My homeless brother allows my mother to give him over 1,000/month for him to live. What can we do?

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He knows my mom will run out of money. My brother was in jail for stealing money from a friend (great guy, right). Now that he has a record, and has been out of work for over 7 years in 55+ he is not considered employable. The only job he can get is kitchen help and he feels he is above this type of work.

For the past 7 years, my mother has given my brother $1,000 - $2,000 per month so he can live in a motel. My brother is a "born again" Christian and is constantly telling my mother that my sister and I are not real Christians. I believe is to manipulate her.

My brother also drives my mothers $30,000 car (she can no longer drive) and places himself in questionable circumstances.

My mother's lawyer, financial advisor, sister and me have told my mother that she will run out of money if she continues giving this money to my brother. The same has been told to my brother but he continues taking his monthly paychecks from my mother.

My brother is not my mother's caregiver, is not POA and until recently has not been named on any of her bank/investment accounts.

In the last 30 days, my brother has taken my mother to her bank to have a new account opened (her prior account had my sister's name on the account which I supported). She only needed new checks so not sure how the new account happened.

My sister is the Financial POA and I am the medical POA.

I feel like this is Elder Abuse - my brother knows that my mother may not have money to live on before long. Due to his financial and job issues, he will not be able to take care of her once the money runs out.

My mother is confused about why financial events occur when my brother is involved but knows what occurs when my sister and I help her with finances.

If I go down a legal path in attempts to help my mother and she finds out, she will never speak to me again. I can be OK with that as long as she retains all of her money OR spends her money on herself.

Is there anything I can do beyond reporting Elder Financial Abuse with authorities? Can someone with FInancial POA prevent my brother from "helping" my mother with ANY financial matter?

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Butterfly, why would someone report gift income on a tax return? It's not taxable income. What would be the point? The IRS and Medicaid eligibility are separate issues. The IRS is much more interested in matching up reportable taxable income to tax returns. There's a program to match up income reported on W-2s and 1099s to the recipients tax returns to determine if all the income has been reported.
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Mom would only be penalized for gifting because of spending down her estate if she were to need Medicaid. And the IRS does look into those gifts, if they're reported by the receiver. Keep clean records. The look back is five years.
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In California I did not have to go before a judge to have my mother declared incompetent. My mother has dementia, does your mother have any mental decline or memory issues that have been diagnosed by a doctor as dementia or Alzheimer's etc.?

I stepped in and stopped my sister from robbing my mother blind and Mom from giving her money to every person who called on the phone or hit the door. Sometimes you have to STOP them from inadvertently harming themselves. Why is POA sister sitting there and not doing something, this MUST come to an end. Call Social Services and Elder Attorney call whomever you must to be able to find out if this is elder abuse and do you have a legal leg to stand on.

If I was POA sister I would gather my paperwork and march myself down to the bank and introduce myself and present papers and Mom's POA and let them know that she will be taking over ALL OF MOM'S FINANCIAL MATTERS DUE TO ELDER ABUSE OR MEMORY ISSUES. All bank accounts would be changed and brothers name removed. POA should then have a heart to heart with you and brother and tell him that as of this very moment, he is cut off from his windfall. If Mom can't drive and wants brother to have the car make sure it is signed over to him to get it out of Mom's name and legal responsibility.....He may need a place to live!

Brother knows he can manipulate Mom and he does it well. Mom may be upset, mine was, but honestly I don't give a crap, I did what I did to try and save her from herself and I would do it again!

If you try to go the route of Guardianship, it is expensive, time consuming and you have to have doctors willing to sign papers stating she is incompetent. Taking over as POA is easier. I would make sure I have already done everything that needs to be done before I ever mention it to brother and get all the checkbooks and get them out before even telling Mom. You mother will be angry but you have to realize you are trying to help HER!

Do you realized that if brother spends all her money or if she becomes horribly ill tomorrow and has to go into a nursing home, you could not even get the help of Medicaid because you brother is spending her money. There is a 5 year look back and they are going to want to know where all this money has gone and they will not touch her with a ten foot pole due to the squandering of her money.

Unless you and POA Sis are wealthy and can pay for Mom's care, you better stop it now! I did and although it has been hard at times I know I did for her benefit and not allowed sister to use Mom's money as her personal bank account.

Don't be surprised if brother doesn't try to get Mom to sign papers making him POA. If Mom has dementia or Alzheimer's legally she cannot change her POA as she in not considered mentally competent.
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Yes, you could find Mom penalized for gifting, and enabling brother to avoid washing dishes for a living is not a good thing. Depending on how the POA is written, it may kick into effect and give the POA powers with just incapacity letters or a guardianship may be needed. An eldercare attorney or estate planner familiar with the laws in your state would be a huge help and could keep it confidential even form Mom most likely, and the initial consultation could be substantially less than she is shelling out monthly.

BTW, a "county home for the indigent" does exist in many places - it could either mean the few homes that accept Medicaid, or back in Pittsburgh they have an actual one called Kane Care. Some of their centers are really quite good, others you would not choose if you could possibly go elsewhere. My mom once inappropriately was sent a bill that had not been properly submitted to insurance and actually packed a small bag and told the front desk she was out of money and knew she would have to go to Kane Care, when would they pick her up? I gave the nitwits who did that what for, told them how to submit to her insurance (there was a little glitch to it, you had to call a certain number for it) and get ALL bills to ME as POA, period.
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Just a few comments. In Vegas we have lots of "weeklies", which are motels that can be cheaper than an apartment. They come with furniture and all utilities. Many lower income adults and families use them because when you add up the other expenses in an apartment (deposits, power etc.) they are cheaper. Brother probably won't starve either. He might be reporting that he has no income, is truly homeless and getting SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Gifts of income over $14000 are still nothing the IRS is going to care about or that he would end up paying tax on. The giver of the gift would be responsible first of all for any taxable gifts, not the giftee.
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Your Mom can open any account she wants as long as she can walk in to the bank, show her ID and sign her name. She may add anyone to this or any other account she has at that bank. Your sister, the Financial POA, needs to take control of the money, now. If she doesn't understand how important it is to qualify for Medicaid and your brother doesn't care, As the Financial POA you do have the right and the responsibility to officiously override your older parent's or brothers known, impracticable wishes. Your job is to take care of your Mom financially and make sure she will qualify for Medicaid in the future. Here is what I did, first I went down to the local Police Department and talk to a couple of detectives, They said I could press charges if I wanted to but recommended I let them go talk to him and warn him he is breaking Elder Protection Laws and if they get another report he will be arrested. Ask them not to tell him who made the complaint. Here is what I did to get control of the money, as the Financial POA I walked into that same bank with my POA and open a account for your Mom and I. Next I transferred all the money out of the account in question except a couple of hundred and had all automatic deposits go into the new account, now I opened an online account for my Mom before anyone else could so I can transfer money into Moms account as she needs it and the balance is protected from anyone that gets her banking information. This a good idea even if you don't have a problem, If your Mom used her card at Target the hackers would only have access to what ever is left in that account after her shopping trip is taken out. Now work something out with your brother, if your mom owns a house there is plenty to do to keep the house clean and safe. To avoid tax problems have your brother go down to a local temp agency and signup, have him explain your Moms POA is going to call and setup an account and she is going to want you to do the work for your mom. They will cover him on Workmen's Comp insurance and take out all payroll taxes and give him a check. You can call in hours as the work gets done and your Mom will get tax deductions for some of these services. Make sure your Mom's homeowners insurance covers domestic help. Good Luck Gary.
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Is your mother capable of making her own decisions? Is the power of attorney active now or does it only kick in when mom is deemed incapable?
What your brother is doing is financial exploitation, it is abuse without a doubt and it needs to stop. Your mother must take care of her needs first. I can understand her wanting to help a child, however your brother is a big boy, one day mom will pass or run out of money and he won't have that money coming in; he needs to take care of himself. If he is a Christian, then he would know taking money from an elder is wrong. Talk to your mom's attorney, look for legal ways to stop the money train..
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There are a lot of facts we don't know here, but some truths are apparent:

1) In the US, competent adults are entitled to make their own decisions, even silly, dangerous, or self-destructive decisions. This is so fundamental to our national belief system it is very hard to overcome.
2) Closing accounts that the brother has access to and opening a new one is so obvious and so simple, that the fact the lawyer doesn't suggest it indicates to me that it is illegal under the circumstances -- that is, unless Mother is willing to have this done, or unless Mother is declared by a judge to be incompetent and in need of protection.
3) Mother wants to help her son. Of course she does. We could speculate all day whether she is enabling him to make bad decisions or whether she is preventing him from making even worse decisions. She wants to help and she is doing it in the only ways she can think of.

Given these three facts, it would seem to me that figuring out ways to help Brother for less money than Mother is spending on him now would be a good solution. But depending on the family dynamics it might be an extremely tough solution to implement. Mother won't live forever, and then what will Brother do? Helping him to start doing it now would be a step in the right direction for everyone.

HateElderAbuse, if you have the strength and the perseverance to help Brother get hooked up to the professional help he needs and to stick with it. you may be doing your mother a great service. That is really expecting a lot of you, and it isn't within your job description as POA.
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If your mother wants to help your brother, an allowance could go to a payee who would pay the rent, make sure the money is not used for drugs. IF your brother can not work, he could apply for social security disability. My guess is he would not qualify, and that might get your mom to see him differently. Definitely get a new account with only the POA signature on it so brother can't tap in directly.

It is very hard to see your child risk themselves, even if they are adults. Write down a copy of the resources in your city with a copy for both mom and brother. Advise mom that THOSE people are professionals who are trained to help her son, she is not abandoning him but pointing him in the direction of improvement rather than remaining the same. It probably would not help to tell her she is actually hurting him by enabling him to remain dependent on others. Remind her that it is a lot like the "terrible twos", he will keep coming to her, and she will need to keep repeating that he has professionals to help him, go to them not her, she is not a professional.
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Jessie I completely agree that the ideal would be to persuade the mother to find better ways to help the brother get his act together. That would change everything.

Your brother's story is so sad. What a tragedy for all concerned. Thank you for letting it be a lesson x
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