Can a co-POA be forced to pay parent's balloon real estate tax payment from parent's trust?


I am a unpaid live in sole caretaker of bed ridden 89 year old bowel incontinent diabetic at her home. Its a old house in a valuable area. My husband has updated kitchen and bathroom, etc. We pay $600 monthly towards real estate taxes. So we are paying to live in the house as caretaker. House desperate for windows so utilities average $800 mthly and varies by season. Not free living. My sibling, from mom's acct, sends $500 mthly for her expenses diapers, insulin, meds, supplies, etc. Real estate tax balloon payment due Nov $4500. He is refusing to send from her trust acct. He chewed me out about the last balloon payment. I told him I did not set the taxes. He feels since I am in the home, I am responsible for all its expenses. My husband works OT & hard but with a daughter in school, etc we are doing our best. I think my name is on her account from where he sends her monthly $500. If it is, and he refuses to send balloon real estate taxes, will I get in trouble if I make the payment from her account for her home's taxes? BTW... he has been here twice in 2 and a half years.

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I'm going to suggest a different viewpoint.... I'm wondering if Bro is limiting $ spigot to force the finances to the point to make all of them move. He wants mom in a facility & house sold. 4 years ago Kicks posted about guardianship & moving from TN to VA. Property costs in TN probably lots less. Momsnacre 4 years ago probably too lots less. Plus Kicks & hubs & their kids were 4 years younger. So here it is 4 years later, mom totally bedfast incontinent diabetic & COL in Alexandria & dealing w/historic house are way more complex, time consuming & costly than ever anticipated. & now there's a kid in college too.

Brother could view it that Kicks chose to move in & as so the property costs from that point on are all on her & her family to deal with. Kicks sort pf agreed to this. He's paying the absolute minimum costs for moms care at $ 500 a mo. Yeah he's manipulating but it's his way of trying to be able to get control. He views sissy as obstinate & unrealistic. He can likely out wait sissy. He can't face to face deal with sissy but can control $ and does. He's a real ahole. But mom made them co DPOA's & it could be she did it so they would have to deal with each other.

When it comes to historic district houses nothing is simple. No running down to Lowes for a new window. All exterior & foundation work has to be within code for district. Down to paint color approved & if not you have to repaint or fined. Going to Historic Districts Landmarks commission to get permit request approved (& usually first denied!) is a part of owning historic zone property. I could do a novella on corbels & slate. It's way more time involved & expensive than a traditional house. Often folks are blindsided by regulations and neighbors who will report on your doings to Permit & Code Enforcement.

Kicks, is there the $ to truly afford the house? Will moms income (her SS) cover the monthly costs on the home? From her $ alone, could she pay utilities, taxes, insurance, food, meds PLUS set aside 20% for repairs & maintenance? And pay for a 1 day or 2 days a week 8 hr caregiver to give you a break? If so, you need as CoDPOA to take bro to court to get $ flowing to pay moms expenses. But if not, you're just putting off the inevitable move out of the house unless you & hubs can afford all expenses. If mom were to move into a facility, would you be able to rent or buy a home or would you be homeless? I'm not " lunging" at you. But often on AC, caregivers leave thier jobs then move in to help for a bit and them find years have passed along with their $ and elders care is way beyond what can be done by them anymore. & although they can qualify for Medicaid's caregivers exemption on the house, they can't afford it's upkeep. You need to do whatever to keep this from happening.
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Well said, Barb. I think the brother is manipulating, controlling and failing his fiduciary responsibilities. Anyone who quibbles over something as basic as property taxes should NOT be in the position of managing anything for someone else.
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Kicks, something else just occurred to me.

Are there back taxes and penalties because your brother wasn't paying the property taxes from your mom's account and didn't tell you that? Or you two were in dispute over how/who was going to pay them?

Look, this is serious dereliction of duty on the part of the POAs if monies owed are not being paid.

It really behooves you to get the lawyer who prepared the joint POA (never, ever a good idea) involved and habe a sit down with your brother and hash this out.

I think you are in an untenable position on so many levels and really OUGHT to be quite angry at the fact that you are being used/abused this way.
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I'm not sure I understand the impetus to be a hands on caregiver to a parent who is or was abusive. Even less sure why one would do it if parent wasnt paying their own way.

As suggested above, sit down with your husband crunch the numbers. What could you earn elsewhere, what would rent be.

Your mother's expenses-- housing, utilities and care-- are HER expenses, not yours.

She can apply for Medicaid if she can't afford care.

YOU need to fund YOUR retirement.

If you need to, inform your non-responsive brother in writing when you'll be moving out and resigning your POA so that he can be entirely in charge of mom and her monies.
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Thanks for the clarification. No lunging from me; I'm too old to move that quickly!

There's a simple issue regarding the delinquent taxes: pay them or they'll accumulate, with penalty, and eventually the house would be sold for delinquent taxes.

This is a basic fiduciary obligation that your brother should recognize, and pay. No excuses for not paying. And in fact not maintaining your mother's assets is a breach of fiduciary obligation.

If you have the authority and actually are a signatory on your mother's account, pay the taxes.

I hope you're documenting your contact with your brother, including his recalcitrant attitude toward the taxes. You may eventually have to take legal action to remove him and block his authority.

As to pay, I would check with some local agencies to get local quotes, document the time you spend caregiving, and determine what outside help would cost.

There is a trade-off for caregiving responsibilities vs. imputed rent and utilities, etc. for living there. See how they balance out and whether one outweighs the other. That'll help put in perspective whether or not caregiving remuneration is appropriate.
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Kicks, you should be able to pay all of her living expenses from her money. For you to pay to take care of her is abusive to you. Your mother should pay the taxes on her home, the utilities in her home, the insurance on her home, and for her food. For you to sacrifice to keep her in her home and then pay for it... well, that's just cuckoo. Don't be afraid to have her pay her share.

Sometimes as the adult children we feel that we owe our parents to take care of them. I don't know where that feeling comes from. I stay with my mother and she pays all of the house bills here. I take care of my own utilities, the car, and my food. If I were to pay for her, then it would come out of my retirement savings, while her estate would be split four ways among me and three people who don't help at all. That wouldn't make any sense. I would just end up in poverty in the end, since I don't get paid for caregiving.
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I apologize I have used the term "balloon" incorrectly. This payment is the result of combined delinquent back taxes and penalties which will be caught up in Nov with this final $4500 payment. There is no mortgage on the house. After taxes caught up, we will spread real estate taxes over 12 mth period so we will not get behind again. I apologize - please dont lunge at me.

I will try and answer all questions as best as I can - in the order of responses.

I never thought about pay. I didn't realize the eventual financial crippling without second income. Its been so long since I bought a clothing item, I don't even know my own size. I sleep on a old sofa downstairs to be near. I don't dare dream of a sofa bed.

Not a mansion. Not a large house - only about 2300 sq ft. Parents bought in 60s for $25K. However appreciated in a valuable sought after area within city Alexandria. Next door is assessed over a million. A house 2 door down, owner passed last year, on mkt $850,000 2 days as-is needing updating, roof, etc. Yes I live in an historic home. If it were fully updated, it would market value over a million. I have no desire to remain in this home at this time. It is the nucleus of verbal abuse and pain - where I found out I was not wanted as a child, and many other things therapy will one day address.

Utilities expensive with extra fees ridiculous - gas heating drafty house to mother's needs. 24/7 tv, 24/7 lights, sewage gallons, laundry machine 3,4 loads and re-loads, etc. My name is on a few utilities as I transferred service from my former home to theirs when I moved here.

Mother in dementia not able to participate. I don't want her to realize her care is presenting problems. She is not paying anything to live in her house other than her $500 mthly expense. My brother feels since we live here without any rent due, we should pay for all. I agree with him I guess and only asking for help to get back on track with the real estate taxes. We got behind getting our daughter in her college starting up. Moving her to TN is not possible due to her complete immobility.

Brother is fine with this arrangement. He does not respond to my questions/email/text. The last one sent was Aug 2. Makes me incredibly sad. I don't bother him for anything. The relationship has changed and now soured. I did question him, for the first time, last month on a financial matter regarding our mother. He got extremely angry. And its been different ever since.

I need to re-read our POA. I am co-POA. I am frankly not clear on the specifics.

I know I have not answered all of your questions. If it weren't for my husband and 2 adult kids, if this were my life, I wouldn't want to live.

So I guess the answer is to check my POA to see if it allows me to pay from her funds the real estate taxes due on her house.....
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Igloo, I think the balloon would be to the mortgage company. There is probably a first or second mortgage. I've not heard of a government tax having a balloon payment, though they can be very high. Old mortgages, sadly, are known for those payments that tend to wipe people out toward the end of a mortgage. This one seems to have one every year. Oy.
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Is your name on those bills? You should not be paying the taxes and all the utilities, particularly not if your brother has POA and is responsible for paying her bills. If they go unpaid that is due to your brother's financial negligence. From what you've said it does not seem like he's looking out for mom's best interests. Keep records of everything. All her expenses. Document, document, document!

I've not heard of a balloon payment for regular property taxes, though I do know in CA new housing developments often have a whopper of an additional parcel tax called Mello-Roos. But that is CA.
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KicksandGiggles, by chance do you live in the City of Alexandria? Or historic Old Towne Alexandria? I wonder if the City has a special assessment for all it's homeowners and that is where the $4,500 comes in. Or the balloon was for back taxes that were over due?

Have you seen the bill itself? If not, have your brother forward that bill to you. Make sure the bill is actually for property taxes. Then call up the City of Alexandria to ask about it.

Otherwise at $600 per month property tax comes to $7,200 a year, which is reasonable as homes in that area are quite expensive, but not very large. The ones built in the 1700's that are row houses are quite small. It is all location, location, location.... quick commute to Washington DC and to the Pentagon.

Unless your name is on the Deed, the property taxes will be forwarded to Mom or her Power of Attorney.

My question, what is Mom paying to live in her own house? It is really her responsibly or that of the financial Power of Attorney. It is so unfair for you and hubby to have to pay Mom's property taxes. Imagine the cost that your brother would be paying if he had to hire around the clock Agency caregivers? For my Dad it was $20k per month, yes per month. And the caregivers wouldn't be remodeling the kitchen/bath nor paying Mom's property taxes.

Lot to think about.
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