I was just informed by email that my sister who lives in the same state as my mother recently moved my mother out of her home and into a senior citizen living community. My sister contacted me to help with my Mother's financial needs. I work a full time job and live on a limited budget, what are my options to help my mother financially? My sister now has power of attorney and has taken on the persona of a collection agency.

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It is amazing what brings out the best in people! No one put one thing aside of my mother's belongings for me (then the next woman my father took up with staged a break-in and stole all my mother's jewelry. . .), then no one put anything aside of my wonderful Aunt V's for me. . .(she practically raised me until we moved 300 miles away). . .but these people either kept her jewelry for themselves or dumped her belongings to a resale store. . .but, I finally said to them all "My Aunt V gave me something that NONE of you have", walked away and smiled and let them think about that one! Yes, tell her to sell it all. . .and it looks like there is plenty to take care of your mother after the sale of her home. Many of us are here for you and altho we don't know each other this site is fantastic for venting, sharing, and understanding. You can turn to us. . .and let your heart be mended.

I was informed that my sister is planning an estate sale and if I want anything to come and get it. I emailed my sister to let her know to please sell everything she can and use the money to help with my mothers expenses. My mother owns a home and my sister is in charge of selling it. I hope all the funds from the real estate sale go toward financial assistance for my mother. Thank you so much, I didn't know where to turn and have been completely heartbroken.

POA gives your sister the authority to act on your mother's behalf with your mother's money. She has no authority whatsoever over your money.

If she had contacted you and asked how much you could afford to contribute to your mother's living expenses and you had said $X per month, then you should feel responsible for contributing $X per month. But if you weren't contacted, or if you were contacted and did not agree to contributing something, then in my opinion you have no financial responsibility.

What are your options to help your mother financially?
1) Pay what your sister is asking for, and live on an even more limited budget (and not be able to save for your own old age).
2) Pay a smaller amount than what your sister is asking for. Be slightly less pinched yourself than in option 1.
30 Pay nothing. Explain to your sister that you cannot afford this contribution, and you are sorry she didn't give you a chance to explain that before she make a financial commitment for Mother.

Did Mother own her home? What happened to the money from the sale?

This sounds like a sad situation and may result in hurt feelings and strained relations. But the fact is, you are not responsible for any financial obligations you did not agree to. Often family members do contribute toward a parent's financial needs, but only when they agree to it in advance. It is irresponsible of a POA to sign the parent up for a financial commitment without making sure there is money available to pay for it. I'd say that Sister goofed, and she'll have to correct it as best she can. It is not your problem.

Whoa!!! Your sister should have been in contact you many months before moving your mother into the senior living community. It sounds like the conversations were between your mother and sister and you were left out of any decision making plans. If it were me, I'd be very frank with my sister stating that you would have liked to have been part of the decisions regarding your mother. I don't really think I would play into her hands of helping your mother financially until you got more information regarding what income your mother has and how much the senior community is costing and what needs your mother has. I wouldn't give up any information on my income or financial status, either. It is none of her business. There is help out there to supplement your mother's needs - let the sister find out about that since she seems so competent to have gotten this far without your help! Don't let anyone take advantage of you. . . and, I know it is hard when it comes to caring financially for your mother - but, it is not heartless to stand up for what you should have been informed about before this stage!

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