Follow
Share

Mom's been in IL about 6 months and all has been calm. Mom asked BIL to help her out with moving and finances when she moved, though I have DPOA. (She lived with me about 2 years before the move.) Mom gave BIL access to her account online. I received her bank statement and noticed an online check made out to him for $200 last month, which is a lot when Mom is in a HUD housing unit at this IL place and only gets SS. Plus, BIL is supposed to be helping Mom with bills if she overspends.

When I asked him about the debit, he said it covered "seed money payback." I don't even know what that means. He says there won't be any more debits to him. But this makes me mad. He didn't run this by me and my brother first.

I did not want other family involved in Mom's finances to begin with. Since I am responsible for her finances based on the DPOA, I don't like this. Advice?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I'm not sure Mom knows about this. Am talking to her tonight and will see if she mentions it or will ask if she doesn't. She has limited computer access where she lives now and I never saw her check her account on her own in the 2 years she lived with me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

cmcwrinkl1, We took away mom's checkbook and online access to limit her generosity. After she went through $600 cash in the first month at ALF, we now limit her to no more than $60 at a time. Then I grabbed the BIL and told him NOT to take her money for any reason, it could affect his mobility.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I like your note idea, igloo. There are 6 siblings and a couple aunts so I could send this to everyone and then let it go.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I feel you are being wise. It is hard to know what the right thing to do is. You are doing an impossible job well.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

CMC - You've gotten really great suggestions. I have another suggestion to make peace and establish pecking order is to send a note to BIL/SIL and all other siblings that……..

"Mom's finances are very limited and as you know she is on federally subsidized housing. It is central that we all do whatever we can to enable her to continue to live in the community within her means and within any regulations from HUD or other programs she is on. If in the future, mom needs to get additional help and requires skilled nursing care, mom will need to apply for Medicaid. To the best of my understanding, Medicaid can do a full 5 year lookback on all of mom's finances. Medicaid can require all of mom's banking details for the past 5 years. Any checks paid to family members can considered "gifting" and can keep her from being eligible for Medicaid & from getting services she may critically need.

If mom asks you to get something for her and she wants to & can afford to repay you, we need to get documentation for the item(s) with any reimbursement to exactly match the amount. So that there are no problems in the future that could jeopardize her ability to get the care and services she needs. Thanks for all that you do for our mom.

You sign the note as "Jane Jones Smith as DPOA for Mary Jones"

I would send it on cute single page of paper, typed. Send to all family members too.

It is good that you are familiarizing yourself with what a DPOA does. It is not something to take lightly whether or not there is $ or property. Based on many posts on this site, often the daughters are made the DPOA but there is many times a nephew, or male in law that just can't help themselves and want to take over. Mom picked you and she did it for a reason. You & not somebody else. If you are not also her MPOA you want to become that too. You may need to go to the bank to establish who you are in her banking situation. If you can you want the accounts to be with you as a signature so that it can remain open if mom dies and you want it as POD - a pay on death account. Now you don't have to close it but by your being a signature and you being the POD, the account is set up to be an estate of account pretty seamlessly. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I've just decided that I will let this go and not talk to him about it anymore. Once the benefit payments to Mom start in December and no family assistance might be needed, I'm going to change the passwords.

Made this decision and then read MaggieMarshall's answer about changing passwords.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I will again remind everyone that just because you possess someone's POA, it does not mean that the person themselves can't do whatever they want to with their money. It takes guardianship to assure that.

And, yes, of course. Someone does not need access to anyone's accounts to simply make a deposit. That may be where this went off the rails. If mom gave him passwords, no harm-no foul. If YOU gave him passwords, I'd say you violated your responsibiities as her POA. You can't DO that without being held completely responsible for anything he would do.

Change the passwords.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1) No one needs account access in order to deposit funds.
2) Take the time to read the entire POA document slowly and carefully. I'm not talking down to you, honest! It's taken me this entire calendar year to get acquainted with my resposibilities as POA, and to learn exactly what it spells out. So do it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

BIL is local and able and willing to help. Give him the benefit of the doubt that the $200 was spent in mom's best interest. If you prefer to insist BIL is a thief you will create a very unpleasant circumstance for mom.
$200 Is not worth the support you may lose for being accusatory.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

By seed money payback, I imagine BIL means he's set up a kitty, petty cash to pay for ad hoc items for your mother. That's not the worst idea ever, actually; but YOU are required to account for all withdrawals from your mother's funds. Next time, you need to cash the cheque, and if he's handling small amounts on your mother's behalf he needs to give you all the receipts.

You need to get him off the bank account. Nothing against him: you are responsible for administering your mother's affairs, and that means you are required, as part of your responsibility, to do it yourself. Delegation just makes life complicated. If you can't explain this to your mother (not because you're bad at explaining, I mean, because she's bad at understanding) then it's time to enable your DPOA and get her off her bank accounts too.

Ahem. I have just seen your post above. What in heaven's name possessed you to agree to act as DPOA without first taking the trouble to understand what it meant? Never mind. We've all done something like it.

I suggest a circular letter to whom it may concern stating that all contributions to the Mother Benevolent Fund are most welcome. However, grateful acceptance of same does not imply permission to access confidential financial information by anyone not authorised to see it. I.e. anyone except you.

Tee hee hee. I cannot remember any occasion when I have been offended by NOT being asked for money..?! Well you'll want to put that faux pas right straight away!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I don't doubt for a minute that $200.00 would have not covered anything, if you had hired it done. Thank him and move on.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Also to clarify, BIL was given access to her account so that he could deposit money if she needed it. It looked when she moved as if she might need a little help until a benefit was approved. But I haven't seen any deposits made by him, which is why I'm confused and also frustrated. There was already family drama when this decision was made for him to help subsidize her if needed. My sister and her husband were offended that no one asked them to help Mom with money. I was not aware they had extra funds but since they made a fuss about me knowing they had money, this payback also bothers me.

I'd love to just let it go. I just don't completely know my duties as DPOA. Maybe I should ask the elder law attorney who drew up the documentation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If it makes sense, in the interest of family harmony, to let this go, then do it just this once -- but I'd still request receipts from him. Tell him that since you're POA, it's important that everything be documented and transparent. If he can't come up with any receipts or credit card statements, then even if it's "only" $200, it's a sign that he probably didn't use the money for her.
Since you're POA, you should be assuming full responsibility for overseeing your mother's spending, not your BIL (it's the job of the POA). I'd thank him for his help with your mother's transition, take his access to her accounts away, and handle this yourself from now on.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Think hard before you create a fuss over $200.00. You are accusing your BIL of stealing, you have now alienated and insulted your BIL, your sister. her children. This won't heal or go away. Would your mother want this rift in the family. Maybe your mother requested things she doesn't want you to know about.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I know it's "only $200" but she gets $1000 a month and her expenses are $850 a month if she's careful. And she has no savings, no assets, bupkiss. Thank you RockinRobin and Eyerishlass for your more helpful answers. I expect her to need Medicaid in the future. And I wouldn't care what she does with her own money if I wasn't DPOA.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

For heaven's SAKE!! It's $200. Lord have mercy.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Seed money payback means, to me, that BIL bought some things for your mom (a cup of coffee? groceries? other necessary items?) and he was paying himself back.

Is this reasonable? Would your BIL be in a position to buy your mom different items for whatever reason? And if he did, why didn't he keep a record of it or keep the receipts? If I were spending my own money on someone else's expenses expecting to get paid back you can bet I'd keep receipts.

I would just ask him, "What does 'seed money payback' mean?" If he has nothing to hide he should be comfortable answering your question.

If nothing gets answered or the answer is not to your satisfaction then I would take BIL off of "mom duty" and make sure he has nothing to do with her finances. Chalk it up to a $200 lesson.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is over $200?? Forget it. It even irritates ME that you'd question it.

Look, just because your mom gave you POA, that doesn't mean that she can't transact business on her own -- which is what she did when she asked your BIL to help.

If you're concerned about the future, ask your mom to change her online password.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Tell BIL that since you are DPOA, you need to account for every sent of mom's money. If she ever needs NH care and has to apply for Medicaid, you need all your ducks in a row. Tell him you need in writing exactly what the $200 was for, for mom's records and he needs to sign it. Also be firm about him messing with mom's money again. . You might not get the answers you're looking for, but I'm sure he won't do it again if he knows he has to make a full accounting of it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.