Man wants to help relative
September 11, 2012 1:46PM
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:21PM
Dear Annie: My wife’s sister and her husband moved in with my mother-in-law 30 years ago. Mom was the sole caregiver until age limited her ability, and then government aid allowed for home assistance. Mom supported them while my brother-in-law spent every dime on alcohol and toys. When Mom died, my sister-in-law ended up in a nursing home. My brother-in-law is in bankruptcy and has done nothing to plan for his wife’s needs.
My wife owns the house, although there is a lien on it from the state because of the aid my sister-in-law received. My wife and I cannot manage the responsibility or expense of maintaining the home, and we’d like to sell it and pay back the state.
Four months ago, we informed my brother-in-law that we will be putting it up for sale. But he has not moved out. In fact, he says his lawyer told him he can drag it out for a year.
As bad as my brother-in-law is, I still feel some compassion for him, although I do not feel we are responsible for him.
Dear C.: You can hire a lawyer to have your brother-in-law evicted more quickly, but it sounds as if you are reluctant to do that. However, unless you are willing to let him stay indefinitely, you both are only postponing the inevitable.
Talk to your brother-in-law calmly, and find out what his future plans are. Ask how you can help him move into more manageable accommodations. Suggest he contact AA (aa.org). Do as much as you can to ease your conscience, but understand that there is only so much you can do if your brother-in-law is unwilling to help himself.
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