Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Recently estranged from dying Mother

Community Member

My father died 15 years ago, my mother is quite old and has recently been told by her doctor that her body is shutting down

My elder brother lives with her, he has never really worked, is a bully and is quite controlling

He convinced Mum to make changes to her will after Dad passed away giving himself sole power of attorney, enduring gardianship, executor of her will and sole trustee of a family trust.

She told me about this a year ago, I flew to her state so I could go with her to speak with her solicitor and to see what changes could be made, unfortunately she told my him and he went ballistic

No changes have been made, our relationship that was once caring and loving has ceased completely, neither of us willing to ring the other

The reasons why I won't are:

She broke her promise to my sister and I, guaranteeing that her children will be forced to contest her will in an attempt to correct the wrong

My father would never have left someone who he described as a parasite in charge of their combined estate, ever

Mum is more concerned with an outward appearance that he is successful rather than acknowledge he is a parasitic bully

She won't ring me because she feels its my responsibility to be there in this time of her need (I am the family fixer-upper) and blames me for causing so much anxiety because I think we all matter equally and her estate should reflect what Dad would have wanted too

What do I do?

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

You have zero obligation to talk to your brother or anyone else.

You can engage a solicitor with the view of contesting your mothers will after she passes, you'll have a few months to do this but sooner the better.

Begin writing up a log of all events in your life that went towards assisting your mother in the past. Also include any conflicts with your brother and examples of his controlling ways that helped with your estrangement eg when he went ballistic for accompanying your mum to the solicitors. That is a very good example of manipulation/control on his part.

Sometimes these matters are settled out of court so it is well worth your while depending on the amount of assets involved.

Good luck


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Alfi3

I am so very sorry that you are going through all of this, I have just come out the other side in that my mother passed in July of this year. While I in no way want to minimize the issues that you have with your brother (I too have a brother who lived with my mother all her life and assumed all was his when she passed), I also do not want to minimize the pain and frustration that you have with your mother's not dealing with your brother and the issues that are around her Will.

What I do want to bring your focus to is the last moments that you spend with your mother, you will not be able to get these back. I have been through some pretty intensive therapy for this very issue as I did not get to say goodbye to my mother, the last contact we had was a foul text with me asking her not to contact me again. She suffered her own mental health issues and I tried so hard to get her to do somethings that clearly she was not 1. capable of doing and 2. have any real desire to do. So now I have to try to make peace with how she passed, that essentially our whole relationship and my memories are all focused on these last years, that is not who she was and how I want to remember her.

I am feeling better now but if I can afford to you some time, to stop, to put the issues of her property on hold, I know this is easier said than done, but to have some time with her that matters, that you can cherish and so that when she is no longer here to hold and to chat to and to love you are not riddled with guilt.

Being the executor of a Will is not easy, it is a burden and I wonder if your brother has the capacity to make all the arrangements that he will need to in being this executor, I am suggesting not. However, my words to you are to try to put these on hold as clearly your mother is not able to make any changes for one reason or the other. Try not to be angry at her or feel badly towards her as we don't know why she has chosen to do what she has and what she did by making those changes.

I just want to remind you of what matters essentially in life and that is what you have and had with your mother. In the end I get that if you miss out on your share of the house that is very hard to manage, but you don't have it now and so it is a gift, a bonus...what you dont want to have to fight is those feelings of regret, guilt and pain in how you spent her last days with her...I can tell you..it is the worst.

Here to chat some more to you Alfi3

Hugs to you too


Community Member
Hi Sarah,
Thankyou for your kind words and the respect shown for my situation
A year ago I was asked to step in and clean up yet another financial bungle my younger brother had gotten himself into. My elder brother (who was involved) simply washed his hands of it and left the country to be with his girlfriend (Mum paid of course).
He also left Mum in a financial predicament of her own.
When I fixed both up, Mum asked if I would listen to her lawyer then relate to her what was going on and see if any changes could be made to undo it without his knowledge (not possible)
She then promised me she would make it right, telling my older sister and younger brother that siss and I would be added to the trust
When elder brother found out (Mum told him changes were happening) he hit the roof, Mum then stalled for 10 months until I gave her an ultimatum
She made her decision to leave it as it is
Ive gone quiet on her as she effectively used me to clean up what the eldest should have done then reneged on her word to make the changes necessary to avoid painful litigation after she passes
Ive sent her the odd email but she insists that I ring her
I’m so disheartened by what she is forcing us to go through in order to avoid conflict with him. I also think she had no real desire to change the structure as in the eyes of her peers, it looks like he made something of his life (highly intelligent) when he just sponged off my parents
If I contact her, its me yet again calming over the waters, maintaining the role of lapdog
She won’t contact me because of her pride I guess
My brother listens in on her kid’s conversations and berates her if he doesn’t agree.
I asked him why he had moved back in again, he hasn’t replied
He moved out a year ago after 10 years. He left because my younger brother told him to go get a job and stop being a parasite. He's lived at the family home nearly all his adult life (has his own home which is a mystery to us)
He has no work history but gets money charging Mum to do menial tasks, all her children have become estranged because of his constant interference
This was not how I wanted to see Mum go, we always enjoyed regular phone conversations and trips up to stay (interstate) with me until this
Yesterday my sister told me that Mum has a kidney infection, is on an antibiotic and her doctor says he thinks her system is starting to shut down
I was always her confidant, our relationship is now in pieces, neither really knowing how to mend it

Community Member

Ive been thinking about your last goodbye to your Mum Sarah

It reflected strength in the face of very few meaningful options it seems

It takes guts to do what you did, there must have been many reasons for you to come to the decision you made, accepting how it ended may be the only thing left for you to do and to focus on the entirety of your relationship with her in contrast to the last parts

I can't be with Mum due to covid restrictions as well as him living there, so I guess I'll never see her alive again. Ive been at the mercy of her emotional rollercoasters for decades now, I'm tired of carrying her burden as well as my own. Contacting her again will expose me to further regrets as mentioned earlier, not contacting her may well be worse as we left things undone

For some reason I feel its her responsibility to contact me, to make the bridge. She rejected me, she took the line of least resistance and chose to side with entitlement over integrity

Thanks again for your thoughts