What can I do if my sister and her children are stealing from my elderly mother?

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My sister and her daughter (son too I think) have been stealing from my mother for years. She allowed it to happen because she "didn't want to get them in trouble" Now she is elderly, living on social security and they are still doing it. My brother's and I are trying to put a stop to it, but mom still doesn't want to get them in trouble. They most recently took the money (600.00) she has been saving to pay her taxes. We gave them a deadline of August 3 to pay it back, they gave her some of it and asked for more time. We want her to report it but their latest dirty trick is to tell mom that my sister has brain cancer (she gets cancer every time she is in trouble and my mother believes her every time). Anyway, we are at the end of our rope and not sure who to call for help! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Answers 1 to 10 of 31
Your mother needs to not have cash in the house -could you and your brother do her bills and such a certain day of the week and lock up her checkbooks and credit cards etc or if she wants cash on hand-many older people do want to have some money with then-maybe just a small amount-does she live alone-you can not make your Mom not give her money away but tell her if she has to go on medicaide they will check back 5 yrs. and any money she has given away may have to be paid back.
Thanks, didn't realize about the medicaid. We did get power of attorney, but she insists on paying her bills herself. I guess you could say she is giving it away because she doesn't put a stop to it, but they (sister and niece) always find ways to get it. Mom has no money except what she gets from SS. My brother has her debit card now but I don't know for how long. Anyway, do we call the police, socia services or a lawyer?
The problem with calling the police or social services is our stupid legal system. Unlike with child abuse, we expect the elderly adult victim of abuse or theft to say "that is who ____ to me" An't going to happen for the elderly become far too dependent to do that.

Since you have durable POA, it might be good to talk with her dr. to get her evaluated about being competent to conduct her own business in a business like manner plus explain the need for her to trust you the most since she entrusted you with the POA. I'd also ask him to put his evaluation of not being competent to handle her business in the form of a notarized letter. I have two of these for my mother's protection. The doctor never actualy used the word incompetent, he just kindly encouraged her to now trust me to take care of all these things for her. On the other hand, and probably a bit riskier, would be just have all of your mother's bills sent to you by informing all such persons of your POA and request it get sent to you. If your sister asked any questions just tell her you are taking care of your mom's financial well being as she entrusted and authorized you to with the POA. That's my 2 cents worth of input for this Monday afternoon.
You need to call APS (Adult Protective Services)... they will investigate and prosecute if necess ary. Your sister and niece are abusing her and they need to be stopped. This type of behavior usually does not stop with family, and will continue with others that she can manipulate. Even though your mother knows, and doesn't stop it, they are still stealing. Your mother is not giving her money away, they are manipulating her into giving it to them with the cancer lies, etc. You have to stand up for your mom because there are not many moms who will go against their children... like you said, she doesn't want to get them in trouble. And even if she doesn't want them in trouble with the law, they should be in trouble with her. It's as if your child took $5 from your purse without asking because she wanted ice cream. Either way, its stealing and if they don't learn the lesson of right and wrong, it will continue to grow into something much bigger.
I would cancel the debit cards right away and talk to your Mom. Can she understand? Tell her you/she can get the bills taken out automatically from her account, my Mom did that right before the dementia came in. Maybe your siblings need drug money or something? I doubt you will see it again but you need to have a heart to heart with your mom that maybe the money is for something hurting them. Either way, if you are the POA, its up to you to take over if your Mom isnt that competent. Maybe she will let you set up automatic withdrawal for bills .Cancel that debit tho and keep cash OUT of the house!!!
Call the cops. Don't do like I did with my two sisters and try to talk them out of being charged. They got off scott free and the counth took over my mother's affairs, both personal and estate, and stuck me with her 24/7. A slavery agreement for room and board and $10 day. And siblings angry at me for ratting. Deadbeats. You have a mess there, do not enable them...
Confront them, make them ashamed of themselves, lock all cash and valuables in a safe or lock box. monitor all there visits or deny them access to her till they make amends or will stop being common thieves.
You Go Jsomebody I agree! What are they going to do , get a laywer? ha! The POA has to take charge in cases like this and no one can hurt you, just do it and dont be afraid!! Best of luck!
I am not usually so brusk and forceful myself, but I mean come on! Stealing from an elderly person is so crass. We keep accounts to the penny of my grandfathers funds and when he is gone you can see what went where when. It just isn't in my background stealing. I once found a dollar on someons lawn when I was ten and went and asked at the house if they were missing one...They said no so I kept it, I wasn't gonna canvas the block!
Top Answer
If you have PoA then you CAN file charges and get a restraining order on her behalf; mom doesn't even have to know about it. You CAN have her income direct deposited to another account controlled by you or your brother - just contact the payor and get the proper forms to them. Be prepared to send notarized copies of your PoA documents. Once the income is controlled, you can pay all her bills and give her some cash. Be forwarned though - you HAVE to do this in such a way that sister doesn't talk mom into changing the PoA. If possible, ask Mom to visit you or your brother for an extended period once you begin controlling the $$ - this way sister is on her own and can't talk Mom into changing anything.

Adult protective services is a good idea because the sister and her blood sucking spawn will get on the "legal radar". That said, don't expect a lot because there are so many people who need help and are in worse situations than this.

If they can't get at your mom's $$ the next thing will be to sell what ever they can. If possible remove any valuables - car, antiques, jewelry, etc. to your home or a storage unit. Here's what a friend did with her mooching nephew and her mom, it's a little different situation since nephew/grandson was living there but it might help.
- got ALL mom's mail forwarded to daughter
- got all mom's income direct deposited to an account controlled by daughter
- removed all checks, credit cards etc from the apartment
- take grannie to son's house for weekend visit
- while grannie was away and nephew was out for a while, she changed the locks on the house & garage then moved all of his things into the car port.
-post copy of restraining order on doors to house
- she found nephew and gave him $1000 cash (so she could honestly tell mom she didn't put him in the street with nothing) and told him his things were in the carport for pick up
- told him she has restraining order to keep him from grandma and her business
- moved grandma to assisted living after applying for medicaide help to pay the rent

In the end, grandma was happy to have him gone even though she told everyone else how helpful he was before he was kicked out. You have to decide what sort of relationship - if any - you want with your sister and her kids after your Mom is gone. I've been through the very same thing with some cousins and I don't regret a day that i don't see them. They would have sucked their parents and our grandparents dry if we'd let them. You CAN decide NOT to have people like that in your life.

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