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

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This sounds like a very sad situation for your mom. I think both you and your sister have abused your roles as trustees for mom. If your mother was impaired you had no right to use her funds. Your sister also had no right to disburse anything to her daughter. Neither of you have 'rights' to her money for your personal use, period. If her money runs out and she requires financial assistance from Medicaid you will both find out you will need to pay it back. I suggest you talk with an accountant (CPA) or qualified attorney to find what is required to properly handle her finances instead of the pair of you trying to grab it up.

I hope you will come to some equitable agreement with your sister. 1) You should be reimbursed for your mother's expenses if you are the caretaker. 2) Your promissory note may be adequate (as long as it conforms to your State's law), but your sister might be more agreeable if you started paying some of the funds back -you said yourself it was a 'loan', so treat it like a real loan, not an 'advance on your inheritance.' 3) Your sister needs to account for any money she's taken from your mother's funds.

I wish you luck and sincerely hope you & your sister will quit back-biting and get together about what is right for your mom.
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Not knowing the whole situation, I won't speak to it. But, there is an important reminder in this entire debate: Anytime someone hears something, especially concerning an elderly person with dementia or an underlying personality disorder, it always pays to remember that there are generally more sides to the story than the one being heard at the moment. It's so easy, even for those of us who know better, to get caught up in the transient truth of the story we're hearing. Mom has misrepresented facts concerning me on more than one occasion, then changed them as her emotion-of-the-moment dictates, and, although confused faces of her audience generally alerts me that they've heard a different tale at another time, I still feel guilty or what I have not done. After awhile, even I begin to wonder what the true story really was in the first place. Makes me wonder where I'll be mentally when all is said and done.
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If you are not permitted to know anything about you mother and what is happening, how do you know all of this?
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I am sister of Babs. I was executor and POA of mom's accounts at the time of this fraud and embezzlement. Bab's name was not on checking account and savings account. Mom opened a money market account and I was put on this account at the time of inception. When Babs found out she forged mom's signature and added herself to this account. She realized she could not use money in this account as she had before I changed it so she added herself without mom's or my knowledge so she could continue using funds. When money market was opened there was $12,000.00 in money market and $5,000.00 in checking account. When I took my mother to bank to check her account the total amount in both accounts was down to $1200.00. All the rest was used by Babs for her own personal use. She forged mom's name on checks daily and made car, mortgage payments,cash withdrawals and debit withdrawals daily. She admitted to all of this and said she would try to pay back all that she took and if she couldn't she would sign a promissory note saying it would come out of her inheritence. She is now in bankruptcy proceedings and had mom sign papers saying all was a gift. Promissory note was also forged with mom's signature. She had my poa revoked and my uncle was made poa now. I am satisfied with how he is handling everything for my mother. All money has been turned over to our uncle. Babs took advantage of mom since mom was declared as of 9/10/2010 by a certified psychologist with dementia. She has kept mom a prisoner in her house(Babs). Mom lives upstairs in her own apartment in Bab's house and I along with my 35 year old twin daughters can see my mother. Her husband assulted my husband and was found guilty of criminal assault and harrassment and now has a criminal record for the rest of his life. I have 105 pages of forgery,fraud and embezzlement papers filed with my attorney and Babs will be proscecuted on my mother's passing. She believes she did nothing wrong but I have proof of all that she has taken and will use this against her when necessary. Our Uncle finally realizes what is happening and how he was misled by Babs. He has constantly kept me up-to-date with how he is handleling mom's affairs. Uncle's daughter (our cousin) is the one that does everything for my mother. She has been trying to let us see my mother and said she will get my mother to us for visits. My mother has to have constant care with her dementia and she only asks for my uncle or cousin, never Babs! Mom was recently in a rehab facility and my twins and I were allowed to see her and visit with her there. She was happy to see us and doesn't remember any of the bad things that have happened at Bab's house. Now Babs has brought mom back to her house and we are not allowed to see her again. She is only trying to get back at me and doesn't care about our mother's well being. Mom is 83 years old and has been diagnosed with severe depression and was in hospital recently with dehydration. She was admitted to hospital after returning to Bab's house after 12 hours of being home after passing out twice and the ambulance had to be called. Now cousin has to go to mom's daily, take her to appointments and doesn't get paid anything for her services. Home health has been called in to administer care and they are paid to even sleep there when sister and her family live downstairs and could sleep in the 2nd bedroom. Mom has her own entrance but me nor my family are allowed to take care of her. This is now July 2012 and I have just found this discussion on this website.
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Well my sister took all mom's money and we did change the POA to her brother who is a neutral party. I had the department of aging investigate and my sister gave mom's money back and finally had to turn over the POA. Contact your local department of Aging Protective Services and explain what has happened and they will most likely investigate where the money went. If you sister was POA she will have to account to them for every dime she spent as protective services will get every bank statement and anything they need to find where the money was spent and she will have to account. Please get the POA changed immediately..... Is your mom coherent?????
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I am not an expert,have only learned from other peoples situations and my own experiences. First of all ..... If you were a judge what you need is evidence.
In this case it is paper trail that works as evidence. Words mean nothing but a signature on a piece of paper means everything. Second of all..... how is the checking set up , worded, I actually knew this already but found it written by an expert somewhere on this site. The words "AND" & "OR" or phrased together "AND/OR" these words may be small but are very powerful in legal matters. The other thing with the checks is who's signature is on the check written. One more thing is who's money is deposited and withdrawn.
If it is all Mom's money and she signs checks alone, she spent it. If it's her money and someone else is on account and they signed alone, I believe the questions are on that person. In that case if proven that these funds were spent to benefit Mom you should be ok. Theres "gifting" but only legal if Mom did the gifting with her signature or legal document. In the event of her needing medicaid gifting is needed to be repaid if during the look back period. If you have paperwork stating Mom's daily needs cost of living and you are full time caregiver There is a legal amount allowed by law for this If supplying 24/7 care and room & board. So in reality it sounds like your sister is in deeper than you it may add up that she owes you and the government money. If you are the one supplying care in anyway for family members and that is your first priority Karma will take care of you believe me. Karma works both ways the ones worried about money over Mom's wellbeing well let me just say they will understand when it's too late to reverse thier choice and they will be the one to suffer in the end.
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The only problem I see is that you say you "wrote the checks to cash and signed HER name"... I'm not sure whether or not that would be considered forgery since your name IS on the account anyways, but, I would get some legal advice...
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What transpired after you took your mom to an attorney to write up a new will and relinquish any other POAs. I'm having a very similar issue where my sister used 85 percent of my mom's life savings to buy a now-undewater home.
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What transpired after you took your mom to an attorney to write up a new will and relinquish any other POAs? I'm having a very similar issue where my sister used 85 percent of my mom's life savings to buy a now-undewater home.
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What transpired after you took your mom to an attorney to write up a new will and relinquish any other POA's. I'm having a very similar issue where my sister used 85% of my mom's life savings to buy a now-undewater home.
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