Help me please!!!! I am petrified of going to jail over mom's finances.

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My mom has lived with me since 2003 when my dad passed away. She did her own finances for a couple of years and started in the beginning stages of dementia and I had to help her balance her checkbook and write some checks for her. My husband became ill and was off work for 1 1/2 years and during the end of his illness only got 60% of his wages. I asked my mom if we could borrow money to meet the monthly bills until he went back to work and she agreed. My sister, mom and I were all on mom's checking account so we all had access. When my sister found out money was missing she threathened to charge me with fraud for using the money. I told her I was given permission but with my mom's dementia she honestly did not remember telling me it was ok. My sister has been holding this over my head for a year and my family takes care of my mom every day of her life and my sister only comes around once a week if even to take her shopping. We had a big argument last week and will probably never speak again. Can she prosecute me for fraud it this is not her account? Again, she always had access to the account so it was never a deliberate act of deceit on my part. My sister nows does my mom's banking and does not tell my mom what is going in and out of her account and she also gave her daughter $5000 inheritance early from the money. Can I go to jail or can someone tell me what I need to do to protect myself and my mom. Can my sister press charges without my mom's agreement? I signed a document that said I will pay back the money with out of my inheritance. If I go to jail my husband will not take care of my mom and I am worried about her as we do almost everthing for her. Help me please!!!! I am petrified of going to jail


Hey babs, Sounds to me that your sister is guilty and trying to put it on you--since you are the one with the conscience. Or, does she think things are "even" now? Ask her. Better see a family law attorney. Worth it. Do it soon, don't wait, the stress will drive you nuts. Good Luck.
We were all on the checking account together. Now whether I was permitted to write the checks, I don't know but would assume so. My mother and I were doing her finances together and when my mom needed help with adding or writing checks, she asked me to do it. My mom knew I needed the money and I wrote the checks out to cash and just signed my mom's name like she always made me do. Nothing unusual as I had her permission to use the money or we would have lost our home.
The bank has all three of you on the account for the checks so all of you has legal right to the monies. Your mom was there when she added your names to her account, so the bank will honor all three names. There is no way for her to prosectute you. If you want to feel secure about this contact an estate attorney or the bank.
Yes, PirateQueen is VOR (voice of reason) today. Take a deep breath ( good advice) and tally up everything, have sister do the same. Both of you need to come to the table and resolve it. Collect the facts and face it. You will feel better:)
We did tally up everything back in March after all this went down. We went over each bank statement one by one and added up all the money that I used and I signed a promissary note along with both my mother and my sister saying it will be paid back or taken out of my inheritance at the time of my mother's passing. My sister says her attorney told her the promissary note is not good, but the attorney I spoke with yesterday says it is legal as it is signed by all three of us and there is no date on it that says when the money needs to be paid back. I looked online and it does say a promissary note is a legal document.
Why do you think your sister is giving you such a hard time about this? You said she "gifted" her daughter with Mom's money--how is that any different than what YOU did? I still say, protect yourself legally, and watch the watchdog, Babs.
Peace, Hugs.
I totally agree with you. She is a vindictive person and thinks she and her husband can control me because I used the money. I have an appointment Monday with an attorney and mom is going with us. We are changing the will and revoking my sister's POA. My brother in law tried to force his way into our home the other night after we told him he was not permitted inside any longer and we had to call the police. We now have to get a restraining order, My poor mom was so upset and I was hearbroken. My husband pushed him out the door and he fell down our front steps. I guess now they will try to sue us for that too....
Something I am not seeing here is whether anyone has POA for mother? What kind of document did you sign, who gave you this document, in other words did your sister make it up? Does your mother have a will, who is executor? Why would you think it is wrong to help your mother pay her bills, then witness the fact that your sister has given away $5000? Sounds to me like she wants all the money. If your sister has been holding "this" over your head for a year, it's the fact there is nothing she can do. You did nothing wrong, your signature was legal or the bank would not have processed the checks. If mom is living with you did you get POA? If you do have it, tell your sis to take a hike, open a new account without sis's name on it. If you don't have it, it's time you did. Call an attorney and have one drawn up......and no they don't have to be completely lucid and in their right mind to sign their name on a piece of paper. Where is the bank statement mailed? I would make sure I had a copy of it to see where sis is helping herself to the money. If the account is still your mom's then you should have access to the statement. What kind of bills does your mother have since she lives with you? Are her finances directly deposited, are there other sources of funds? It appears that your sister is not concerned with your mother's welfare....only the size of her bank account. Good luck with this and please let us know how things work out.
My big mouth sister claims she has a POA. Well come Monday she won't have one anymore as I am taking mom to an attorney to write up a new will and relinquish any other POA's. My mom wants her money back so that is what we have to talk to the attorney about. My mom has not seen what is in her bank account since March of 2009 so I have to take her to the bank to get them. Bank statements and everything else is mailed to my sister since she is the financial guru. My sister takes my mom's income cause she still works as it is directly deposited and my dad's pension and SSI are deposited directly. I get nothing for taking care of my mother and I pay the water, trash and her cable and phone. I cook for her, do her laundry, drive her to work and take care of giving her meds and all the everyday things an 82 year old needs. My sister does very little. She is a good time charlie and is out playing socialite all the time. My sister is a greedy person and has told my family I stole the money from my mom. I think I could say the same thing now....

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