I'm a recent widow.

My 47-year-old son's 30-year-old immigrant (green card only) wife has used my credit cards to make over ten thousand dollars in unauthorized purchases. I had permitted my SON ONLY (because of his indebtedness related to his father's terminal illness and end of life) to "use my credit cards" to help him out financially "until he gets reimbursement by his father's estate and subsequently reimbursement by his father's life insurance," At the time permission was granted for my SON ONLY to use my credit cards for urgent expenses (on or about October 25, 2018), he SOLOMLY AGREED to my demand that ONLY HE had permission to use my credit cards and SPECIFICALLY NOT HIS 30-year-old immigrant (green card only) WIFE.

Unbeknownst to me … during a period of approximately two weeks prior to my husband's death on November 9, 2018 … my SON'S WIFE charged over $10,000 in UNAUTHORIZED CREDIT CARD PURCHASES INCLUDING SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS OF CASH ADVANCES TO HER "PRIVATE ACCOUNT" IN HER "MAIDEN NAME."

Again, on November 26, 2018 (the afternoon prior to my husband's funeral on November 27, 2018), my son approached me "claiming to be in despair because of "their financial woes" caused by "him going into debt in order to take care of his father". My son even confessed to "SUICIDIAL IDEATION" because of their financial woes all-the-while he requested that I permit him to use my "last resort emergency credit card" for his "current emergency expenses" because he was "afraid that his two cars would be repossessed and he was afraid that his home would be foreclosed upon because he had used "his money" for "his father's expenses" rather than "pay his mortgage and pay his car payments." After cautioning him that "this is my last resort emergency go-to credit card which I only use for emergencies only"… he declared he understood and that he would "only use it for the last minute funeral home expenses and related expenses." I also begrudging agreed to permit him to charge an additional $350 for "three years computer insurance" which he claimed was an absolute necessity because he and his wife used their computers for their home-based-businesses. All that occurred on November 26, 2018 the afternoon prior to my husband's funeral on the morning of November 27, 2018. He used my last-resort-emergency-credit card to supposedly ONLY PAY $1338.00 for his two car payments, $1545.00 toward his late mortgage payment, and $350.00 for three year's computer insurance with NO PERMISSION WHATSOEVER FOR ANY OTHER PURCHASES. He promised to pay me back in "December 2018" … (which did not occur).

The afternoon of November 27, 2018, after my husband's funeral I checked my "emergency credit card account" and TO MY HORROR … discovered that, in addition to the $1338.00, $1545.00, and $350.00 charges, his WIFE, WITHOUT ANY PERMISSION OR KNOWLEDGE TO ME OR MY SON, WHATSOEVER, had made UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES TO MY EMERGENCY CREDIT CARD in the amounts of $600.00, $88.00, $64.00, and $19.00 … WITHOUT ASKING ME OR MY SON FOR PERMISSION BUT RATHER COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY MAKING UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES TO MY EMERGENCY CREDIT CARD FOR HER OWN PRIVATE PURCHASES. When I inquired of her "what are these charges for $600, $88, $64, and $19 ??? … she first looked away then turned her back and ignored my question. When I demanded of her "what are these charges you made on my credit card without my permission" … she replied "I do not have time to talk to you about that … I must go pick up the boys" (my grandsons ages 14 and 16 of whom she is the step-mother .. and of whom my son was awarded custody from his first marriage to "crazy woman number one .. who became addicted to methamphetamine for the second time at approximately age 40). I demanded of her … "Yes, you do have time to talk to me about your unauthorized purchases on my credit card … and you are going to talk to me about it RIGHT NOW." She GLARED at me and "snortingly replied" .. "I paid for my classes" … (out of space here .. finish later)

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I’m sorry for your loss, both of your husband and of the trust you placed in your son. It has to be a bitter experience to learn you can’t trust him, but better to learn it and be wiser for the future. Please consult a lawyer about your next steps, see if there’s anything to be done about the misuse of your credit cards, and also put documents in place where this son won’t be trusted with your financial future. He shouldn’t be your POA, executor of your will, or or any accounts of yours. Those responsibilities belong with someone you can trust and he’s proved it’s not him. When people show you who they are, believe them. Again, I’m sorry
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Reply to Daughterof1930
BlackHole Jan 1, 2019
I second all that.
My question did you know, just by looking at the statement, that your DIL made those charges? You can’t just look at a statement and know who made the charges unless their name is on the account and they have their OWN CARD. Also her immigration status is totally irrelevant. In all honesty, 99% chance your son GAVE her the card to use. Your issue is with YOUR SON. you GAVE him the card and he either gave his wife permission to use it or he was careless with it. The card was his responsibility while in his possession.
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Reply to worriedinCali
rovana Jan 1, 2019
Yes!  You have nailed it. Son is responsible here.  I'd deal with him, since you originally dealt with him in giving him the card to use.  Do what you need to do to challenge his executor status and see that you are properly compensated in the settlement of the estate.  I would not let son wiggle out of responsibility by blaming wife. (That's been going on since the Garden of Eden.)
Call the credit card company. You made your son an authorized user? But not his wife. So her charges were fraudulent.
Report fraudulent charges and close the accounts. The losers will be anyone who accepted the card.

She would have needed the PIN to get a cash advance so you may be out of luck there. But stop what you can. Do it right now
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Reply to anonymous594015

Your son bears responsibility here. He had to give the cards to his wife or use the card to pay those expenses of hers.

Your issue should be with him, not his wife. Sounds like he took advantage of your vulnerability & managed to pull the wool over your eyes.

”Suicidal ideations” - a wee bit of drama there, imo.

Close or freeze the card accounts and if he is the executor of his father’s will, get a lawyer to prevent this from happening using his recent spending and irresponsibility as grounds. Then deduct the amount he spent ( or what amt you think DIL spent) out of his inheritance or life insurance policy money and pay those bills off using his inheritance/life insurance money if you can.

I am no expert so I don’t even know if you can change executor status if already specified in the will.

If your son wanted to be paid for caregiving his father while he was sick, he could have had a care agreement drawn up. But that’s water under the bridge now.

I don’t think fault lies with your DIL alone.

I’m sorry you must deal with this so soon after you lost your husband. Maybe your grief is having your prospective altered as you are quite angry (which is a stage of grief).

But the fault here lies with your son.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Shane1124

Simple response - call the cops and report the unauthorized charges; cancel that credit card and get a number/card for your account.
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Reply to TNtechie
rovana Jan 1, 2019
But what if the son basically handed wife the card and told her she could use it?  Frankly, I would be suspicious about the son.  Do you have a spreadsheet which documents these expenses he says he incurred for his father's care?  This all sounds too vague.  I think that the culprit here is probably the son.  And for Pete's sake what does wife's green card have to do with anything?
If your son was telling the truth about his financial woes, they may well have been caused by his wife. You need to be very careful about believing him at all.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

You realize you sound like a condescending, racist bigot, don't you. The fact that you brought up a green card twice, just gives me insight into your relationship. By the way, many women of other cultures do not take their husbands name, this is also not uncommon among American women.

My advice...treat her with a little more respect, she is your sons wife and step-mother to your grandchildren.

As for the money, it is between you and your son. Obviously, he handed her the cards. When will the insurance policy funds be available so the entire situation can be settled?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to tacy022

I do hope you've cancelled the cards?
It never goes well when a parent tries to drive a wedge between an adult child and their spouse. No matter how right you are his number one allegiance should be to the person he married and your finger pointing will only alienate your son and cause a lot of strife between you. Your husband has only been gone a brief time so emotions are high, stop bringing this up and give your son a reasonable amount of time to make restitution.
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Reply to cwillie
JoAnn29 Jan 1, 2019
I disagree here. In this instance the wife took it upon herself to use a card she had no right to. She is leaving his Mom in debt. He needs to tell her the charges she made need to be paid back as the 10k. This has nothing to do with supporting a spouse. She stole.
Larac; I'm so sorry for your recent loss. This must be unbearable for you.

Do you have a family lawyer?

You need to contact your lawyer and tell him what you've told us. Your son can work out a payment plan with your lawyer.

Unfortunately, in giving your son permission do make charges (without getting a payment assurance in writing) you have put yourself on the hook for these expenses.

Lesson learned, yes?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Disute the charges with the credit card company. If she(or he)made charges without permission, they can go to jail.

I sincerely hope you don't have this son as executor of husband's or your will. If he is, then I'd suggest speaking with your probate court judge and challenging his appointment as executor. But, #1, dispute the charge with the cc company!
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Reply to surprise

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