My FIL is 91, and still lives in his own home. He is generally a wonderful man, and my husband and I love him and do quite a bit to help him along. I accompany him on Dr's appts, stay with him when he his hospitalized (not often), and make extra food for him when I can. I work a flexible job partially so I can be available to do those things for him, and part of the reason I'm sticking with that is to make sure we can be there for him. At his request, we spent part of our Chrismas holidays looking at independent living places for him, and now he's not interested in seeing them, so we anticipate his needs for us to care for him will continue to increase. We went to meet with his attorney (at his request) yesterday, and reviewed his POA, living will etc. We added me as a backup to my husband on those documents. Then the attorney brought up his will, and asked him if he'd like to designate me or someone else as his heir should something happen to he and my husband at the same time. At that point he talked about how he had some favorite cousins (who never visit even though they live close). As that went on and he seemed ill at ease, I said it sounded like he needed to take some time by himself to think about it. Anyway, I don't want his money, but am finding myself hurt and resentful that, apart from my husband, he seems to value his unseen cousins over me. It is 100% his decision, and I will not interfere, but I've been in tears today just feeling hurt. In the meeting, he also brought up (again) that his wife had died on my birthday 12 years ago. That is also hurtful to hear over and over again, but I've always felt that his grief trumps my feelings on that. Anyway, I guess I'm just looking for some validation (or not) that feeling hurt in this type of situation is normal. I'll be continuing to pray through this, and I've confessed these feelings to my husband. But I don't feel it would be productive to express them to my FIL, and that I would just come off sounding to him like I'm "after his money". Any thoughts on working through these hurt feelings from those who have been there/done this?
Just wanted to jump in and recommend everything Austin suggests. I am also an ONLY and my father treated my wife as a stranger and also thought more of my cousins. If your FIL outlives his income and requires Assisted Living, this burden will fall on you and your husband. Even if your FIL decides at the 11th hour to "gift" some of his money to the cousin before he passes, that money can be clawed back for his care by the Institution that provides it. If you and your husband provide 24/7 home care, this will exhaust you both physically and financially. I strongly urge you and your husband to seek help from an Elder Law attorney and a Financial Planner (not for your FIL but for your own situation. ) He/She may propose solutions that will require your FIL's participation but that is a better place to be than trusting your own financial well-being to a 91 yr old's understanding of current financial reality. Trust me on this: decisions made today can have major impact on your life style 20 years from now.
Again, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experiences. It helps just to know others are dealing with this type of thing...and so much more. So glad I found this site.
Could it be that he does not understand that you need to be separate on the will. He may not understand that. You need to explain to him that if something was to happen to his son before your FIL passed, you would be left with nothing because you were not named separately. I am sure with all you do for him, he doesn't want to exclude you over some distant cousins.
Get him in a great facility so you and your husband don't get stuck and I mean STUCK taking care of him. If you think you have hurt feelings now, wipe his butt for a year and then listen to him go on about his cousins.
I do know your FIL but I think if you should decide to bring it up at the right time, it could help you move on. Something like, "I was surprised at our meeting the other day that you chose not to include me in your estate planning. I have no interest in an "inheritance" but I was hurt that you do not consider me family in the way that you consider cousins who have not been as involved in your life." I am certain that he did not even consider how it sounded when he was brainstorming during the meeting.
If you phrase things in a calm, loving, and considerate manner he should not take offense and you have gotten it off your chest.
You and your husband should also makes some plans on your own should he need assisted living...you should not be made to give up your lives if this is, in fact, the way he really feels.
I'm sure this thread will fill up with advise for you, just give it time. There are lots of wonderful people here who will support you, some will even make you laugh. Stay on this site you'll see.
Perhaps your husband will speak to your FIL. Perhaps he has already and just not made you aware of it. At 91 they need guidance and if your husband is the only child I'm sure he'll say something to his dad. And if he doesn't you just go right ahead and keep doing what you're doing. Nothing but good will come to you, nothing but good.
Stay blessed sweetie!
Care givers often do much work with little gratitude from their loved ones. Sometimes they are treated very badly and that's dad.
I'm glad you came to this site. You will find comfort and all the help you need right here so welcome and know that you're not alone in this journey.