Older parents who are bad with money

Older parents who are bad with money

My husband and I are in our 30s and, while we're both teachers and not especially wealthy, we have done some planning for our future and our retirement. Here's the issue: his parents are 77 and 57, respectively, and have done nothing to save for the future. Right now his dad (77) is working as a used car salesman (under the table, of course) and his mom is an agoraphobic who hasn't left the house for years. Did I mention they are both heavily dependent on marijuana? Yep, they are. NO savings. Not even a bank account. I don't know how much longer his dad can go on working - I'm hoping maybe 10 years? And needless to say - they have NO poor skills. For years they were waiting on a payout from an auto accident lawsuit, and when they finally did get the $25,000, it was gone within 6 months. Then they were waiting for my husband's grandmother to die to get their inheritance. That too was gone within 6 months. They've just about run out of family to mooch off. I'm not willing to sacrifice our own future to keep throwing money into this bottomless pit of need. I will give my time and my problem-solving skills, but I'm done giving money. My husband and I are going to finally have a serious talk with them about practical plans for the future, and we're going to try to do it without judgment or blame, even though that will be HARD.
  • We'll say we're fine with them to continue doing what they're doing (i.e., spending every penny that comes into the house) for as long as they can. We know they have no interest in changing.
  • But we will ask that we be allowed to liquidate some of the things of value they do have in the house. There's supposedly a $40K ring somewhere (my husband's grandmother was a multi-millionaire, but like son, like mother - she spent it all and died a pauper herself). So jewelry, excess furniture, etc., it all gets sold and the money goes into a trust or something that they can't touch.
  • If by some miracle they do get an inheritance from my husband's wealthy 95-year-old aunt, who bought them the house they live in, we'll put that in the trust too. I don't think it's likely that she'll leave them anything, as they've pretty much exhausted her good graces.
  • When my husband's father passes away (and he has very likely got another 20 years in him, with his genes), we will sell their house and use the proceeds to buy my husband's mother a small condo near us, so we can do her grocery shopping and errands for her.
  • We'll also teach her to use the internet to make some supplemental income. She's pretty creative and I actually think that getting involved in some communities online could greatly help her agoraphobia. But we won't be buying her groceries and we DEFINITELY won't be buying her drugs.
  • We also need to find out what social services she qualifies for. They do get Social Security now, but she wouldn't qualify for Social Security on her own because she's only worked for about 3-4 years in her whole life. But maybe she would qualify for Medicaid or some kind of disability benefits? (On top of her agoraphobia she thinks she has Morgellon Syndrome.)
So what do you think? Is this an okay plan? Do you have any ideas you would add? I'm entertaining ANYTHING. It's going to be really tough to sell them on this trust idea, since my husband's father is very stubborn and probably thinks he's doing just fine with the money. And I still have no idea what we'd do during that gap when he does become too old to work or drive. Thanks for your collective brain power.
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