Mom supports my adult brother financially and is her POA. He's draining her funds, what can I do?

Follow
Share

She basically supports him financially, and she is retired, living on a fixed income. He has stolen from her since he was a teenager, and has a 3 page criminal rap sheet. He has had drinking and drug problems for many years. Last year, without telling me, she deeded her home to him upon her death, and changed her Power of Attorney to have me and my brother both as personal representatives. She didn't know it was a public record, and I confronted her about the Power of Attorney and told her I would not get involved; that she should just let my brother be sole Power of Attorney, since she has set things up for him to have what little she has after her death. She wants me to take care of her estate when she passes, and I have no intention of taking care of everything while the Power of Attorney and Deed remain as they are. My brother and I do not get along at all because he knows that I know what he has done to her over the years. Whenever I speak to her about it, she says he would just have to take whatever he wants, because she can't do anything about it. My heart just sank when she said this. She is very afraid of being along, and is willing to let him rob her blind, as long as he lives with her. I am sure that is why he doesn't pay any rent or contribute financially. She still prepares his meals, changes his bed sheets, washes his clothes, all things that he should be doing for her. She insists she can't live without him, because he does "so much" for her, which to my knowledge, consists of picking up prescriptions for her at the local pharmacy 1 mile away from her home. She even goes to the grocery store on her own. My husband and I try to do as much as we can for her, and she will call when she needs us too. I am worried sick that my mother will one day need assisted living, and any funds she has will have been drained by my brother. What can I do? She is in complete denial when I try to talk to her about it. Thank you.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
18

Answers

Show:
Sounds like my deceased brother, but since you do not say your mother has dementia, she has every right to handle her own affairs. Since you have washed your hands of handling her estate unless it is as YOU want it, I say let your mother and your brother live in peace, and you stand the heck away from them unless you want to. You cannot change this mother/son relationship. Don't you know by now mothers and sons bond more, and dads and daughters bond even more. There is nothing you can do about it, so keep your husband happy by paying attention to him.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

where does one file a fiduciary elder abuse report?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It is so sad to think that in the last round of your parent's life this is what is happening.

I just finished having a heavy sobbing session because my mom has been in ICU for eleven days while her heart heals. They took her off of the sedatives 3 days ago and she is not waking up.

The last thing we are thinking of is her money. We would be happy if she would just wake up and spend it all on herself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

yes - check with adult protective services about parents and other adults who might be abused
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Jeanne... it is not your problem. Your mother has made her choices, and offered the olive branch to you in form of Co-POA. I understand that partnering as POA is not a tenable situation. Mother has let brother's behavior continue his entire life. It is NOT going to change now... especially since she is sponsoring his behavior.

I wish you the best of luck! I'm sorry you have to deal with this problem.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1. Your brother has been stealing from your mother since he was a teenager. Your mother has allowed him to get away with it all this time. Do not expect a change.
2. There is no legal requirement that a parent treat all children equally. Most parents strive to do this, but they are not required to. Equal treatment is never going to happen in your family.
3. Turning down the dual POA role was wise. In general, naming two people to the role of POA is a disaster waiting to happen. In particular, naming you and your brother as co-POAs is a certified disaster already underway. What are the chances the two of you would ever agree to what is in Mother's best interest? Or that he would abide by decisions anyway?
4. There may be some value in filing an fiduciary elder abuse report, especially if you can give specific examples of misuse of funds. On the other hand, I'm not sure what will happen when Mothers says, as she will, "oh, I told him to take that money. I wanted him to have it."
5. You are right. If Mother ever needs a care center she will be in a world of hurt. This is going to sound callous, but it is Not Your Problem. She doesn't have enough money to self-pay for the facility? Not Your Problem. You are not required to rescue her financially. Medicaid approves her application but applies a penalty because there is so much money she can't account for? Not Your Problem. You are not required to pay for her care during the penalty period.
6. Life is Short. Don't spend yours dealing with this crap. You have made honest attempts to steer your mother away from a self-destructive path. Move on with your life. Save up money for your own old age. Enjoy your life to the fullest.
7. Don't punish your mother. She's setting up punishment enough for herself. Continue to help her out when she asks. Be pleasant. Let her know how much you love her. Just remember that if she has to someday face the consequences of her decisions, it is Not Your Problem.

What an awful situation you are in.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am very sorry about what is going on. I too had the same issue going on with my brother. It is always important to remember that it is your Mom that is being abused. She is being taken advantage of because(just as my Mom did) does not want to be alone and will have those that they love stay with them, not matter at what cost. This is upsetting and Adult Protective Services, the Police, and possibly attorney's need to get involved so that she is not being taken advantage of, especially if she is not being treated respectully and at risk of possible neglect (be it lack of socializtion, proper medical attention, and finanical ruin).
I went through the EXACT same situation happen a couple of years ago.

My husband and I got the police involved, went to see an attorney and had them welfare checks. I had them( my brother and his drunken girlfriend) eventually kicked out my notice of police, and had them realize that the money they took out of her bank(her life savings) would be considered theft if they did not return it.

Get others involved. You need assistance to help with your Mom from being committed to the fact that she feels this is the best for her. She deserves better and so do those that genuinely care for her.

Good Luck and all the best
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I went through this same scenario with a parent. Try to continue to gently "coax" your mom into changing her POA. It will be hard because she is probably afraid of your brothers reaction if he finds out. Calmly continue to bring up the subject of a change in POA. It is a hurtful thing to see your loved ones money just taken like that. Have POA papers with you at all times in case she has a sudden change of heart. Good Luck. Also check out elder abuse agencies is your area.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Reading these stories on this website make me believe that we are not in a place between heaven and hell. We are living in the latter. As the common saying goes "Hell on Earth." There is another popular saying "Life is Short," and it is. And we spend it dealing with this crap? So many issues, so much anxiety and so much pain. Why? Because we let our situation control us. The reality is we utlimately have control over our lives and what we feel. I hope I will learn that before I am on my own death bed, and think, "What a schmuck I've been to do this to myself."
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

PS. the same thing happened to a friend of mine. Her brother took everything, the parents lost their house and my friend had to obtain guardianship after everything was gone and her parents had to go into a medicaid assisted nursing home when they became ill. Her mother just passed and there was no money for burial and the remaining siblings had to come up with the cash for the funeral. Take action now....
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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