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Mom (85) with memory loss. She is safe in senior living where they do the cooking, cleaning etc. She no longer drives. Things seem good where she is and she loves it there. Only the one brother takes all her social security checks from her checking and now is talking her into only 25 thousand from her investments. I have tried to talk to the bank since I am the POA and also listed as her agent on the acct. No luck! They say she is the client and it's her money to give as she wants. She lives in CA and I live in HI. All the other siblings have moved from CA too. Only the one who lives there in town takes her directly to the bank and gets withdrawals. She can't even remember doing it. Frustrating!

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xxxxx, I asked legit questions to try and understand the situation. First we get back I just can't hop on a plane(People do that everyday), than added in is "I'm disabled(OK, sorry to hear that, but people everyday in this country get on planes when they have to who have health issues).

In regards to your food comment, the mother his living with the brother and his family, should she not contribute? If she was in an AL or NH that would be easily $5,000 a month(most likely more). Maybe they feel her contribution is paying for their monthly food for the family in lieu of rent. That is not unreasonable.

Now if they're buying new cars on her dime, that is not right.

Who knows if there is monetary abuse going on, that's why you get on a plane and you go. This same poster has been beating this drum for months now, take some action.

As TooYoungForThis said unless you're completely bedridden disabled people travel.

Again, some issues need to be dealt with in person.
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Plebber, I believe all that person was seeing was checks or credit card charges to grocery stores. Since those dollar amounts aren't itemized, one cannot see the hefty prices for Depends, Ensure or Boost, and for pharmacy items. Let's not forget extra bottles of laundry detergent for the constant washing of bedding.
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Yes, I don't think it is quite fair to assume someone does not have the right to be worried that his/her parent is being exploited because he/she is not an active caregiver. I say this being the active caregiver who was falsely accused by an absent sibling for malicious reasons. However, when there is smoke, there is usually fire.
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And Irishboy, in many of Pita's posts they stated that mom was the concern, and feared that brother would deplete the funds and mom wouldn't have proper care. Why would you say that only money was the concern? I sibling or care giver adult has to fear if money gets used for the wrong things. Money was earned and saved for a reason, not for a child or caregiver to use it for personal reasons. Yes it's one thing if a set fund is given for rent etc, but to splurge on foolishness. I saw where Piza said the brother was using funds for food. Tell me who as an old person can e at $1000 worth of food in the month? most seniors hardly eat at all. My father eats about $150 in the month. And he's healthy. Give it up Irishboy, you're too picky.
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Irishboy, you're quite a pot stirrer you know. You're not there to know anything about anyone's situation of what was or is. Perhaps someone just needed some sound advice or wanted to vent. And I know many people who cannot travel anymore, some cannot even leave their homes due to sickness or perhaps they have more on their plate like taking care of someone else and cannot leave them alone. So quit being so sarcastic.
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Exactly TooYoungForThis, you see this on the board too frequently. There was one who couldn't go from NYC to go 90 miles to somewhere in NJ to check on family. Why post concern on here? Some situations involve being there in person.

You're right, any city in FL as 3 or 4 non stops into the 3 NY area airports daily.

I am also suspect in these cases if this isn't "BASH THE CAREGIVER", many times the do nothing sibling attacks the caregiver and accuses them of stealing from the elderly parent. Notice in the case of Pita the only concern is money, not really mom.

To justify in their minds their lack of involvement in the care of an elderly parent they make the caregiver the "bad guy". Who knows for sure if the brother and SIL are taking advantage, maybe they are, but they're also having the mother live in their home.

Pita says on her profile she is taking care of her mother. No you aren't, the brother is, you're in FL, mother is in NY. There is no such thing as long distance caregiving.

But utter nonsense about not be able to get on a plane.
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I'd contact the local adult protective services and her physician. If you are her poa for medical and financial you legally can obtain information. Find out how bad her memory problems are, is she competent to make all decisions on her own or only some? APS can talk with your mom, but if she is competent there is really nothing they can do. I think this is a shame as she needs what funds she has for her care. Some people never learn, one day it'll come around to bite him in the butt.
You can also contact the below agency for senior information/services:
California Department of Aging
1300 National Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95834-1992

Phone: (916) 419-7500
Fax: (916) 928-2267
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I posted a similar comment on another thread.

People who say they live "too far away & can't get to where their parents are", but continuously say that another sibling is stealing or "taking advantage" of their parent's money is ridiculous. If it is that important, where there's a will there's a way.

I don't know where in NY you live, but I know that there are no less than 100 flights to various Florida airports from the 3 major New York airports. A flight to Florida is about 3 hours. And, I've seen countless people in wheelchairs, walking with canes & walkers and who have much difficulty moving getting on & off the planes in FLA & NY. Unless you're bed bound, you can get on a plane.

Handling your parent's finances when that parent is living with another sibling simple CAN NOT be done from a distance or from another state. As I said----if it is that important to you, you have to leave your own comfort zone & get to where your mother is to resolve the problem. What I think is that many people don't want to confront the sibling that they are complaining about----they want to do it from a distance so they don't have to face them. A situation that involves finances cannot be resolved that way.
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Pita, I never said you were jealous of the money, so please don't twist my words.

Your brother and SIL may very well be scamming your mother, but she is also living in their house, if your brother is spending $800 a month on groceries for the family and it is coming out of your mom's account, well $800 would be the very least she would be paying for a senior apt. in CT.

I'm sorry if you're wheelchair bound, but again that doesn't prevent people from getting on planes.

I hope this situation works out for you, I just don't see how it can be done long distance.
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In CT, but can be handled in NY..that's what the lawyer said. I'm debating at this point to contact the orignating atty. as he probably would remember certain details on how pushy my brother and sister in law were to tear up the old testament
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Pita2u, what State is mentioned on your Mom's Power of Attorney?
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sadly a lot of these agencies don't care. that's what I got off the lawyer. they hear these stories everyday...but yet they are the first ones to make a hard time when you need state aid because a sibling wasted all the money, because their stupid answers are, well if mom or dad is alittle fit in the head it was their choice, and when someone like me comes along to claim fraud they say things like irishboy..oh you're jealous you don't have the money.. and then the state ends up paying anyhow for their stupidity in the first place. it's a losing battle,
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I have access to my mothers accounts and was able with my POA to get documents for the DA. The only account I no longer can see is the bank account . the bank said my brother brought my mother in to close her acct. they said they didn't question because they dont want to get involved. I know who's watching because my brother has a big mouth and talks, and forgets the people he talks too also know me. And we talked about it a year ago and I told him I wasn' t happy with strangers watching moms house, even if it was her neighbors. it's not their place. You can only ask a neighbor for just so long. And my brother's kids are stupid and leave an open trail via internet which made me do more hunting. which led me to where I am with no answers from the legal end. Irishboy I don't need to open up my personal business as to why I cannot get to NY. If I were able, I would of been there long ago. if you can walk count your blessings..
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If you are your mother's POA, maybe you need to consider Guardianship, and be appointed as your mother's designated representative for Social Security. Then you can have the funds deposited into an account you control exclusively, fir your mother. Banks should not be ignoring POAs...i would close those accounts immediately and get a lawyer to help me. It sounds like your mother is no longer competent to handle financial matters. I would also instruct brother to STOP or face legal action to repay any funds he receives. I would report any exploitation concerns to Adult Protective Services. Let them investigate. The bank can be made to cover your mothers losses if they had reason to believe she was no longer capable of managing her account by virtue of your timely notification. Remember, all POAs expire when the person who gave it dies. You need authority that survives her death. You also need to be named executor if she still is competent to execute a will. If not, a court will decide that when the time comes...make sure you are getting her statements etc. SSA is a start, to preserve at least those funds from misuse!
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Banks will hardly ever do anything for an out of state POA. For the protection of their client they cannot close or add co-owners or beneficiaries simply if someone who claims to be a POA calls them on the phone. You must physically both be present in the bank. They will have lots of papers for both of you to sign. If I were you, I would go to CA and bring my mom in and close those accounts. Open new accounts at a separate entity--perhaps 1st Bank of Hawaii. Have all staements electronic and instruct NH to not allow brother access to mom's financial records. You MUST do this as your mom's POA.
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Pita, I believe the phone number given was for the benefit of the OP as it is a Los Angeles area code. I don't think they can help you in FL. The OP was talking about her brother in CA.

You say you're disabled, well that doesn't prevent many from flying, if you need to make arrangements for a wheelchair or assistance than you notify the airline. People get on planes all the time with health issues. If you need to get somewhere you do it.

It sounds like a lot of excuses.
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One thing I have noticed is some of the older generation tend to give a son, who can't even balance his own checkbook, total control over the parent(s) finances.... even though there is a grown daughter who has her degree in accounting and is a CPA. Such old fashion thinking.
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GladImHere and Panapal point out that you have the means to take care of the finances from where you are. You can set up a new bank account and have the current bank close the account and wire the proceeds to the new bank. I would suggest a bank that has a branch that you can access so you can visit in person and speak to a manager if you need anything in the future. You should go to your local social security office with the power of attorney and any documentation you have about her account and arrange for her SS payment to go to the new account.
Of course, if you do that, you must also take responsibility for getting her bills paid, etc. You will need to pay the senior living establishment and any other creditors from the new account. Arrange to have all bills sent to you, and if she gets mail, have a forwarding order put in to make sure you get everything. You need to make sure nothing is sent to her where the brother can get a hold of account numbers, etc.
Another step you can take is put a "fraud alert" on any open accounts, including at the bank and at Social Security. Tell them another family member may try to access the funds - and to demand PoA before talking to them.
Does mom still like to write her own checks or use credit cards? If so, you may need to leave some money in the current account, but move the rest and the future payments.
If Mom is happy with your brother, it could be that she wants him to have the money. If you change the SS checks, he can get it changed back if he gets on the phone with her and Social Security. The only way to prevent that is to have her declared incompetent so only you with the PoA can make transactions. If that happens, you must have a back up or you will leave Mom with nothing. You should find a trusted elder care attorney who can advise you on how these things can be done, AND make sure Mom is protected if something happens to you.

I am living a similar situation - except I am right here with Dad and Bro. Dad wants to give Brother his money. Dad figures he won't live forever and he can help his youngest son. Brother is simply a spendthrift and has always needed financial help. My mother was able to keep Dad's generosity in check, but with Mom gone, Brother is his new best friend (even when I spent 5 years living with Dad to care for him, and paid everything out of my own money). I was able to put a stop to the pilfering. I don't like the situation, but I have no right to complain when Dad gives his money away.
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I always find it comical when people suggest to talk with someone who is immoral & rationally explain the consequences. Don't waste your time trying to talk rationally to your brother. This would be like explaining logic to a loony. If he thought there would be consequences then he'd stop.
I would suggest looking into the banks actions. They will understand logic. Ask for a copy of every document regarding your moms account you are able to see & make sure they are following the law at the federal & state level. Be sure to ask a manager for these things not some who-ever you get on the phone. Tell them you are going to file a complaint with the the FTC & any other government financial & banking oversight organizations you can find online. That should turn the tide.
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Pita2u, for someone who hasn't spoken to their mother nor their brother in a year, how are you learning about all these things regarding your Mom, her house, the neighbors, that your mother is being left home alone, etc? And please tell us how are you getting information on what is being spent, such as college, lawn mower, etc? One time you said you had her or your brother's bank statement? How did you get said statements?

Pita2U, please don't take this wrong, but you are not listening to anyone's advise as you keep repeating over and over what you had typed earlier. Stop and take a breath, and re-read all the good suggestions that have been given to you since last April for your questions.

Hope everything works our for you and your Mom.
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thank you...very very much I will call them tomorrow
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The KEEP-SAFE coalition is a non profit that can help you combat financial elder abuse. Their number is (310) 701-8118. KEEP-SAFE stands for Keep Every Elder Protected. Stop Abuse and Exploitation. This is a crime punishable by law in the case of elders with Dementia.
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Irishboy, as I stated earlier, I'm not jealous or whatever one may think. I just know how hard my father worked and what took his life. And the money that was left for my mothers well being was not meant for the greed my brother and his wife are using it for. I cannot just hop on a plane. I am disabled and just cannot do what I used to do. I did contact a lawyer, and sure he's willing to help and get results but it would be $22,000 later..
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I had a similar experience. My husband was diagnosed with alzheimers but his daughters and son wouldn't accept that. According to them he was failing because I wasn't a good caregiver (and I took an online series of courses from Johns Hopkins in what to do). Theyswooped in and took him away to live with one step daughter, until he required hospitalization and surgery for cancer. He's had multiple ER visits and hospitalizatiions since then and they finally put him in a skilled nursing facility and convinced him I was causing his health problems and that he should divorce me and leave me "homeless and penniless" *their words). They are using his pension and ss$ as their piggy bank. I think he may also be paying for college for one grandson (who comes from a very well-to-do family (top 1%) Medicare and his supplemental plan cover the SNF bills, but according to his atty, he is applying for Medicaid and then there will be a lien on the jointly owned house as it is a lake vacation house and not a primary residence. The stress has been unimaginable and I face the prospect of moving to Maine in the winter to protect my interest in the house. If it weren't for the support of my friends here in Fla.., I'd surely gone off the deep end.
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pita, it sounds like you want it both ways. You're annoyed your brother is skimming money, but your mother is living with your brother and his wife. Caring for an elderly parent in the home takes a lot of energy and money, so perhaps they feel she is living there she can pay for groceries for the family since she isn't paying rent. I do think if an elderly parent is living in the adult child's home they should pitch in financially if possible, and in this case it is possible.

Whether or not they're taking her to the cleaners, YOU need to look into that.

And why can't you hop on a plane? That's nonsense. Whether you're in Tampa, Miami, Orlando there are 4 or 5 non stop flights out of all those airports to NY.

FL to NY is a quick flight. And there are plenty of flights.

If you're that worried you get on a plane and go, no excuses. Under FMLA your employer has to grant you the time off. You go up to NY for a couple of weeks and find out what is going on.

Bottom line, they're the ones who are taking care of mom in their home, not you.

You think something is not right, get on a plane.
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irishboy is right, for both FL and CA situations a Royal Hibernian style intervention is needed, aka "Family Discussion". No hitting below the waist.
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I know all the answers to those questions. The deal was she was going to be a snowbird and we were both to have her for the last years.That is why she wanted to sell her home. She knows I am not able to just hop on a plane and run around airports etc..so she was going to stay here during the NY winter months and go back up north for the summer mts. Until they found out what mom was worth and thenI was told I am not to call my brothers house anymore and I will never see my mother again, when I asked him why he said he will see to it that he will have a good life now and get paid back for the years my father hated him.. bizzare...yes I am concerned about the money..there is a million dollar life ins policy that is missing.. and I know my brother and especially his wife..the greed was evident during a funeral..it make me sick. I want to know that , that money will be used in case my mother has to go to a home or needs a full time nurse those clowns go to work and leave her alone until they come home..how fair is that? their answer is that neighbors watch the house..get real how can they make a neighbor responsible for an old woman if she wanders away.? Her home in CT is being watched by neighbors..my brother just throws out money paying them for taking mail and plowing snow. My parents were lax in putting things in writing..it's all for nothing now, all the family members who knew my parents wishes are deceased themselves.. All I wanted was peace and quiet and for my mother to have a quiet rest of her life, she isn't aware of anything so she doesn't care...I was paying all her bills online until he closed out the accounts and the companies started emailing me that payments were bouncing..I couldn't assist them further, as I no longer know where her bank is..and the DA oh well they say my brother will find out soon enough...stupid answers..I worked for a lawyer and know what is right and wrong. My lawyer here cannot assist me as it's out of state. And yes the law protects his wrongdoings...because he can say well she's living here, so I need money... we had both agreed we'd take nothing until she passes.. well his wife thought differently as she's always been pocket poor...now she finally has something.. tell me where does a food shopping bill of $800 a month seem justified for an almost 80yr old...they're feeding their family.. brother bought a $1000 tractor... how does that fit into caring for mom or a new stove, or a car repair for their kids car, or a pressure washing on their house? or college fees.. when I asked mom she was like I didn't do that...see my point
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OP, as others have suggested you need to get on a plane to CA and make an unannounced visit, things like this need to be handled in person.

Pita, you're in FL and you mother and brother are in NY, it is a les than 3 hour flight if you're that concerned. Your brother may be ripping your mother off, but you're not the one doing the caregiving either. You can't be caregiving for someone from 1,200 miles away. If you think he is up to no good, get on a plane. You seem very concerned about the money more than mom. He may be pulling a fast one, he also may be paying himself because he is taking care of her.

But you need to take a role in this, not rely on APS or hiring a lawyer, get on a plane.
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Pita2u, check to see if there is a Legal Aid office in your area, said group is available for those who cannot afford an attorney.
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Yes, freqflyer, I did read all those answers and did follow through on all of it. Sadly because I cannot afford a lawyer I have to step back from the situation. I will this week ,write the District Atty. again, telling them that I know for a fact they are supposed to help me but would rather I take a lawyer so the state doesn't have expenses, and in my eyes that is wrong. I'm not the only person who cannot afford a lawyer. Right away the lawyer whom I only wanted to write a letter to my brother and tell him to stop spending moms money has turned it into me getting guardianship over her. a process that could cost up to $150,000 he said. That is good money after something that could backfire on me. with that money I'd rather invest it if I had it. And being that my mother doesn't call me, proves the fact she is isn't aware of the real world anymore. The legal system has once again failed...and such is life...
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