Sister Banking Mom's Money

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Just found out my sister is taking my mom's money from her checking accounts and putting it into another savings account that my mom has no access to. She claims she is POA but I don't know if this is true. Is this legal? If my mother should pass away is that money considered part of her estate since her name is non on that account? What should I do if anything? We are getting POA changed this week. Will all those funds need to be returned to mom and new POA?

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Yes, it counts as a gift, but that $5000 is most likely not subject to the Gift Tax. The IRS will let you give $13,000 each year to any individual (the so-called Annual Exclusion). For example, you can give $13k to Betty, $13k to Tommy, and $13k to Frank each year. The only cap is that there are also Lifetime Exclusion limits, but I think for 2011 it is $5,000,000 -- so not really a concern for 99.9% of us!
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Thank you for the advice. I didn't know about the tax thing so I will definitely check it out. She has also given her daughter 5000 out of that account for inheritance but since my mother is not deceased that is a gift too, correct?
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Unfortunately, this is an all-too common situation. My recommendation is to contact Adult Protective Services (or similar agency) in your county. You can always report annonymously if you wish to avoid open confrontation. APS will ascertain whether or not your sister truly had POA when these decisions were made.

Once the POA is changed, you will need to consult with either an accountant or an attorney regarding its effects on the estate and any taxes that may be due. For example, if your sister moved more than $13,000 from your mother's account into an account in your sister's name in one calendar year, then the Gift Tax would kick in and taxes would be owed on those transferred funds.
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Waiting for attorney to get report from mom's physician so she can change her POA and everything will be legal and no one can say she is incompetent. My mom has slight dimentia but still works 3 days a week so I cannot see someone saying she is incompetent or incapacitated in any way.
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You can have her POA revoked!! My POA papers for mom states my dos and don'ts. So if she is not adhereing to that. I know that it will cost money but get an attorney. The money is gone unless you press charges for theft/fraud!! Call Dept. of aging!! turn her in they will investigate. However, you too will be investigated more than likelya as well so get your business in order first.!!
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Hiding it so I have no access to take my mother to the bank and get it out.
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Do you know WHY she moving the moving the money? Did you ask her outright? You should. Curious....
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