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My brother has asked for $ from my mother's very limited account in order to fly his 4 member family to see her. Now he wants more $ for more visits. Can I deny his request as it drains her funds? She is in an alzheimer/dementia facility.

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Bradley, I think you should call the lawyer who drew up your POA for your father. I think the cost of the flight ticket is probably justified considering his current health status or if you also have the Health Care Proxy for him. I am not sure. BUT I do know that as POA's we are obligated to document all necessary monies spent only for the good of and on behalf of the person for whom we are POA. Calling the attorney first is advisable to clarify your rights as POA. I would also review the legal documents if you have them in your possession. Good luck and I hope you get to see your Dad soon.
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As poa can I purchase a plane ticket to go see family member in nurseing home,I don't think he has long to live.I really don't have the money to fly.I live out of state and he is my father.
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Awesome! Good for you for taking on that task. I know it hurts to do that to your brother but he needs to grow up. Maybe you should screen those calls to your mother in the future. Your mother deserves better than that. Hugs
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Thank you for all your input. I did go to a lawyer who said I was not to give my brother any money. One reason is due to Mom's limited funds and my responsibility to be prudent about expenses. Secondly, he said that if we have to apply for Medicaid, all personal expenses will have to be paid back. I'll never see that money back from him. After telling him what the lawyer said, he still hassled my mother on the phone for the cash to travel and said I left her stressed because she will never see him again. Of course she acted up after each of his calls, demonstrating what he cared for is what he wanted and not what she needed first. At this point I have not heard from him for 3-4 weeks and it is bliss. However, he still calls Mom and the aides have to do triage after his calls. I spoke to her psyc and social worker and hopefully they will come up for a plan that tells him to lay off the stressors and instead call with supporting news. I am in awe of all caregivers and what is done to support their family members. It is a long road that nobody would wish to travel, but the strength of all is amazing!
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Why do all four family members of the family have to go? If he really wants to see his mother, he could come alone or bring one child this time the other child the next time. It sounds like a vacation opportunity in the making. How much time is actually spent with Mom? My Dad had alzheimers and he was not able to understand how his limited funds should be used. What will happen if her funds are used for "trips" and then when she needs funds for her own personal needs her funds will be gone? I have taken care of my Dad 6 years and now my Mom for 17 years, she is legally blind and deaf. If I wasn't managing her money responsibly all these years, I would be having to pay for her needs out of my own money. I tried to please family for years and nothing I decided was right or good enough for them.
I decided I am responsible to take care of my parents and what others THINK is not in my control. All I wanted was support and appreciation for all that I have done and still doing. I had one brother and for me his name should have been "useless"!
All of my family of origin are gone now except me and my Mom and she is 97. It is still hard to be responsible for my Mom and her needs but at least I don't have the complainers and judges to deal with! My husband and my two adult children are so good to me. They help me and I am so grateful to God that I have them in my life. I choose to look for what is good in my situations because what is not good is not going to help me in any way. I am a great daughter, wife, mom and gramma and I say that because I am and I need to affirm myself often. Pleasing others won't get you anywhere, so at least please yourself and take care of your Mom. God bless you.
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Dear Gem, Thank you for your kind and supportive comment. We all need a little boost of encouragement now and then. Along with the educational advices, that's part of what makes this forum so valuable.
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I think I said it earlier when this discussion started, not even considering legal ramificaations, don't do it. It's so extremely wrong of him being so willing to take advantage of the situation that it makes me want to punch him! However, with the threat of legal ramifications to either you or your mother, I especially wouldn't do it. He's a big boy, he can figure it out. If he's unwilling to accept that you can't put your mother or yourself in a compromising situation, then he's only being selfish.
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I don not have the answer, but you all continue to verify, how faithful many children are to their parents. Even if it means, them giving up things for themselves. Yes, there is the negative news out there. BUT LET US HOLD HIGH THOSE WHO ARE SO FAITHFUL ON A DAILY BASIS, WITH LITTLE OR NO RECOGNITION!
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I am my mother's only child and I have both DurablePOA and HealthCareProxy. Since my mother is in the NH with dementia (alzheimers/senility - I know there are subtle differences), she is incapable of making her own decisions on critical matters (especially financial/health/personal safety). Therefore it is the DPA/POA's fiducuary responsibility to make responsible and legally justifiable decisions regarding valid expenditures of her money. It is natural for usto want to go along with "Mom's wishes" just to make her happy - but we have to realize that our fiduciary responsibilty overrides her wishes since she is incapable of understanding the Medicaid eligibility rules or that we in our fiduciary responsibility can ourselves be held responsible for mishandling of her funds. I still have to use what little is left in her checking acct to pay her past balance due for utilities, and other bills she was responsible for up to August (just finished cleaning out her old apt). In the state of NJ, the patient is allowed to keep only $35 per month for personal expenses, and the NH gets the rest of the patient's income (SS/pension/etc). She is still in the "Medicaid pending" status for institutional Medicaid. Guess who foots the bills for getting her hair and nails done once a month, doing her laundry, taking her out to eat once in awhile, gasoline for traveling back & forth to doctors and once a week personal visitations? Me - of course - and my own financial status is suffering for it. I have been keeping track of what I spend my money on for her, and I am wondering/ hoping if I can reimburse myself out of the funds she has left after paying her bills and leaving her $35 allowance in the account. If not, I hope I can claim on my tax returns the money I spend on her needs as unreimbursed caregiver expenses? Except for grocery shopping, I still do all the same things I did as a caregiver before she went into the NH. Claire, if you are still following this topic, perhaps you can give your insight on this matter? Also, according to the NH billing admin, the only things I can deduct from her SS check are the $35 monthly allowance and Mom's secondary (Medigap) health insurance premium which she is allowed to contnue paying. Does anyone know differently about this? I am sure Blackandwhite and all of us could benefit from other people's knowledge of these matters.
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Just reread a few of the posts and noticed that indeed your mom in an alzhemiers unit. That makes the picture a bit different. And no there is only a certain amount of money that can be set aside monthly for some personal items that may not be provided by the care home. This would be a problem, when it comes time for you to account for her monetary resources. However, that does not negate some of the other things I did post above!!!!
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Colorado, I think you mean well but unless money is no object and that is not the case here, then the advice about fiduciary responsibility, transfer penalty when Medicaid is involved, etc. should come first. If Medicaid invokes this penalty, could that mean that the POA would have to come up with their own money to keep Mom in the facility? I know the saying "it's their (the elder's) own money, they can do what they want," but let's be realistic here; if the elder's money is wasted, then the family will be forced to step in, if they have any conscience. Maybe legally they can just say "no we are not helping", but kids with any kind of decency are not going to see the elder put out on the street, so protecting an elder's assets for that elder's use is the fairest thing all around, including fairness to family members who realistically will be called upon to help.
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I say pay it. Its just money and be glad he wants to see his mom. Maybe not pay for the whole family but him, yes.
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blackandwhite, If it had been my mom's wishes to see me, but I knew she couldn't afford to fly me out, I'd get myself into my car and drive across country if necessary. Tell your brother it's time for a road trip, cause you're not flying him out.
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This is a complicated situation. Having POA does not give you the complete authority to make all the decisions for that person. Simply it gives you the right to sign and take care of their BILLS. That being said, of course you would be expected to use common sense and take care of all her bills first. If it is her wish to see a child who does not have the ability to pay for a flight out and she would like to see them, then so be it. This of course depends on the situation, case by case.
Too many people think that if they are the POA that they should control all the money. That is called a guardianship, as I understand it???? Many times these situations just become POWER STRUGGLES, plain and simple. And many times it is all about everyone looking out for their best interest financially. THE GOAL IS TO BE WHAT IS IN THE PERSON NEEDING ASSISTANCE, BEST INTEREST, NOT THE CHILDREN ETC. AS I SEE IT, THE MAJOR PROBLEM IS THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT WILLING TO COMMUNICATE IN A MANOR THAT WILL BE MOST HELPFUL TO ALL INVOLVED. SADLY, IN MANY INSTANCES IT IS ALL ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, AND HOW CAN I BENEFIT MOST IN THIS SITUATION!!!!!!!!!!
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I agree 100% Claire, you are so right. I wouldnt ever, as DPOA waste my Moms money on others with any possibility I could be held accountable. I think this is a nice way of getting out of it too, she can just say that she legally cannot do it.
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NO!!! As POA you are her agent and, I assume, also have her fiduciary responsibilities. You have the responsibility to safeguard HER assets for HER use. That does NOT include paying bills for your brother (his/family travel expense). Doing so would be construed as a distribution or gift to him/them and could affect her Medicaid eligibility time frame if her funds run too short and she still needs to be in a facility. Your attorney was out of line to encourage you to supply the funds to begin with. I know it's an emotional difficulty, particularly if your mother knows about his demand and wants you to give him the funds, but you need to do what is necessary and that is to tell your brother, sorry, that you cannot accommodate his request(s) because, as much as mom would love them to come, since the money is so limited you can't do it. It would absolutely have an adverse impact on your mother's resources -which you have accepted a legal responsibility to protect and administer. He can figure out his family's finances/resources for a visit. Things are tough all over.

b-t-w I am a CPA (accountant) and my husband is an attorney. I'm certainly not an expert on Elder Law and neither is my husband, but I am my mother's (dementia) POA and am having to deal with situations like this more than I ever expected or wanted to.... :(
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I think you could be held liable and asked to pay this back as a POA not forfilling her duties properly. There is a lot to being a POA and you are the one who ultimately will be responsible. Your Moms in a alz unit meaning you are the one who had to make the correct decisions now , I wouldnt dare. Siblings! Grrrrr
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Dear Black&White: Igloo572 is absolutely correct. With your mother's limited funds, even if she is not on Medicaid yet, she may soon need to be. Regardless of who has POA, her funds can be spent on nothing other than her own personal care. I am going through the process right now woth my Mom. Medicare will look at the previous 5 years worth of bank statements and financial assets (the 5-yr look-back period). Any large expenditures or funds or property given to another person will have to be explained as they can be viewed as a transfer of assets (financial or property) geared toward the purpose of hiding her assets to make herself eligible for Medicaid. The consequences are as Igloo described above - not a pretty scenario. So get tough with your brother and his family - he is not entitled to her money for any reason. Whether or not your Mom wants to give it to him, she is no longer responsible to make that decision, so you have to protect her financial assets only for her personal, medical, and institutional care only. Keep good records - you will need them for justification in the future.
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black & white - you don't mention how your mom is paying for her care at the facility but if Medicaid is paying or you may have to apply for Medicaid in the future, there could be a "transfer penalty" for spending mom's $ on something other than her care and personal needs. Remember there is a 5 year lookback that could occur on mom's finances if she needs to go to Medicaid in the future. Buying your adult brother his and his family's airfare to visit mom could cause a transfer penalty as this would be $ that could have been spent on her care but instead was spent on a family member (and one who doesn't even live in the same city or seems to be providing any care). Google "Medicaid transfer penalty" and then use this as the reason why NOT to pay for their airfare.

The penalty makes them ineligible for Medicaid for a certain period of time based on the amount of $$ misspent and the reimbursement rate for NH Medicaid for your state. For example, in Texas it's about $ 148.00 a day & TX has a rather low reimbursement rate. It sounds like you would be the one that all of this will fall to to deal with and can you personally come up with the $ to pay off the transfer penalty? The sad fact is that if they live long enough they will run out of $ - unless your are truly generationally wealthy.
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Deny away I say. Unless said brother was coming to take over her care or allow you respite for awhile, there is no need to you to finance his trip with others to see mom. IMO, personally he should be ashamed for even asking, ALF & NH care is expensive andthat money should be used solely for mom's care.
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There's a difference between "wanting to" and "having to" fund these types of expenses. Your mother needs to be aware of her overall financial situation as it relates to her ability to outlive her resources. If you are the POA, you have a fiduciary responsibility to assure her assets are there for her long term care. If she is able to make decisions legally, then she should be able to understand the law of supply and demand. Perhaps your brother needs the same lesson. Ask him if he will financially be able to contribute to mom's care when her funds run low due to unnecessarily expecting someone of her age and perhaps limited resources to pay for this type expense. If he commits to supporting her financially also, great! If he doesn't, then cut him out of this process as he's only stealing from her in what he percieves as his "right" as a son. You wonder what some people think..........
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I say don't pay. That just sets up a guilt trip and you don't need that. You need to only be concerned with paying your mother's bills. If your brother wants to see your mother, he will find a way on his own. That is his responsibility. Sorry, but he is really taking advantage of you and your mother.
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Been there..........I am so sorry you have to deal with this.
.Your Mom has limited money, needs her money to PAY THE BILLS, but wants to give money away.
.Yes, it is her money. Yes, it is good for her to see her family.
.
.The situation has changed............
.
.Your Mom is in a facility now. Your mom may live for another few months, or she may live for years. The POA makes you legally responsible for paying her bills; your first obligation is to pay HER bills. Despite the impression that lawyer gave you before, your brothers' vacation is not a valid expense now.
.Please, talk to an accountant. This does not have to be complicated. Since your Mom doesn't have a lot of money, try to set it up so you don't have to see the accountant on a regular basis, just as needed. A simple system, using a notebook should be fine. Keep the receipts in an envelope or staple them into the notebook. You may be able to reimburse yourself for expenses, but check with the accountant so you do it correctly. When your Mom passes, you may have to present this accounting to the estate. If the accountant and the lawyer do not agree, ask questions. Always err on the side of caution - keep the money only for your Moms care. Keep in mind that lawyers charge by the hour, and some even charge for phone calls. Lawyers are there to help us, but always be mindful that this is how they make their money. Most accountants charge by the hour, but some have "package deals" that include specific services. Google about this so you can be as knowledgeable and concise as possible when paying someone by the hour.
,.............

.I don't know your brother and I apologize if I sound alarmist........
I can only speak from first hand experience. When it comes to money, sometimes, people who you think are normal and reasonable, go crazy. ......so, follow the POA, both in letter and in spirit.
.The added benefit of using some kind of accounting assistance is that you won't get upset or confused when something like this comes up. Do it right from the beginning and you will be confident that you did the legal, moral, ethical and honorable thing. Good luck.
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I'm no expert considering my mom has less than limited funds and my sister, her husband and their 5 kids are pretty much in the same situation financially, so the question has never come up. We just all keep hoping that we'll be able to make a visit happen before it's too late. However, you have the POA and you have a legal responsibility to look out for your mother's best interests. If you were to ask my mom about it her immediate answer will be, "I'll pay for it!" She has no money, but she thinks she does. In other words, relying on your parents choice may not be the best decision. There's also a difference between there being a true need and the ability to fulfill that need and one just taking advantage, even if he/she doesn't mean to. As much as your brother may want to come and see your mother, maybe you should "just say no". He needs to save up the money for these visits if he truly wants him and his family to see your mother. Where there's a will, there is always a way. Good Luck!
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If your mother wants to pay, that is her wishes but only if she really wants to. Being someone who has to fly to visit almost all of my family, I can tell you it gets very expensive. If the brother has no money to start with, well he just has no money for this. Can he drive? We used to drive all three girls up to see Grandma and Grandpa twice a year.

I have a neighbor whose mom pays for her son and grandchildren to fly from Washington State to Florida one or twice a year. He has a good job but not good enough to afford the thousands of dollars this would cost him. The grandparents can afford it, so they are generous.

My mother can well afford to pay for my airline ticket but she is way too cheap and I don't need the help.

Think of it like this, how long does your mother have? Would seeing her son and grandchildren do her alot of good? Even if he expects it, time is short and once life is over, it can't be reversed. If he can't see his mother because he is truly needy, that is sad. Think about it.
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Thanks-Without a lot of money, she was paying for him to fly in because he was without funds. Then last Sept. the lawyer suggested it was a good idea for his family to see her this year as the grandchildren had not seen her in 3 years. My mother insisted she as to pay and did for 4 of them. Brother took this as gospel and expects more funding for his trips. Mom is much worse but still wants to pay for him. I want to honor her requests, but do not want this to continue. I wanted to see pothers' input..
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Good heaens! Of course you shouldn't be handing money out of Mother's limited funds for any request that comes your way.

If mother had plenty of money and she was in the habit of flying family members in to see her, maybe this would be appropriate. But under the circumstances your role is to see that her money is used wisely for her care.
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Absolutely deny. You are appointed to over see her finances not fund your brothers trips. I hope you haven't already done this. Especially
Ly if her funds are limited.
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