Cared for my father for two years, now I am being accused of stealing from him!!

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My father became ill with active TB two years ago at which time I brought him to my home to live with my family and care for him. My name as well as my 2 others siblings names have been on his checking account since my mom and dad opened it more than 20 years ago. I wrote checks to pay for my dad's bills and to get him cash and when I wrote a check for anything I wrote what it was for in the comment section. During this time he did help with groceries and when I was not working and was home caring for him (he has dementia) I did okay it with him and paid some bills on occasion from his account. He has recently went to live with my brother(because he would not allow me to have someone come in and stay with him while I worked during the day). Now my brother is accusing me of having stolen 15000 to 20000 dollars from my father!! I am beside myself, I never took anything from his account without his permission and everything that was paid from that account. Sad thing about it my Dad is going to do whatever my brother says for him to do. Can anyone please give me any advice on what I can do?


How did your brother come up with that sum? When you say "I paid a few bills...from his account" how much did they amount to?

It sounds like you have documented everything when you cared for your father. Tell your brother that and let him prove it. There is nothing more powerful than the truth.

You could also figure out how much the care of your father would cost if he was in assisted living, etc. (especially taking on the risk of active TB in your home!)

It is appropriate for your father to pitch in for housing, utilities, groceries, etc., that go toward his care. It is not okay for him to be paying the major debts, bills, or living expenses of others.

good luck, these things are never fun.
Alz or dementia parents are not able to count or dress or cut up food to eat and also cannot make a decision to order off a menu. The parent and patient of the daughter is being combative and every day is a new day with new caregiving requirements. The 2 year span of care is well worth the amount of 20K you gave your dad. Your dad may not have the words for you. But let your brother try caring and see how much it costs for assisted living or he can do it himself. Compensate the siblings equal to the amount incurred by the home. That's fair for all caregivers.
I feel your pain. I am going through the same thing for the past year. My mom has been living with us since 2002. My dad passed in 2003 and we have been taking care of her 100% of the time. We have paid for her cable, phone water and sewage for the past 8 years. My husband was ill for a year and a half and only receiving 60% of his wages. He lost his job a couple years prior and got a new job at about half his original salary. So we were hit with a double whammy. When he got sick, I asked mom if we could borrow money from her account (I was a signer with my sister) and she said yes. My mom is now in the beginning stages of dementia. My sister got in a tiff when she found out money was missing and now has told the world I am committed forgery, fraud and fiduciary embezzlement and took advantage of my mom's memory loss. I even signed a promissary note to repay the money I borrowed either by regular payments or out of my inheritance at the time of mom's passing. I figured if my mother was paying rent (my home is a duplex) and her cable, phone, water and sewage and all my caregiver expenses it comes to $73,720.00 for the past 92 months. Send them a bill for all the time you have given to your parent. Also let them know of the social sacrifices you've made when you have to stay home to take care of a sick parent or feed them. My sister is just a control freak who now is hiding all moms money to keep it away from me and my mom has nothing. My mom does not even want to see her anymore and that is a shame. To hurt the elderly in their last years of life for spite and revenge is unforgivable. I know it hurts like hell to be accused of stealing. I know that I have done everything I can for my mom and these months of arguing with my sister has brought mom and I much closer and that is a blessing. Hang in there and when someone accuses you of being a thief, just let them know that they should be ashamed of themselves for thinking such things and one day they will have to answer for not standing behind the family member who took such good care of their parent.
I just want to encourage you. I've navigated that accusation period myself. It comes up fairly often (my Mother brings it up). She's upset that I pay her bills (out of her checking account) these days. I used to just pay her bills out of my pocket, but can no longer do so as I make much less as her caregiver than I did out in normal life world. As her POA, I'm legally able to pay her bills out of her account and I don't get upset when she rants at me about it. I know I'm honest and good. I know that without me, she'd be lost in a sea of bill collectors, turned of utilities and eviction notices. If ever any sibling of mine accused me, I'd be just as upset knowing the sacrifice I've made (and they haven't made) was life affecting to me.

I hope things turn out well for you, and that your sibling see's the light of day soon.
I recently had to place my dad in a hospital to have him mentally examined due to the things he was doing in my home and threats to harm me and himself. My dad has always been a very abusive and manipulating man in every aspect of the word abuse. When he gets angry he damages property clothing toilets cars whatever he can get away with and not get caught in the act when he lived alone he threatened the neighbors and while driving he threatened other drivers so much it is hard to put it all down.. He has mental illness and has never really been diagnosed properly. He has lived with me for 1 1/2 years I have cared for him a total of 4 years since my momma died. I am his POA and have tried to be as fair and honest as possible. While he lived hear we split the monthly living expenses as if he were living on his own. I spent hundreds if not thousands out of our own pocket when my momma got down we paid rent bought groceries for them and medical supplies you name it. They did not have the money to do all that was needed at that point. When I placed dad in the hospital at the advice of his doctor the siblings went nuts! First they accused me of making up all the things he was doing, then they took him out of the hospital to live with one of my sisters who is totally crazy and now I am being accused of stealing his money! First of all he had NO savings, he made less than 1600.00 monthly and when I paid his cost of living to stay here travel expenses to and from doctors and adult day care along with what bills of his own he paid he still came up short every month. Many months when his needs were greater than his income we shorted ourselves to purchase things like glasses clothes shoes etc. plus we tried to always make sure he had money in his pocket for whatever he might want if we were at a store or whatever. Before moving in with my husband and I he duped us every month out of 100.00 -200.00 buying lottery tickets and scratch offs. The neighbors would tell us no one was ever there to visit him and for sure while he was here he was only with the siblings at most 2 weeks and no one called for him he spent days calling them and trying to get them to talk to him. No gifts on birthdays or fathers days not even calls. yes he was a very hard mean difficult man that I have forgiven, but he has once again inflicted his pain on me by telling lies to the doctors and siblings and told the doctors he hated me not because I was not good to him but I was to controlling and strict. This man has never known a boundary. This is our home and we don't stop people and ask for money or try to pick up the neighbors wife or tell a speeder to slow down or we will whip his ass, we don't ask people to buy us shoes nor do walk around the neighborhood telling everyone we are poor and need things we do not need, I always kept him away from children and animals for fear of what he may do. I hope I have painted a good picture as to the reasons I was controlling a strict as he put it. Well I have had all the crazy I can stand for a lifetime. My husband was so bewildered and angry he has been my hero and told them they are not to step foot back in our home and he wants to see their books in six months. They call and leave very hurtful mean messages on the phone calling me a liar and a thief and I am going to hell I need to get my heart right then cuss me like a dog. I feel so sorry for people who only run on assumptions and emotions, what a miserable life it must be. They will all soon get their medicine when they see how hard caring for parents can be. Even in the best of situations is is very difficult but when you have such oppositions and accusations it takes it toll especially knowing all the things you have sacrificed and all the love you try to give only to have it thrown back in your face. I hope anyone who reads this will say to the other siblings I am not doing this anymore it is your turn, when the shoe is one the other foot it wont fit any better for them either.
I understand the pain described by the previous people. I cared for my precious mother for five years. My sister and brother-in-law refused to help in any way. Even at the very end of my mother's life they told me to "just let them know when she dies and they will come for the funeral". Unbelievably, they then accused me of mistreatment of my mother, being responsible for her illness and suffering, and stealing from my parents. Further, they demanded that I not be at my mother's wake. My grief at my mother's suffering and death was compounded by these hateful accusations. Now a year and a half later, I have not received an apology nor have I talked with my sister and brother in law. I know I will never receive an apology of any kind, yet I know that I have to find a way to forgive them. I don't believe an apology is necessary for one person to forgive another, yet I am at a loss as to how to do this. I appreciate any ideas at how to find peace with this.
yes, unfortunately, there are people who will accuse at the drop of a hat. if you haven't done so already, then ask the brother where his proof is. calmly. discuss it with him if you can, and point out that you received no real compensation for your caring for your father. he paid no real rent, did he?

if all else fails, then sigh and tell the brother to take you to court, prove his accusations, or shut up about it. I truly feel your pain over this. I've had issues like this with my Dad's death, and when we moved my Grandmother out of her home. Everyone seems to be out for a buck, even those we are supposed to rely on for moral support and help. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to be as calm as possible, and not to counter accuse. Be the adult, if no one else will. The burden of proof is on the brother, and it sounds to me you were reasonable in the use of your father's money.

My Grandmother's siblings took her to court over her mother's care and income. They lost, because they only wanted things for themselves, and were angry that my Gram didn't just hand everything over to the boys. Don't lose hope if he does take you to court. It sounds like you have all your ducks in a row anyway. Good luck with the situation. Hopefully, a calm discussion of why you spent the money and how will be possible with the brother, and he will come to understand.
I to am going through a similar situation--My father passed 6 years ago...My husband and I helped take care of him and his home and yard and Mom.....After Dad passed we continued to help Mom out with the house, yard shopping, 2009 Mom fell outside and the doctor told us she couldn't live alone anymore...She is in beginning stages of Alzheimers..she knows what is going on around her but is forgetful of names, dates and other things.....She helps with the household bills and also has insisted on purchasing a couple of things for us that we were going to borrow the money from the bank for.....Now my brothers are accusing me of stealing her money and demanding to know how much she has, and that she shouldn't be touching their inheritance money at all. I have never used any of her money that she didn't know about but yet they are threatening with a lawyer and everything else....The thing is they aren't even thinking about her well being or coming to really see how she is doing...they are lucky to see her twice a year..They are hurting her and then try to tell her they love her and don't want her money!!!! It is so frustrating and makes me sad for her. I find myself apologizing to her for their actions and how they treat her. What will it take to make them understand that it is her money and not theirs until she dies.
abigail1654, "she shouldn't be touching their inheritance money" -- WHAT? It is NOT their inheritance money. It is her money. And she should be spending it on her own care. If she is doing things for you in appreciation of your care, how on earth can your brothers complain?

Alas, they can complain, because they are selfish creatures. They are threatening you with a lawyer? Because your mother is spending her money as she sees fit? What is the lawyer going to do? Too absurd!

Do you have POA? If not, they certainly should be done.

I suggest that you consult an elder law attorney, and set up a care agreement. If it weren't for your selfish brothers, the arrangement you have now is just fine. But to head of any future conflicts it might be best to spell out a cost for room and board and perhaps even for care provided (depending on your mother's resources.) Also spell out that the items she bought for you were in appreciation of room and board up to that point. The lawyer will know how best to handle this. The whole idea of a contract is distasteful, but it may be the best way to stop your greedy brothers, and it may also be a good record in case mother needs someday to apply for Medicaid.

Please see an elder law attorney!
i can relate to each and every one of you. I live in s.f. and my mom lived in So CA a mere 10 minutes from my sister. I told mom i was coming to visit. for the last 25 years this is what i would do. in turn, mom would tell my sister i was coming for a visit. My mom was proably stage 4 of Alzheimer's (she was stage 5 when she arrived to stay with me in 07). Like always i arrived late at night. the following morning mom always had an agenda for us which usually entailed a day of shopping, stopping at starbucks. this time she also asked me to take her to the bank. Take her to the bank meaning, she asked me to do all the driving that day. She wanted to close her account because the branch very close to her closed. Was I suppose to say no because sister might think I am stealing? Of course, I would not say no. I said yes, of course. Before even entering the bank i knew mom could not close the account because her SS and other retirement checks were automatically deposited there. But we went in and I listened to what the lady said. Mom and i were seated. There was nothing on the table, no checkbooks were out...just talking to the lady. Brother in law walks in and i knew something was wrong
like always when mom and i were done for the day we would go home i would call my sister and we would arrange a time for us to get together. instead, when i called sister started screaming (literally) that i snuck into town to steal mom's money. Her husand is such a slime that he allowed sister to be so abusive? I always knew he was slime and my sister i knew wasn't a whole lot better. I was dumbfounded by the accusation and it took me a while, listening to her screaming, until i realized the whole bank scene lead to these accusations. My mom could hear this entire accusation fight going on and started crying; she was so upset. i believe my mom knew something was wrong with her (alzheimer;s) and now this horrible fight. My brain snapped and i told my sister i was taking mom to s.f. with me. Mom had a hernia that made her look 5 months pregnant. Sister wouldnt let me get two words in, so i knew i had to take mom with me to get the care she needed as sister wasn't being reasonable .....i took mom and mom had the necessary surgery. there were continued medical emergencies but sister would never work with me to get my mom back home to So Ca. Sister has talked to us in 5 years. It is one thing to be accused of a wrong doing but its a double whammy when you also get slapped with the silent treatment for the crime you didn't commit.
these people rationalize their behavior so well that they will never acknowledge their inadequacy, error or mistaken-ness.

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