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They say that anyone caring for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s actually puts them at a high risk to get it themselves.


My mom now has dementia which really went full scale after her stepson took her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, away against their wishes. My mom took care of her hubby all by herself for many years after her hubby was diagnosed.


Last year my mom was having mild cognitive issues herself when her hubby had a mini stroke. He recovered with no ill effects. Dr said he could go home, but his son took him away and stuck him in a nursing home. Then he proceeded to cash out his all dad’s annuities that his dad had left to my mom.


My mom and her husband were both mobile and could independently take care of themselves. They both just needed reminders, etc. Assisted living was appropriate for both of them.


Now that stepson isolated them from each other, they both have deteriorated. Mom is super depressed and cries all the time. Her husband looks awful now and has lost weight. He would get upset and want to go home with my mom The stepson will not agree to let them stay together.


I cannot seem to find answers from any legal advisor to see if what the stepson is doing is illegal or it is some kind of fraud for self gain. I feel he is taking advantage of his dad and abusing his rights as a POA. He most certainly has hurt my mom.


The step son and his wife have a history of preying on the elderly.


Any suggestions or help from anyone is much appreciated.

I am so shocked at the incredibly callous and malicious behavior of the stepson, who not only stole this money but is continuing to abuse both husband and wife by keeping them apart. It seems you have gone the distance pursuing every avenue you could but no one can or will help you. I'm not sure if visiting her husband is allowed and if it is, is it doing more harm than good. I pray that he is at least in a good facility.
There's no legal advice I can possibly give at this point but I KNOW God will bless you for all you have done to prevent this from happening. I think it may be best to redirect your energy and time to continue to protect your Mom's existing assets. You will make yourself sick trying to overcome this horrible wrong for which it seems you cannot legally win. Perhaps it's just best to change course and concentrate on distracting your Mom from her distress by enriching her life in the best way you can - a daycare or senior center where she can visit and make friends, more family visits, playing music or tv shows from her era, hiring local care for companionship, etc. I truly wish you comfort and we are here for you!
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Hopiegirl Nov 4, 2021
Thank you. I cannot believe how awful the stepson is either. I truly hope karma sees him soon!

I have been trying to keep my mom distracted. It’s not easy. They get so fixated.

The laws seem to only work for the crooked people.
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Yes it’s illegal. You have gotten some terrible responses. My heart goes out to you. Lawyers are expensive and most often the justice system isn’t tailored help us. It’s just the way of the world. But you can take steps to make it right for them. Be prepared to pay for it. At the same time you can get a lawyer on contingency hopefully to help you. And u can put a judgment Lien on this idiot that will follow him around. Best of luck
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GardenArtist Oct 29, 2021
Just to clarify, or perhaps I misunderstood, but only a court can enter a judgment.  Depending on the type of lien, such as what you used to be known as a mechanic's lien, some individuals or companies can in fact enter that kind of lien.    But not a judgment; that's not within the purview of individuals.

And BTW, I think the OP has received some excellent, insightful answers.
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So sorry to hear. Can u bring him home regardless of what the stepson is doing ? Where’s his real son ? Get a public defender quickly or file a complaint of elder abuse ASAP. It’s a long process either way. But maybe see if he will relent to let you take care of them both.
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Grandma1954 Oct 29, 2021
sounds like the stepson is the biological son of the husband placed in a facility.
If the son has Guardianship he has the ability to place his dad wherever he feels is appropriate and safe for dad.
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Hopiegirl, I suspect the reason no attorney is interested in your case is that for whatever reason, the attorneys don't think you will win. Since attorneys in civil cases are usually paid on a contingency basis, if they don't win, they don't get paid. If an attorney agrees to take the case but wants you to pay for hours of service, that's usually a sign that the attorney doesn't think you'll win the case, so he/she wants to make sure he/she is going to be paid regardless of outcome. I once considered filing a civil suit against someone; I only wanted a change in a condition, not a financial settlement. The attorney told me I would have needed to pay by the hour. The attorney also specifically told me he did not think I would win, for which I was grateful.. The next time you try unsuccessfully to get an attorney (if you are unsuccessful again), I would ask the attorney what he/she tended to think the outcome would be and why.
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I didn’t read all the way down and all of your responses but far enough to change what I was going to say a couple of times and here’s what I’m thinking now.

As hard as I know it is to let go of your anger and the sadness of watching your mom go downhill as a result of her step sons actions it will be easier if you at least separate that from what you can do to help her right now. If her income and cash assets are low enough that she would qualify for Medicaid on her own apply for her. If her decline is enough that she needs memory care or a LTC facility of some sort make that move and let them apply for you, then the state will go after her husband for 50% (may depend on the state) of the cost. If she qualifies and I’m not sure this will work, move her into the facility he is in, if you have her MPOA/POA you can make that decision without step son’s ok after all isn’t that what he’s doing “for” his dad and use their joint income and cash assets on the application. The facility might not want to get into the middle here but worth a try, the bills go to them as a couple as they should. This will be harder since you will probably have to hire an attorney to go after her “husband” for the financial support but it’s going to scare the son if he truly is being underhanded because if he withholds the financial support someone is going to be looking closely at his dads and step moms financials. An attorney may even suggest your mom file for divorce to enable them to go back a bit further before the assets were cashed in. Whose name is the house in, know it may come into play but it sounds like you believe that was their plan as couple all along.

You do need to put aside the accusations though, it may be that the son has a history of preying on the elderly but the fact is his dad made him POA and unless there was another POA prior to the more recent change it’s not really any different in the eyes of the law than your mom appointing you POA (hope that has happened DPOA/MPOA) for her, it is the problem with blended families who don’t consider these possibilities. It’s tough enough in un-blended families! Anyway don’t accuse just proceed on your mother’s behalf as though they are drawing from marital assets, they are until someone changes that. I hate to say it but be very careful and attentive to joint accounts too. You may have to let go of the cashed in annuities without divorce or the state doing the look back. So move forward and take care of your mom but don’t contribute financially yourself, your mom and her husband have the means for aging with help from what you are saying and who knows maybe when he thinks better of it the son will decide to work with you on caring for them both rather than go through and be financially responsible for the alternative. I do feel he has the right to take care of his dad wether you agree it’s right or not just as you have the same right to take care of your mom but they are a married couple which means they intertwined the two of you when they intertwined themselves.

good luck
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Hopiegirl Oct 24, 2021
I know the son has the right to take care of his dad. I also realize my anger is not helping anything.

The son has never lifted a finger to help his dad. All he has done was lock him up in a nursing home in a chair and taken all his money.

Prior to this my mom and his dad went to church every Sunday and they were both mobile and active. Memory issues was only issue until one day the husband fell when he had a mini stroke and hurt his leg. He could still walk just fine afterwards, but was advised to use a cane or walker in case his leg gave out again..

Now the poor guy just sits all day in a chair, He has lost weight, he is ungroomed. He looks awful. It’s like since the son locked him in there he has given up. My mom has really suffered as well.

Yes…..I need to just put away my anger. I have been doing best I can for my mom.
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I just read your responses.

Contact a certified elder law attorney, www.nelf.org and explain that you need help getting your mom approved for Medicaid.

Wouldn't that be justice for the greedy son to have to pay for moms care until the spend down is met.

There is assistance for your mom, you just have to know what that assistance is. You know going after stepbrothers isn't working, so go after husband's money to cover her care. A good CELA will be able to help you get this sorted out.
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Hopiegirl Oct 24, 2021
Yes it would be justice for the greedy son to have to help pay for my mom’s care since my mom has taken care of his dad for so many years without any help from the son at all.

I think I have been ripped off so many times by lawyers that I’m gun shy. I do not know who to trust.

I cannot believe how much unethical stuff I have seen taken place this last year by the son and his financial advisor. The law seems to protect the perpetrators more than the victims.
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Hopie, have you done an actual written report?

When I was trying to file charges against my dad's exthang, I had to put it in writing with timeliness, events, etc. NO EMOTIONS!

This is a huge pain but, in the world of law, if it isn't written it didn't happen.

If your mom was on the accounts, send a copy to the banking commission and request a review.

Because your mom is the wife, she will have to sign this stuff. You don't have any authority to get this information, she does.

So you know, my case was dismissed because of my dad's dementia, she said, he said she could do it and that was that. Even though no person would give another permission to take all their money and leave them broke, it all comes down to proof.

Put it in writing with no emotion, just facts that a wife has been left destitute by a POA and is being denied access to her husband.
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Hopiegirl Oct 23, 2021
I did file an extensive report on behalf of my mother to the police with my mother present.

Supposedly it was investigated. 3 months later I was told that the stepson was using the money to pay for his dad’s care. Obviously not true because the money he cashed out was over 10 times what the cost was. Also the only annuities the stepson cashed out were the ones that my mother was beneficiary of.

I had all dates and bank records. Since my mom also has dementia NOW, and her husband has Alzheimer’s, my mom is left with nothing while stepson is cashing everything out and making sure he is beneficiary to everything.

It is so wrong what the system lets a POA do. My mom has no rights. She took care of her husband for years and now left with nothing because of a greedy stepson.
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Have you contacted APS on behalf of your mother, and her husband?

Setting aside the questionable finances, it appears to me that the POA has violated the couple's 14th amendment rights to be free to associate with family, (souses), imo.
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Hopiegirl Oct 23, 2021
I have tried. It’s so frustrating. Every place I contact tells me to hire an attorney, but no attorney I talk to is willing to help at all. I don’t get it!!

Ir is obviously wrong, but no lawyer wants to help. I researched and it’s also documented that it is quite common for POA’s to abuse it. One site actually had lawyers that only defended the accused and NOT the victim! I could not believe it. It’s like only the crooked people can get legal help. Wow!!
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It sounds like what stepson w POA did was withdrawals or a full cash out of annuities owed by dad. If that is what happened, it is not a change of beneficiary. It’s a withdrawal from the annuity. Doing this is alowed but has penalties &/or tax issues and just what is dependent on % and their age. The issue in my not an attorney or broker experience is that if the withdrawals were done to be able to have the money to use for the owners immediate needs, it is considered ok. The usual is to take out the 10% max allowed without penalty each year till the annuity defunds. But sometime they need more than 10% so defund it totally via a withdrawal. They would have gotten tax penalty stuff related to the withdrawals & probably done filings for those years. You could ask to see their IRS filings or get the folks to request prior tax years.

There is no requirement for an annuity or CD or savings account to sit untouched till the owner dies and then go to the named beneficiary. Withdrawal or full cash out is allowed. Annuities are assets. Over time what one’s assets are can & do change. Annuities get defunded. Jewelry gets gifted. Homes get sold. Assets mentioned in a will can get sold, transfer or get lost before the person dies

If the hubs is in a NH, it’s imo unlikely that a NH will have him there unless he shows needing skilled nursing care services. There would need to be a review of their health charts by a gerontologist or a geriatric RN & SW, along with an in person evaluation, to determine what was at the time his appropriate facility placement. Personally I don’t think you can say that “AL was appropriate for them” unless you can based this on an at the time needs assessment. Elderly postStroke & dementia imo not a good combo for being able to do ADLs required. They need to be able to do things on their own in AL and not co-dependent on the spouse to just be there 2 help them.

Fire drills are often used as a standard for if ok for IL & AL. If dad could not get up and out and into the parking lot or grounds within minutes of the alarm going off, all on his own, he’s not suitable for AL or IL. My moms IL (which had a AL & NH as well), used fire drills as a big determination as to needing higher level of care.

What I’d be more concerned about is what their finances are looking like for private pay to continue for each of them and for how long. As their child, that is something I’d ask the stepson POA about and with some sort of projection for 2022, 2023 on their finances. Now to December is a good time to ask on this, as they are both getting their awards letters from SSA, retirements, pensions, etc before end of Dec. These state to the penny what income will be starting Jan 2022. If it’s looking like they will be out of $ soon, then what is POAs plan? Is it Medicaid applications for them? If so and where they are now does not participate in Medicaid, then what facilities is he looking at to transfer them into? Annuities have to be withdrawn/defunded OR have the annuity beneficiary be changed to the State to get LTC Medicaid eligibility. You’d probably be very unhappy if you found out that the beneficiary was changed to the the State to get them Medicaid eligible. So if LTC Medicaid is in POAs plan, defunding them over time way ahead of Medicaid application is a very good thing.

its your folks, you should be able to ask POA what the plan is & get answers. If he stonewalls, then you file for guardianship.
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Hopiegirl Oct 23, 2021
Thank you for great reply.

I am sure the stepson, who is his dad’s POA, told the police that investigated it when the stepson wiped out the joint checking account and cashed out all his annuities that the money was taken to take care of his dad.

That would have been fine if the stepson had kept his dad and my mom together like they both wanted instead of separating and isolating them which devastated them.

Mom’s husband and herself were both mobile and needed no physical help even after her husband had the mini stroke. The medical records even noted there was no residual physical effects from the mini stroke.

But now that 10 months have passed I think they both have deteriorated mentally.

My mom’s husband can afford private care for the rest of his life thanks to my mom. Her husband stayed in her brand new home that I had built for her the entire time they were married. He paid nothing but utilities. That is how he accumulated so much money and had put it into many annuities.

My mom who is a very frugal woman clipped coupons and took care of her husband for many years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The Stepson was never around.

My mom cannot afford the cost of private care with her small income. She will not qualify for Medicaid help either because she is married to a man with a lot of money and lots of assets, but thanks to stepson has zero access to.

I have tried many times to talk to stepson about keeping them together. It would cost less for them to be together, but stepson will not agree to it. If I move my mother to same place her husband is so they can be together, the stepson will have to agree to it. He told me my mom was not his problem. He is a greedy monster that only wants his dad’s money. My mom’s savings will be gone soon and I have no idea what in an do to help. I cannot afford the cost of private care.

All they wanted was to stay together. The stepson said his dad will eventually forget my mom. This all has devastated my mom.

I do not know how to help my mom now.

Why do monsters like the stepson always get away with this stuff because of a piece of paper that says POA on it?? The wife has no rights?? The stepson forced his dad to sign this new POA. How can that even be legal if his dad had Alzheimer’s and was in a lock down during the covid thing?
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Looking into Ohio law, it seems that safeguards were passed that were supposed to prevent this kind of thing. Of course, they tell you to contact APS, which seems to be what they all tell you to do...If I were you, I would contact the Attorney General's office directly. It can't hurt. https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Newsletters/Consumer-Advocate/December-2018-(1)/New-Ohio-Law-Expands-the-Definition-of-Elder-Abuse
Get in touch with as many government agencies that you can and say that you think he's abusing his power of attorney for his own gain. (I really wish I knew more about this stuff from a legal standpoint.)

Here's some legal-ese from the Ohio Bar Association. It specifically states that the POA CANNOT change beneficiaries (See "Are there things an agent cannot do?")
https://www.ohiobar.org/public-resources/commonly-asked-law-questions-results/law-facts/law-facts-financial-powers-of-attorney/

Also, the Bar Association may be able to direct you to a lawyer that will work with you on a pro bono or reduced fee. Not guaranteed, but worth a shot.
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Hopiegirl Oct 23, 2021
I contacted the Ohio attorney general’s office right away. It took them 3 months just to get back to me. Then I contacted the elder justice and the lady there told me to file a report with police. That took another 3 months for police to get back to me. Police told me it was not a crime what stepson did, so they did nothing.

Of course they all say get an attorney, which none will help. It’s amazing how they each just say call someone else. I feel like a dog chasing its tail.

It is infuriating how no one will help the elderly. Caring for someone with dementia is bad enough without having to deal with greedy monsters like the stepson. I have watched my mom basically go into a meltdown after this.

I am so angry. I swear I feel like the stepson just mentally killed my mom.

She took care of his dad all these years completely by herself and now she has been kicked to the curb like a dog.
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If your stepdad was placed in a facility, it is entirely possible that this money is being used for his private pay care.

Fortunately, beneficiary can be changed right up until someone dies. When dementia is involved and someone hasn't been legally declared incompetent and that is the only thing that removes their rights, it is a situation that comes down to he said/she said. POA can say dad told me to change this and you can't disprove that. Yes, a long court battle can intervene but, how much would that cost?

My state doesn't allow a POA to do anything that benefits themselves.

I would question if this is really benefitting the stepbrother or dads expensive nursing home care.
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Hopiegirl Oct 23, 2021
Mom’s husband has not yet been deemed incompetent, but the son insists his dad has no idea what he is doing because he has Alzheimer’s.

I say okay if that is so, then how can his dad keep signing things the son tells him to if it only benefits the son and hurts my mom? The son also just came over one day and took his dad’s car that his dad wanted to sell.

I could care less what the son takes as far as money as long as it WAS for his dad’s care. What angers me is that the stepson separated his dad and my mom BECAUSE he wants all his dad’s money and never once considered what his dad or my mom wanted.

He snuck and did all of this behind my mom’s back. Moved his dad to a nursing home without even contacting my mom who was her husband’s health care POA until he somehow got it changed to himself while his dad was in nursing home during the lockdown.

He also tried to change beneficiaries to himself from my mom. I know that is wrong.
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In TN, a POA cannot take any action that benefits the POA without a judge's approval. For example, changing the beneficiary on a life insurance policy from the principal's deceased husband to a son or daughter who is a POA or to the mother's estate are reasonable actions, but illegal unless a judge agrees. As a practical matter, I know of cases where the POA makes the change without gaining a judge's approval and there are no negative consequences WHEN other siblings or interested parties do not raise an issue.
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Hopiegirl Oct 23, 2021
In Ohio I guess the POA can do whatever they want because no one wants to help. I have contacted Ohio state ombudsman, Eric Carpenter, attorney general’s office , APS, many lawyers, pro seniors, Elder justice dept in Ohio. (Monica Walker) She said call police. I did. Detective Pauvi. He says nothing criminal was done.
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Completely illegal. POA doesn't have that kind of power. Whoever cashed out those annuities also broke the law.

He also isn't the next of kin -- your mom is. Call the police if you have to. He's exploiting a vulnerable adult.
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Hopiegirl Oct 19, 2021
I did contact the police. They told me it was not illegal. They said it seemed unethical, but not a criminal act. The 2 annuities and 2IRA’s were fully surrendered. They were in my mother’s husband’s name, but my mom was the beneficiary of it. Not sure what happened to the money. The police said the son had the right to do it since he was POA.

I am sure the son did something shady to cash it out. My mother’s husband has Alzheimer’s. Every time my mom’s husband says he wants to go home, the son says no….says his dad does not know what he is doing. I guess the only time he knows what he is doing is when the son makes him sign papers?

I cannot get any legal help at all. I am in Ohio.
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I think there's fraud involved and this might be something to report not only to state aging entities, but to the local police.
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Hopiegirl Oct 19, 2021
I am positive it’s fraud, but no one will help. I have called Fraud unit at Attorney’s office, police, pro seniors, APS, and tried to get legal help. The son gets away with all kinds of stuff and no one will help.

My poor mom is so upset. Son tries hard to even stop her from visiting!
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You also need to report the finsncial advisor for unethical behavior. If it was done online, then there will be a dste and timestamp on the e paper trail to gather evidence. But do contact a lawyer
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Hopiegirl Oct 19, 2021
I believe that the financial advisor is also shady because he lets the son do anything he wants. I also found out that the guy at bank had charges filed against him for selling annuities to the elderly. People prey on the elderly. I’m in Ohio. I guess no one cares here.
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It doesn't sound right. I came across this article which involved a sister (POA) changing herself to the benficiary. At the end it states "If you suspect that your sister abused her authority under the power of attorney to benefit herself you should immediately contact an attorney experienced in estate litigation matters. You have to act quickly to protect your interests.
https://burnerlaw.com/changing-beneficiary-designation-using-power-of-attorney/

Also here it states that "the power of attorney cannot make changes that would benefit the person given the POA." https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-a-power-of-attorney-change-the-beneficiary-on--1407733.html

If you can't afford a lawyer, perhaps get in touch with your local Department for the Aged and explain what has happened.
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Hopiegirl Oct 19, 2021
I have been trying hard to get help. So far no lawyer wants to help. Just to ask them a question they want over $300 an hour. Then they tell you they can’t help. Smh.
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