I'm the Caregiver and my Sister wants Mom's Money

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Mom has lived with my husband and me for the last 8 years. She has Alzhiemer's. Sis called today and wants $13,500 a year of Mom's savings. I'm aware of the "5 Year Look back for Medicare", so I said no, we can't, as we'll need that to support help for Mom's care, ($2000 mo now so I can keep her at home and a lot more in a nursing home). I have someone here 5 nights a week so I get rest to care for her during the day. She often wanders at night. I've been at my wits end for a while now and I am the ONLY one who has cared for her for EIGHT years. Todays phone call has really pushed me over the edge of sanity. I tried to explain the lookback period and at todays costs, there is enough of Mom's money left for maybe 5 years. She said she already talked to her atty and will be here Wednesday for the money. I'm the only one on Mom's acct with her if that helps. What should I do? Please someone, HELP!

10 Comments

ignore her!!! unless she has a durable power of attorney on your mother (which hopefully you should have if you are the caretaker) and has access to her funds...why does she assume she is entitled?.
I'll double check but I think we both have the DPA. She's always felt that way.
if you don't have one, get yourself a good attorney that specializes in estate planning and elder issues of you own,,,,,they are out there....i found a great one that was really up to date on medicare/medicade issues and protecting assets,,,,it is unfortunate that there is always a sibling like that in every family for some reason. When we had our DPA's written up, we had my husband as the primary holder, so the others couldn't just walk in the bank and withdraw funds. She sounds like she is just making a threat to me, but I would get my own attorney just in case. If you should have to fork over funds, make sure it is by check and keep excellent records on the transaction. so you have proof of disbursement. There is another issue as well in that the quality of the nursing home you may end up using is often dependent on how much cash your mom has before it switches over to medicade only, The better ones will take private payers first, so it pays to have a small nest egg when shopping around.
Tango,

What a horrible person your sister is! This would make me furious.

I would call the government agency that handles elder abuse in your area. This is clearly a case of financial abuse of your mother. Your sister CANNOT just come and take your mother's money when your mother will need it for medical care over the coming years.

Then call your sister back and tell her you will have her arrested for elder abuse if she shows up at your house demanding money from your mother's account.

I'd lock her out and call the police if she showed up on my doorstep.

Alice
Just having DPA does NOT entitle anyone to Mom's money unless it is for her immediate care. I, too would ignore her request.

What makes her think she is entitled?
All the input above is very good but just to protect yourself and your Mom's $$, I suggest that you IMMEDIATELY do another PoA with YOU as sole representative. Then move all her funds to an account that has ONLY your and your Mom's name on it. Talk with the bank to ensure that sis can't get at it with a copy of the "old" PoA paperwork. Get it that new PoA notarized SAP so that you can give sister a copy when she shows up. By the way, I doubt any attorney would tell her it's okay to have $13k per year when they know about the look back period.

To keep mom from hearing an awful scene, you could always be gone when she arrives - you could be out of town for a day or two. Don't bend to her threats. Your mom needs you now more than ever.

Your sister has ABSOLUTELY NO right to your mom's money and if she attempts to get it then it should be considered attempted robbery. I would definitely notify your local Area Agency on Aging to get this event and threat on the record. It's important to establish a history of abuse by your sister and might be necessary in case she ever tries this again. Be tough, know that you're doing the right thing for your mom.
I wouldn't leave the house when your sister comes. She might talk your mother into writing her a big check.
Tango - I meant that you and Mom could be out of town when she shows up - AJ is right - sister shouldn't be left alone with your mom for any length of time at all!!
There is a word for taking money that isn't yours: THEFT. Your sister is just making loud noises and trying to get you to overreact. (how do I know this, you ask? because i have a sib just like yours)
Do what is necessary to protect your Mom's assets for the future and tell your sister to take a flying leap. What is the matter with these theiving family members? What makes them think that they have a right to their parent's funds ESPECIALLY when Mom is in need of care herself?
Your sister or someone in her orbit took the "look-back" rules and convoluted them. She thinks that Mom has to "give away" her assets instead of protecting them for her future.
Please do everything you can to keep sticky fingers out of Mom's accounts. (there are many others out there too who would like to relieve seniors of their hard earned savings.) Also, keep important financial documents, statements, etc. away from yours sister's grasp. She is a snake.
good luck
Tango ~ I really feel for you. Like someone expressed- there is always on in every family.

I wonder also, why does she think she is entiltled to your mother's savings?
Similar thing happened in my family.
My extravagant brother 'borrowed' $100K for an 'investment'. yeah, right ... bought house in Tahoe for skiing & other personal entertainment... travels the world boasting about his journeys.

Best thing I've done is quit communicating with him 5 years ago. I became exhausted by his childish tantrums while I was the responisble one. I'm glad he is 700 miles away. Dad & I are so disappointed with him.

If there are other siblings, are they supporetive. I have too others who won't kstand up to him either. Dad is the one who suffers ...
Good luck, Lady ....
Keep up posted?

Rip

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