give an update and get some feedback about what to do.

After several months, $1500 in legal fees, countless hours of phone calls, I've been appointed conservator of my mom so I now have the authority to look into the finances.

Here's what I found so far.

From her bank account statements, my BIL, the former POA, had some very shady transactions and gross negligence. Each time there was insufficient funds, her bank charged $37 for each transaction. For the past 2 years, there were $4300 in insufficient fund fees. Also, I found out that he was using using my mother's car, put nearly 200K miles on it, and was insuring it under her name for the past 9 years, paying for that insurance with her finances. My mother has been disabled and unable to drive for the past 9 years. The insurance premiums totaled $7000. He even filed for 3 accidents in that car where he was the driver. Also, there were several ATM withdrawals done from her account each month ranging from $200-800/month. I found that she had 3 state tax warrants where they cleaned out her bank account ($2000 at a time) for back state taxes he didn't pay. There are several unpaid bills for a lawyer that set up a pooled trust, and other medical bills. As I mentioned in earlier posts, he also took out $45K in cash advances and hasn't paid them for over a year. Her IRA of $125K was also cleaned out.

Now in fairness, she did have tremendous expenses for 5 years, that after her pension and alimony income, costed her $65K/year. So it definitely is possible that she went through her expenses legitimately (at least when she had those high level of expenses). And I imagine that he was trying to make her qualify for medicaid by spending down all of her money, and now she does and has her full time aid paid for by the state. However, there are still many shady things that don't all add up. There were a lot of ATM deposits that he made, but it didn't add up to $45K (though I am still waiting for some back statements for a few years - including the ones when the cash advances were taken out.

My mom has a pooled trust set up which allows her to qualify for state aid while still maintaining some of her assets. However, if she were to come into any more money, or after she dies, any assets she has goes directly to the state. So now it seems that there have been illegal things my BIL has done, and we could potentially pursue them. But, I would need to use my own money in legal fees, likely not get any money back for my mother, and if I do get any settlement, it would just all go back to the state. It's a little disheartening.

Any advice? What would you recommend? I don't think I'm going to pursue any legal action against my BIL, though the state may and the credit card companies might. He was ordered by the courts to provide an accounting of all finances he provided for my mother from the time of his POA, which was 9 years ago. There's no way he will be able to do that and he probably will ignore it. I'm planning to just drop this, as unsatisfying as it may be, and just apply for more state assistance for my mom, because her monthly expenses exceed her pension. In the end, she will be ok, which is the most important thing.
Whatever big expenses she had does not excuse the opening of credit cards, NSF fees, using the car, car expenses, etc. However, now that you have the POA, I think the best you can/should do is clean up the mess the best you can. By that I mean trying to eliminate any potential future messes (like lawsuits from credit card companies) that may pop up from this. The money is gone and I wouldn't put the $$$ or effort into that. Your Mother is lucky she can get adequate care from the state (many states care is pretty sub par). As others have said, if it hasn't been done already, I would do whatever is necessary to ensure BIL never has access too other people's money again by alerting the state regulatory board. Though I don't see the need to get BIL thrown in jail, I would not sleep at night if he is abusing other people (clients) and I did nothing.

Best of luck. What a terrible situation.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Wildebeest »

Dottie57 wrote:
Whakamole wrote:
livesoft wrote:Now how do you keep yourself from looking like his accomplice?
I would be concerned that the state would look back at these financial transactions and think it was constructed to set her up for state aid. OP, what does your attorney say, because I would listen if they recommend reporting it, if for no other reason than you are now conservator of your mother's assets and it appears she has been robbed of her assets.
+1
I agree. If I was in your shoes, I would report your brother in law. What you have presented so far is that your brother in law is white collar but none the less a common criminal and your mother and the state have been robbed. I doubt that your mother is his only victim.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by FiveK »

phatkev wrote:...his job is a financial adviser
Have you ever looked him up in BrokerCheck - Find a broker, investment or financial advisor? Clean record, or other indications of problems?
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Mudpuppy »

I'll add my voice to the chorus that says to report this as financial abuse of an elder / disabled adult. Abuse is not always physical, and financial abuse is a common way the elderly and disabled fall prey to abusive situations. That the courts have ordered an accounting of his time as POA may be evidence that the authorities have started an investigation, but do your part and report him.

Don't worry about what this will do to your nieces and nephews. He is the one harming his children through his actions, not you. You need to look out for your mother right now and let the authorities do their job.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by mattshwink »

phatkev wrote:I wanted to give an update and get some feedback about what to do.

Any advice? What would you recommend? In the end, she will be ok, which is the most important thing.
You have not mentioned your sister in all this, but I assume she has her own troubles. Along that vein, though, I would ensure that her lawyer is kept apprised of everything you have found out. Her lawyers may be interested in any evidence uncovered, as well as possibly pursuing it themselves, as it could help their divorce/custody cases.

As others have also suggested, report to any elder abuse authorities and financial regulatory authorities in your state as well.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by VictoriaF »

I have just found this discussion and read the entire thing in one go. Here are some comments that have not come up before:
1. If the OP's brother in law has no assets of his own, such as IRA or 401(k), he may request in the divorce a half of the marital assets and a half of his ex-wife's IRA, 401(k), etc.
2. If the OP's brother in law loses his job due to professional misconduct, he will lose his income and thus may request financial support from his ex-wife.
3. It's not clear why the OP's sister has applied for a divorce. It appears that the financial issues have emerged in the process of the divorce rather than served as a trigger for the divorce.

From 1, 2, and 3: The OP's sister should take steps to avoid supporting her ex-husband for the rest of his life.

4. The OP's mother has a live-in aid. Is the aid trustworthy? Could she be (ab)using the mother's car and credit cards? Could she be in collusion with the brother in law?

5. Observation: The OP's sister's family had fluctuating income from $200k/year to $600k/year based on her business revenues. The fluctuation itself may have been a reason for the family's overspending. In good years they lived within their means, in bad years they were hoping that they would catch up the next year, in some years they probably did not know in advance if this would be a good year or a bad year. My point is that highly variable income is by itself a threat to a budget and has to be addressed in a structured way rather than ad hoc. This observation may be too late for the OP's sister, but it's something to think about for other participants in this thread.

Victoria
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by David Scubadiver »

Have you looked to his employer or his fiduciary insurance? If he wasn't in his own practice you may be able to get some recovery. And make sure he is fired.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by Wakefield1 »

VictoriaF wrote:I have just found this discussion and read the entire thing in one go. Here are some comments that have not come up before:
1. If the OP's brother in law has no assets of his own, such as IRA or 401(k), he may request in the divorce a half of the marital assets and a half of his ex-wife's IRA, 401(k), etc.
2. If the OP's brother in law loses his job due to professional misconduct, he will lose his income and thus may request financial support from his ex-wife.
3. It's not clear why the OP's sister has applied for a divorce. It appears that the financial issues have emerged in the process of the divorce rather than served as a trigger for the divorce.

From 1, 2, and 3: The OP's sister should take steps to avoid supporting her ex-husband for the rest of his life.

4. The OP's mother has a live-in aid. Is the aid trustworthy? Could she be (ab)using the mother's car and credit cards? Could she be in collusion with the brother in law?

5. Observation: The OP's sister's family had fluctuating income from $200k/year to $600k/year based on her business revenues. The fluctuation itself may have been a reason for the family's overspending. In good years they lived within their means, in bad years they were hoping that they would catch up the next year, in some years they probably did not know in advance if this would be a good year or a bad year. My point is that highly variable income is by itself a threat to a budget and has to be addressed in a structured way rather than ad hoc. This observation may be too late for the OP's sister, but it's something to think about for other participants in this thread.

Victoria
I would fear that the divorce case be irretrievably bound up with Criminal and Civil Court cases involving the described criminal activities.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by sls239 »

You said you were trying to be "unemotional" about this, but attempting to ignore emotions in a situation that is legitimately charged with emotion can easily mean you are making emotional decisions, but doing so from a place of denial or fear and not actually a place of pragmatism.

And just like nobody on here can practice law through Bogleheads, nobody on here can practice professional therapy either.

As a practical matter, I think you do need to try and find out if the medical bills have actually been paid. If a provider hasn't been paid, they may refuse to see your mother for any additional care she may need.

As for the soon-to-be-ex-BIL, you said he started using a car that wasn't his 9 years ago. That pretty much rules out the idea that this behavior was the result of any recent financial setback or anything recent that he claims your sister did that was "worse." On the contrary, it strongly implies that he began abusing his relationship with your mother as soon as he thought he could get away with it.

There's also a pretty well established pattern that people hiding things take when questioned. First is to dodge the question. Second is to answer with a lie. Third is to intimidate the questioner.

So be forewarned.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by phatkev »

VictoriaF wrote:I have just found this discussion and read the entire thing in one go. Here are some comments that have not come up before:
1. If the OP's brother in law has no assets of his own, such as IRA or 401(k), he may request in the divorce a half of the marital assets and a half of his ex-wife's IRA, 401(k), etc.
Unfortunately, he already spent all both their IRAs and 4 children's 529 accounts, without my sister's knowledge.
VictoriaF wrote:2. If the OP's brother in law loses his job due to professional misconduct, he will lose his income and thus may request financial support from his ex-wife.
This is a concern my sister and her lawyer have raised.
VictoriaF wrote: 3. It's not clear why the OP's sister has applied for a divorce. It appears that the financial issues have emerged in the process of the divorce rather than served as a trigger for the divorce.
There are several reasons for the divorce, but the financial reasons are the main one. They came out even before the divorce started.
VictoriaF wrote: From 1, 2, and 3: The OP's sister should take steps to avoid supporting her ex-husband for the rest of his life.


4. The OP's mother has a live-in aid. Is the aid trustworthy? Could she be (ab)using the mother's car and credit cards? Could she be in collusion with the brother in law?
Yes, she is very trustworthy and has been giving clues to the financial misgivings that has been happening. For a while she would complain that she was not getting paid (by the BIL) and/or checks have bounced. Whenever confronting him about it, he got extremely defensive and then offensive.
VictoriaF wrote: 5. Observation: The OP's sister's family had fluctuating income from $200k/year to $600k/year based on her business revenues. The fluctuation itself may have been a reason for the family's overspending. In good years they lived within their means, in bad years they were hoping that they would catch up the next year, in some years they probably did not know in advance if this would be a good year or a bad year. My point is that highly variable income is by itself a threat to a budget and has to be addressed in a structured way rather than ad hoc. This observation may be too late for the OP's sister, but it's something to think about for other participants in this thread.

Victoria
Victoria, I totally agree with you on this last point as well. They clearly lived above their means and everyone kept saying "I don't know how they afford all these things, vacations, etc." Now we know.


I am in the process of reporting everything, but it is quite a long ordeal. This has been like a second full time job for me but luckily I'm making headway on everything. Thanks for the feedback.
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Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by cheese_breath »

phatkev wrote: I am in the process of reporting everything, but it is quite a long ordeal. This has been like a second full time job for me but luckily I'm making headway on everything. Thanks for the feedback.
Good job. I can't imagine all you've gone through getting things straightened out. You realize (yes?) being a conservator entails a lot more detailed reporting to the court than being a POA.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
BeneIRA
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

Post by BeneIRA »

OP, an acquaintance of mine was in a similar scenario. A mother in her 90's had a nice sum of money still saved up with a pension and one of her sons was put in charge of her finances. We will call him Bill. The other siblings did not pay too much attention to the finances. I and others wondered how the Bill and his wife could afford their very nice house, fancy foreign luxury vehicles, exotic vacations, etc. They made a good salary, but not anything to support the lifestyle we all saw.

I'm sure you know how the story ends. Bill lost his job and had to take a job for much less. It turns out, Bill had been supplementing his income with his mother's money and when he lost his job, that just accelerated. Eventually, Bill's mother was living on state aid since all of her money was gone. Te siblings decided not to sue Bill since it would have been fruitless. Bill was broke and he had no more opportunity to take anyone else's money. His mother passed away penniless. They still don't talk to him and she passed away quite a few years ago.

The moral of the story, as hard as it is, I would let it go. There is nothing to gain by suing him. Sure, he deserves to be jailed, but really what he did was he saw an out for his financial situation by stealing from your mother. The money is gone and it isn't coming back. You are going to have your plate full. Best of luck to you.
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