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Trying to Help my Uncle

February 12th, 2014 at 04:19 pm

I have an uncle (about 70 years old) who is both mildly schizophrenic and also mentally disabled. He has money from a pension (which goes right into his bank account) and also from a trust that my grandmother set up for him (that my parents manage).

My uncle has been dipping into the trust principal and that combined with the stock market a few years ago means that he'll probably deplete the trust in about six years. My parents worked out a plan to make it last longer (basically only dipping into principal a little bit - I think he shouldn't dip in at all, but that's me).

It means having a budget, which he's never had, and watching his spending, which he's never done. It means paying his bills on time (also - rarely happens). Actually, there is no way he can have a budget or watch his spending. Remember: he's kind of like a 6 year old in terms of emotional age, so this is actually a lot to ask. Also - my mother thinks he might be getting Alzheimers.

My mother has been setting up autopay for all his regular bills. That's a start.

My parents are going to pay his rent and his auto insurance (I know what you're thinking - you don't want to be on the road with him - you're right - I'm glad he lives in another state!)

I suggested:
- have an automatic transfer from his bank account into another "bill pay" account (we have several accounts at our bank for various savings) so he won't spend his bill money (utilities, phone, stuff like that) and is only in control of a limited amount of money for food/entertainment basically - my dad hated this idea for some reason
- if he doesn't go cash only (my mom vetoed this idea for some reason), have the credit card company set a limit equal to what his spending money will be given the budget my mom comes up with (he can't have a debit card - he's too easy to prey on).
- Wondering if the credit card company could set a daily limit, too?

Whatever my parents do, it needs to be simple, and he's been getting really angry about the whole thing - he says "You're trying to take my money!"

It's consuming my discussions with my mother right now, and she is so tired of dealing with it. I am going to call her while I make dinner...

3 Responses to “Trying to Help my Uncle”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Your suggestions are good. I'm sure that is a difficult situation.

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    This is a scary situation because it sounds like your Uncle is still independent - You may end up having to get someone power of attorney for him financially.

    I can understand how stressful this is, and getting yelled at by the person you are trying to help has got to be a major downer for your poor Mom.

    Take care.

  3. scfr Says:

    What a challenging and stressful situation; I'm sorry. Your uncle is lucky that you and your parents are there to help him out.

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