Dear Dr. Archer,
My father has four children and my step-mother has two. Each has saved money to give to their respective children as their inheritance. My step-mom has already given her children their money.
Recently my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. Dad told us that we would receive his money if there was any left after he passes away.They feel that they may need it to take care of him towards his end of life care.
Three of us have told him that we don't feel like it is our money. He was the one who saved and sacrificed, and it is indeed his money. If there is money remaining after he passes away, then we know it will be ours.
The other sibling recently divorced, ran up a substantial amount of debt, and filed bankruptcy. She went to dad's house and demanded her share of the inheritance money. Dad didn't say anything ,and when she was leaving she told him she would give him a few days to think about it and would return for an answer. Also, as she was leaving, she stuck her behind in my step-mom's face and said "and that is for you!"
My sister has been diagnosed as Bipolar. My question is: Should I have her committed for evaluation even though I know she is Bipolar?
Just because your sister has Bipolar doesn't mean she 1) needs to be committed 2) can use this as an excuse for her behavior. You are correct; the money is your father's and she has no right to it at this point. In fact, unless she is in the will then she may have no right to it upon his death, either. Your role is to be supportive of your father. In fact, it may make it easier on him if you and the other two siblings meet with him and tell him that you respect his wish to use the money as he sees fit, and that you don't feel he needs to give the money to the other daughter.
The cost of dementia can be quite costly. Insurance covers some of the costs, but there will be out-of-pocket expenses, to be sure. Wheelchairs, special beds and many other devices are not always covered completely by insurance. The money your father has saved should be used for his care.
In addition, Bernadine, it's important that you support your step mom as well. You should get your siblings together, including the one requesting the money (if she'll agree), and let her know that the rest of you don't agree or approve with the demands of your sister. Finally you must all talk to the sister that's making waves and tell her to stop her actions immediately. Your father worked hard during his life to give his children a good life. Now the same needs to be done for him.