Do I have legal rights to ask how my mother’s finances are being taken care of if my brothers is taking care of my mom?


When my brother & his wife started taking care of my Mother he kept me informed about her health and finances. Then later on when he would mention any thing having to do with finances or the sale of Mom's house it would become an argument if I had an opinion about what was being done. Then a month ago we had a disagreement about the sale of Mom's house and the way the realtor was handling it.

The real estate deal he was getting involved in was very odd. The realtor was representing the buyer as well as my brother along with asking my brother to pay the closing costs for the buyer. I really felt this was not proper and when I said that we should put the house with another realtor my brother became very angry and has not talked to me since. My sister-in-law is answering the phone when I call to talk to my Mother which I do nightly.

I am very concerned about what is happening. The house and her Social Security is all she has and he has power of attorney and is on her checking account. He also told me Mom had made a new will and he took her to her attorney to take care of it. This is the statement he made "when I saw what Mom was writing I told her that was not fair and do you really didnt want to do that" He then said "When I took her to the attorney I asked the attorney to talk to her about it." Then he told me later that "it was taken care of and that he has the checking account."

I called Mom's attorney and spoke with the secretary. She did tell me that the attorney talks with my Mom alone. That relieved some of my anxiety but I just don't know what to do. I have been pushed out of my Mother's life except for
my phone calls. I also have to make an appointment to see her when I am able to come to visit. I live 200 miles away and am on social security myself so monies are tight for me and I can't visit as often as I'd like.

It has turned into a nightmare. I just don't know what to do or if I can do

Mom is 94, fairly good health, extremely forgetful, asks same questions over and over during our phone visits, but no major health problems, walks with a walker, sometimes depressed and becomes aggitated easily if she gets to tired.<p/>

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My younger sister is POA for our elderly mother in assisted living. My younger sister is the only one on the account with my mother. I found an article that says if she is joint on the account it may invalidate Mom's will which specifies her 'estate' (all she has is her bank accounts) to be divided equally among all three of us girls. I'm afraid her will has been inadvertently nullified. Is there anything I can do? Any suggestions?
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My 94 year old mother is living with my sister, recently my sister had my mother transfer all her property into my sisters name. Now she refuses to allow either me or my children to visit or see my mother. Is there anything I can do to force my sister to let me see my mother?
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Naturally you are concerned about your mother's welfare. Since distance limits how often you can see her that adds anciety to the mix. It is hard to tell how much grounds you have for fear for your mother's future.

It sounds like your mother lives with your brother and his wife, correct? Brother has POA. That means he has the responsibility to act in her behalf when she cannot make decisions herself. It can take a lot of effort to sell a house in this market. Your brother has had that responsibility and probbly hasn't told you all the details of showings, hope being raised and then disappointed, negotiating price and and other details, etc. He may also have had to do a lot to get the house into shape to be sold, especially if your mother hasn't been able to keep it up well in her later years. I can see why he might not appreciate you giving advice from afar. It used to be very common for the same real estate agent to represent the buyer and the seller, trying to get a fair and reasonable deal for each. I don't think that is so common any more but that probably varies by region. Who pays the closing costs or points, whether the drapes are included of there is a separate purchase for them, who pays for certain improvements -- that is all just part of the negotiating process. The bottom line, are we getting a fair price for this house, and are we paying a fair price for this house, is what counts. The individual pieces are not so essential. It sounds like you were critical of your brother's decisions and he took it very hard. It is too bad this commercial transaction is driving a wedge between you. I hope you can get past this and start speaking again. Were you on good terms with your brother in the past?

When you say that you have to have an appointment to see your mother, do you mean they want you to give them advance notice because you will be staying overnight at their house? Or that they tell you you can only visit on Wednesday afternoons between 3 and 5? Do they want to be sure you don't drive all that way on a day Mother has several doctor appointments, or are they trying to keep you away? It is so hard to see a clear picture from what you have said.

Again, it is hard to know about the will. Was she going to leave her estate to a home for orphaned wildlife and your brother wanted the lawyer to make sure she knew what she was doing? Or is he trying to cut you out of her will? Can you simply ask your mother what changes she has made to her will? Realize, too, that medical expenses may wipe out any estate she has. They are very likely to if her dementia worsens to the point she cannot remain in your brother's home and she has to pay for skilled nursing care. There won't be any inheritance to worry about.

It is really hard to stay in touch with a parent when you are separated by distance. And your concern for her and your lack of knowledge about what is going on adds to your anxiety. Is there any chance you can schedule a visit with Mom and also to have a heart-to-heart with your brother, clearing the air between you and establishing a better relationship between you, for your mother's sake?
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I know money is tight for you, but if there's ANY way you can make an impromptu visit, do it.
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