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by Abigail Van Buren

Siblings Veto Idea to Give Caregiving Sister Extra Inheritance

DEAR ABBY: My sister "Dana" spent decades taking care of our disabled sister, which meant Dana and her family sacrificing greatly to provide for her care. The rest of us siblings live out of town and shared none of the responsibility.

Our disabled sister passed away recently, leaving an estate that is now in probate. I suggested to my other siblings that before the estate is divided equally, we should set aside enough for Dana and her husband to take a long-overdue and well-deserved vacation. It's something I know Dana has been longing for, but they won't hear of it!

I can't believe my siblings are acting this way. They say Dana can take a vacation on what she inherits, but that's not the point. While we all had free weekends and could take vacations, Dana was extremely limited because our disabled sister couldn't travel and needed a caregiver. How do I change my siblings' view? -- DISAPPOINTED BROTHER

DEAR BROTHER: Your sentiments are laudable, but there is no way to force your greedy siblings into doing anything for Dana. It appears your disabled sister died without a will, which could have ensured that Dana was repaid for her efforts. Your letter highlights the importance of putting last wishes in writing, preferably with the assistance of an attorney. I cannot emphasize this strongly enough.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Death