I really needed to read this article. It’s one of my biggest battles today. I’m new to all this. I am 39 years old and I have been obligated to move in with both of my grandparents because of my suspicion they were being taken advantage of. They are both above 90years old and my grandfather can no longer walk for the most part. Initially my mother took on most of this sort thing however she has recently passed away and it was clear that I was the next suitable person. So I moved into an area of their home that was frequently occupied by random people. It looked like a flop house. And due to my grandparents age and health condition it was clear to me that all these people (that lived there for the most part) (my brother and sister included) were taking advantage. After quickly moving in and kicking everyone out, I was cleaning the room that my sister was living in and I stumbled upon a couple of check books written out by my sister to my sister from my grandfathers checking account, in the amounts of $700.00, $900.00, $450.00, and so on. No amount very small and like I said at least 2 checkbooks. I guess so far in actual cash I'm thinking up and over $21,000.00. I’m so devastated. How could she do this to someone else much less our grandfather who has been the only stable person in our life and would give the shirt off his back to a complete stranger. Please help me decipher thru all of this because I'm literally at a standstill about where do I go from here. This was the last thing I ever thought would or could happen. I definitely need all the help / advice I can get. Thank you!!

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If your grandfather didn't sign the checks, call the police. If he did, call an elder care attorney. We are learning that protecting people isn't always comfortable so you really have to be willing to take it on 100%. Mostly it is family that you will have to confront on a legal front. Never ever confront anyone without an objective 3rd party. Don't expose your grandparents to the raised voices and arguing but also don't expose yourself to a dangerous situation. Get authorities involved quickly. Change all locks and accounts if you have to. Good Luck and God Bless You for taking this on. We just learned that my MIL inheritance from her parents ($225,000.00 cash) that was to care for her in old age is gone. We had no reason to need it until now, MIL is very ill, and my SIL drained it 10 years ago. Tough conversations must be had when you are a caregiver.
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My first thought is to talk to your sister. But considering the kind of person she must be to have done this in the first place I'm not so sure that would be effective.

How was your sister able to write checks on their account? Was she POA? Was she on their account? First make sure that this can't continue. Can you persuade your grandparents to give you POA, without making a big fuss over why? Now that you live with them it is simply more convenient. Take the POA document to the bank. Close the account Sister has been abusing and open a new one.

Next, consult an attorney that specializes in elder law. Describe the situation and what you would like to see happen. For example, you want sister to pay back the stolen money but you do not want her to go to jail. (Or whatever your goal is.) Perhaps one possibility is for sister to sign a document "borrowing" the money and promising to pay it back. If she was to have an inheritance, and she hasn't paid back the "loan" by then, it would be deducted from her inheritance.

One concern I have is if your grandparents should ever need to apply for Medicaid, this money should not be considered a gift. Perhaps this is a remote possibility if they have sufficient resources to never need Medicaid. But it is something else the lawyer could advise you about.

First, prevent this from continuing to happen.

Then get legal advise on how to force your sister to make restitution.

Good luck. And let us know how this plays out. We learn from each other.
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Get your name on that account and be sure your sister or no one else has access. Go over all the bank statements. Was your sister on the account or did she forge your Grandfather's name? Contact a lawyer and for that amount, once proven, the police.
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