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I have been taking care of my 83 year old mother for going on four years. I have both her durable poa and medical poa. Every doctor she goes to, her lawyer, hairdresser, etc. recognize me as her caretaker. I have a no-good nephew who would happily take every penny she has. Mom still pretty much handles her own finances but I keep a close eye on things as she oftsn makes mistakes that I have to correct. She has an odd relationship with monsy it seems to mean power and control to her and at timex I thi k even love. However, she does not seem to understand that she just doesn't have the money she used to and I am very concerned about what will ahppen if she has another, more debilitating stroke. I have a nephew who constantly gets himself in a financial bind because he spends money on the stuff he wants and then expects to get bailed out. No one else in the family will help him anymore because it costs money everytime he calls. This includes his on parents. I have told him as her poa that the funds are not there and to quit taking money from her and that he needs to talk to me before going to her for money. In the past two months he has aken close to 8,000 behind my back. He thinks I don't know he is doing this. The last 4K mom put on a credit card. I dont understand why its ok for her to go into debt but not him. Anyway, i do know that he has also lied to her about what the money is for, telling her it is for doctor bills, etc. when he is actually getting a new tatoo or tv or guitar. Do I have any legal recourse? I'd like to sit him down and tell him what my options are if he continues. Thanks.

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Ideally, Mom would respond to a frank discussion of her finances and the reality that she cannot afford this and also maintain her own care, which would put you on the hook for a lot of money that isn't there because there is no way you would let her be without support. But, they really do hate to give up being able to give gifts or even donate to charity; it feels selfish and wrong to most of them. It was a fight I had with my mom too - she kept wanting to give people tips for giving her care and me money for travel expenses; I'd keep explaining that the people she wanted to tip would lose their jobs if they ever accepted, and for me, if she insisted, if she would write a check and I just would not cash it. I had to get her QVC card away from her so she would not buy more stuff she already had tons of and/or no use for for future "gifts" or whatever also.

But, failing that, one option would be to determine Mom's competence, and get guardianship or limited guardianship (to finances) if the answer is negative. Another is to physically get control over mom's credit access such that all requests go through you, keeping careful records of your activities as POA to defend against any accusations of stealing. Finally, there is the option to involve Adult Protective Services. From what I have read, this can be a mixed bag. You might be best off to consult an eldercare attorney and be sure which of your options, those or any others they may come up with is going to be best. Also, bear in mind that if Mom will ever need Medicaid, those kind of sums would constitute "gifting" and a penalty period would ensue, so there is a real need to put a stop to this fast and hope she holds on through your state's "look-back" period.

Finally, make sure your name is not ON any of these credit cards or bank accounts she is using without your direct supervision. If your name is on there you are likely liable for the debt. My cousin found this out the hard way, as her name was on my aunt's accounts as a way of making it easier to help manage things. My aunt had been highly financially responsible all of her life, never missed a bill payment, but probably, unrecognized, began to slip in judgement and became a full-fledged hoarder. The debt she ran up was absolutely crippling to my poor cousin, who only found out the extent of what was going on after she died suddenly at home.
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