Brother is holding Mom's belongings hostage in another state. Any advice?

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At a uhaul facility poss release in exchange for $20,000 he already stole $$$$$$ She is of sound mind, lives independently, was distraught from husbands death when my brother swoop down and took advantage of her. He told her that all the life ins. Money belonged to him, he made her wire money to Canada to his partner for a lot of different reasons , she thought he was there to help her after my step dads death when in fact he was taking advantage of the situAtion and took almost all her money, he put her house up for sale sold most of her husbands things pocketed the money the. Allowed certain things for her to put into a pod for storage which was sent to another state by Canada and now he won't let her have her things , he has uhaul company not allowing her any access or even be able to make any payments on her stuff until she gives him another 20,000$

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I would suggest telling the police. And don't wait, else they will ask you why
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If someone causes an elder [or anyone] to become dependent on the State for assistance, because they connived money or other salable assets from the elder, the State will want to know about it. And they will take steps to get compensated.
So might the Tax systems.
So might APS.

But Please, also do a serious a reality check, to see whether Mom is playing "divide and conquer" between the 2 of you, to get what _she_ thinks she wants.
Sometimes, its REALLY hard to tell what's going on.
Families are commonly shattered by these tactics, and they rarely mend.

If you can, for instance, rule that out entirely, like if you have documents to prove the shifted assets and reasons they got shifted [contracts, emails, other documents, letters, etc. in print], then you might have a case to go to authorities with.
Documentation goes for you, too...if you are any level of caregiver for her, you need to keep good records written down about what she does, talks about, etc. behavior records, as a diary or calendar with notations on it, could help cover your behind if needed.

OTHERwise, it might be best to just let the stuff go....anyone who does that kind of rotten behavior, deserves what they get....it might _seem_ like he "wins" by getting the goods.
But ya know what they say about "karma"? it does seem to come back and bite those persons on their behinds.

Thing is, it's fairly common for an elder to manipulate one person, then another, by telling them all kinds of stories, in very emotional terms, dramatically driving home their points.
Mom might be telling one family member you are stealing from her, abusing her, lying, etc.; then turns to you, telling you the other relative is doing same horrible things; it depends on what their goal is.
Happened here.
Really bad.
Mom finally got what she _thot_ she wanted, but, once it happened, she immediately had a major mental melt-down as she realized she'd really pulled a major bad-act.
I chose to stop playing the game...haven't spoken to any of them since she moved out. My sibs are still playing it for all it's worth.
She's been acting like she doesn't know what happened [all innocent] to them, since then....and the others are also playing dumb....but they have a few clues...they just don't want to admit how complicit they were in things blowing up as they did.
Mom has a few screws loose, but she can still process cogent thoughts---it's not all dementia; mostly related to her own mental/emotional issues she's suffered for a lifetime.

So, you've got to figure out what's really going on.
Does she try to prevent or discourage you from communicating with this relative?
Have you read letters from him to her, that clearly show his behaviors?
Those might be a good place to start.
If her reports _seem_ to have a solid basis, == and there are paper-trails == you might get somewhere via APS, State Welfare, etc.
Otherwise, might be walking on thin ice created by Mom.
Good luck!
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I agree. You need to go there and see what is going on. POA gives him the right to sell if the parent can't make the decision. May need to get a lawyer involved.
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My husband clarified for me that the gift tax notification to the IRS is only used to determine that a person has not given away more than what is not taxable to an estate after a person dies. Unless it is a large estate it would not come into play after her death.
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I think the first thing you need to do is find out if your mom has named him as POA. If she has then this becomes more of a family issue than a legal one. If he is not her POA check her county real estate records to see who actually signed the sale agreement. Is he was not on it then he did commit a crime. Your mom may be signing things that she does not fully understand what they are because she trusted him. For tax purposes your mom can gift $14,000.00 a year to an individual without having to put it on her tax return. If he is not her POA or on her house she would have been limited to transferring $14,000.00 to him in a calendar year for tax purposes. If you are able to get all the information will your mom be willing to testify against him? Since she is of sound mind however he got her to do the things you have mentioned it will be difficult to get it prosecuted. Concerning the Life Insurance Policy he must be either the "owner" of the policy on your mom or the beneficiary. If it is the second one she can change that with a call to the insurance Company explaining what is happening. I agree about moving on but who will help her financially when she runs out of money. There are questions that are not addressed in your post such as where is she living and how much longer she can pay her own bills without assistance. Have all the facts before you accuse him legally of fraud and that is if your mom would agree to do it. If any information I have mentioned is not correct it will show up in another post.
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Have you talked to you Brother to get his side of the story, or is this all your Mothers story. As aging parents get older, and develop dementia, they get paranoid, think people are stealing from them. If you have't talked with your Brother, I suggest you do.
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I am so sorry you are going through this. I am sure there is a lot more details here but what it boils down to is a possible crime was committed. However, in
our particular county in California when this similar situation occurred to my mom being victimized my brother both financially, emotionally, and actually selling items on eBay that were reported stolen- the district attorney told me they won't file on cases that aren't $500,000 and above. APS got involved and stated our county, in that part specifically, fails to report elder Abuse crimes and say they are family issues therefore many seniors are victims and nothing is being done because families give up.
Two things can be done here. Report this. Document everything in the past that led up to his and be honest and concise. Do not complain about your brother and just stare the facts of the situation. Ask for a restraining order. There is more options here than anything if nothing else can be done.
The other option is to figure what happened, happened. They are things. If your mom can squeak by without that money for now, just walk away from the fight. Keep all documentation, call logs, wire receipts, etc. Block his number from all your phones. Still obtain a restraining order for your mom, you, and anyone else you feel may be affected by him.
Be proactive not reactive. Then just enjoy your mom, worry about you and let your brother deal with his issues on his own. If he can't pay for the property or storage, you could always call the location and ask they contact you if there are problems. But that is a last resort after you contact the police and ask them for advice.!
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How long has it been since you've seen your mother? If it's been a while, it might be a good idea to go for a visit and see how she's doing. Is there any chance she could have dementia? I know when my mom started showing signs of dementia, she'd get paranoid and suspicious, and she would say things that weren't necessarily 100% accurate. Is the only evidence you have of this fraud your mother's word? You really need to go in person and see what's going on. Go to uhaul with your mom, explain the situation to the manager there, and ask if you can see which, if any of mom's belongings are in storage. Get access to the insurance policy and see who the beneficiary was. Was your mom's husband your brother's dad? Is it at all possible that he could have been the beneficiary? Or did he just convince her to give him the money? If it's the latter, and you say she's of sound mind, that doesn't make sense. I know my mother was really good at hiding her dementia at first. For the sake of your mom's health and well-being, you need to take a trip there. Spend a week. Observe. If you are health care proxy, talk to her doctor. Once you're there, and you have confirmed your suspicions, call the *local police. I'm so sorry for you.
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Whoever was listed as beneficiary on life insurance policy owns that money. It does not belong to estate to be split among heirs & the beneficiary isn't obligated to pay funeral costs. In fact, if estate is open and she paid funeral costs out of life ins money, she can ask to be paid back before estate settled. Most of the estate portion depends on if there was a will and state laws. Who is the executor of the estate? If it is him and he is doing wrong she can petition court to have him removed
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Who has the POA? If he has it, she needs to change it to you.
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