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After taking care of my dad for 13 years, my sister kidnapped him and will not let me see or speak to him. She took over his accounts that he had his and my name on. He gave me his house but now she is trying to evict me and turned off my utilities. I have POA and her name isn't on any of the accounts and she has not lifted a finger to help me this whole time, except having him over her house a few times this last year. Is there anything I can do?

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This is a question that needs more details. The bank has RULES for any account and who can sign, if it is set up with 1 account holder originally that person needs to be the signer. If an account is set up with 2 signers it has to be worded "signer1" {and} "signer #2" ..."signer1" {or} "signer #2"..."signer1" {and/or} "signer #2" These words {AND/OR,AND,OR} ARE SMALL WORDS WITH HUGE MEANING!!!! If you go to the bank and use the POA you sign as POA this is in place and either the account holder(s) or POA can sign if POA is approved by bank (unless the person is a resident of a facility & found legally incompitent... than they can no longer sign) As POA your responsability is to use funds "in the benefit of" this means only for the person who gave you that power (thier funds need to be correctly noted and logged efficiently). As far as SS income if it were set up to be directly deposited, into an account by the person recieving the payments, prior to needing a POA, and you use funds deposited by whatever means(SS,pension,etc.), from that account as the POA, you need to sign as POA and this gives you the right to use those funds "in the benefit of". If a change is needed as far as how payments are to be made or where to be deposited, only the SS recipient(not POA) can change this, or SS assigns a "Representative payee" with a Dr.'s approval for the need to do so. The caregiver is usually the one who is given the "Represenative payee" . In any case a person that has been granted "either" of these legaly abilities, needs to keep clear logged records, and whomever signs the checks or withdraws any funds other than "in the benefit of" are legaly responsable for any money in question and may be forced, at some point to repay any funds that are not accounted for as "in the benefit of". As POA you have the legal right to go to the bank and change an account holder OR what manner account is used. If SS checks have been deposited into this account and you need to change account specifics or get a totally different account # you need to set up any new arrangements with the SS dept.
As far as your sister kidnapping your father... I wish my sister would have gotten involved in Mom's care, she only listens when money is involved. She was abusing the funds for a short time, paying herself or using an aid for her weekends to be free of children or Mom , which would have been fine if she realized the money Mom had was very minimal and we needed to use money for a caregiver or aide to lengthen Mom's time to stay at home. All sis did during her caregiver time, was complain to me, about everythng that she couldn't handle, all that Mom was doing wrong, when in reality, Mom was doing these things because my Sis wasn't watching Mom when she was supposed to. So after I realized this was all a problem I took over and Sister was/is stil not helping she's just a thorn in my side. In everyones elses eyes, prior to Mom's dementia, I was the irresponsable one and sis was the well edjucated smart one(they forgot one thing, money means nothing to me but my Mom's life and happiness and safety and quality of life means everything to me). Well... Now Mom is doing excellent and I feel great about all my efforts and craziness for doing so, and careing responsability's.... but I LIVE with a clear conscious I am not so sure about my sister's conscious. I included her in every detail she's even on POA paper's the bigggest mistake (I requested that she be on the papers,I am kicking myself now). So my advice is TO.... do whatever it takes for your Dad's best daily quality of life! If you and your sister agree great if you can't... If your heart is in the right place, any task with Dad as your focus, will go smoothly. Taking care of a human life is the most important life lesson, if you stay focused on Dad Goals, although it may be difficult, it's not impossible.
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Go to your Banking Institution to advise them of the situation and take along your POA. There isnt nothing she should be able to do as long as you are truly the POA. Your Sister is being very insensitive where has she been all along? I can relate because I'm going through something similar right now. My father passed away 4 months ago, and I was his POA my brother went and paid off the Mortgage to claim ownership of My Father's home. I went to seek legal advice and was told that since my Brother isnt my Father's biological son then just consider a house now paid for because if we end up in Probate he will loose out all together.
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next time check into DURABLE Power of Attorney. that will take care of issues should the Elder become incompetent and will go beyond a Power of Attorney. As it appears HE is gone and you can now take time for yourself.
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Is/Was the POA in effect? or is your dad competent?
If your dad is competent the POA isnt in effect and he can change it.

If the POA is in effect then you are assigned by your dad to make his medical decisions when he is incompetent and you should do so.
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Yes, you can have your name on elder parent's account and receive Social Security benefits if you are named "payee" by Social Security office. SS office accepted psychiatrist letter with medical records/testing results included stating he is incompetent & unable to handle his own finances. POA was not acceptable.
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Remember,,,,,,,,,have the person make you Payable Upon Death aka POD of the account. That way if the person dies you will be the beneficiary. and get a Doctor to write the Soc. Sec. stating they recommend you to be the Authorized Representative of the Check. Soc.Sec. will make an appointment with you. After acceptance, take that letter to the bank. NO ONE can withdrawl the money out but you. HOWEVER, the person who "takes" the elder can do the same and leave you with no rights.
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POA is not GUARDIAN. If his Name is on the Account, He CAN have the account EMPTIED. being a POA does not make you Responsible. being a POA only gives you permission to "ACT" in his behalf as if you were him. ALSO having a POA can be "verbally" changed or 'they" / HE went to another attorney and changed it.. You will be lucky if you are sent a "change" order from the attorney. if the money in the bank was a Soc. Sec. Check , you should have been his Authorized Representative with that Paper attached to the bank account.... Soc. Sec. does NOT recognized POA. as Far as the House, You need to show Title. let him go. Move on with your life. It will take time for your wounds to heal.
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Familygirl: This topic of your Dad being kidnapped has really sparked a lot of comments today. We all have our "opinions" but I think the best thing for you would be to think throught all of the suggestions and do what you feel is best in your case. Do talk with professional people as they usually have the right answers to your questions. I also feel there has been some fingerpointing (accusations?) here and these persons think they have the right answers. Not if your not a professional who handles these things. Each case I have found is handled differently. So, I hope this fingerpointing stops as I feel this is not the way to go. Just state what has happened to your personally and let us find our own solutions from the professionals. It takes time and most of us humans when we have a problem want it solved "now." Just doesn't work that way as much as we would like it too. So, I hope that you sit down and weigh all the answers and take a deep breath and go from there. Stay calm and eventually it will all work out. I know it did for me and it took a year. It wasn't in my favor but I did accept it and I have gone on. Yes, sometimes things hurt but somehow it heals. On my first post tells my story. Good luck and blessings. Patricia
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ITALIANBABS is incorrect....if you are the POA, BOTH names can be put on the checks and you can make it so (2) signatures are necessary to get money out. I was the POA and now I am the CONSERVATOR of ESTATE and PERSON. Been there and I had a sister JUST LIKE YOURS....I took the cops to the home when she came up to visit from Florida...the cops were like: "Is she on drugs?". Take a deep breath and you will get through this....go file a police report and get to the bank ASAP!
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Call the POLICE and show them your POA paperwork, now.....also, go to the bank and show them as they can be liable. You must have gone to the bank already to get these accounts in your name. This is a crime~
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Still call SSI Familygirl. Don't take anyones word about anything. Get your own answers! Good Luck.
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Directly from the SS website: FAQs for Representative Payees
A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed by SSA to receive Social Security and/or SSI benefits for someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage his or her money. The main responsibilities of a payee are to use the benefits to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and properly save any benefits not needed to meet current needs. A payee must also keep records of expenses. When SSA requests a report, a payee must provide an accounting to SSA of how benefits were used or saved.

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IMHO the key in the above is:
"someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage his or her money". If the person has directed you to "manage his or her money" then you can just do it. You do not have to go thru the AR payee nonsense.By this I mean the AR process (below). Why make things more cumbersome?

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As per SS web: (to become a AR)
You must then submit an application, form SSA-11 (Request to be selected as payee) and documents to prove your identity. You will need to provide your social security number or if you represent an organization, the organization’s employer identification number. SSA requires you to complete the payee application in a face-to-face interview (with certain exceptions).
Also-Determine the beneficiary’s needs & use payments to meet those needs;
-Save any money left after meeting the beneficiary’s current needs in an interest bearing account or savings bonds for the beneficiary's future needs;
-Report any changes or events which could affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for benefits or payment amount;
-Keep records of all payments received and how they are spent and/or saved;
-Provide benefit information to social service agencies or medical facilities that serve the beneficiary;
-Help the beneficiary get medical treatment when necessary;
-Notify SSA of any changes in your (the payee's) circumstances that would affect your performance or continuing as payee;
-Complete written reports accounting for the use of funds; and
-Return any payments to which the beneficiary is not entitled to SSA.

And then -SSA will send you a "Representative Payee Report" once a year. When you receive the Report, you should either fill it out promptly and mail it back or follow the directions that you receive with the Report and submit the Report online.

The AR may be reimbursed for reasonable actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the beneficiary. For example the cost of transporting the beneficiary to a doctor’s appointment (such as cab fare, mileage and tolls); postage to pay the beneficiary’s bills, and fees for money orders is considered out-of-pocket expenses. The amount of reimbursement must correspond with the actual expense you incurred for the beneficiary. You must keep records of your out-of-pocket expenses.

The law requires most minor children and all legally incompetent adults to have payees.In all other situations, adult beneficiaries are presumed to be capable of managing benefits.
Above from SS website.
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Again, IMHO if your parent directed you to manage their affairs then just continue doing so. Don't worry about the AR payee stuff. Most AR are parents who get SS for their kids or a family member who does this for a profoundly disabled adult who can't do for themselves. If it ain't broke don't fix it.




What is a Representative Payee?

A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed by SSA to receive Social Security and/or SSI benefits for someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage his or her money. The main responsibilities of a payee are to use the benefits to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and properly save any benefits not needed to meet current needs. A payee must also keep records of expenses. When SSA requests a report, a payee must provide an accounting to SSA of how benefits were used or saved.

NOTE: Having power of attorney, being an authorized representative or having a joint bank account with the beneficiary is not the same thing as being a payee. These arrangements do not give legal authority to negotiate and manage a beneficiary’s Social Security and/or SSI payments. In order to be a payee a person or organization must apply for and be appointed by SSA.
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Igloor, I don' t think you should call people's advice nonsense if you don't mind. The bank does not have any authority on SSI. The SSI office and the Department of Aging are very reliable sources of information and that is the way we were told to do it. The clearest and easiest way for Familygirl to get the correct information she needs is to call her SSI office and ask. That is the advice I gave to her to verify the information I gave. Each's person's circumstances are different and each bank has different rules and please don't call someone's comments foolish unless you are an attorney or an expert on what you are saying. My mom's bank was not even aware that two names should not be on that account.
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My name is on two of my dad's accounts. I am also DPOA. The banks told me either he or I have access to those accounts. If your sister touched them...he gave her permission or she did it under his name. If your name is on the house title, get the utilities in your name. If it is still in your dad's name, she can, on behalf of your dad, cut all utilities off. She is influencing him now. Get an attorney to protect yourself. You have invested 13 years into his care.
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About the POA on a banking account.

My mom has a single account that her SS & annuity are direct deposited into. I am signature on the account & I am the POD (pay on death) on the account. The checks read her name & my name. Her SS# is the only one on the account, therefore she owns the account, it is her account wholly.

It is from this is from this account that her LTC/NH Medicaid asset co-pay is paid via a check that I write every month and from this account I write checks for whatever personal expenses she has that the monthly $ 60 allotment from Medicaid for personal care is for, like to pay the hairdresser at the LTC/NH. I do not need to be the authorized representative payee or any of that nonsense.

The AR should be an issue only when the SS check reciepent does NOT have a bank account &/OR is unable to cash the check because of health or mental state and the AR needs to deposit the check into their(the AR's) personal account or cash it for the person.

For the bank whether I am DPOA for her is not the issue, what counts for the bank is that I am an authorized signature on the account approved by the account owner (which is my mom). Whether my mom did that in 1980 or yesterday. SS concern is that the person who is the SS# on the check matches up SS# to the bank account they are depositing it into.
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naheaton: I get a little skeptical at times too. I have been here awhile also. I think sometimes when we try to express ourselves it is hard in writing and we don't write in the right terminology (words). I try not to read into anything but kinda "discect" what is written and go from there. In other words, give all the benefit of the doubt.
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That is correct. You must be approved to be a payee representative from the Social Security Office directly. Most people assume that since they are paying the bills they can be on the account. NOT TRUE! Please contact your social security office and ask them directly if in fact what I say is true. I can only go by what we were told when my mom's brother took over as her new POA and had my sister revoked for mis-use of moms funds.
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Jennie is right - you get a representative payee account for SSI.

naheaton is right too - something does not add up here, normally if someone is kidnapped, you call the police!! POAs, guardianships, trusteeships if abused can be taken away by a court, which requires lawyers if its going to be contested at all. Make sure you have evidence of what you have done for dad as POA if you will be fighting to get him back. And, seriously - Let us know what is really going on if you can??
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First of all after being on this website long enough I'm learning to be a little skeptical I'm afraid. Not to say that what you're saying isn't the gospel truth, but your sister might have been one of the people on here that told us how terrible her dad was being treated. How her sister (you) with all the 'power' was mistreating her dad, and we could well have told her to GET HIM THE HECK OUT OF THAT HOUSE. So you see the dilemma for me is taking someone's word at face value. Like I said, that's not necessarily the case here, but.... If she did indeed kidnap your dad against his will, then call the police, FBI, National Guard whatever, but do something.
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I'm confused by what italianbabs said. How can I use the money that my Dad gets from Social Security to pay his bills (I'm POA) if my name can't be on the account that it is deposited into? (I do, and it is.) It's been this way for years, and no one has said a thing. I am durable POA as well as medical POA, and I'm an only child. My Dad can not handle his bills himself.
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Do you literally mean she kidnapped him, that is, took him against his will? If so, call the FBI!
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A POA is not permitted to have their name on the elderly person's account if social security is being deposited into that account. The Protective Services lady that handled my mother's investigation told me that. Social Security is only permitted to go into the person's account ONLY. No POA or anyone else for that matter is permitted on that account.
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Yes, you need an attorney who specializes in elderlaw. Please also be aware that your sister may have gone to a lawyer (unfamiliar with your prior caregiving) with your father and had him make her the POA of record, thus eradicating your power. POAs can be changed at any time.

A note: never make bank accounts jointly owned or put an elder's house in your name. This not only evokes anger and suspicion in family members (causing them to do things like THIS) but more importantly, it affects qualification for Medicaid which might be needed down the line.

A qualified attorney is your best resource right now.

Blessings,

Shelley
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I am a little confused with the terminology of the word "kidnapped." First, kidnapping is a federal crime. There are several issues here and I agree with others get some legal help. NOW! As for accounts etc. I don't think there is any way to get money out of accounts etc. without signatures or authorization and even then it is hard with proper signatures. If whoever the people your sister is dealing with are also in trouble as this is forgery if she is signing anything. So, again this is a crime. I went through this with my grandfather and I was on the signature card at the bank and, yes, I notified them as well. All was supposed to be OK until he passed with no will. So, my mother and uncle got a lawyer and within two days of his death had everything frozen. I couldn't touch anything. I couldn't even get enough funds to bury him. The only thing that I had on him was a conservatorship at the time. Nothing worked. Keep fighting hard and do get a lawyer who handles these kind of things. If you do not have funds get it worked out so you can pay later. Do what is in the best interest for your Dad and eventually it will work out. Not always in your favor but at least you will have peace that you tried your best to help him. Things didn't work out for me like I would have liked but at least I fought for grandpa. Sit down with a notebook and your pen and start writing a list and notes. You will need them. It sounds like you are upset right now so calm down and take a few minutes each day to put your thoughts in the notebook. If you think of something during the day stop and write it down. Good luck and hang in there. Keep us posted on your results.
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Contact your department of aging immediately Protective Services for the elderly and tell them your father is being exploited.
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She cannot take over any accounts with your name and his on them. Go to the bank and bring your POA with you. If the account is joint, she cannot do anything legally to remove the funds. Go immediately with your legal affidavit and put a freeze on the accounts until this is settled. You can also do the same thing with the utilities. Call them and tell them you have POA and are responsible for the accounts and they are to be turned on immediately. Then contact an attorney.
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Sounds like you could take legal action against her for fraud, if her name isn't on the accounts.
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Get an attorney.

All these issues are sticky, you'll need to hire an experienced lawyer to help. To begin your search for the best lawyer for the job, contact the local bar association and ask whether it has a lawyer referral service that includes those who specialize in elder law or conservatorships. You can also contact the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for a referral to its members in your area. Good luck.
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I don't know what you can do... But I would get a hold the establishment where the accounts are andlet them know of the situation. You may be able to suspend the accounts pending future developements. I say don't be a whimp (not saying you are) But fight hard.. if you believe it is in the best interest of your Father. Good luck.
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How on earth can she take over the accounts if they have your name on them and you have POA? Get a lawyer.
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