The brother in law hired a broker three years ago to handle all the Maw in Law's money, and it is a substantial sum, into seven figures. The way it was supposed to be set up was that my husband and his brother were both holders of the power of attorney, supposed to make decisions on investments, meet with the broker, and just generally protect the Maw in Law's life savings.
That's not quite how it worked out. My husband was given the run-around, not allowed to see statements and the broker would not talk to him.
Before moving the money to this broker it was set up in both brothers names somewhere else. Why and how this went from the two of them to only his brother no one seems to know, or will admit to.
Jim's getting understandably nervous about this in light of his relocation next week to Costa Rica and he's been pressing his brother to move the entire portfolio to the same financial investment firm we use, into safer funds and investments and set up again in both names, both brothers having equal access and say in the funds.
This is everything my Maw in Law and later Paw in Law worked hard and saved over the years. Literally their life savings. It's important that it be maintained for her benefit more than anyone else. She has plenty of income to cover her living expenses, so there's no need to touch this money unless something dire happens, which is unlikely. But it's hers, for her use. She's 94 now, living in an assisted living facility and has no interest in handling her investments.
Jim started to worry about the money after he found out back in early January that the broker is taking high fees out of the portfolio to manage it and that the broker is a raving lunatic Trump backer that lectures others about the wonder of Trump. One of her stocks earned about 20% points last year and she only got 8% after the brokers fees. Jim and his brother agreed that the money needs to be moved asap away from the Trumplestillskin broker, yet his brother has taken no action while Jim has begged, pleaded and cajoled.
Why? I think it's the fault of my hateful new sister in law, who I've now dubbed a quite nasty name that combines a rude word for vagina and a Japanese monster's name. Too vulgar for here. Yeah, the same woman that created the whole Christmas from Hell scenario out of the blue back in December of 2015.
Recently Jim's been messaging, emailing and calling his brother to try and find out if the money has been moved yet, only to be ignored or told that Bro in Law would do it next week. Well, the ultimate 'next week' is here and we discovered that the move is finally in progress.
Keep in mind that the Bro in Law moved his own personal money immediately after telling Jim about the crazy of the broker and the high fees. His mother's life savings? Hmmm, he's been in something less of a hurry. Here we are nearly 4 months after he moved his and 5 months after he told Jim that the broker was up to no good.
Several days ago Jim asked about a telephone meeting with the new investment firm, the same one we are using and the Bro in Law is using. He was told that TwatZilla and the Bro in Law had a phone conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Jim told them he wanted to be part of that and BiL reluctantly agreed. Time set up, and it was a go.
But this left us with questions in the meantime, like if this involved the Maw in Law's money then what was the new SiL doing in the decision-making loop at all? I'm not involved, but I don't want to be involved because I recognize this really just needs to be between Jim and the BiL since it involves their mother. I would not expect Jim to have any role in making decisions about my mother's money.
I had a very bad feeling about this telephone conference, knowing that if my therapist's ideas of what's wrong with my SiL were anywhere near right then it was going to morph into a goat rodeo quickly. It did.
Jim got on the phone with the new investment banker and lo and behold the BiL was 'too busy' in a meeting to come to the phone, which meant that it was Jim and the SiL only in the meeting. She proceeded to fight with Jim on the phone, told him she did not care what he thought and that they were going to do the investments the way she thought they should done. She accused Jim of being a liar, claiming he had full power of attorney to see the investment information all along. She also informed Jim that my Maw in Law's money was 'small potatoes' and said a number of horrible things when Jim asked to see beginning balances from three years ago. It went poorly.
I did not participate, but I was in the next room doing another massive Ebay auction of possessions while this was going on, and I clearly heard what was going on via speaker phone. Again, what they do with the Maw in Law's money is not my business. I really don't want to know, but could not help hearing.
Jim was upset afterward, and we went to have a picnic in the park, walk around the park and feed the ducks because it had been a busy and stressful day even before the phone conference. I reiterated yet again what form of mental illness I believe that the SiL suffers from, and now Jim sees it too. She kept texting Jim while we were at the park, asking him why he wasn't responding to emails.
We got home last night at sunset to a set of nasty, demeaning, vituperative emails to my husband, you know the kind, the ones with the CAPITALS and bolded and underlined words and italics sprinkled in for ranty emphasis. She went as far as to claim yet again that the Maw in Law's investment were 'Chicken Feed' and how INSULTED she is by the way my husband spoke to her.
Listen, lady! I heard the entire conversation and the only one raising their voice, using disrespectful words, being demeaning and insulting was the SiL. She was so incensed in these emails that when she shared the starting figure of the transferred investment she ran it as one long number with no commas or periods.
Since Jim is now viewing her the same way that myself and my therapist do he took my advice and answered her arias of irritation and paranoia with the simple phrase 'Thanks for the information.' That's it, short and sweet.
Jim barely slept last night after worrying about this most of the night and today he called up his brother, read portions of those poison pen emails to the BiL, pointed out that TwatZilla should not have any say in the investments of their mother, that I don't mettle like that and that the kids and I want nothing to do with either of them we're so insulted still by the way they behaved Christmas of 2015.
Good for you, baby! Standing up to BiL like that. The upshot is that the primary person who will be handling all the investments now will be Jim. BiL is signing it all over to him after some arguing and back and forth between the two brothers. Between the two brothers is how all this needs to be, not me, not her.
I'm betting that TwatZilla is having a tantrum and torturing the BiL right now. Mmmmuhahaha!
TwatZilla. I like that name!
What I've learned through this long experience dealing with those outlaw in-laws. Red flags to watch out for in those that are determined to dominate and control the elderly.
- Someone that denies allowing the elderly their own money to spend is up to no good.
- If you ask someone a direct question and they either change the subject, act like you are attacking them when asking for a hard and fast number, or attack you are hiding something.
- People that seek to control every aspect of someone's lifes is up to no good.
- If they cannot get along with their own children (all of them), leave an ex spouse destitute and broken and lie to try and get what they want you need to get away from them.
- Someone eager to spend an elderly person's money on stupid things while telling that elderly person that they cannot afford a new computer or hearing aids is up to no good.
- If every time you talk to that person they have a huge pile of negative stories about that elderly person, yet every time you talk to that elderly person they seem exactly the opposite of what was said it's just another form of controlling, gas lighting and abuse.
- If you oppose someone with certain types of mental problems even in the mildest and most polite ways and they always blow up and then attempt to invent stories about you then you should likely never involve them in your life.
- If someone is constantly attempting to seek praise, is upset that no one thanks them in a way that they think they should be thanks you need to run away from them.
- If someone always overreacts massively to the slightest thing it's them that have the issues.