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Two years ago my mother, while in sound health and mind, made me, her son, power of attorney. At this time, her relationship with my sister was strained and since my sister is an RN, she was made my mother's MPOA. Though I am my mother's POA, I live about 900 miles away. When these documents were initiated, we were the same distance apart. My mom's health and awareness are now failing and my sister is her primary caregiver. My mom stayed with my sister previously when she was in good health and it was a disaster. My mom had to move to independent living. Now my sister is providing excellent care for my mom, but she is trying to take control of her finances, as well. She is going out of her way to prevent me from fulfilling my duties as mom's POA and attempting to set up other accounts by dragging my mom to different banks and establishing new accounts and transferring funds from where I have established POA. Now she has taken my mother to her attorney to revoke my POA and establish a POA under the pretense of needing her POA closer to mom. The attorney won't allow her to revoke my POA, but suggested that a trust be established with a neutral party as trustee. Her attorney suggested a bank as trustee, but there are fees involved and when my mom was in good health and before making me her POA, she wanted no part of a trust. I feel that my mom is being manipulated and there is no need for any changes. What do I need to do to best provide my mom her wishes?

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You're quite welcome. I think dealing with the IRS is one of the more fearful experiences than any person can face, so a pro could help guide you through what's necessary.

One attorney I worked for had formerly worked for the IRS, and then became an Enrolled Agent. I was shocked to realize that massive (5 figure) IRS obligations could be reduced and settled for significantly less.

I know the feeling of being uncomfortable asking for help. I suspect there are many here who faced that dilemma when they themselves needed help and had to reset their mental image of themselves from a helper to an asker. I do think it's very challenging, but try to think of it as realizing that we're at a junction at which help from others is mandatory in order for us to keep on helping ourselves and our family.

I wish you luck; let us know how this works out for you.
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Thank you GardenArtist for your wisdom on this matter. It has always been hard for me to ask for help from anyone and the old saying a little to late to go back now, so it's time as you said to get some help from a Professional in this situation. Thank you so much for responding. I'm new to this site and there is so much information on it, I wish I had come on here much sooner. Thanks again!!!! :)
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This is too complicated to handle on your own. With the IRA, the sale of the mobile home and an apparent vacation villa, as well as IRS notice of back taxes (likely with penalties and interest), this is not a DIY project.

And realistically, for whatever reason, stress, too much on your mind and plate, you haven't been able to handle it in the past, so get some help now before the situation gets any worse. There's no shame in getting help for a complicated tax situation.

You need a tax attorney, or someone like an Enrolled Agent who can represent you with the IRS.

What you can do is gather all the information and supporting data on both your tax situations; an attorney will need it.

Tax attorneys can negotiate with the IRS to work out payment plans for back taxes. This might be the best that can be done in the situation.

And, BTW, you'd have to provide a LOT of information for anyone to be able to help you with the specifics, and even then, we wouldn't be privy to perhaps all of the relevant information. So a pro in your area is the best choice.
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I quit my job back in 2009, to take my dad out of a home because of cost and they recommended they pay me about 1,800 a month, but we never did any legal paperwork. So I did which was a blessing for a year until he passed. I have helped my dad since I was 13 care for my mom who had a few nervous breakdowns. Over the years I was always there for them. After he passed, I continued to care for my mom because of a stroke caused dementia. Well, my question is that I didn't take good care of her taxes and never filed them when she moved in with me and we got a rental together. We ended up using her IRA and then sold her mobile home and a share at Pismo Coast Village. So this was all taxable. I ended up having my own depression because in 2007 my 19 year old son passed away and then my ex husband who was BiPolar left to have an affair soon after. So I took good care of mom, but not her taxes and we live in Calif. I do get aide from state due to non child support for my daughter. But the money has run out and I have tax notices that mom owes 5,987 in taxes. They already froze her account once and took what was in there for one of the past years. I don't know what to do in this case. Do I contact the IRS? I would love to work as I have since I was 10 years old and did graduate. But her dementia is getting so bad that I can't leave her alone anymore. Even tho I get aide, she has had to pay rest of the bills and because I don't receive a lot. I feel aweful about this, but have no receipts that show I care for her full time except from her Drs. Does anyone have any advice to give me on how to deal with my neglect on the financial part of things? She is a sweet heart and not mean, and I am so tired and burnt out from all the years of childhood and the care I have provided to date. I have a long story and this is only a small portion. Yes, I was neglectful and It's on me for not being a good steward of her finances. Any help would be so much appreciated. I am trying to sell all that I have in my own bedroom and the garage. We do need a less expensive house, but for a year I have really been wanting to put her in an assisted living or something. My dr says it's effecting my health and that's not good, but it's so hard to do and I have dated a man for 5 1/2 years and would love to get married, but can't seem to take the step of putting mom in a place yet and things might be over with him because of never having time for him. Sorry, I got off track and I don't feel sorry for myself, I have always been the sibling that my parents have come to because of my love and respect for them. So back to the question about her past taxes. If I had kept records of caring for her all these years and called it income then the VA would help assist with widows of VA medical. So please help with some wisdom from those of you who might have been in the same place or know taxes. Thank you so much.
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I am POA for my Mom and she lives with my sister. My sister and I got Amex Bluebird cards. They are reloadable. So I transfer money from myomd account to my Bluebird card and then transfer it to my sisters card. That way we have a paper trail and we don't have to be concerned that my sister has no signing authority on my moms checking account or credit cards. It's worked well so far.
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Can you communicate with your sister on good terms? Maybe you could set up a new account with your name and your sisters where you transfer money as need be for expenses your sister has in caring for Mom. She can easily email scan or fax you receipts that show items purchased and medical needs. You could deposit monthly into the account an amount based on an estimated budget. Maybe that way sister would not feel so financially handicapped.
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Can you communicate with your sister on good terms? Maybe you could set up a new account with your name and your sisters where you transfer money as need be for expenses your sister has in caring for Mom. She can easily email scan or fax you receipts that show items purchased and medical needs. You could deposit monthly into the account an amount based on an estimated budget. Maybe that way sister would not feel so financially handicapped.
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Many banks want to see your POA and have their own attorneys read it before they will agree it is valid. We have had that situation at both banks and stock brokers. You stated that your sister has moved money from bank accounts where you are listed as the POA. Was it your mom or your sister? You might have a complaint against the bank if that is the case. Is your sister in need of money? Can she kept a ledger of money she has spent? And yes, what is the competency of Mom? Continue to seek some advice from a legal authority so this does not blow up and divide you and your sister.
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From the way you wrote this your sister is doing a good job taking care of your mom. Have you talked to her? I mean really talked and found out why she is doing this. You both want what is best for your mom. Don't let situations and personal feelings break your family apart (that is not best for your mom). Being a caregiver (with or without money) is very difficult. It drains you physically and mentally. Before you act really talk. You need to find out what your sister's needs are (a POA so far away can be difficult). I don't think you should give up POA but remember reality sometimes trumps wishes. A trust might help you sister care for your mom. I took care of my grandma and the my mom for 6 years. I got very little help from my family and it damaged my relationship with my family. Now that they are both gone I'm alone. You would be amazed on how many things a caregiver has to deal with. Look at your situation from every side. Your sister is dealing with stress and emotion that you can't truly understand. Look at both sides: does she need more control of the money? Why? Could you do more to help? How? How often do you contact your sister and mom (if you don't say weekly then you need to rethink what you are doing). Your mom loved you and raised you both and your sister is right there while you are not. No matter what happens you owe her gratitude for what she has done (did you ever thank her?) You both should stay involved. If you find your sister is being inappropriate then you will know you tried to solve it before you attacked. Also be aware that there are consequences to any actions. If your sister doesn't take care of your mom then it will be your job. Also any fight between you two will hurt your mom. I'm glad you care about what happens to your mom. Family is important and worth fighting for.
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Remember, siblings (both of you!) tend to go crazy around each other, and act like little children. I'm embarrassed at how easily I can fly into a rage of anger and hurt feelings over a very minor comment. Pray or meditate or exercise to retain your sanity. Good luck!
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Try your hardest to avoid World War III with your sister. Do you trust her to give good CARE to your mother? If so, how about giving her access to enough money to cover your mother's expenses and to cover the expense of other caregivers? If you think your sister will steal Mom's money and abuse her, go all out to stop it. If you think she will be "wasteful" with the money, but provide good care, give her a break and don't micromanage.

What about thanking your sister for all she has done, every time you talk to her? After that, you might feel loving enough to reach a good mutual decision that is best for everyone.
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I agree 100% with the last post from Mscoulter. If you are now 900 miles away and your sister is doing the day to day work of taking care of you mom, why not let her take more control over the finances? As POA, how much are you compensating your sister for all her hard work with your mom? Do you know that strangers taking care of the elderly make $20/hour? I am not saying she should be given that much, but often people 900 miles away have NO IDEA what a caregiver is doing hour by hour in the home. I suggest you ask your sister what a typical day is like with Mom. Imagine yourself helping to bathe mom, get meals ready, dressing, meds, get her to doc appointments if she doesn't drive anymore, etc. When was the last time you visited? Your mom's health will only get worse as time goes by...
I think your sister is setting up other accounts to have some sort of control. And she deserves some control since SHE IS DOING ALL THE HARD WORK. In this case, your mom's happiness and care is the top priority. Do you have proof that she is being mistreated by sis? When you talk/visit your mom, do you see signs of neglect? Does your mom whisper to you....."Get me away from here!"
You and your sister need to sit down together with just the two of you or with a mediator to work out feelings, jobs, expectations, etc. As the months or years pass, anything that is sort of wrong now, will only get much, much worse as time goes by!
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Honestly, I only wish I had a sibling to take my place as caregiver and POA so I could move 900 miles away. I would let your sister do whatever she must do to take care of your mom, which probably includes managing finances, and count your blessings. Unless you would rather take her place and do all the hard work?
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My best guess would be to go for guardianship, It gives you power over everything.
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Until another POA is established you are legally the POA. Distance should not be an issue and you have may have to let your sister know in no uncertain terms that you will not sit by and let her take control of her finances without contacting the appropriate authorities. If you know what banks the new accounts are in you can contact them and let them know that you have POA.
On the other hand the issue of competency may arise. If your mom is still alert/oriented and has not been deemed incompetant she can make banking decisions without consulting anyone else. If she goes to a bank and opens accounts with your sister you may not have any recourse but I would not stop there. It sounds as though your sister is taking advantage of the situation. Do talk to an attorney that is specific in this area. Without going the trust route you may get the appropriate advice on how to handle this and what your rights are as far as getting the accounts reversed.
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I have the opposite going on. A sibling was POA - abused his power, was removed as POA. Now I'm POA and he's trying to hijack everything I'm doing and is still engaging in all sorts of madness and mayhem. We will be going to court over this. But the best piece of advice I can give you is to HIRE AN ELDER LAW ATTORNEY. If you think your Mother is in danger then contact Adult Protective Services.
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As POA, don't you have the right to go to those other banks and close out the accounts?
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If you set up a trust, you need to be sure ALL the accounts are transferred to the trust, including any investment accounts. This could be more expensive than you think, especially if your sister has set up accounts and won't give you the bank account number info.
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Speak up! Be your mother's advocate and threaten your sister with legal action if she tries to change anything without your consent. Yours will not be the first sibling rivalry that ends in court. I've been there, done that and won for my mother's sake. Do what you have to do because your mother trusted you with everything tangible, your sister with medical. Hang in there!
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A trust is a good way to go and the fees should be nominal, but that also depends on what it will do. Even if Mom didn't like a trust, she asked you to be her POA. She gave you the authority to make decisions. If you have researched the options and feel that it is best for all concerned then proceed with a trust. Ultimately you want to make sure her financials are there for her when she needs them.
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Obviously your sister either feels entitled or feels you to be incompetent. If you currently have poa move all the money to your name. Assuming your mom is not competent Is she has a will that will dictate her final wishes. Keep track of all spendings used for your mothers care.
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You are getting good advice from that attorney.
Should you and sis decide to battle in court over Guardianship, the outcome will be the same. When family disagrees, the Judge appoints a neutral Guardian. Avoid spending thousands in legal fees; do the Trust.
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