Understanding what having a joint account with a caregiver can mean..

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I put this out there in hopes that this will not happen to another family.

My aunt became a co-signer on her 92 year old father's bank account. She has essentially taken everything he has ($250,000), ran up credit cards (also a co-signer), let his lights, water and trash service be disconnected. His property taxes went unpaid for two years and were due to be auctioned off - all without his knowledge because she had the mail re-routed so that he would not know. We met with the police and essentially, because she is a co-signer, they say that there is nothing anyone can do. It is her money by way of being a co-owner.

Understand what making someone a joint signer means. The POA is bad enough...but the joint signer is what made it legal. She's figure out the perfect crime and is walking away scott free. He on the other hand is probably going to have to file bankruptcy and will lose his house as he can't afford the credit card payoff.

Sad state of affairs when the law protects the criminals. :(


That is the danger of making an adult child a co-owner of bank accounts and co-signer of credit cards.
My sister made Mom put her name on her checking and savings accounts. She has robbed her blind. Mom became mentally ill, and sister made Mom sign over her land (all 5 acres) to her after Mom became mentally ill. Can the APS investigate this ? Anyone ever dealt with APS before? What can they do to help me get Momin a nursing home or move in with me. I could take care of her. Thanks much.
I can't speak for VA ( I am the original poster about Grandpa in Florida) - but I can tell you what ended up happening in our case.

APS was called - as were the police in the county that he lived in. Essentially, once he agreed to putting her on his bank accounts, he essentially was saying that his money was her money. We went as far as the state attorney general in Florida, Pam Biondi, but was told that yes, it was a shame and yes, it was wrong, but legally his only option was to file a civil suit. That would be fine if she still had the money, but she spent it all. Eventually we ended up moving him away from there to here and he's had to start all over at 93.

Our dealings with APS was that because he was not mentally incompacitated and she was not physically or mentally abusing him currently, they did not get involved.

You may have some room to do something with the signing the land over after your mother was mentally ill -not sure.

Sad state of affairs - these people are vulnerable to coersion in my opinion and seemingly the law is on the side of the abusers :(
I agree 100 percent. I will say my concern regarding a similar situation regarding first my father, then my mother has fallen on deaf ears. Even an attorney advised me and sister there is not much we can do. Brother is a selfish money grubbing "caretaker" probably fiscally abusive to say the least. Unfortunately, our mother thinks he is her savior and has refused to speak to either of us. We have been disowned and removed from the will (dads), which was forged, barred from the property, not allowed to "Help" or even attend a memorial service for my Dad.

My mother lives in government housing, takes herself to the doctor. Brother has half the land ( mother and Dads ) for sale, has kept it locked up, (was open to any family as long as Dad was alive and never locked but was the day after Dad died) and brother got himself a new trailer and a new wife and is living on the land, while mom is left to rot in Government housing 30 miles away. She is 81.

He takes moms car and leaves her a shift truck without out power steering, that she cant drive. ( ( I gave this car to Dad before he died and brother took it before dad died because brothers car was reprocessed. )
It is awful. Sis and I had to know all our parents stuff was stolen or sold by brother, we were offered NOTHING minimally sentimental even, and lied about to moms relatives upstate. .

He was controlling dads remains, for goodness sake.
It all smacks of the perfect crime, with plenty of evidence, BUT no one will or can do anything. I just went through a divorce that co incided with Dads termenal diagonoises, and have no money to fight any of this. Both Sis and I did consult seperate attornies, only to be told if our mother is ok with this and we are not in the will, nothing will be done.
Unreal. He has abused parents and profits. I cannot even talk to my mother for over a year now, because he has her " under his spell". There is more but I will tell you, it seems a no brainer that walking away is the only option us targeted siblings have.
Will was. changed just days before our father died, and not approved till 2 months after he died. It hurts like heck, all the way around, for all the obvious reasons, and to me clearly a misuse of fiducary responsiblility. I am well aware how sis and I were "painted " to look. All figmants of brother greed induced imagination.
Sis and I did everything to be a part of our parents care, but brother wanted a monopoly for obvious reasons, we didnt fully understand at the time. We were called "difficult" because we did not condone his greed induced abuses. Horrific.
Let me make clear as I have been accused of only caring about the will by an out of state aunt..lied to by abusive and greedy brother.
I care about this primarily from the legal ramifications. If you are not a beneficary, they consider that legally you are as a stranger and have no standing in ANY matters pertaining to the elder. That is why the first thing greedy caretakers, and I use that term loosely, push to change. POA is medical or legal. Most sibs take the medical POA. as also legal in fiscal metters. You can bet the smart rip off the relatives and elders parties learn real quick to co erce the elder to change the will and names on accounts. This gives them unchecked liberty to abuse the elder and ANY other caring family members, but eliminating their standing. Hospices encourage this as it makes their death koolaids easier to dispense with when only dealing with 1 family member. Sick, sad and morally and ethically wrong, but if made legal this way, by threats or taking advantage of elders dependency and fear...legal all around. Elder abused, stolen from, and quickly dear. Perfect crime. It is Americas silent scandal that NO one is doing anything about, including APS. Family is helplessly made to endur with tied hands. So wrong.
Quickly dead. Hospices offer free cremation, as that destroys all evidence of them or family unnecessairly overmedicating to leave the elder dying from slow dehydration and starvation, without oxygen to offset these leathal effects.
I apologize for my run on sentences and poor spelling. This is very emotional. I am typing on a phone which makes it hard to proof read and it is late and I am also very tired. Thanks for listening. I reread posts and I appear to have made several mistakes.

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