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Back in 2007 my father fell and had to temporarily leave the house for recovery. I asked my Mom to be put on their bank accounts because none of the kids (4) would be financially able to help them with their bills. But I could write checks on their behalf if they were both unable to do so. Determined that Dad had the beginnings of dementia. He died on May 25th, 2013, 6 yrs later, at age 90 due to withdrawal from desire to live. It has been a nightmare dealing with my brothers. It would take too long to explain but my oldest brother was made the 1st choice DPOA for my Dad and my mom made me her 1st choice DPOA. Now that Dad has died, the DPOA is no longer in force for my Dad. My brothers do not trust me as my mom's DPOA. Before Dad died, they tried to get Mom to change her DPOA. Two of them live out of town and did not/nor do not deal with them on a daily basis. Mom suffered a stroke in March. Luckily, I had her evaluated by a neuropsychologist just before the atty meeting. My third brother who lives near me suffered a stroke and had just left the hospital 3 days earlier. Needless to say, the meeting with the atty caught me by surprise. Luckily, I had a copy of the dr's eval which showed Mom could not make nor understand such complicated decisions. She could have a number of years ago.

All of this is a preamble to this, before Dad died, my brothers had themselves put on Mom/Dad's bank accts. I believe with JTRS. I have death certificates for my Dad. I pay all of Mom's bills out of her acct with her permission. I am having difficulty going to the bank with the death certificate because I am afraid the account will be frozen. My two out of town brothers are co-executors of Dad's will which essentially says everything goes to my Mom. I do not know what they are doing with the will or whether they are filing it with the courts. Our relationships have become hostile since the atty meeting.

I need to go to the bank (Texas). Am I worrying for nothing? Has anyone had to deal with this before? It is almost like I want to give them just so much info, not withhold anything of course, but enough to find out if I need to open a new account with my Mom's funds to pay her bills.

Please help! Thanks

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frustrated2 is absolutely right. I work at a bank too, haha, so s/he and I are on the same page. When I said removed in answer number 10, I meant exactly what she said, close and re open an account without your name on it. but it is still your mother's money even though they have access to it and if you were to challenge, they would have to prove that they use anything they used in her best interest. And I believe you could get reinstated on the basis that they were being slippery about their behavior, whereas you were not, and your mother as the surviving spouse had already made her wishes very clear. I for one hope you are getting in gear and getting this done. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible before you're inaction is interpreted as agreement!
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One other comment. If you brothers are joint holders of this account, can't they just look at it on-line? Or have the bank send them statements? My brother looks at mom's money all the time to see if anything fishy is going on. When she added him to her checking account, the bank actually starting sending HIM on-line statements, discontinued sending them to her and she was livid. But she didn't remove him from the account. Or so I am told........
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Wyndie, great answer to family problems and being open. Every single thing wrong in my family could be solved by my mother being open and fair with her two children. When people keep secrets, they usually have something to hide. Plus, at 61, I expect to be treated with the same respect I give my brother and mother. They still treat me as if I am the scapegoat of the family. And neither me nor my brother ever caused my parents one nano second of trouble, ever. Nor borrowed (at least I didn't) any money from them, ever.

So secrets and lies have caused me to stop having anything to do with my brother and mother. Just sad.
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Having worked in a bank and with some experience with this, as far as I have always known, a person can't be 'removed' from a joint account. They CAN close the account and reopen it in just their name(s) though. Gotta get there before that happens.
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I am just a little bit ahead of you but I have been exactly where you are. My father died in 2006 and the Trust basically said everything goes to Mom as it should, so there was no problem. When Mom began having memory problems and I witnessed her giving away her money to anyone, I took Mom to the attorney and asked for and was given POA over finances and healthcare.

I have taken care of my parents finances for years and years and was taken into their confidence on many issues. I am not the oldest child, so my older sister became very upset that I had taken Mom to the attorney to obtain POA. She lives in our house and I told her on 3 occasions that I intended to go for her POA to stop the loss of money and since I have been her caregiver the attorney suggested that I take the POA on Healthcare as well, which is what I wanted as well.

My older sister tried to prevent me from taking POA even though my mother and younger sister wanted me to take it. This caused a huge fight and some very hurt feelings. I however felt that I needed to do what I did to stop the bleeding of my Mom's estate. I am frugal, but buy what is necessary for Mom to live. I have made all bank statements available to either sister and am open and honest with them about everything that goes on. I am not here to live off my mother's estate nor rip off my two sisters. I am all for being fair and I will do my utmost to make sure that any money that may be left will be shared, but right now my only thought is to care for my mother.

As far as the bank is concerned, don't worry about taking in your father's death certificate and asking to have his name removed. I did that and it never presented a problem. Where I ran into problems was with Mom's and my POA. My parents banked at the Bank of America for over 50 years and I walked in with my POA and asked to have them take 40K dollars and put it in an account in the name of the Trust at the urging of Mom's attorney, and not leave it sitting outside of the Trust. Well you would have thought that I was trying to steal a million dollars from them. They fought me tooth and nail and REFUSED TO ACCEPT MY POA! I was doing what the attorney told me to do, put Mom's money back into the name of the trust, I was not removing any money from the bank. The entire experience was horrible. I have found out they do this to everyone and you can sue them to accept your POA but most people don't because they do not want the hassle. I removed 40K and went to One West Bank and opened an account in the name of the Trust and deposited the money into it.

I say all of this just to let you know that if you have a problem with them accepting your POA, just find another bank and open an account there. The bank should not give you a problem if you have your father's death certificate. Your brother's POA is no longer valid as your father has died. You have the only valid POA at this time as your mother is the only parent alive. DO NOT GET INTO ANY CONVERSATION AT THE BANK TELLING THEM ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BROTHERS, YOU DO NOT WANT TO RAISE A RED FLAG.

Lastly, whatever amount of money your parents have, it is not worth losing your family over. Be honest in all of your dealings. You are the steward of your mother's money, this money is not yours to go out and blow. It is meant to take care of her and keep her comfortable until she passes away.

Tell your brothers you will send them copies of the bank statements and checkbook register if that will keep the peace. It is not something you HAVE to do but if you want to stop the fighting then be firm but honest with them. If you are found to be splurging at the expense of your Mother then I believe you can be held responsible and even removed from your position depending on how mean your brothers want to get, so live aboveboard. When I gave copies of the Trust and POA's to my sisters and told them that I would make everything available to them, my older sister stopped the fighting. Try it and you may find that being open and honest will stop the bickering in your family as well.

I have been there and lived that!
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Corrections... I'm inputting from my android and using voice recognition which is in perfect and I don't always catch the mistakes as I'm speaking.

"the exact SUM"
"a doctor that will CONFIRM that"
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I am trying not to be confused by your information. lf I read it correctly, your folks added you to their joint account, right? Then, and they must have used their DPOA, your brothers ADD themselves to the bank account. But, please tell me they did not REMOVE you? If not, you could go close the account RIGHT NOW but be sure to put the exact some in an account you open for your mother using your DPOA, in case your brothers challenge you. If they added themselves and took you off, you must see the attorney immediately. I suspect they didn't do that because you are still signing on the account to pay the bills and the bank would surely question that if you were not supposed to. You'd probably have a cause of action against them if they took you off as it clearly wasn't the intention of your mother, who is the surviving spouse and the beneficiary of your dads will. You say your father was showing signs of dementia at the time. Is there a doctor that will be refined that? This is a complicated situation and the longer you wait before you do something about it makes it look like you are in agreement with it. So take heed and get on this right away.
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Also disagree with the above comment regarding co owners being the trump card to being DPOA for an incapacitated primary on the account. Any one of the persons on a Joint account that doesn't require two signatures can withdraw or close the account. If you have Power of Attorney you basically ARE acting for/as that person so you have every right to do that. Hate to say it but it is push coming to shove - whomever gets to it first kinda 'wins'.
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Here is what I am sure of. If you are DPOA for your mother and your dad is gone, if the account was JTWROS for your mom and dad, then it goes directly to your mother. Since you are the one authorized to act on her behalf you shouldn't have any issue with the bank freezing or closing the account(s). I do agree that you need a lawyer in general as these situations can get sticky. Your dad's will should be fairly easy to execute and if it is all written down and everything goes to your mom, pretty cut and dried. Their being executors of his will has nothing to do with your being DPOA for her.
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So let me see, you are paying your mom's bills out of her checking account because you are her DPOA. However, your brothers are on this account as Joint Owners?

All I know is when your father died, the accounts became your mother's. If your brothers are on this account or accounts, they are owners as well. This money is their money, it is not part of the estate. I would think they would know this and know they control this account. However, I do not know if a DPOA for your mother would have more power over this account than a joint owner. Therefore, legal advice is probably a good thing.

I know that in my family my brother is on my mother's bank account and he is DPOA and he is executor of the will. I am on nothing. I do know that when she dies, the bank account(s) are his. If you add someone as a joint owners with rights of survivorship, this money is no longer in the estate. Many elderly people do this and do not realize they are basically gifting all of this money to one child. Hopefully, in most families, the money is shared. However, it doesn't have to be.

I would think the banks would look at who is listed as joint owners and probably question the DPOA. Don't know. Would love to hear more about this due to the fact that my mother has done something of this sort with her account(s) and my brother does not have to tell me one single thing. It is out of probate and no longer in her estate. Sad and unfair to me but true. Also, we do not get along as well. So I figure I will lose out in the end.
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Your brother's have to go to Probate Court unless the estate was in a trust (irrevocable or revocable) making the will public knowledge. As DPOA for your mother you could take your dad off the bank account showing them the death certificate. Don't get into all the family issues. All they can do at the bank is tell you what they need besides the death certificate, but re-reading your story, I saw your brothers are also on the account. This complicates things in that they are jointly responsible on the account, and since they are co-executors of your dad's will, they trump your DPOA. Best to seek a family attorney who is experienced in dealing with families who have issues with one another. My best to you, and know my family is fractured because of similar issues, and it has not been resolved nor will it ever be.
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When you see an attorney be strong in the knowledge that your Dad wanted
your Mom taken care of financially and that is why he left it all to her. I have
DPOA for my widowed mother who has dementia and my father did the same.
It is the last way on this earth that your Dad (and mine) could show the great love that he had for his wife.
Maybe expressing this to your brothers in those terms and lovingly expressing Mom's ability to choose who she wanted at the time that she chose you will
help. In my situation, and perhaps yours, when Mom's estate is settled later on there will be some for their children, but that is not for now. Mom's care comes first, and that is why she has you to take care of that.

I have been writing bills, taxes, getting personal care items, and taking care of Mom's needs at an Assisted Living for five years making the 8 hour one way
car trip every other month to see about her, love her, and take care of those
needs from the family. A DPOA is a big job and I am fortunate to be able to
juggle my two part time jobs around it. I am not sure your brothers understand
how much work (every insurance , Medicare, Social Security Representative papers, doctor's contacts, nurse contacts, home health care, bank accounts, etc.) and care there is involved even without being a personal caregiver --God Bless them ALL!
It is a huge responsibility as DPOA and you do it out of love and care for your mother.
Maybe a lawyer explaining that to them would help. I just had two major papers
show up in the mail yesterday that require my attention. And wait until there is
a Medicare appeal you need to do because sometimes they just decide not
to pay an ambulance bill or something, or last year mom's accountant for taxes found her tax number had been used and someone had received her refund (we finally did get hers 9 months later after filing new papers).
These things happen..........it is work , but done out of love and concern for
Mom, you just do it.
I wish you all the best and hope you have a peaceful time working through it
all. God bless you!
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I am truly sorry for your loss, though that sounds lame on line. I've been there. Your dad has an estate that needs to be settled, whether he left a will or not. If there is a will or estate plan, the attorney involved with that will weigh in on some of these issues. That process will resolve many of your questions. It probably will raise some new ones too, unfortunately. My dad passed in 2011 and we're still sorting out some details because a business is involved. We're lucky because all the sibs are on the same page.
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That's good advice about consulting an attorney. If you can't afford one, perhaps your local legal aid group could help. Seems like it should be a simple matter with DPOA to have the other names removed from your joint account with your mother.
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I agree with jo, an Elder Care atty that is separate from anything ur bro is doing. If ur dad's will xfers all 2 mom, in CA, there is a simple form to transfer title just to your mom. You haven't said if there's a trust. That might change things. You need legal advice asap. Don't wait for your brother to do something underhanded. Again in CA, when a person is determined to be impaired, a revocable trust immediately becomes and irrevocable trust. In other words, neither can it be changed nor can your mom sign any new legal documents. This is my opinion from personal experience. I am NOT a professional but I think you are lucky you got that evaluation.
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This is a legal matter for an attorney only, preferably one who your
brother do not know personally.
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