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My brother passed away unexpectedly in January. He lived close to my 80 year old parents and was their primary caregiver; both suffering from memory loss and early stage dementia (I don't know the exact diagnosis). Following his death, his estranged wife (widow) returned home and immediately began to hit my parents up for money. I can verify she got $2000 in January, $7000 in February, and $6000 in March. I have no idea how much more she got that I cannot verify. She claims the money is for bills, but she used the February money to bail her boyfriend out of jail and he now lives with her. They've both been in jail for methamphetamine use and she has been to prison and is currently out on parole. From my research of Elder Abuse on the web, this fits the general profile of a person who usually perpetrates Financial Exploitation. My mother doesn't remember that she gave the money the previous month and she thinks it is the first time she is helping out her former daughter-in-law. My father remembers and is adamant that she stop, but my mom succumbs to the pressure from the ex daughter-in-law and continues to give her money. This is now causing heavy arguments between my parents. I got a call at 6:30 in the morning from my dad that they had a big argument about this and my mother left. I don't know what I can or even should do. Can I report her to APS? I've called an Elder Care attorney and am waiting for a call back for a consultation. Has anyone had to deal with Financial Exploitation? Thanks

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I will be attending my parents' Neuro visit Tue, then have an appt with an Elder Care attorney on Wed. I've made a list of questions to ask based on your input. Thanks.
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Igloo - good thought. That's why I visit weekly to refill their pill containers. The original scripts and the weekly containers are kept in a lock box that only the caretaker and my mom know the combination for. (My dad is not allowed to have the combination because he would take more Vicodin and morphine than prescribed.) The caretaker opens the lockbox and delivers the pills to my parents at the assigned times and then locks them back up. Before this, my dad came up 15 Vicodens short one month and I had to stretch him out. That was painful for him. No issues since using the lockbox.
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Yes, we've tried to relocate them closer to us, their granddaughter, and great grandchildren. They like that idea but refuse to leave their homestead, their area friends, and their beloved pets.

The reason I think the POA might not have been properly executed is that it consists of four pages, including a directive, and only the last page is executed and notarized. So there is nothing on the POA page itself to legitimize it. I'm still trying to get a consultation with an Elder Care attorney and will have him/her advise me.

The parole office seems to be dragging their feet about investigating our complaints about DiL. I see that she only has three weeks left on her community supervision. We're concerned that they want to bury it until she's off parole. My wife is calling them today.
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This whole story sickens me. There is ALWAYS at least one vulture circling a sick, elderly person to exploit them. Infuriating!
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Igloo, excellent suggestion. Shlomo, you can also check the ID marks on the prescription tablets, and photo them as Igloo suggests. The prescription label will indicate what the markings are, and you can compare them.

It might be a good idea to remove a pill, place it on paper and photo the markings.

Great insights, Igloo!
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Shlomo- when you trek over to the pharmacist, try to take a iPhone shot beforehand of all the pills your folks are taking. Get in tight so the #’s are somewhat readable.

I’d be concerned that the methhead duo would swap your dads opioids for some useless vitamins of similar shape. There’s a huge HUGE street market for opioids & they are in that culture so can sell immediately. Easy cash $$$.

You folks would never know it happened till their health got affected weeks later. And maybe not even then.
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igloo572 those are EXCELLENT suggestions!
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Here is what I would do.
First, I'd contact APS and tell the story.
Then, as soon as I hung up the phone, I'd get to my parents' house.
I'd meet with my dad and take him with me to the bank and get on their checking account and also meet with a bank manager and explain the situation. Get online access to their accounts and set up bill paying, etc. Look at the account daily and monitor what is happening with it.

Also contact the police about what this meth head has done. Also get a restraining order so that the meth head cannot contact either of your parents with a sob story and requests for money.
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I would definitely talk to the attorney about seeking guardianship. You will need statements from her doctor and neurologist as to her diagnosis and assessing her mental capacity. If she is found by the court to be incapacitated, I think you would have a good chance of being appointed, so long as you have nothing in your background check that would be concerning to a judge (violent offenses, crimes involving money, bankruptcies, etc).

I would definitely contact APS as well, and let the attorney know what is going on ASAP before they try to move in with your parents. In many cases, during a guardianship proceeding, an attorney might also be appointed for your mom that could subpoena bank records, etc. If it is proven that SIL executed these transactions while your mother was in an incapacitated mental state, she could get in trouble and be ordered to pay it back.

I am currently my mom's guardian because my sister and I petitioned as co-guardians but during this process it was found out that she was abusing mom and had taken most of her savings out in cash for her own personal expenses. APS has recommended I file criminal charges on mom's behalf, and I am currently awaiting further advice from mom's attorney.

My sister had moved in under the auspices of "helping" and had made mom a prisoner in her own home, was physically abusive, and left mom with very little of her savings left. It was the same, $5,000 here, $1,000 there, another $5,000, etc.

Mom is currently living with me until we can arrange for home care or AL.

You might go up to mom's bank too and let the branch manager know what is going on. If you have POA over finances, they can discuss mom's accounts and you may even be able to close the old ones and open new ones with the money under mom's name and you as DPOA. That way your in-laws can't touch the money.

Even if you don't have financial POA, you can still alert the bank manager to what is going on, and they may decide to put a freeze on the account until they get clarification.

About the mail, I opened up a P.O. Box and had mom's mail forwarded there so my sister would not be able to get mom's new financial information once I opened up the guardianship account.
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Shlomo, I'm not prying, but what are the reasons for which you think the POA might not have been properly executed? When will you be able to have an attorney review it? Given the situation, I think this is a top priority because you could be taking control now.

The issue of reporting to the parole board is an excellent idea. If your state has a department of corrections website with parolees listed, check it out and see what the restrictions are. In Michigan, they're listed, including such things as refraining from using drugs.

If the parole officer chooses to do so, he/she can issue a violation and arrange with police for immediate incarceration pending hearing.

If there are none preventing your brother's widow from contact with your parents, contact the parole board by phone, and make arrangements to either visit or speak with the parole officer. He/she might be able to add a restriction w/o going through the state Parole Board.

Parole officers are subject to strict guidelines and cannot reveal the source of any information you might provide to them. They can act quickly, VERY quickly, to address a potential inflammatory situation. Emphasize that DIL has obtained and continues to request funds from an elderly couple with some dementia.

That's predatory behavior, and definitely threatening to the life and welfare of your parents.

Even if you're kind of afraid of the SIL, there's a possibility that if the POA is in fact properly executed, you could get a Personal Protective Order (restraining order) to prevent SIL and BF from harassing your parents. If they continue, that would probably be a parole violation as well.

(If you seek a PPO, add your family as well, as the SIL and BF may turn against you.)

It's thoughtful to be concerned about your mother's kind attitude toward these people, but the obligation to protect her is far overwhelming and more important than the good will she may feel towards them.
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Sho,

If your parents are in a smaller town in Tx, not a big city, the bank may have some ideas how to protect your Mom from herself as far as the money goes. Especially if your Dad would add you to their accounts.

My DIL works for a local Credit Union and they have measures in place to deal with Dementia customers.

I had to remove checks from the home. Mom had a debit card with a low withdrawal amount.

There were still problems with that but $100 withdrawal beats a Check written for $7,000!

This is just a suggestion that might work until you can get control of your parents affairs legally.

I had to have their mail forwarded to my address.  I did that thru the USPS website.
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I just wanted to add that there’s a risk involved in seeking guardianship/conservatorship. Apparently it’s especially treacherous if the family isn’t united. A judge can decide that you’re not suitable and appoint a stranger, who must be paid, and that can be very very bad, from what I have read. I’m sure it can be okay, sometimes but hardly a first choice for most of us.
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Shlomo - ok so your in TX, that’s actually very good as TX law enforcement is pretty tippy top on dealing with elder exploitation BUT you have to keep DIL & her BF from moving in. If she moves in then tenancy comes into play and if she can manipulate mom to say to cops that she (mom) allows DIL to be there there is nothing cops can do to make her leave as property owner (mom) allows her there.

Bet the BF record was horrific. Beyondhorrific.

DIL is probably quite the clever resourceful methhead minx. I’d be on the lookout that she will try to transfer the parole release “oversight” to your parents..... that would be a total clusterF. IMHO your gonna need guardianship on them. DPOA has just too many loopholes..... like mom goes with DIL to the bank that she’s been going to since forever. Ahhh sweet lil mom and the dutiful DIL, and checks get cashed. It’s going to kinda be impossible to stop this unless you are there, and your not. Really to me it’s guardianship and total change of banks.

If they know about dads opiates, those are going to get taken. That’s cash $.
You may want to drop by whatever pharmacy dad uses to ask if there’s been any irregularities in his RXs. Like he’s lost his meds, or ran out ahead of schedule. You’ll need a Hippa to do this. Tell them the story & Ask pharmacist (not the pharmacy tech but the pharmacist) to put an alert of their account. If they live in a small town, the pharmacist will know the other ones and they can all be on the alert for medication fraud.

Where your folks live, is this the home you grew up in? So you know the neighborhood? If so, the neighbors are mucho importante. Next visit go and chat with the ones nearby. Believe me they do NOT want DIL around.

If your old high school has an alumni group, get on that and see if there’s someone from your year or your brothers year that can go by to visit your folks couple times a week. Just a brief visit but enough to let DIL know there’s others in your parents life that are not family. We had this in my mom’s old neighborhood, one of my bffs from high school had her son move into her old family home and he does odd jobs for all the old parents in da hood from hauling out brush to going to HEB. He’s an fledgling artist / instructor so it’s a win win for all. Really reach out to the neighbors. If they live in a larger city, there will be a community policeman for their area, you should chat with them as well.
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Depending on the validity of the DPOA and how it's written, I think you may be able to move forward with just that, as long as Dr statement says they shouldn't be handling their own finances. Maybe lock down the account(s) so that there's a password required or move money to a new account in their name with you as DPOA. If they don't know how to access it, they can't give it away. I'd check with an attorney, tho.
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Have you considered moving your parents closer to keep a better eye on what’s going on? There are ways to do this and this site is full of advice on how. If you were closer and in a position to make yourself seen and heard at all times, it might send SIL and her boyfriend on their way.
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So your mom must be "sort of "with it if she can still "sort of" handle the house and your father. So show her rap sheet.. and ask her if this is what she wants living with her! Maybe she needs a stronger wake up call, explain that her son would not want her exposed to this sort of person. Maybe it's time for guardianship?
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Isthisrealyreal, that's what I ask myself almost daily now - "Is this really real?". I don't think mom is afraid of DiL, I think that she can't differentiate DiL from memories of late son. She knows they were separated, not just when DiL was incarcerated, but even before and after. But she seems to think that when she does something for DiL, she is doing it for late son. Part of her cognitive decline, thinking like he still lives in the form of her...

Can't partner with dad to stop the bleeding. He relies on mom to manage finances. She doesn't do it well (just found out they haven't filed 2017 nor 2016 taxes), but he can't do it at all. He doesn't know what bank they use, what their account number is. Probably can no longer even write a check.
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igloo57, I have a PoA executed but in process of verifying it is valid. Brother and I were the only heirs and I've always been executor of their will/estate. Even if the PoA is valid, I have learned, as you state, that it won't empower me to stop my mother from giving away money. Thanks for your thoughts on financial exploitation. No way my mother will sign her name to any document taking action against DiL.

OMG, Mom's already talked about having DiL move in with them to replace the home health aid (she thinks it is too expensive). I didn't think about how hard it might be to get her out once she is in. I've only thought dreadfully about how much stuff she can steal from them if she is living there and housekeeping.

We used Public Data to get boyfriend's arrest record. His "rap sheet" is eight pages long, including several grand thefts, BoH, and assault, besides numerous drug charges for meth and pot. We're now concerned what he might do to mom if the well dries up.
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Thank you to those who suggested it; my wife and I broke down and wrote her parole office last week. We anonymously reported that a Parolee was living alone since the death of her husband to whom she technically paroled (in Texas you have to parole to a person and a place to complete your Community Supervision). We also reported that a known felon has been seen at the property and driving the vehicles. I hate to do this to my SiL, but we felt we didn't have a choice. Received response stating they are taking every concern seriously and will investigate.
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Ahmijoy, I've been in discovery mode, working every spare moment since my brother's death to get up to speed. I have a nurse and physical therapist from a home health agency in their house weekly for checkup and PT. I also have a home health aid there daily from nine to four that ensures they take their medicine and get healthy meals. The aid also drives them wherever they need to go. I'm 60 miles away but I attend all their dr appointments and am learning about their diagnoses and issues. I also visit once a week to refill their weekly pill containers. My dad is on opiates (Morphine and Vicodin) for chronic pain and both parents are on Namenda and Aricept, so I know that they are in cognitive decline. I'll be with them when they visit their Neurologist next week and will learn more about the diagnoses from him.

I have a signed PoA but am not sure it is legal (executed properly). This is something I want the attorney to look at. I am the executor of their will and now the sole heir. My mom is managing their finances as dad clearly doesn't have the mental capacity to pay a bill or withdraw money from an account. And as you state, I am finding it very hard to stop my mother from giving all her money away to the DiL -- unless I take legal action to become Guardian.
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Shlomo, it looks almost certain that your parents are being financially abused. Call both the parole board and adult protective services immediately. Then try to help your father figure out how to protect their assets while you're waiting for action from the parole board and APS. Then begin a conversation with him about his long-term plans.
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The quickest sounds like it would be to contact the Parole Board. Be prepared to obtain restraining orders.
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I would say that you should contact APS and report this. I would also reach out to their doctors and get the actual diagnosis so you can proceed with knowledge.

In the mean time can you talk to dad and get money transferred so mom doesn't have access? Dad has every right to stop mom from spending all their money.

Do you think your mom might be afraid of this woman? Meth heads are dangerous and mom might be concerned about repercussion. Just a thought. Whatever you do, do quickly this is escalating and could interfere with them getting aid if needed.

Please let us know what is going on.
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I’m guessing that you are not their DPOA. Was now deceased brother DPOa?

If nobody’s dpoa, I’d bet the atty will suggest that you become their guardian as they cannot say no to former DIL. DPOA alone just doesn’t give you the level of control that is needed with mom who can’t say no & dad won’t override mom..... and a drug addled felon who knows how to manipulate. You will have to actively be their guardian & if you can’t be then the attorney will have a suggestion as to who to be named guardian that works for how your stat s guardianship laws run. 

Guardianship has a initial cost - 5k/9k range - but once your appointed you can be reimbursed from their assets. The good part is that you now will legally control their funds & assets so no more giving away of $ or transferring of assets. Folks can get smaller amount of spending $ or a debit card for shopping but no more full access to their funds by them.

For the “exploitation of a vulnerable adult” type of charge, you or your folks would have to contact APS and your folks would need to file in detail police reports & sign off on the reports. It sounds like enough $ that these are felony charges. Unless your parents are both willing to go to the mat in filing police reports to have her arrested, go to court, testify etc, it’s just a total idle threat. And DiL fully knows this, plus she can say they gifted $ to her and so not her fault they can’t remember.

I’d be concerned that if you do not become their guardian that the lovely meth couple will move in with your folks to supposedly “help” and once that happens will be hard to get rid of them. Meth heads are beyond crazy & it’s rare for them to rehabilitate to full function. 

Where did mom go after the argument with dad? 

Atty can pull their arrest records. I’d have the attorney do this on dil & her BF. It will likely be horrific. Also ask atty to pull the paperwork on your parents home and any other property they own. Just to make sure someone hasn’t added their name or had mom co-sign on debts that defaulted with lien placed. Meth heads are ruthless. 

On a tangent, was brothers unexpected death at all suspicious? Is there an Estate for your brother and who benefits?
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If your SIL is living with a boyfriend who also has a Meth arrest, and they are both on probation/parole,, they may both be in violation of the terms of said parole. Call the Parole office and check into/report this. That should slow things down...
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Who’s handling your parents’ financial issues now? Someone needs to. You don’t seem to be very familiar with their actual physical and mental issues, so it might be wise to educate yourself on exactly what is going on with them. Are they living alone and handling everything on their own since your brother passed? Does anyone have Power of Attorney (financial and medical) for them? Executor of their wills? Speak with your dad and see if there’s some way to get you in charge of their finances. If Mom has mental issues, I’d be worried about her out there on her own, especially if she’s angry and upset.

If there is nothing in writing and signed by them that you have a say-so in what they do with their money, then there isn’t much an attorney can do. You would probably have to have them tested and proven unable to handle living on their own before you can stop them from handing out their money.
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