My Grandpa is being taken advantage of by his wife's caretaker. Any advice?

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My Grandpa is living on his own, he is 84 years old. My grandma is in a care facility and is in the very late stages of dementia. My grandpa visits my grandma at the home several times a day. He has become close friends with the owner of the care home. He is very well off financially, with approximately $750,000 in stocks, that he doesn't currently use for his daily expenses.

Within several months of my grandma moving in he gave a loan out to Ann's boyfriend for a car in the amount of $12,000, with the promise that he would use the money to restore the car, sell it, and share some of the profit with my grandpa. My grandpa was very open with his financial situation, and I believe that the care home owner is now taking advantage of him and his situation.

Recently he has let the owner borrow his personal vehicle for her own personal use, as well as probably transporting other clients around. She also recently proposed to my grandpa an idea that he purchase the plot of land that her personal manufactured home is located (in the amount of $80,000) "co-own" the care home, which would be moved from its current location to the plot of land that my grandpa would have paid for. Obviously, when I heard about this I was very worried, and told my grandpa that this was a very very bad idea.

I spoke with my grandpa about my concerns that I felt like he may be getting manipulated, but he is so stubborn, and he told me that "I'm not stupid" and that these we're "nice people." He has told me on numerous occasions that the owner of the facility is "not good with money" and "she keeps spending her money unwisely."

Hearing about all these side transactions and "plans" for possible future transactions made me and my wife worried, so we called the State to ask for their assistance and advice in the matter. They took down information and performed an investigation at the care home. They asked very specific questions about these transactions, which led my grandpa and the owner to know that we were the one's who had called the state. My grandpa called me, upset, stating that the owner told him that we were going to have her "shut down" because we called the state on her. He threatened to write me out of the will if we called the state again. I told him honestly, that this has nothing to do with the money, but about the care of my grandma, and his emotional well-being.

I don't know what to do from here. During the investigation by the state both my grandpa and the owner of the care facility lied about any transactions happening between them, and lied about her borrowing his personal vehicle. I just care about my grandma's care, and I want to know that they aren't using her as emotional leverage to try to get my grandpa to make poor decisions.

Should I just stay out of this and let my grandpa make his own (possibly poor) decisions? I feel like the owners are trying to turn him against me by making statements such as "your grandson called the state on me, and is trying to get me shut down."

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Not to be maudlin or reflect a negative outlook, but it could be that your GM wouldn't be there long enough to justify an $80K bill. Would he get a refund on the difference between GM's cost of care and the $80K?

I'm also wondering if this woman is trying to shield or hide business income and avoid paying taxes on it. If GF bought the land, it would a property sale.

I don't whether she would treat it as a business or personal sale, or if she would have a capital gain to pay on sale of the property, but if so, it likely would be less than an equivalent amount paid to the business.

In addition, she would have the entire $80K at one time, not paid monthly as cost of care would be.

If he paid for your GM's care, it would in fact be income to the business, taxable and reportable I would think.

He might even be considered as colluding with her to shield income from the IRS if he agreed to the $80K deal.

Hmmmm....maybe VegasLady will offer her opinions on how the IRS would view this.

I do agree that state inspections are not appropriate topics of conversation with your GF.

I must not have been clear in something I wrote though because I really don't see the owner as an innocent party. It seemed to me she is a calculating person who has probably scammed before.

But if he's decided against this, so much the better. Still, I think this woman is devious.
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Thank you guys for all your help and advice! I really appreciate it. I forgot to mention that the $12,000 loan was paid off by the owner not charging any rent for my grandma for a period of time.

I have spoken with my grandpa, and it sounds like the idea of moving the care home would be the same as the original $12,000 loan, and that my grandpa wouldn't have to pay rent for my grandma until the $80,000 amount was reached. However, I think my grandpa has come to his senses enough to know that this is a bad idea, especially because the state will be monitoring the care home pretty closely in the future.

GardenArtist, I do appreciate the alternative view seeing the owner of the care home as an innocent party. However, I am concerned that she is having conversations with my grandpa about having the state come in and investigate. She shouldn't be discussing with him the nature of the state inspection, and definitely shouldn't be placing him in a situation where he is getting angry at his family members who are just trying to help. I truly feel that she is trying to turn him against his family.
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And to add to GA's statements. Moving the modular would also create problems with the well permit. All wells are permitted based on use, whether it be commercial, agricultural, residential.. And if not permitted appropriately they run risk if State shutting off the water supply. Free water definitely does not mean free water if it is a well. There is similar permitting for septic systems.

I had a client once that had been running a grandfathered b&b. She wanted another building on the property permitted for events. Well, talk about opening a can of worms for her! The county tried to shut her down because the well wasn't permitted properly for her uses!
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I would keep on top of it, personally. If anything, I'd say this woman's actions are unethical. Read Garden Artist's post a couple of times. There's some very good information there.

Old people are "marks". There is no question about it. As long as grandad isn't judged incompetent? He's free to act the fool. And others are free to help them do it. That's the really sad part.

Good for you for keeping your eyes open. I also agree with Garden Artist that NOW? This lady knows you've got her number.
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I have a somewhat different perspective on contacting the state (presumably an APS agency). It woke up the care home owner to the fact that someone IS monitoring her activities. If they were legitimate and w/o a hidden purpose, she would have been offended and hurt. Instead, she redirects blame. Classic!

I think the $12K loan for the car is a write-off; the guy probably will never repay the loan or honor the terms, and if they're merely verbal terms there's no documentation or enforcement method. It's an unsecured loan with no collateral.

The issue of GF's lending his car to the care home owner could result in cancellation of his insurance on 2 levels:

1. Unless he's added her as an insured to his policy, the vehicle won't be covered if there's an accident. And if so, it wouldn't be surprising if the insurance carrier cancelled his coverage. In addition, as registered owner he could be responsible for damages if the care home owner was at fault. No-fault laws vary, so that probably would depend on the state.

2. If the care home owner is using the vehicle to transport patients, that's a commercial use, not a personal use. That use should also be addressed via insurance, and it might be that whatever state this is in requires the operator/owner to obtain a commercial vehicle license.

GF could be held liable for allowing his personal vehicle to unlawfully be used for a commercial purpose. I have no idea what the state would do in that case.


I've been puzzling over the details of this proposal:

"proposed ... an idea that he purchase the plot of land that her personal manufactured home is located (in the amount of $80,000) "co-own" the care home, which would be moved from its current location to the plot of land that my grandpa would have paid for."

Am I correct in understanding that she has a home in which she lives on the property she wishes him to purchase, and then plans to move the care home there as well? Would there be 2 homes on this property? And who would pay for moving the care home and presumably any legal process or recertification if necessary for the new location, in a different community?

The details of this aren't clear to me.

Is the care home in a manufactured home? Is this somewhat the size of a mobile home trailer? Were you able to determine from the state if it is in fact licensed as a care home, for commercial purposes?


There are a few issues as to the lot.

1. If the care home would be moved, it's a commercial enterprise and the lot would have to be zoned for that use. If it's not, a zoning violation could occur and your father as title holder would be forced to either (a) prevail on the care home owner to move the home voluntarily, or (b) apply for a zoning variance or change. Either way, as fee holder, he's "holding the bag".

He would also be responsible for upkeep of the property as well as property taxes. But he wouldn't own the home(s).

Real estate law addresses a situation in which the property is owned by someone other than whoever owns the building(s) on it, but I can't recall that term.

There may be other liaiblity issues arising from this situation, such as if the care home is eventually used for illegal purposes, if it deteriorates and isn't repaired (this could be hook she's after), if the property isn't maintained to code.

And God forbid she decides to grow pot or establish a junk yard or some other undesirable activity. GF would be legally liable for this since he's the owner of record of the property.

The owner may also be thinking he can afford to maintain the home, pay for HO insurance, etc. It's like a woman who gets PG to trap a man into marriage. She traps your GF into purchasing the land, and by implication he has a vested interest in maintaing the buildings to prevent violations and/or deterioration. This is a BIG hook that she's using to fish.

There's something very, very suspicious about this arrangement.


The full ramificatons of this are beyond my knowledge, but I think this is worth discussing with a real estate attorney to determine what protections, if any, could be put in place to protect GF.


His $.75M is in stocks; even though the market's been strong, that could reverse (remember 2007 and 2008/) and his individual stocks could decline in value. Does he have other assets to support his financial activities in the event that this woman causes a financial crisis for him? If not, he could really be opening himself to a lot of unforeseen liability.


Going forward:

1. Don't back down from monitoring her but do it as surreptitously as you can. Talk to an elder law and/or real estate attorney, or both, and find out if there's any way you can protect GF PERSONALLY and financially. I could forsee this woman going for the brass (or in this case the gold) ring after GM is out of the picture.

2. Ask the attorney is there's a surreptitious way to monitor this woman and investigate her background and financial activities. Sometimes hiring a PI is worth it.

3. Find out how to check her commercial background as a care owner, if there have been other violations, if she has a criminal records, especially in other states. Law enforcement officials can help you with this. The State agency you contacted might be able to as well.

Her actions reflect a scam artist, and I have a feeling GF ISN'T her first "mark".

If she does have a criminal history, I'm not sure that state laws would allow her to run a care facility.

Is she using GM as leverage? Absolutely. Is he emotionally vulnerable now? Absolutely. Is she a predator? Sure seems like it.


What conclusions did the state investigation produce? Are any of them actionable? I suspect though that this practiced scam artist will "lay low" for awhile to avoid any attention, while further digging her claws into your GF.


But where are his own children during all this? He must have a son or daughter because he has grandchildren. Do any of them hold a DPOA, are they aware of his mental and emotional vulnerabilty? The absence of his own children from this scenario is puzzling.

I assume that your GF hasn't executed any POAs giving you authority to act and/or intervene?
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The home's owner apparently sees your grandfather as her personal ATM. That's very sad but it's all too common. Her reasoning is probably that he has lots of money, and she doesn't, so why shouldn't he give her some? It's not like he needs it, and she's working SO HARD to take care of his wife.
People like her are detestable, but there are lots of them out there preying on the elderly.
You did the right thing in reporting her to the state. Too bad it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped.
If all that's happened so far is that he's given the woman's boyfriend a $12,000 "loan" to purchase a car, and let her use his car for his own personal use, the financial damage isn't too bad yet. And as gladimhere said, if your grandfather is competent, he can do what he likes with his money. Maybe the fact that the home's owner knows the state was alerted to the fact that she may be exerting undue influence on the spouse of one of her residents will make her back off.
One thought: if your grandfather has an investment counselor or financial adviser whom he trusts, you might consider approaching him or her with your concerns, to see whether that person might be willing to try and talk some sense into him.
Setting up a trust would be a good idea, but there's the look-back period to consider. If he's 84 now, he'll be almost 90 when that time frame is up. Will he still be competent by then? You could talk to an attorney who specializes in trusts and estates.
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If grandpa is competent, then his mistakes are his own. However the owner of the home could be in trouble. But I do have to ask myself why the owner would want to move the modular (I assume) out into the middle of nowhere. That does not make sense when they have to get residents to doctor appointments and the like. You are right to be suspicious, I would be as well. But, grandpa can spend Hus money any way he likes, unfortunately. Jeanne's idea of setting up a trust is a good one.
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I would talk with an Elder Law attorney, and see if there is any way to get those funds into a *family trust* or something similar, with a qualified Trustee handling the money, such as a CPA. The attorney could convince your grandfather that a trust would be in his best interest.

Unless your grandfather has memory issues, there isn't much you can do but stand back and watch. Many older people won't take advice from a grandchild or even a grown son or daughter because "what do they know", but the older person might from a professional.
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