My mother is 87-years-old and in relatively good health except for the beginning stages of dementia resulting from several mini-strokes across the years. My father passed away four years ago and he had been in total charge of the finances, bill paying, etc. Mom was pretty clueless. Luckily, Dad had left her with what, most likely, would be enough money to last the rest of her life (although nobody really knows how long that will be!)

She has two grown grandsons who have no problem going to the "First National Bank of Grandma" to get sizeable loans. For example, one had her take out a CD as collateral against his college/law school loans in the amount of $140,000. He is an attorney now with a job at a good firm and pays her back $350 per month. Another borrows in amounts of $100,000 to finance his business. So far, he has always paid her back within 90 days with interest. Their father (my brother) has also borrowed from her starting back years ago when Dad was still alive. His theory is that Mom can earn more interest than the banks pay and make some extra money! My take is that we have no idea what the future will hold and it is better to keep Mom's assets liquid to pay for any unforeseen medical issues that might arise and for long-term care. Currently, I have left my home to move in with her to be sure she eats, takes her meds, bathes and is, overall, safe. My life has been turned upside down, but that is a topic for another post!

Mom is always going to help her grandsons. Period. I personally do not think she is mentally capable of making a decision to loan money in these large amounts. My brother says I am negative and should "live in the moment". He believes Mom has "more money than she will ever be able to spend." Has anyone else faced this dilemma?

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Dear texasrdr22,

I hear your concern for your mom's financial well being. There is a lot financial abuse involving elders and its is very hard to see. If you suspect fraud or any type of abuse or want the situation looked into, I would call Adult Protective Services, talk to a social worker or even an elder law attorney.

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