Mom is being held captive!
My 92 yo mil ended up moving into the home of one of her daughters after a series of medical events last summer. This daughter lives alone and claims to work (off the books, I imagine) as a massage therapist. Mom is blind with macular degeneration and is paralyzed from strokes. She has mild dementia. Sister in law has become increasingly abrasive to the point she won't allow contact of any kind with mom's other 4 children or her 94yo sister. She won't answer her front door or her phone. She has gone on a spending spree with mom's ATM card to restaurants and shows all over the city, to the point that the bank canceled the card due to suspicious activity. In three months, SIL has spent around $10,000. Today we discovered she has closed mom's bank accounts and taken the money elsewhere. We have opened a case with adult protective services for the isolation and financial exploitation, and the caseworker has gathered all this information, but I wonder if they can actually do anything besides sending a strongly worded letter. We believe they have tried to make contact to see mom, but I doubt SIL would let them in. My husband and 2 siblings saw a lawyer today. He thinks they should sue for guardianship, but I don't know that mom is legally incompetent and might think she's fine with daughter. She is extremely passive by nature, and has little perception of time. I'm sure she doesn't know what is going on. Our hope is to get her into a quality nursing home before her money runs out. Since there is no way the money SIL is taking will be Medicaid compliant, the money will be considered a gift and make mom ineligible. Also, we live in a filial responsibility state and could well be required to pay for nursing home costs up to the value of the amount gifted away. Any thoughts?