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My husband is POA for his mother who is severe Alzheimers. Arrived to my mother in laws home last weekend to find his sister and boyfriend stole all of her china, streling silver flatware collection and sterling silver serving pieces. This happened in central PA. Value is over 15 thousand.

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In an extreme situation, which this could potentially turn into, your SIL could be arrested for Felony theft and your husband could be arrested as an accessory to theft (which is also a Felony) for not reporting this because he is POA. The problem is that the caregiver knows and is a witness and the caregiver also is a witness that the POA was told about the situation and has so far done nothing. If, for example, the caregiver works for a caregiving company, she might tell her boss and she might tell her boss nothing was done. The boss or caregiver might decide to report this to APS or the police. Next thing you know you have a big problem. If something like this happened, then your husband would lose POA of his mother. It might be that the court would have to appoint a guardian - someone no one in the family knows who is paid to be your MIL's guardian and has the right to decide what to do with your MIL, where she will live, how her money will be spent and receives a generous salary from her estate.

There are ethical and legal issues regarding not reporting this theft. At this point, if your husband reports it, he can explain that the reason he waited a week was because he wanted to give his sister a chance to return the items first. Also, if the sister has sold these items or they cannot be retrieved, it is possible that the courts will either force her to repay your MIL or that your MIL's homeowner's insurance may help pay for the missing items. That said, your husband's and MIL's relationship with your SIL will be over forever. Which, sadly, may be for the best for all concerned.
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No Rest, I usually am not one to write bluntly. But for this situation I will. Someone in this situation needs to get a backbone, and if your husband can't locate his, you need to get yours in gear. Now. Today. Last week when it happened would have been better, because now they wil ask why it was not reported immediately, but that's water under the bridge. There is no nicer way to say this; sitting around and crying woe is us, oh my poor MIL, shame on my awful phony SIL - while doing nothing - is nothing but a worthless pity party. And if SIL and her current BFF are amorally thieving to support a drug lifestyle, getting the cops involved might be better for them in the long run anyways.
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Thank you Moxie good information! My sister in law and her 8 yr younger boyfriend have no morals..... My mom died when I was 18, I have 5 sisters and no one took one thing of my mothers for years after her death! The immense greed of his 58 yr old daughter of her mother is disturbing on many levels. My mother in law will not be able to use her own belongings for all her reamaining holidays, which she always loved. In the past, the daughter has made comments about respecting her mother's dignity......she acts like the doting daughter at her Mom's church it is all a show!
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norestforweary, The Medicaid penalty is something that could be a problem if your MIL ever needs to go on Medicaid for her nursing home care. What it has to do with is the transfer of assets.

"There is a look back period of either 3 or 5 years depending on when the transfer of assets occurs. To qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, your mother (in law) must have very low income and assets. Medicaid will look at any transfer of assets she's made in the previous years. If assets have been given away, or transferred for less than full value, during a "look-back" period before applying for Medicaid, your mother (in law) may be ineligible for Medicaid nursing home coverage for some period of time. The length of ineligibility is calculated by taking the value of the transferred asset and dividing it by the average monthly nursing facility cost in the state where your mother lives.The look-back periods are different in length, and in severity of penalty, depending on when the gift or transfer was made:

• For gifts or transfers she made before February 8, 2006, the look-back period is 36 months from the date your mother(in-law) applies for Medicaid nursing home coverage. If her gift or transfer falls within this time, her period of ineligibility begins to run from the date of the transfer.
• For gifts or transfers your mother (in-law) made on or after February 8, 2006, the rules are much tougher. The look-back period for transfers made after this date is 60 months from the date of your mother's Medicaid application. And if a less-than-full-value transfer falls within this time, the period of ineligibility begins from the date of your mother's application for Medicaid coverage (NOT from the date of the transfer, as under the earlier rule)."

If your MIL is well-off and has the assets and money for her future care, then, the sister taking the china and silver is still illegal, but of concern mostly on a moral and ethical basis. But if your MIL is not well-off and eventually her home and other assets will be need to be sold in order to pay for her care in a memory care facility or nursing home and she outlives the money received from these assets, and it has not been 5 years since your SIL took the china and silver, then Medicaid will not pay for her nursing home expenses for a certain amount of time. $15,000 would cover 3 - 5+ months of care in a Medicaid facility depending on what part of the country you live in. If your MIL must go on Medicaid and your SIL would not be willing to pay for these months of care, then you and your husband will have to pony up the money for this.

So, in order to make a decision about what to do, your husband needs to know if your MIL can afford to private pay for a nursing home for the period of time of whatever her remaining life expectancy is. With Alzheimer's, most patients die within 3 - 10 years of diagnosis with the average life expectancy being 4.5 years from the date of diagnosis, however, some patients have been known to live up to 26 years. (Source: Longevity dot com) The length of life expectancy has to do with the age at which she was diagnosed.
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Yes we have proof the daughter has told the caregiver she took it, the boyfriend has confirmed it and the daughter has texted my husband she is not returning it.
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That's sad when people think of Money and Wills when their parent is still alive.
Show's whos the feller of this.refusing to report this humm..........
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(He thinks he can deduct it from his sisters share when he becomes executor)
Who's he to do that?If he don't have proof his sister stoled the stuff?He can't point a finger at his sister.If he attempts to rip his sister off in the Will at the end?He has another thing coming.She can take him to court.Executor can't change a Will.Only the Mother can do that.If his Mother in incompatent the Will can't be changed.And executor doesn't mean his the boss of the Will.And POA is void after death.So that mean's the Attorney in fact is no longer.Let me get this straight,
He plans to cut the sister out of the Will or cut some funds back from her at the end?He refuses to report this to the police?Well,cant do a insurance claim without a police report.He has no proof the sister stoled a thing if he isn't willing to call and report this.Something doesn't sound correct here to me about this all.
If he has no proof and is not willing to report this to the police to do a insurance claim of $15,000?Maybe the sister isn't the feller?He can't cut her from the Will without proof.Medcaid and medicare goes back 5 yrs.He will be the feller to come up with the $15,000 that was stolen in the Will not the sister.
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Well,if you have no proof that the daughter stoled the stuff.You have not a leg to stand on.Many things come to play inorder to know if you have enough proof or not.As examples,does the daughter work have a job,need money?If the daughter did steel it all as you say?What would she do with it all?Would she sell it for money or just put all the stuff away for later?You should know that answer.
If she attempts to sell it all or some as silver.Contact the local Pawn Shops in her area and out of area.Only dumbies take stolen goods to their local Pawn shops.If she's smart about it she would go out of town to sell or Pawn it all.Call the Police and ask them to check for her name at the local Pawn shops?If her name is found she's the feller.
Now,if she's the type that will hide the stuff for later days.If she's smart?She wouldn't take it home.Get names of her closest friends or check other families homes for the items.A item will bound to show up sooner or later.Takes time and only time will tell.
If she is the type that will save/store the stolen items for later days?
If she's smart about it.She wouldn't take it home.She would either have a friend or another family member store it for her.Or get a storage unit.
Contact her local storage units in her area to look for her name on a storage unit.
If she's smart she would buy a storage unit out of town.I think for that amount of value stolen?It's more then one family member doing that job.$15,000 is alot of value for just one person and a big job for only one person to do on their own.Sounds like a inside family job to me.If those items was family items she stoled?She's not on her own.She has help for sure.Without proof be lucky nothing else is stolen.Are you sure your pointing the finger at the right feller?$15,000 in silver shouldn't of been just seating around the house for anyone to take.I'm sure for that value there's insurance on it all.If you have no solid proof to stand on?Or not for sure 100% who took the stuff?Don't be pointing fingers.Take the insurance money and be happy nothing else was stolen.
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Most men do not like confrontation and arguments. Since your husband told sister he did not want anything, she feels like everything is hers for the taking. Your husband does not feel that it is worth fighting over so he is willing to give it up. I like what hpygrl said about asking her to return those items until the will is read to make your MIL happy and then after she is gone, come and take them. If that could happen i would be happy with that.

After reading what all she did however, she was aware that she was stealing these belongings from her mother. Any person who takes things and rearranges the china cabinet to make it look like nothing had been taken, KNOWS THEY ARE STEALING....If it was me doing it, I would know I was doing this to make it look like nothing was gone and I would know it was going to be missed and that what I was doing was wrong!

When your husband agreed to be his mother's POA he made a legal agreement between them to act on her behalf and handle her estate and finances as she would want them and to the best of his ability. HE ISN'T LIVING UP TO HIS END OF THE BARGAIN. He is allowing his mother to be robbed and he is letting it happen. That is a shame. I can understand if there are only two children, why she chose him over the thief, but he is actually allowing/assisting with the pilfering of her estate and I believe he could be held responsible.

I am POA for my mother and I would NEVER sit still for something like this. I know it is hard but maybe he should think about giving POA to an attorney if he isn't strong enough to handle it. At least he would not be held responsible or liable.
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No, he absolutely can't allow her to take the items "on credit" like that. These possessions are his mother's, he has POA, he is responsible for ensuring that her property is managed as she wishes. He must confront the situation or he is failing in his responsibility.
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Yes he is very reluctant to call police........I had thought he can at least have it on record but he thinks the police will act on it. He thinks he can deduct it from his sisters share when he becomes executor....I think he is enabling his sister... just like his mother had. Even in her best days my MIL could not stand up to her daughter. The point is my MIL is still alive and wants her things to stay in her home.
What is a medicaid penalty? I am unfamiliar with that!
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I recently put all my mother's jewelry in a locked safe, I don't want to tempt caregivers and allow my mother to give things away that she won't remember. She has always been a very giving person and wouldn't hesitate if she thought someone needed it.
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The other difficult thought is this. She has now had time to sell everything. Evidence may be gone and they may not be able to do anything. But if there is any way to prove the theft, a prompt call to police could mean being able to say return everything OR I will press charges, and it will be clear that this is not tolerable and won't be glossed over.
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I understand reluctance to call the cops on ones own flesh and blood, but the necessity is there, and it is your house too and your finances too that will be ruined by the Medicaid penalty. And if sister get away with this because hubby will not do anything, then who knows what she will do next, maybe even more brazenly than this time. In other words, you can do it if he can't bring himself to, but I would tell him you are doing it and gently explain why. Wish this was easier.
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Hm. If your husband has POA, then he has no choice but to recover his mother's belongings. He should tell his sister that all of the items must be returned by a given date, or he will be reporting their theft to the police. And then, if they're not returned, he must do so.
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I agree the police need to be notified too. I have been encouraging my husband to at least file a report...This is soo stressful....We had already told his sister we did not want anything. However my husband is responsible for his mother as POA and we don't know how her Alzheimers will play out.
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Time for police.
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My husband received a text from his sister after he requested the return of stolen items... she said thats not happening.
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And in addition, no..... these things are not willed to the daughter......
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It just goes to show you inventory needs to be taken as an elder is exhibiting signs of dementia. She has had a house cleaner for 28 years who has not ever taken one thing from my MIL. It goes to show you...... sometimes you have to watch out for relatives.
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Ugh, that's sickening. Have you called the police?

My grandma recently told me that some of her crystal glasses have gone missing. There is only one person who could have taken them, my mother, but I'm not touching that with a ten-foot pole.
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The other thing the daughter did was to rearrange the china cabinet by placing other items in such a way the missing china would not be noticed. It was clear deception.
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It has been confirmed my sister in law and boyfriend removed her mother's valuables while she was sleeping. She would not allow her daughter to take these items if she saw her removing them. My MIL has asked her to return these items and is sad and asks why her daughter would take them. My MIL has some holidays left in her, and the greed of this daughter is sickening. We have learned her taking these items is a felony, and a higher level felony since it is valued over 2,000.00. There are great responses to this posted problem...... thank you all!
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I agree with Blannie, my father was giving away things without notifying us, then saying he could not find it. Even if your sister says the items were given to her, and your mom says she didn't, just let her know she needs to return them until mom's demise and the will is read. That keeps mom happy and lets your sister know you do believe her.
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Just did a lot of moving many of my mom's things for safety when she went to a care home this weekend, including her jewelry to my home where my brother knows it's safe and not being sold and that I am in the will to receive all her jewelry. Could be more to the story.
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Has your husband asked his sister for an explanation?

It just occurs to me that, if my mother were living alone and had people coming in to help her, possibly unsupervised and possibly not always the people who were rostered to do it, I'm not sure how happy I'd be to leave valuable items sitting around the house either. Before you call the police, check that these things haven't simply been moved to a place of safety. Or that's what I'd do, anyway.

$15,000 is an awful lot of china and silverware: it's not like the sister can have been hoping your husband wouldn't notice.
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Another explanation would be that these items were stolen by someone else. But if the sister did indeed steal the items, then POA should confront her and tell her to return them ASAP and it they are returned very soon, he will be calling the police in on it.
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I agree, Blannie. It is possible that Mom could have given those items to Daughter. But if Mom is not in her "right mind" then Daughter should not have accepted without discussing it with POA, and she should give the items back when it is explained to her.
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The only thing I would caution about is whether or not mom gave the items to her daughter. There are tons of threads on here about people with Alzheimers accusing others of theft when they've given away the items themselves. I just read a thread this morning where the child found a lot of 'thank you' notes from people to whom their parent with dementia had given away items. The parent had told them items were stolen. So before you jump to conclusions and call in the police, I'd suggest calmly talking to the sister involved to get her side of the story.
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It does not matter whether Sis is intended by the will to inherit the assets. MIL is not dead yet. If this is not reported as theft and she later needs to apply for Medicaid it will be considered that she gave a $15,000 gift to Sis and that will impact her eligibility.

I hope that Mom's assets are sufficient for her care the rest of her life even without the sterling. But you know how extensive the care needs for someone with dementia can be, and how expensive it will be to provide care if she lives a long time. As POA it is your husband's responsibility to act in Mom's best interest and do everything he can to preserve her assets for her needs.

I think he should notify his sister of his obligation as POA, tell her he will have no choice but to report this as theft, but he'd prefer to avoid that and will give her two days to return the items so he isn't obligated to report it.

I'd try very hard to be matter-of-fact about this business obligation and keep it out of the name-calling emotional arena. "Sis, I understand you might feel entitled to Mom's china and silver. I hope that is how it turns out when the will is read. But it is my legal obligation, blah, blah, blah." POAs are NOT entitled to save assets for inheritance by themselves or others. Their duty is to ensure that the principal's current and future needs are met. If that means something that was "promised" to a potential heir has to be sold, so be it.

If Sis didn't want her Mom's GI bleed treated she probably will try to fight giving up the china and silver, too. But your husband's legal obligation is clear. He needs to report this theft to the police. It would be a generous gesture on his part to give his sister the opportunity to return the assets. But if he doesn't get them back he cannot just shrug this off.
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