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The account had three owners: my father, my mother and my brother. Mi mother died and my brother withdrew all the money to his individual account and left my father with no money at all. Can I sue my brother and restore my father his money?

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Please help me to understand. If your father is alive, why is he not pressing charges? How is he living?
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all i can say is this is a perfect example of rotten children robbing their parents when they are most vulnerable!!! disgusting!! hope you find an answer here!!!
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Dotville wrote:

"The father's account that he is joint on in order to help Father becomes entirely his asset if he is sued due to the accident! In other words, the court can order all the money in the joint account be paid to cover the lawsuit. "

Dot, what is your source for the statement that the account would segue to be solely the asset of the son? I think it really depends on how the account is titled and how ownership is held.

Secondly, unless the son has no insurance, his auto insurance carrier will pay the defense attorney of its choice to defend the lawsuit. That means the insurance carrier foots the cost of the lawsuit.

ONLY IF there is a judgment which exceeds policy limits will the plaintiff's attorney look to what other assets might exist. And in my experience from auto neg cases decades ago, typically any catastrophic judgment would in fact be handled by the plaintiff's attorney. The judge presides over the trial (unless it's a bench trial which auto neg cases generally aren't) until its conclusion, then the case is dismissed, with prejudice.

It's been more than a few decades so court rules may have changed, but I've never heard of any procedures such as you wrote about.

I'm wondering what the source is for your comments. Could you elaborate, please?

And KatieKat, the OP posted 6 days ago and hasn't returned. That happens a lot, especially if the OP doesn't get the support anticipated for his or her question.
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Could we try to make our responses a little shorter and keep on track with the original poster? BeckyTodd should start her own thread/question.
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If your brother used your parents money for his own benefit even if his name is on the account that seems highly illegal to me, consult an attorney. It's not only theft, it's elder abuse.
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I have a heads up to all that become joint on an account. Picture this if you will...Father, daughter and son are joint on Father's account as he is aging. Son gets in a car accident and is sued. Guess what? The father's account that he is joint on in order to help Father becomes entirely his asset if he is sued due to the accident! In other words, the court can order all the money in the joint account be paid to cover the lawsuit. Pretty scary, huh.
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My brother made himself POA for my mom...Mom signed the papers but told me she didnt understand them ( she has dementia). He also had a trust set up for medicaid eligibility. Well, lo and behold, after 5 years she did not qualify for medicaid b/c he took $$ out of the trust.,,..,.yes... $300,000. We have to beg for annual statements and he refuses to give us a run down on what the money was used for.....lots of withdrawals but not reason specified. This is entirely against the "laws" of the trust. He started a family feud and is impossible to deal with. Thoughts?
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Part two continuation due to limited space in box:

As long as funds are going into this joint account, you don't know that the brother may not still continue taking unnecessary amounts of money from the account and leaving your dad hi and dry. This is why I would go for guardianship and take over all of his affairs including financial. This will give you all power over even the bank account and other assets. As a guardian, you can secure your dad's money and even build him up a savings. Sometimes a senior's life can turn out to be so much better, even too good to be true when things are going just right.
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I don't know if you're your dad's guardian, so I don't know if you can go after your brother. However, I don't agree with the brother stealing all of his dad's money, I strongly agree this is wrong despite being a co-owner. In order to cut out this kind of problem, I heard of a working solution that one couple actually used that few people ever use. Each person should first have their own checking and savings account in only their name. Then, there should be the joint account that all of the bills are paid from. Each person having their own account outside the joint account is for extra money that can be split between the parties. This sounded like a very good idea that I think more people should consider so that there are no disagreements over money coming from a joint account. I strongly agree with someone who mentioned that when you're on a joint account, the money becomes just as much the other person's money as it is the person who put that other person on the account. For instance, when my foster dad put me on his account, his money became just as much mine but I had to use reason to make sure all of his bills were paid and he was able to buy groceries. Sometimes it's trial and error as to knowing how much to take from the extra money left over because sometimes you must take less out of the extra money in the joint account. This is where communication is key to sparing each other any misunderstandings or hard feelings. What you're describing is exactly why it's not really a very good idea to have other people on your bank account to start with because things like this can very easily happen. Yes, elders can very easily be taken advantage of if the wrong person is put on their bank account because the wrong person can actually end up taking everything. Sometimes joint accounts come with the problem of one party taking too much, but it takes discipline to reduce how much you take until both parties agree. I personally don't like the idea of joint bank accounts but on the other hand it can be very helpful if the person who has you on their account makes more money than you. This is because sometimes some situations permit someone to help you along as long as you don't let it get out of hand. One thing I must mention that before moving to another account or doing anything with the account as a co-owner, you might be required to have both parties come in and agree and maybe even sign something before making any changes. I faced this as a co-owner on my foster dad's account, I don't recall what the situation was, but both of us had to come in together in agreement and have it done together. That's why I'm not sure you'll be able to do anything with the account in question without guardianship. Guardianship gives you power over the person's affairs and you can actually remove the other person from the account, but be careful if they happen to also have money coming into the same account. This is where you as the guardian would have to remove the person from the account and move them to a new one, leaving the other person on the account as long as they have their own money coming into that same account. In other words, if you were to take guardianship of your dad and both parties have money coming into the same account, you could remove your dad from the account and move his money to a new account. You could do this as long as both parties on the joint account have money coming into that account. If not, you can remove the name of the person who doesn't have money coming into the account and block their access to that account. At this stage though, I'm not sure whether or not you'll be able to do much to get that money back if your dad is mentally unstable and there's no guardian. If the brother who took the money happens to be on fixed income with no assets, then he would be judgment proof. You can sue anyone you want, but if they're judgment proof you won't get anything from them since they have nothing. This would be the case in an SSI only situation where there are no other assets. When a person is on SSI, they can own a home and even one car for doctors appointments, both are exempt from consideration against a person's SSI eligibility as long as the person actually lives in that home and they only have one car. In that particular situation, I'm not sure you would even be able to get anything from the person who stole the money if he happens to get SSI, owns the home he lives in, and has only one car exempt for doctors appointments. However, if he happens to work, you could have his wages garnished by court order. This doesn't stop him from quitting his job to dodge the garnishments, this happens a lot because they will find a job that will pay cash under the table. What I would suggest you do now is alert the APS to the problem and see if you can get a hold of an elder care attorney who can help you gain guardianship of your dad.
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That's a VERY good point, GardenArtist, and I confess that I had not. I JUST received this question from AgingCare.com and failed to notice they were sending it out well after the fact and after lots of answers had been posted. I wonder why they do that???

I usually spend a good deal of time on my answers and I did on this one -- perhaps too much -- so I surely hope that they are helpful to others reading, not just the Original Poster. However, for my own sake I'm going to be more careful in the future about investing a lot of time in replying to a questioner who doesn't seem to care enough to comment -- or maybe even to check back. Thanks for the headsmack, GardenArtist! Blessings, Lolli
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Next — and hopefully responsive to Pascualina: You have not provided a lot of information and I'd like to ask you a few Qs that might help the community give you better answers. The best advice is nearly always to hire expert legal help — and as indicated above; it's highly recommended this should be someone experienced in elder law.

HOWEVER, it's not quite so easy to sue someone as some seem to think. First, you have to have "standing" to sue. That is, YOU, personally, have to have some right to the money in the account. I assume you do not. If your father has not been diagnosed with dementia and is otherwise "legally competent" HE is the one that must talk to the lawyer and pursue whatever legal recourse he has. If he is legally competent, he can continue to act for himself EVEN IF YOUR BROTHER ALSO HAS Power of Attorney. AND he can act to withdraw POA from your brother if he wishes to do so. And I HOPE he will be glad for your help in doing whatever he wants done. If he is not legally competent to act for himself you will need to go to court and attempt to secure legal guardianship of your father — not quick nor cheap to do, so you want to do anything else you can in the meantime and in addition.

For example, your father (you) can and should make every effort to stop any additional $$$ belonging to your father from going into that account if it is still active. If Dad has direct deposit of Social Security check and/or any other pension you should help him set up a new bank account — the bank will be very helpful in providing the necessary forms, etc. for him to direct SS and any other pension providers to begin depositing the checks in the new account. The bank will tell you the various ways the account can be set up that will permit you to sign checks and do on line banking. Joint with Right of Survivorship is only one way. NOTE: Contrary to what someone said above, you cannot just declare yourself "Representative Payee" for his SS payment. I am quite sure that SSA requires the recipient's own physician to complete a Social Security Administration form certifying the payee as incompetent before you can be named — even a POA won't do the trick — although it may be possible, if your father IS competent, for HIM to name you as Representative Payee.

Emptying this join account MAY be a form of "elder abuse" but both the protective agency and any lawyer is going to ask a lot of questions before they give advice about going after money that was in a joint account of which your brother was an owner.

1) How much money are we talking about? 2) Does your father have other bank or investment accounts/other income/other resources? 3) Are you absolutely sure that none of the money in the account was money belonging to your brother? How do you know? 4) Are you absolutely sure that your brother — from the new account in his name — has not used/is not using the money to pay your father's expenses? (By the way, EVEN IF HE IS DOING SO, brother moving ANY of this money will REALLY mess up applying for Medicare if your father needs that assistance. Brother MUST put it back or it will very likely be treated as a "gift" and Dad will be penalized in determining his eligibility.)

5) What does your brother say about all of this? How, if at all, has he defended what he has done? What is "his side of the story", if you know.

6) and, MOST IMPORTANTLY: what does your father think of this/say about it/want to do about it? If he is legally competent you may find it challenging to secure his cooperation in any action against or even embarrassing to your brother. He and your mother trusted him and it's likely very painful for HIM to have been betrayed if, in fact, that's what's happened. It won't be easy, but I pray you can respect those feelings of his and don't let your fury with your brother totally take over what you say to Dad.

I'm sorry this is so long but I hope it will be helpful to you in preparing yourself (writing is good!) before talking to an attorney (who charges by the hour). Anticipating her questions and having full as possible information available to take with you will save you $$ at every appointment. Good luck and tell us what happens! Lolli
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Has anyone noticed that a few of us asked questions, in order to clarify the situation and provide better answers, but the OP hasn't been back to respond?
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A couple of comments here: First, BeckyTodd and then I'll reply to Pascualina. Becky, please take a deep breath, dear, as I'm worried because your message is SO excited and rambling. I am truly sorry, but it's very hard to follow.

I also think it might be helpful for you to start an entirely new thread by posting your own problem/question. Your problem deserves attention and focus but so does Pascualina's. And your message isn't really responsive or helpful to Pascualina who is in a VERY different situation from yours.

If you would post a new question with more organization it would be of great help to the community in responding to YOUR problem, which I'm sure we would like to do but can't do well, if at all, with what you have posted above.

As I understand it, your question is: "shall I try to put my sister in jail"? So, post that as your question and then maybe LIST all the crimes you believe she has committed — and when — and I hope that will enable readers to give you helpful comments and advice.
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Sorry she ran through with persons she was dr. Of helping her take everything away even what wasnt parentsparents with intimidation of mother. Telling our mother she would go to jail if she didnt sign while on 3 way call w me listening.
My mother is still alive shortly I must make decision Do I puty sister in prison and make her lose her physicians lisc to practice.
Same is probably for oyher person as long as other parent alive would be dower right of survivorship before son if on acct. as right of survivorship name appears.
Best answer take documents get appt with DCF elder abuse investigator. Probably only way then if dont give back it is go to federal prison. Giving back is cutting a deal.
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Beckytodd, your answer is rambling, and makes no sense. Try to slow down, and tell your story a little more sensible. It's sounds emotionally packed, and just doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm not trying to be rude. I just trying to understand what you're saying.
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Contact adult protective services & the district attorney. If your brothers name is on the account too, it may difficult to prosecute. But, adult protective services may be successful in getting him to return the money.
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Taking money he was survivorship on.
Leaving parent survivorship preseeding his own is Elder abuse and extortion.
My sister did the same only also contrived to have signature card on acct she was not named on when she was named as a medical 3rdalternative to myself as Health care surrogate in living will. I was Gen zpoa and executor she took my bonds right out of safedeposit box when I was trying to show my mother wasnt demented. They had closed mine because "nothing was in it". I had to come back 1400 miles to get bond from state formulary because she closed out the safe deposit box it was attatched to. 467,000 plus interest. Used debit card somehow got in mothers name which middlename was same with sis maiden name. attatched to parent acct 600,000 my dad went balistic I tried to show them I had money and it would be ok. B. took property I inherited from friends who loved my kids property was given she was to take mother and my son to closing Family Living perpetual Trust was to be made for my disabled sons and brothers so they would always have a place to live. B. Took that property put it in her name would not allow my sons name to be on property.
She had them move out then latter evicted me when I was repairing updating the property and adapting it so my father who she had aginst his will put on DNR. She was taken off at hospital when he was admitted with his tongue so swollen from dehydration he couldnt talk or breathe it was protruding halfway out his mouth. I enabled him to tell attending Dr. With his eye blink he wanted full code and life sustaining measures. Dr. Took her off Healthcare surrogate and made another right there in hospital. She went to elder law attorney S. whom fast forward after she pullex out disconnected iv kvo hydration from my father awaiting sx in nsg home he could not swallow and she would put the water in the windowsill this lawyer leaned over table over myself sitting between scott assoc and my mother, this associate said to my mother when she said she wanted my sister to give the money back; If you walk out of here with all that money you will be hit on the head with a baseball bat." Then They said do you want her (my sister) to keep the money for awhile longer. My sister insinuated she bought a bond .She put the money in her sons name as well as the house I inherited out of Trust friend left myself and kids to make sure we would have a place to live always.
As to date sister never paid yrly property taxes on any of property she seized. Went to auction. Mother left homeless when sister told landlord when wanted to sell property renting 32,000 sister wasnt going to let mother buy it.
She also took 39,000 acct with my father and brothers name as survivor she got signature card to this.she was podiatrist for head teller at sunbank. I was to bring this acct to 50,000 to be split between the siblings. I told my father dont worry when it was only 39,000 I had the certif dep.then.She conned to get everything then called (older brother who knew nothing I didnt want to tell him. It was so shameful that she was a daughter a sister and a Person whom is suspose to be trusted with ones life a medical Dr.. Operating in Nursing homes caring for elders feet. A person whom is suspose to be CARING for ones elders,abusing her own parents and handicapped family members.
I should have kept bright in my mind her telling me"If I was going to pass them one the side walk , I would cross the street and pass on the other side of the street".
And my father begging me saying he did not trust her.
My money my father comingled with his inc 70,000 profit on a house sold that he was my guaranteeor for mtg.
My son she bilked out of house consulted lawyer and legal aide. I consulted Elder Affairs and DCF Abuse Investigator I know. Say Elder abuse, extortion abuse of a vunerable person.
My mother now went back to the Elder law lawyers Scott (they advertise on tv) Mother asked for money back.Previously they told her they were her lawyer at the meeting with the lawyers that had previously engaged for their elder law affairs. So they had two lawyers. S. law firm told my mother now if she wanted them to tell my sister to give the money back it would be 2500.00 cash.my sister was S.'s podiatrist and 7500. Was extorted my father refused to sign he wrote universal symbol for NO "-0-" 0 with a line through it o left margin at top of page S. intererted this as his mark. Yet he signed his full signature on HcS living will for dr at hospital and GPOA DPOA leaving everything to me to take care of my mother and do his wishes as executor. Sis made everyone homeless and she tried to take my brothers house because brother and fathers nickname were similar. Now what anyone think of that.
Do I put my sister in prison she implicated her children one a lawyer who was in NY sis asked for advice re law here to take stuff from parents. Put stuff in her sons name so all are imicated she fixed it so shes playing my love for her kids to keep me at bay. My mother is 88.
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Oh, I didn't catch that dad is still alive---yes, you've got to pursue this. Holy Cow, do ALL of us have shady family members??
That actually is theft, pure and simple, I can't imagine ANY judge thinking it's OK. Go get him!!
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How could the bank give all that money to your brother with your fathers name on the account? Whoever put your brothers name on that account made a big mistake. I would confront him and threaten him if I had to.
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Someone mentioned the SS money. If your father is receiving SS you need to become the "Representative Payee" for him if he mentally incompetant. In doing so you would then have to fill out a financial accounting form yearly on how the his money is being spent, keep all receipts. If he receives VA monthly benefits become his fiduciary in order to oversee hs money, again there will be yearly accounting of money spent turned into the VA. Otherwise the money is regarded as your brothers also.
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Just letting it roll is not realistic, since the Dad is still alive, and needs money to live on. Calling in legal help, and reporting it to the bank are essential Ask the police or city hall for the name of whatever elder protection services your area has, and notify them. Especially important is the fact, that if Medicaid is needed for the Dad, they will look back at his finances, and not pay for the amount of time this money would have covered.
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Yes-you can actually sue anybody for anything--if you were so inclined.

This kind of behavior is lower than low. One reason why elderly people often have a lawyer on their bank accts and not one of their family--because this exact thing happens all the time.

I am fortunate that my younger brother is on mom's accts. He meets with her twice a year and they discuss things, he co-signs a couple of checks and he's gone. Trusting him 100% makes this work.

I am so sorry for your situation. At least talk to an attorney. While not being actual "illegal" to do what he did--it sure was rotten. Depends on what your dad had as a will/trust. If he didn't specify that his money was to be split up--you may not have much hope. Just a crummy brother. (You aren't alone, that's for sure!)
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Try bringing criminal charges for elder abuse. It would be less expensive. Hopefully the state would prosecute him.
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I'm sorry to hear Your Brother withdrew all of the money from Your Parent's Bank Account. That's the meanest thing any Son could do. Pascualina in Your case I wouldn't take legal action against Your Brother. I would let it roll and You will see that Your Brother won't have a days luck for stealing from His Parents. Money that is got wrong will go wrong.
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This is the problem with joint accounts. And it does matter if its "and" or "or". My Mom was on my disabled nephews account. We were told by the lawyer to take her name off because if she ever needed Medicaid his account would be included in her income even though his account is only for Social Security deposits. Talk to a bank officer, not a teller, and see what options u have. I think that there should be a law that when there is more than one name on an account, you can only withdrawl a percentage of the money. Just a thought, if ur Dads SS goes into this account, you may want to call them and see if there is something they can do or tell u what u can do. Maybe set up a new account for your Dad and have u put on.
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In the US, My advisor emphasize reporting such abuse to the regulatory authorities as elder abuse, and have them initiate an investigation. Having his name on the account is a complication but if you're an heir, and funds were unilaterally taken, you may be able to try this approach. In my case I have POA, a n d POD desigbation, but I must account for how Dad's funds are used.
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No. When you put ANYONES name on YOUR bank account THEY have every legal right to the funds as you do. It is literly their money. I am sorda going through this myself. This is what the bank told me. My dad has beginning dementia & im on HIS account. He is almost 73 & HAD 5 women taking his money & NOTHING I could do about it the bank said other than open a new account & transfer all HIS money into MY account because im ALLOWED to because my name is on HIS account & that makes his money legaly MINE and I can do what I want to with that money. They said this is why you BETTER KNOW you can trust WHOEVER you put on your account because it becomes THEIR money as well.
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My mother added me onto her accounts after we ran into problems because I could not access her money to pay bills while she was in a re-hab place. That action caused my name to be added to her printed checks when she re-ordered. I never touched the account for years until I became her POA. Fast forward 10 years, in March while meeting with her lawyer to go over how to handle her estate he told me that all of the money left in her accounts now belonged to me! What? I had not put a dime not her accounts. Sure I had maintained her checking account for her last 3 years but it was not my money. The lawyer did not agree with me that I was going to have the credit union re-name her account to the family trust name so that I could continue to pay her final bills and have a record with the credit union in case anyone challenged how her money was being spent. Legally it is considered hs money too, morally that's a different issue.......Sorry to hear that your brother did this to your family.
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See if you can find a Certified Elder Law Attorney. They are more specialized than one who does estates and wills. They have a designation of CELA after their names. If you can't find one in your area, then go to for an elder law attorney.
Good luck. It can be expensive, be prepared.
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How was the account titled?
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