What can I do to make things equal as far as the pay goes? 4 Answers as of April 15, 2014

I had been taking care of my parents for several years and still take care of their home and property. A couple of years ago, we had to hire caregivers to help and at that time I asked for pay just like caregivers and got siblings to agree. Now dad is gone and we had to put mom in a home because of dementia and mobility issues. My oldest sister is the trustee in the will and she takes care of the paperwork, like bills and taxes. Well I recently found out that she is paying herself 3 times more than what I get. I live the closest so my siblings took it for granted that I do everything and take advantage because I’m retired. It states in the will that we all get equal shares but this isn’t equal, just like me doing all the work isn’t equal! I have notes from last several years of times and dates of what I’ve done, as well as my time slips and pay sheets.

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Law Offices of Jeffery L. Fanto
Law Offices of Jeffery L. Fanto | Jeffery L. Fanto
First, your sister is not the "trustee" of the Will. The Will does not come into play until after the death of the person whose Will it is. If there is a trust involved, the language of the trust would have to be reviewed. Typically the settlor (in this case your mother) would be the trustee and then an alternate or successor trustee would be named. You should? first try to have a conversation with your siblings so that the situation does not cause irreparable harm within the family. If that doesn't work you should have this situation reviewed by an attorney familiar with estate planning and probate.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/15/2014
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
You have a very complex situation and need to review it with an attorney. It is not wrong for a trustee to take compensation, but it needs to be "reasonable" under the circumstances. It is also not wrong for you to be compensated for your time. The two are separate matters, however, and need to be treated as such.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/14/2014
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Why is your sister taking money if your mom is still alive. Is she doing it as a POA. What will is she a trustee in. You have grave concerns and estates are difficult not to mention families. Highly advise consult with attorney. Generally with an estate you can be reimbursed if properly requested. You can also question the pay your sister is giving herself.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/14/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
I would suggest you engage an attorney to look into the propriety of both your agreement and the executors paying herself. This is not unusual, as money is commonly the cause of such dissension.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/14/2014
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