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I have had to take over my moms checkbook since she went in for double hernia surgery and she had a stroke at some point and is now dealing with very bad short term memory loss and dementia. In doing the checkbook for her I found out my brother had been getting a check from her twice a month and she doesn't remember why or even how many times she had done that. He keeps asking her in subtle ways when I'm not around and she writes the checks for cash now. She says one minute he helps her in the am to get out of bed and let her dogs out and then the next minute she is yelling at me for asking for money ,which I haven't, for taking care of her. We both care for her but she gets at at me for many things, and is so mean and cruel. I am the older sibling, with a college ed and a family and hard worker and my brother is the freeloader, on disability and food stamps and his girlfriend works, gets disability and SS income. I am now on disability also and have been seperated for 6 years from husband,and caring for two children both with disabilities and I have not asked for money to care for her! which I do and my husband does daily. What legal course do I have to make him stop taking advantage of her mental state for money? By the way he will get her house and a fairly new van, which he drives now, for his inheritance, I will get what money is left.. If it is not even, he has to pay me the difference which he says he will never have. Help, thanks, The honest daughter

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RSLIndiana: what an elegant and simple solution! Taking a loan out on a house that the parent already owns would return the funds to the parent and let the scheming sib deal with the consequences. Now that's justice!
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You wrote that your mother is dealing with "...short term memory loss and dementia..." Has her mental state been professionally evaluated? If she has not yet been declared "mentally incompetent" by a Court of Law, then it might be in your best immediate interest to quickly schedule an appointment with an attorney for purposes of your mother getting her Power of Attorney assigned to you, and for getting her WILL written. With regard to her WILL, she will need to be able to (1) clearly name her beneficiaries and designate their relationship to her, (2) give current addresses and telephone numbers of beneficiaries (take that written info with you to the lawyer's office), (3) name someone (hopefully you) to be Executrix/Executor of the Estate, (4) swear by signing her name that she is mentally competent to transact THE WILL. The document will need to be signed by witnesses to establish the fact that all information provided was of her own free choosing, and that she was mentally competent at the time of its writing. The Attorney should have office employees, whom can likely fulfill the witness requirements. If your mother already has been declared "mentally incompetent," then any existing legal WILL is likely to prevail. The document could be as simple as an old note that was written in her own handwriting, and which she signed, as well as dated -- together with two adult witnesses. If there is no such existing WILL and she is not competent to have a WILL drawn-up at this time, then the laws of the State in which she resides at the time of her death will determine the distribution of her estate.

Also, If a Court of Law already has declared that your mother is incompetent, then most likely it is too late to get a legal Power of Attorney (POA) document written. In that case, you might consider petitioning the Court to be your mother's legal guardian. There probably will be attorney and filing fees attached to these procedures! You need to be aware that being a guardian is an extremely serious responsibility that carries with it requirements to safeguard your mother's person, and/or her personal effects, and/or her finances. You will be required to file in Court an initial detailed statement of your mother's financial holdings, a statement of her real properties (land and/or house), and a statement of her personal possessions. Thereafter, you will be required annually to file with the Court a detailed update of your mother's financial holdings. The report will show the balance of monies from the initial (or prior year's) report, all monies received during the ensuing year, and all monies paid-out. You will need to include cancelled checks and receipts with your annual financial reports. At the time of your mother's death, you will file another such report with the court, before they will release her estate.

Before The Court will consider making you the Guardian of your mother, you most likely will be required to complete multi-paged documention regarding her physical and mental well being. You will name doctors (and their addresses), and they will be required to complete forms that you will attach to your overall documentation. Also, It is not a "given" that you will be named guardian of your mother. You must convince the court that you are the best candidate to be your mother's guardian, and that you will always keep your mother's best interest at heart.

BTW -- I am just passing along what I learned when helping my own mother-in-law get through a similar situation.
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It would be in the best interest of your mother to get a Power of Attorney or seek guardianship which will give you full say so. Have your name placed on your mom's account as an qwner or as poa. There are some avenues you can take. You just need to search them out and follow thru. Do not feel sorry for the freeloader. He isn't thinking about anyone but himself.
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Just me - but I would count up all those monthly checks for the last 5 years and get a loan on the house for that amount. If he gets the house he would have to also satisfy the mortgage on it. Which would be equal to the amount he took. Have the documentation so that its is a clear transaction of the mortgage being there to cover what he 'borrowed' against his own inheritance.
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You need to file for conservatorship and guardianship with the courts. I have 2 freeloader brothers, and I care for both my parents while raising 3 kids (ages 6, 5 and 1), and I wound up doing this. My mom lives with me, so I handle everything for her, but if you do not want to be responsible for her money and do not want to deal with your brother's demands, you can ask the court to assign an attorney to handle the money. They will make sure she has everything she needs and protect her assets.
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To the honest daughter, don't do it. I went through this only it was both my sister and brother both were drinking and abusing my mom when I wasnt around and my other brother lived 2 hours away and believed anything they told him and my mom got to the point that she didnt know what they were doing only that they couldnt for some reason make it on their own. So You take over the check book and tell your bother to go get a job and it his his responsibility to help care for his mom, with out getting payed, also file all the paper work now to get conservitership(spelling my be wrong)but do not wait. And if he says he'll get power of attorney let him spend his money because that can be thrown out in a heart beat,you go get the conseritureship and get her to her dr and tell him what is going on.Then get the Elder abuse hot line number and call them and tell them you maybe in for some trouble with your brother and ask for help.
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Do you have your Mom's Power of Attorney? If not, that would be the first step. A PoA gives you the athority to act on her behalf in all financial matters. You can also be a "signer" on and manage her accounts. I have set up an online account for Mom...makes it so much easier to monitor her accounts and pay bills etc.
Has she made up a will? If not, she should. You should never go by word of mouth for "last wishes." I would recommend just dividing her assets equally whether they be property or liquid assets.
The brother needs to find another ATM other than your mother. I feel your pain, my sib had my Mom open a credit card just so she could give him a cash advance...which he did not pay in full. Incredible! She's on fixed income....how low can you get? This seems to be happening with so many of my friends....there is always one in the family.
You have way too much on your plate....you do not need more greif from the sib....good luck, Lilli
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