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We need to stop a sibling from borrowing money from “the bank of mom” when it often does not get paid back. He’s nearly 60 years old and still uses her checking account and doesn’t have one if his own. It’s constant and she has recently put one of his bills on a credit card she herself could not have paid and asked us other children to pay the bill. Essentially asking us to pay his bill. How do we stop this permanently?

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If your mom is competent you sit her and brother down in the same room and say

" when the time comes that mom needs to be bathed and her diaper changed, I guess you will be the one to do it, since there won't be any funds left to pay for a caregiver. Medicaid want pay because she has gifted all this money to you. Mom, I hope you'll be happy being made a ward of the State and sent to whatever nursing home they have room in. Probably too far away for us to visit."

But only if you're sure mom is competent.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 4, 2019
Love it!!!
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If your mother is competent, then inform her that she will be on her own if she runs out of money and can't pay a caregiver when the time comes for that. And that you won't be her free caregiver. And that you won't pay your brother's bills for your mother if she takes them on!

How many times on this forum do we see one of the children taking on the care of a parent because there is no money, and then there is a Medicaid penalty period because of the money being given/loaned to one sibling?
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Shell38314 Apr 1, 2019
More time than we can count! My mother was/is one of them!
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Oh, boy. You just got my blood boiling. My mom was buying grandchildren cars, sending one of them money while in college, & no telling what else. We didn’t have power of attorney at the time so we didn’t have any say so. NOW, Mom is facing Medicaid penalties because of this.

If your mom is competent, there’s really nothing you can do. POA won’t help you. If she needs Medicaid in the next five years, this is going to be a huge problem.
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Heather10 Apr 19, 2019
Mollymoose:

You are exactly right. Even with DPOA or POA, if mom is deemed competent by a court, she can do as she wishes with the money.

Also, telling her what to do could be deemed elder abuse by adult protective services.

Lastly, the really sad thing is that even if the parent has mild dementia, the courts may still deem her competent enough to give gifts to her relatives.

The courts are very reluctant to deem someone incompetent for fear they may be abused by those who are trying to have them deemed incompetent.

Giving one's money away, may be crazy if it causes a medicaid penalty, but it is not enough to deem someone financially incompetent.

There is a fine line between being incompetent and simply acting irresponsible.
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If your mother is competent then not much. It’s her money, she can do with it what she wants. Unless your brother is leaving your mother in squalor and unsafe in her home, but it sounds like he doesn’t live with her. Does your mother have dementia? Any of her children have POA?

Have you confronted your brother and told him how you feel?
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Start by having an intervention with your brother. All the siblings need to be in the room at the same time. Explain to your brother than mom needs to have enough funds to pay for her care when she needs it and that ALL of you (however many there are) will be sitting down with mom to go over her finances and explain that her future care will cost between $40,000 and $100,000 per year. She has to reserve her assets for that and cannot afford to support her son. It's important to stick together in addressing this, otherwise factions form around details. The big picture gets lost and mom gets played by the brother.

Try to keep it very factual. If you can muster it without sarcasm or anger, talk with your brother about how you might help him to budget so that he can meet his expenses without mom's help.

Do not try to get mom to agree that she shouldn't be supporting her son. She believes what she believes and she has a right to. She may even think that it's reasonable to expect her other children to help support him. Don't try to change a mom's mind about her kids.

Stick to the facts. She will need that money in the near future and it needs to be there for her or she will not have any choices about her independence.
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Kittybee Apr 4, 2019
Not to be cynical, but if he's gotten really used to tapping mom for money, he might not really care about her future, or he might dismiss OP's concerns, and he might continue to figure out ways around a request to stop. It may need stronger measures.
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You can have a professional talk with mom. Adult protection, her doctor, her pastor or someone she trusts.
Unfortunately people have the right to make bad choices.
Sometimes having Adult Protection call your sibling has an impact.
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I am afraid there isn't much you can do. If possible have your mom start a new acct with your name on it.

I went through this with my mother and brother, because my mother was considered competent there was nothing I could do but sit back and watch the train wreck. Now, she has no money so guess who doesn't call her anymore.

And if your brother is like mine; you can't take them to small claims court or have them pay it back because they have no money, nor is there any proof! "Can't get blood out of a turnip."

Sorry:(
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 4, 2019
Yep! They aren’t going to pay any money back. A loan is a gift in their case.
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My first thought was, wow that is going to be a huge problem if she ever needs to be in a nursing home through Medicaid! Maybe if you sit everyone down and explain that everything that is "lent" or given to another person is going to be that much of a penalty when the time comes to get Medicaid. And it's a five year lookback. So who is going to pay that? That might stop your mom or your sibling, but it is doubtful. Your mom will probably be in denial or even insulted by suggesting she go to a nursing home one day and your sibling probably doesn't care. I have found that people are the way they are and there is not much you can do about it. If you can find your mom legally incompetent, then you can get control of her money, but she would have to have dementia or Alzheimer's to do that. Otherwise, on the bright side, home health aides through Medicaid only have a 3 month lookback. Good luck.
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"Financial exploitation occurs when a person misuses or takes the assets of a vulnerable adult for his/her own personal benefit. This frequently occurs without the explicit knowledge or consent of a senior or disabled adult, depriving him/her of vital financial resources for his/her personal needs." Report to Adult Protective Services in your state. Financial exploitation is a form of Elder Abuse and is sanctioned by the law.
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slp1684 Apr 4, 2019
Agree, this is Elder Abuse.. Do yourself a favor and report it, right away.
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This is so common. We just found out that my husbands dead beat sister cost his mom her house....In their blind worship and devotion, inlaws put SIL onto house deed and then SIL goes bankrupt and forecloses on her own house she bought with some deadbeat guy. SIL was also a drug addict and inlaws knew it. She could do no wrong in their eyes. Since she was listed on my inlaw's deed they came for MIL house too. MIL had to buy her own house back. She kept this from my husband until 2 years after SIL overdosed in MIL's home where she was living THEN MIL goes and buys Deadbeat a new car even after the house ordeal!!! Unreal. SIL had MIL snowed that she was dying from a lung disease. All along she was addicted to drugs and MIL giving money and cars even after the house issue. The excuse was always that my husband does not need money because he is straight and works and saves his money. It has been 2 years since SIL died and MIL just now coming to terms with guilt of what she did giving her money, cars, etc. I have never seen anything like this. This kind of thing never would have flown in my own family! Some parents are so blinded and probably get lied to and conned by a bad sibling. Now my MIL is depressed with guilt for shelling out, and my husband and I are her only caregivers. Hard to take.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 16, 2019
I get it Katie, my brother was a heroin addict. He is dead now from HepC. He overdosed several times. Parents always bailed him out.
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