Should I be concerned if my sister does not want to share POA duties?

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I just found out my sister went to my father behind my back and basically told him she can take over as power of attorney. This matter was never discussed between us. My father agreed, the state he is in, he will agree to anything- he doesn't care anymore what happens and told me so. I suggested that we share POA and she flipped on me and refuses to even consider the option. My father used to talk to me about concerns he had when my sister was acting as POA over my mom and I defended her left and right. Now, though, that she is so insistent that I not be involved it is making me wonder if I have a reason to be concerned about him too. She is not even open to sitting down with someone to discuss our options together. She is more concerned with help cleaning our father's house. It IS a disaster and I have told her I would help however and whenever it is possible. My children are both 9 and 7 and my husband works night shift and weekends, so being there as often as she can be is not an option. Therefore my contributions to some of the physical labor she wants me to do is not sufficient to her. Mind you, she hasn't even given me a key to get up there when I can, so for now, I am restricted to going when she is there. All she wants of me is the help with the house. The rest is the "easy part" according to her and she does not want or need my involvement. She is getting so angry with me about this and shutting me out, it is going to damage our relationship and she doesn't seem to care. Am I wrong to be concerned?

Answers 1 to 10 of 42
In general, I think it is best for one person to have POA, with a backup. Often these are not decisions that can be easily be made by a committee. But not having an officially shared POA is one thing; not discussing and asking for input informally is something else. I'm sorry that your sister has decided to be so controlling in this role. That she won't give you a key to the house that you are supposed to be helping clean is sad. She has to expect that if she doesn't trust you enough to clean on your own as time permits that you are not going to be able to contribute much in that way. Her rules, her problem.
She is not even adressing listing me as a back up. There were two incidents that were spoken of that was a really gray area, where she used my mother's money and I wasn't comfortable in full with it. My brother in law was working on her house and hurt his back and they used my mother's money for the hospital expenses because they do not carry health insurance. Because he was doing something for my mom, I did not question it, but I didn't feel right. I know me and my own husband would never do that. She also suggested reimbursing lost time at work for me from my mom's account. I refused it. Back then when my dad was alright (my parents's are divorced) he used to question me all the time about my sister and what she was doing with mom's accounts. And like I said, I would defend her. But now her not wanting me to be at all involved is concerning me.
Top Answer
My father's attorney told us if the POA is shared, BOTH signatures are required for financial & health documents. My sister & I live 1000's of miles away so that is not feasible. Like your sister, I have POA for my father. I am responsible for his care 24/7, pay all his bills, make his medical appointments, refill & give him his meds, provide 3 meals a day & even more. This is my take. Whoever is the caregiver for that parent (& there's usually only sibling willing to do this) should have the POA. Has your father changed is POA over to your sister? And can you really trust the word of your father who has a POA because of some diminished capacity? My sister exhausted me with her constant criticisms, judgments & accusations that may be why your sister does not want you involved. So are you the caregiver? Just be ready to step up to the plate if you want POA.
Did your mother want to pay the hospital bills? Or was she able to make sensible decisions at that point? Did she have homeowner insurance that might have paid it? Would she have been in trouble with the insurance company for having an uninsured worker on her property? I think we'd need to know the circumstances around the decision for us to judge whether that was appropriate or not. Also, many parents do compensate their caregivers (including their children) for various expenses during their caregiver roles. Some have a care agreement and pay for the caring itself. So again, it is hard to say that offering to compensate you with Mother's funds was absoutely wrong.

The amount of distrust in this situation is sad. Your father apparently did not trust his daughter to take care of his ex-wife's funds. He communicated that distrust to you. In spite of that, he let her have his POA. (Perhaps, as you say, under undue influence.) You now don't trust your sister to manage his finances propertly without you looking over her shoulder. Your sister doesn't trust you with a key to his house. Sad, sad, sad. If you both want to salvage the relationship you have/could have, perhaps family therapy could help. It doesn't look like you're going to get very far without some outside help on that issue. Your sister is going to be around long after your dad is. Would it be worth it to try to work on this relationship?

Who is seeing to Dad's day-to-day needs? Is he living in this disaster of a house or is he in long-term care? He sounds depressed. Is that being addressed? I don't know what his current state is, but dementia is progressive and it is likely he won't always be able to live on his own, if he is now. Does he have lots of resources and assets to pay for his care?

Too much unknown here to be very specific with advice. My heart goes out to you and to your sister. Caregiving an elder is hard enough, without other family conflict.s

I hope you can resolve this and restore harmony.

I suppose it would be possible to get the POA declared invalid on the grounds that he was not legally competent to make that kind of decision at the time it was made. Then what? Do you want the courts to appoint someone to look after his finances and other business issues? If he wasn't competent to appoint Sister, he wouldn't be competent to appoint you.
Get your name on that POA and take a look at all of the bank transactions and bills paid in your dad's checking account. My So called loving brother took money as he needed it as POA and caused my mother to get a reverse mortgage when she \needed full time home care. Therefore, the value of the house is minus $350,000 because he tookmy mom's money with his name on her checking account. He even paid his car insurance with her money. I trusted my brother implicitly until I took a look at the bank records and found checks written that had nothing to do with mom. Then, after further exploration, I found cashed CD' s without my knowledge, and he insisted on my getting a 2nd reverse mortgage to further pay for mom's expenses. I confronted him, got him to resign as power of attorney and had mom revoke her original and put my name on. Look for some financial elder abuse, look for moneys used other than for your parent's best interest and there you have a case. Threaten to report that sibling and get a notorized resignation. No way should your parents money be used to pay their hospital expenses. The more secretive your sibling is and controlling, the more they are hiding and trying to get away with. I am sorry but your relationship with sibling may never be the same, but you have a right to take care of dad and to equal shares of money. Do the search, you will find more mismanagement of money. once you do, you can make her resign or you report her to the state as financial elder abuse.
I find it so sad when siblings can't come together to care for their parents. I am the youngest and only girl of three children. I live with mom who has alzheimers so I am the primary care giver. My oldest brother and I share POA both financially and for health. We are fortunate that our concern is the best care we can give mom. We mutually discuss and work out any and all situations. I wish there was a way get all siblings to work as a team for their parents best benefit.
I agree with thi that was posted I suppose it would be possible to get the POA declared invalid on the grounds that he was not legally competent to make that kind of decision at the time it was made. Then what? Do you want the courts to appoint someone to look after his finances and other business issues? If he wasn't competent to appoint Sister, he wouldn't be competent to appoint you. Also, I think there are laws that allow you to see your mother as often as you like; your sister appears to be withholding mom from you. Given all that you have said, i wouldn't trust sister. POA can mean that you consult with other family members. Also the fact that she won't make you as back up scares me. She is not acting in the best interest of your parent. If something were to happen to your sister there is no one to carry on the duties and that's a sad state of affairs if she won't change that. Type all these topics into google and you will learn alot, make sure to type in your state. I have POA for my mom. The only reason i am #1 is that my sister wouldn't talk to me and mom needed prompt surgery. I never have considered making all the decisions alone but this is how my sister wants it--tried to get mom moved back to sister's area and sister said (instead of helping) you have all the power you figure it out. I am so sorry that this is happening. Look into your rights to see your mom. Look into the benefits of having a back up poa. Keep your chin up if you can but i'd play my cards close to my chest insofar as it relates to your sister. I would not trust her.
mama96, talk to your dad and ask him if he has a reason YOU couldn't share the duties as POA. I agree that only ONE of you should hold the checkbook and pay the bills, but you can set it up so that at least you can see what's going on via the computer. I share POA for my mother-in-law with one of her other sons, but I've been totally transparent so that all three sons (my husband is #3 son) have access online to see what I'm up to, since I have the checkbook and pay her bills etc. If your sister is being evasive, then that surely IS a red flag.
Mams96, once again I say been there, done that. If sister wants to do most of it, then let her. Your first resp. is to your children and your husband. I'm not sure I would clean the house if I didn't have a key. Good grief is she going to watch your every move while you are in the house? I surely know the problem. She acts just like my sister. I do the grunt work, she tells me what to do, I do it.
I totally agree with NancyH with one exception. If he is not competent to appoint her, he is not competent to do anything else. You need to take action NOW. If she will not share information then something is going on that is not in your father's best interest. Go to your County's Elder Care Services and have action taken to make whatever your sister is doing a matter of public record. This has to be done to protect your Dad, and the rest of your family.

This is the part of life that I cannot stand. Hateful and jealous feelings abound over a family member's estate. This should be a time for a family to come together to care for each other, not fight over who does what, gets what. These are things that I REFUSE to argue over and there should be no argument with your sister, and if there is, then she is surely up to something no good,and it must be stopped. Take action to make it right NOW.

Be Well - Sue

If your sister is not forthcoming with ALL actions concerning transactions made on behalf of your father, then she is not acting in your father's best interest, PERIOD. You must take legal action NOW to protect what is left of your father's estate.

It may be, in this case better for an outside disinterested party to be appointed as your father's advocate.

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