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Is my sister allowed to use my moms money in the bank to take care of her if she's already using all her S.S check every month? And how much is legal for her to use of the check every month.

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It is impossible to make anyone legally "care or love". I do want to say that it is better to be conservative and try to keep your family intact. Mediating is a skill worth learning.

As far as using a seniors social security goes - if she is in her right state of mind, it is better to try to come to terms with your sister. I read horror stories both ways, and am always amazed by how some people turn it into a complete power trip. People become caregivers for different reasons, and sometimes the family dynamics aren't healthy. You don't need a POA - you can be designated "representative payee". You may not even need a lawyer - try talking first. Carol made a good point about how it takes more money than most people think. Diapers are expensive, and so is everything else - from meds to cable for entertainment, to just life - and 'eldercare' is now being seen as the hot new growth industry (yep - look at how much those home health agencies and medical supply companies charge - yikes)

If you truly want to help, then start off by asking honestly what is going on with your mom and sister and whether you can help out and probably chip in to cover those expenses. If you figure 24/7 live in care, no social security check can cover that. If you truly believe that there is a problem then go for it, but first know what is really happening before calling a lawyer. (they are in business too.....so if you call one, be prepared to pay & have a fight)

On the sad side, there is many times the sibling who decides that they "know what's best" and make everyone elses life a living hell - look in the mirror occasionally and ask yourself if it is the right thing, or the thing you want. (nb - people who don't self-examine and make everyone else the problem usually don't take this step, so if you do it with a sincere heart, then you are 1/2 way to your solution). It is your mom's money and her life -
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A good attorney is your best protection for both your mom and yourselves. Please seek one out. Parkinson's related dementia can be particularly difficult. A family support group, clergy, or other resource for comfort and information would also be a part of my recommendation. Choose someone or a group you can trust with your feelings. Regarding your mom's well-being, every state has some form of protective services for elders. When the issues involve family dynamics, the reporting individuals must be prepared for conflict, anger, and possibly estrangment. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination but sometimes necessary for the safety of the elder at risk.
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Ronconccc:
Do not let another day go by. Find an attorney who is experienced in Elder Law and who can provide good references. Explain your situation and do exactly what he/she tells you to do. TIME IS of the ESSENCE! The longer your mom stays with your sister, the better case she can build against you. So even if you win in court, the damage done to your mom will be irreversible. There are state and federal laws designed to prevent this very situation so the law is on your side. Still you have to retain a lawyer to guide you because the law is also blind--your sister could easily be the one rescuing your mom from you. But as SecretSister related above: the burden of proof will be on your sister to explain why she did nothing to help mom since 2004. Hang in there!
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Currently, she is with my sister, and has been there for a week. I am calling an attorney today, and get things settled once and for all. I'm truly afraid the alcohol will kill her.

My daughters stopped over last night, and told me that while my sister was having her fabulous vacations, calling me and telling all about them, I couldn't get away at anytime. When Mom decided to overdose on laxatives, I was up at 2:OO AM running the carpet cleaner.
I know part of this sounds like a bit of a pity party, but my daughters reminded me that I, too, have a life, the right to vacations.
I have learned lots from all of you, and have decided that my life is about to change for the better.
My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer this past year, and while I was emptying catheter bags, helping him stay clean, etc., my sis stopped in for weekly visits for me to make her coffee, while she sat and smoked her cigs. At no time did it enter her mind to take Mom for a week or two so that I could concentrate on my husband.

Apparently, I am the family slave. However since slavery was abolished several centuries ago, I feel that perhaps my time and my life may actually have a value.
Thank you
roncon
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Dear ronconccc, Is your mom with you or with your sister. If you are in charge of her financially and health care, you must stop what is going on. I had problems with my brother, my mom had taken him in way before her illness was started after four marriages and three women in lived with and many children of all he walk out on, I had to talk to her. he abused her and took money and advantage of her. It was all listed in her will that was done way before she came down with the alzheimers. Even though some family members say they will help. they do more harm. mom was on medicine and I even beleive my own brother gave her some things. She is at peace now after taking care of her for ten years, watching over her and back and forth visist to New York from Florida. I moved her down to Florida in 2007 and she lived a good llife in a beatuful assisting living in Tampa Fl. I was able to take care of her on my own. My husband had a heart attack, and I was mis informed how bad her condtion was. I was with her every day almost and even did sleep overs. She past away in my arms. But I always made sure she was safe and cared for. Of which she got the most loving care any one could ask for. She is with dad now. The alcohol does not mix with the medicine they give for Azheimers/Dementia patients. Step in you sound like you care alot of what is going on, the nasty part is from the dementia. and the alcohol does not help matters. Yes your mom may turn on you but remember she does not mean it, it is part of the illness. I have gone through it all both sides from sweet and kind to the dark side. Hold you head up and you are doing the right thing. Talk to your sister and just ask if she is giving mom anything to drink. Tell mom you love her and will be there for her always. Bless you, hang in. patrica61
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thank you so much. I made a typo in my discussion.
She could take care of herself neither financially NOR physically. I went to an accountant, explained the situation, and he advised us that she should gift us the money on her IRS return if we would be the ones caring for her, and that's how it was handled. Mom is on several meds, none of which mix with alcohol, but after out last conversation I suspect that sis is giving her drinks. Mom was so nasty and beligerent with me.
I an truly concerned with her well being, but with her dementia, she is easily swayed, and I understand that people with this condition easily turn on the one they have depended on for so long.
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Get thee to an attorney. You must protect yourself from your sister's wickedness. NOT a good situation. I would also question whether your sister has your mother's best interests at heart. Hopefully, you documented everything you and your husband did. If not, do so now. Your sister will not be able to say what she's done to help your Mom since 2004, so that will speak volumns. But find a good lawyer. (They're not all good.) You need to protect your Mom, as well... (Probably she cannot.) Will be praying for you. Let us know how things work out.
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I posted this prob lem on another topic and did not get many responses, so I'll try it here.
My Dad passed away in 1999, leaving my mom in her own home. My husband and I retired to move to Florida, just a few blocks from her.
She was then diagnosed with Parkinsons, and it soon became apparent that she could no longer live alone, financially not physically. She didn't even have enough money left to pay her taxes. I called my sister, who responded "sorry, I have my own life."
After much thought, we decided to sell both our small homes, and build one that was large enough for the three of us, and of course the house had to be granny proofed, i.e., no step downs, seats in the shower, etc.
I forgot to mention that my sister has been an alcoholic for at least 35 years and cares about noone but herself.
When the decision to build a house was made, I called my sister and told her that Mom's money was going into the new house, the house would be in my and my husbands name only, and that there would be no inheritance for her. Her reply was, "do whatever you need to do."
My mother has the dementia that goes along with Parkinsons.
My husband and I have lived with her since 2004, covering all her expenses. We pay the taxes, utilities, food, insurances, and car expenses, leaving Mom with over $1000 per month to spend on whatever she wishes. In other words, we have cared for her 24/7, without any offer from dear sis.
Now, she is divorced, and during this past week has convinced my Mother that we cheated her out of her money, and we should give all the money back. Sis came and got her and Mom has lived there for a week, and is now so against me that I cannot even discuss anything on the phone with her.
Advise, please
We have spent everything we have on Mom's care, and cannot afford to give anything back.
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Sadly, ezcare is right. Money and relatives do make strange bedfellows. For some reason, family members who take no role in caregiving sometimes feel entitled to their elder parents' resources, perhaps resisting the access of necessary care in the interest of saving those resources. If your POA has not been revoked, you should retain some authority to at least make certain money is being spent wisely and in your parent's behalf. Please see an attorney to determine your rights and responsibilties with any changes that have been made. Difficult an action as it may be, each state has elder protective services designed to prevent the misappropriation of an elder's assets. One must be prepared for the strong possibilities of broken relationships if such action is taken. These are always difficult and heartbreaking situations.
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Yes, ezcare. I am in your corner. Come out fighting. I trust no one!!!! Sad, I know, but I have learned my lesson.
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naheaton,
You are a wonderful daughter-in-law to have taken on this responsibility with such a loving attitude! Have you considered the other side of the coin? What if one of the other two sons has an incident of Identity Theft that enables a scam artist to withdraw money from this account without your knowledge or the son's knowledge. You could be caught in the middle since you have the Master Key to this account. With POA, it may be YOUR responsibility to "audit" the account and ensure that all withdrawals are reconciled. Are you able/willing to do this? My experience has been that money and relatives make strange bedfellows. The more money involved, the stranger it gets.
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I started out being the P.O.A on my mother-in-laws account, because I was paying the bills. There are 3 sons, I am married to #3. There was no problem with any of the sons having me pay the bills, but I wanted at least one of the other sons on the account too. Now we have all three sons as co-owners of her bank acct. and I am still the POA, which I like just fine. Once she dies my job is done and they can do whatever between them. I also made sure I set her account up online and gave the password and username to all the boys if they should ever want to check on anything I'm doing. Being accountable is important, even though I would never steal from her. It's her money, not mine.
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Hand everything over to your sister. That includes your mom. Now more shared living. She is no longer your responsibility. Wow, what a snot!!!!!! Get a good lawyer and make sure your name is off of everything. Under no circumstances should you giver one thin dime of your money to mom's care until this is settled. Godd luck. Now I know why I put a password on mom's trust and brother does not know it. He also does not see her without me being with her, so he can't do anything to undermine me and myn care of our mom. He is glad to have no part of it anyway. Out of sight, out of mind.

Listen to Neon; she is one smart lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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SC: You really have been had by one of your sisters... The only thing to do at this point is the legal route......an elder lawyer, or one who understands trust law. Good Luck
Norene
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whoever it was changed to and I suspect it was the sister who took her to the attorney to begin with will be liable for your mothers treatment stop beating yourself up your sister took advantage of your mothers fragility and it will bite her on the butt, another money grabber if she uses all your mothers money than the state will have to take it over make sure your mom has medicare and or medicaid as a prevention. you may have to seek the help of an attorney maybe yours husbands work place will supply one sometimes companies do this for their employees. Your sister is being very secretive and I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. Where has she been all the years prior...... my guess plotting. Greedy funny how we come from the same family the same moral upbringing and then bingo there is evil in our midst. Good luck with this one but try to get your ducks in a row now just because it is expected of you doesn't mean you have to do it I would tell my sister this is now your duty I've done it all along and if she plays the nurse card just say apparently I didn't know what I was dealing with until you showed up.
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My elderly parents have lived with my sister and me for the last 11 years. They split their time 6 months at each home. They have paid us $500 per month for their room and board. I have been trustee and have the power of attorney for medical and financial. My father passed away in my home at 90 years old a few months ago. We assisted my mother with all of the details associated with my father's passing. My husband, trained in financial planing, has taken over paying the bills. My dad had everything on quicken and was auto paying their bills, so this was an easy transition. My mother does not understand computers or about the financial part. They have about $60,000 in CDs. Dad was not using their old living trust as they had sold their home 11 years ago and their net worth was less than $100,000. I had been listed as co signer on their CDs and checking account. I am a nurse and my husband and I have always been the primary caregiver when anything is wrong with my parents - we are very trustworthy. When my dad passed, a third sister, one who had never been around or had my parents in her home came and asked mom to move in with her for a "few weeks". This third sister took mom to a lawyer and had her get a trust and update her will. I asked my mother not to reinstate her trust because of the expense, it was $1000. I tried to explain to her that her existing will split everything evenly between the three sisters and that a trust was not necessary as she has only $60,000 in CDs, no property and only SS an an income. My mother is frail, 91 years old and very vulnerable since the death of her husband. Now it is time for her to come back to stay with me. She has told me that my name has been taken off of all accounts, she now has reinstated her trust. She has changed the trustee and power of attorney. When I asked who the current trustee is, she says it is not for me to know. My question is: Don't I have a right to know who the trustee is and who has power of attorney when she is living in my home. I have tried to explain a scenario for example. If she has a stroke and I need to hire caregivers to help with her care, I will need to know how to access her money. She says that won't happen. My husband is concerned that we will be forced to use our own retirement if we do not have this information. We are not on speaking terms with either sister after my father's death. One sister is upset with me because my mother gave her husband her car and I insisted that mom transfer the name over to him to protect herself - my sister thought that it should stay in my mom's name. My other third sister who recently showed up is upset with me for questioning her about why she took mom to an attorney and had everything that we had set up redone in a trust. We have always been the primary caregivers, that is the way my father had it set up, I am the one who stays in the hospital with them, I am the one who arranges the medical care because it is expected of me, the oldest daughter, the nurse.
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Lots of wise advice. Not much more to offer except don't rely on assumptions that family will act ethically, that verbal agreements are enough, and Mom or Dad's needs will always be considered the prime criteria when resources are spent. Legal agreements, advice, honest communication, and accountability go a long way toward preserving family relationships and assuring that parents' money is spend on their care.
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N1K2R3,

Get a good elder lawyer who knows how this works. Mine was awful. He had so many typos on the document that I had to put my initials on about 20 different paragraphs. My friend had a great one and only paid about 800.00. Mine was 3,000. So shop around. We are going to do it when we move to the adult community that we have eyes on. Our daughter will have control if we can no longer manage. In it it will state that the money must be used for our care!!!! Safeguards are important! Good luck.
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Ummmm. You gave me something to think about. The reason that I subscribe to this site is because I am one of "them". Just like Father Damien in Hawaii, who lived among the lepers, he announced one day that he was "one of you", sticken with leperosy. I too am an old person ( not a leper), and I am counting my money, putting some money aside for my care when I can no longer fend for myself. in addition to that, I have a pension fund and of course the S.S. money. Now it's a question of who will put the bell on the cat. Who will care for me (the daily activities of life). Whoever it is shall be paid and paid well. I never thought of a trust with a business I.D.
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Carol is so right. People who don't take the caregiver position in the family, have no idea how much it costs. At 21.00 an hour for 24 hours a week, it all adds up. I need a life and made it perfectly clear to my mother, brother and SIL that I was not giving up mine while brother sits on his behind and does NOTHING. I also told them that if they didn't like it they could make other arrangements. So far I have not hear a peep out of them.. When it is all gone, we will fall back on her SS. Right now we are doing fine and I have a life. All good! However, it can all turn on a dime, so we are selling our house, moving into a 55 and over and saving a bunch of money each year just by cutting down our property taxes( the highest in the nation)!!!! I have POA and a trust with a password, so brother can't get in!!!! So boundaries, a firm stand on your position about finances, and a plan are the best advice I received. Get a formal trust with a business id. After 5 years the money is untouchable!
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This type of abuse happens and it's unforgivable. Someone must have had POA, or they couldn't have done it. That shows how careful we must be with assigning a POA.

Obviously the care of this poor woman wasn't of any concern to her relatives. How horribly sad this is.
Carol
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there was only a article on the Tv last night Fri Aug 28, 2009 regarding a women who was 83 and had cancer. her own counsins did not thingk she was going to live so they went ahead and spend all the money. The women went in to admission and is whit out anything. they sold her home and senpt over $300,000.00 of her money. it did not state if they were her legal caregivers or power of attorney. money can make people do very terrible things to others. If your sister is being well care for and loved and kept clean there is nothing that can be done. patricia61
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As Lois says, tread carefully. If your mom is being cared for and her money is being used to make that happen, it's not being abused. Perhaps your sister needs to be more open with the bookkeeping, but she may or may not be using undue influence. She may be just to run ragged to think about updating all the books for everyone’s benefit, but that should be done so suspicion can be averted.

In the end, unless our parents are very wealthy, if they live a long time with dementia their care will use up all of their money. That’s what it’s there for.

If your sister is giving as good or better care than your mom got in the home, then your mom will likely be fine. But if you sister is just keeping your mom there to save money for inheritance, then this needs looking into.

Taking legal measures with this will likely rupture your family. I your mom is not being properly cared for, then that could be necessary. But think carefully about this, because if she is getting good care and nothing wrong is being done with the money, you could end up with a ruptured family, a legal bill and nothing else changed. Only you can decide. The bottom line is that this is about your mom and how well she is cared for.


Take care,
Carol
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You certainly do find yourself in a very difficult situation. If you feel strongly that your mom's funds are being mismanaged, ask yourself if you are prepared to take on the job. Then, ask yourself if you are prepared for the potential impact any action you take may have on your family relationships. Ultimately, you must do what you feel is in your mom's best interest. Guardianship is an awesome resposibility and the process can alienate and divide families. Consult an attorney and any elder protective services your state may have available for input. Tread carefully and with full preparation. Good Luck.
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Romevelarde, when I first read the post I was replying to Jeredano's post. You have a very specific situation that needs to be addressed. Your sister was named POA by either your father or mother and now your mother is no longer able to make good cognitive choices. Your sister moved your mother out of her paid for home and into her's- in another city. You have three siblings who continue to provide care for your mother in your sisters home. Your mom has moderate dementia and is being well cared for. So the main concern is that your sister is going to have undue influence on her and that mom needs to have money in a "war chest" for her future care. How do the siblings who are caring for her feel about this situation? Did the move change your caregiving role? You're right- Mom can live for quite a few more years and with this in mind all of the money will be gone. If this happens she will be eligible for Medicaid and have most of her needs paid for from the government. Concern over future care and expenses is important but the reality is that we need to pay for the now. As to undue influence, Mom is in no position to change any of her financial papers. If you think that your sister is taking advantage of Mom then you should go for a guardianship. Know that unless your siblings are on board with this you may lose the relationship that you have with them. A guardianship, although expensive, will make your sister accountable. Check with your attorney, in some states the POA's fees are paid for out of the trust or estate.
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To: Nataly1. I want to clarify that my Mom has her own home with no mortgage, has excellent insurance coverage, has pensions from her work and my Dad's, plus some savings. She is very, very fortunate, believe me.
She needs 24/7 care due to her dementia which is diagnosed as moderate but not due to physicial disability. She is in great health. Mom wants to be in her own home and was there until my sister, the POA, moved her to her home in a different city without any consultation of her siblings or with Mom. Mom could pay for in-home care.
Right now 3 siblings rotate her care and we are not concerned about transportation costs or anything related to that aspect of her care. Her needs are all taken care of because of my parents' wise planning and frugal lifestyle. I agree that good caregiving is done out of love. My siblings and I have always lovingly cared for our parents.
My concern centers around the fact that my sister, the POA, acts unilaterally as the decision maker and not as part of a caregiving team. She has taken advantage of my Mom's savings because she refuses to act as part of the team and refuses to recognize that we must prepare for Mom's future needs.
Please understand that discussion with a lawyer must take place when the parent/parents are not in any way incapacitated. This did not happen in my Mom's case. Mom's lawyer was unknown to her--not a family attorney with history of my Mom's case. This is the primary problem.
Yes, she is well-cared for and one could argue that it is best to leave well enough alone. Cutting my sister some slack will leave Mom vulnerable to her undue influence and possibly with absolutely no savings/income for the future. Who will take up the slack then? romerovelarde
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I feel your pain and confusion. Dispite not knowing all the facts and reading all of the postings I'm going to dive in and discuss a view that hasn't been addressed. The reality is, once a person appoints another to their POA the only way to challenge it is through guardianship- an expensive, lenghty, legal battle. Is this about the money spent or about her care?
Depending on where you live, costs will vary. I don't know how much your mother receives from SS but the reality is that even for a well person- it's hard to make ends meet. You never said who lives with mom. The cost of her home, motgage or rent, taxs, insurance, laundry, meals, transportation, activities, utilities, household maintenance, housekeeping and personal assistence- not to mention aides and their needs ( internet, phone, food etc) combined this total tab can run over $7,000 per month. I don't know about you, but I've never met someone who has benefits that will come even close to this amount. Does your sister handle moms daily needs? If so she should legally ask the estate for a management fee. Does she use her car to run errands and pick up supplies for Mom? Then she should be entitled to insurance on her car- home health agencies in Fl tack on a $1 charge per mile. Did she buy a car with Mom in mind to transport her- then she should charge some of the costs to the estate. As POA any legal challenges that you may have, she may have her legal fees covered under the estate and you will have to use your personal funds to challenge it. Even if you win, it may be a loss for Mom. Your sister may walk away and place her in a home because she no longer wants to fight you.
Good caregiving is often done out of love and with great emotional and financial sacrifice. If you believe that Mom is not being well cared for, then go forward with what you plan to do. If your sister is meeting all of your Moms needs and her wish is to remain at home- give your sister some slack.
There are courts to "protect" financial accountability. There is no court of law for emotional or physical accountability.
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As I read all these comments about aging care, I keep wondering if the love is there? Hope so.
What I wouldn't give to have just ten minutes with my husband again to see him in his wheelchair or special bed, helpless but watching all that we did, espcially the feeding, and tv along with magazine pictures to view.
He went too soon.....age 81.
Please don't let any of this be a burden to you all. Care-give with smiles, laughter, enjoyment and sunshine.
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Sometimes when a family member gets ill the family does not always agree. Remember you mom may have choosen a special family member to take care of her and watch over her money. It does not always work like that. But you and your sister have to sit down and talk things over. If there is a power of attorney sometimes the lawyer will ask for a second person to be listed and all the legal documents. Don'e fight who is in charge of the money it is your moms and needs to used for her care for medical and personal needs not for the spending on other things. You may have to meet with a lawyer and also speak to her doctor about her condition. My mom made me ther sole power of attorney and also her brother if someting happen to me. i do have a brother, of which abuse my mom, however the lawyer made sure everything was written in her will and other paper work well before she got sick.patrica61
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Some may have confused my comments with a question posed by Jeredmo. Neonwocky, maybe that question is what caused your suspicion?
Thank you for your prayers. Your Mom is very fortunate to have you.
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