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My cousin is convinced that I have abused my mother's finances and arranged for an investigation to take place. Both my mother and I know these allegations are false. I know I am innocent and have nothing to hide, so I'm not worried. My mother is very upset at her niece for doing this and does not want to take part in the investigation at all. Can she opt out or cancel it? What is our recourse here?

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I would think that canceling an investigation would be highly suspect of coercion and APS should go ahead, but you are totally correct not to be seriously worried. APS usually does the right thing and errs on the side of under rather than overprotection. Advice to be civil and appropriate with them is absolutely correct though. Mom refusing to talk to them may not be ideal. Try to convince her that they have to investigate all reports because some are true and you and she should basically help them do their job because they have to. "Mom - go ahead talk to them, it's OK - just tell them the truth and it will be fine." Then give them privacy while they interview her. That would also serve to make sure you appear as an innocent person. They will also understand you both being a little nervous and upset by the process - who wouldn't be? - but don't take it out on them in any way if you can help it.
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I have a similiar problem my aunt has been placed in a really nice facility, because she is 94 from a stroke, she is coming back slowly, she has no children, but my cousin is taking care of her, her finances for sure. I know as well as some other family members and friends that she has recently since my dad died, that she wants her money to go to Cancer research as so many family members died of breast cancer or some form of cancer, including children of her siblings. When my dad was in charge of what would happen this cousin she called my dad many times requesting that she would get her money when my aunt died, this didnt go over well with my dad, sadly he died. My other aunt very close friend was power of atty but when they moved her, the cousin has power of her money and health. I think she is doing a good job of her housing, although my aunt said she wasnt happy there but didnt want anyone to know along with my other aunt, she didnt want to get my cousin upset!!!!

I know this cousin has financial problems and we are talking around $100,000 so what do I do, there is some cousin of her husband I believe is a lawyer....Im worried that there has been papers put in front of her and she signed her finances away....................I know my aunt is confused but she is getting better slowly, when I spoke to her she was worried about money I said you have $100,000 she said I do? So I know she could forget and be so grateful that she may want to leave money to her, but I also know that she has to pay for the home she lives in, I think anyone can follow my question, she is being cared for well, its her wishes that are my concern, both my cousin and her husband havent worked in years Im sure there is some kind of income, but if something comes about the death of my aunt........will her wishes to donate her money how do I know this as they are upset I have confronted them??? I need some help so I dont fell so upset
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I agree- get your papers ready, cooperation will go a long way. Reassuring mom that if she stays sweet as pie and calls the accusations baseless- she approved all money going out- when its all over you can get a restraining order on niece
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Thanks for your input everyone. Yes, mother is fully competent. This is what prompted my question in the first place. I read on an elderly abuse website that as heartbreaking as it may be, a competent elderly person MAY refuse to participate in the investigation if they so choose. Just wanted to test the validity of this statement.
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APS is required to complete the investigation. Many elderly, especially those with dementia would either strongly believe the financial exploitation has taken place, or the opposite that their caregiver would never take advantage. By that virtue, APS has to do the investigation. Is you mom competent? If so, they may close the case based on an interview without requesting specific financial information. If she is competent she has every right to spend her money any way she wants. If she is incompetent their will probably be a complete investigation prior to the case being closed. I have been there, false reports filed by siblings on me for exploitation of mom with Alzheimer's and her hubby who is competent. So, I saw both scenarios. Both cases closed.
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Once a complaint has been made, APS or any agency are required to investigate. Just reassure your mother, show her all the receipts and tell her that she has nothing to worry about. And when they come to interview her, tell her that she can tell them the truth. That you both have nothing to worry about. Give her hug, and tell her that you both will be strong for each other.
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Let the investigation go forward and clear your name. Your cousin will be discredited as a troublemaker and permanently silenced. You can then sue her for defamation.
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