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My husband's 94 year old aunt, who
raised him after the death of his parents and has been Nana to our
children all these years, has stubbornly refused to let us help her over
the last few years. . Now we have learned that she has given
Financial POA and a Medical POA (my husband had this previously) over to
an attorney, who helped her set up a trust a few years ago. The
attorney has also brought in some home care to assist with cleaning,
shopping, laundry etc. While we are greatly relieved that she is
getting assistance, we know nothing about these people. You hear such
horror stories about elders being cleaned out by supposedly trusted
people, we're wondering how to monitor what the attorney & these
care givers are doing. We plan to visit regularly to see that the
actual assistance is being provided and that she is well, but on the
financial side how do we keep up on what is being spent and billed for.
She has a modest estate that from what we know is mostly in cash
accounts. Can we as family request an accounting of her expenses and
their bills?

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cdeh61 As for your question I would speak to the attorney(the POA) and ask about the concerns your having about her health and finances and the trust, what type of trust etc. This may be something to protect her assets so she dosent lose it all careing for someone can be very expensive. My Mom was in behavioral health for $335 a day medicare or insurance dosen't cover any of that.. In the condition Nanna was living in, adult protective services, may have stepped in and most likely all would have been lost anyway, but she would have been cared for. I myself find it hard to trust anyone at all especially when it comes to money, my family members took my Mom to a lawyer instead of a dr too, when she first had memory loss. Floridian... I don't appreciate the comment. If you read my post more carefully, you will understand my comment was 2 sided. I said if there is a POA this means that as POA you are legally in charge of affairs in that persons benefit. If you can prove neglect or any spending other than in the benefit of that person this gives reason to revoke the current POA. I recommended to report neglect, if that is the case. From what cdeh61 wrote, my understanding was during her husbands POA, was the situation out of control, I am not critisizing them at all, noone that has a loved one in this situation knows how to deal with the overload of duties it takes to help them especially when they tell you not to help. Just the same it is a legal reason for the attorney to stepped in and revoke original POA. She needed homecare, cleaning, laundry, dr's.and someone to handle financial matters. The quality of ones life should be priority and if they can afford to have a better quality of life by paying big bucks it is that persons money. Even if thier poor someone needs to take control of everything. Someone trusted needs to organize it all and make sure of proper care and financial matters.
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Yes Floridian, I agree. Although I take exception with your tone, of course, we will do something. Our intent is to protect her well-being and her assets. We have since made an appointment with an elder law attorney to see what our rights are in this situation.
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Not a problem, cdeh61. Since your second post differs quite dramatically from your first in both content and tone, I really don't know what else to tell you. I just hate to see seniors who have worked hard all their lives, and in the case of your husband's aunt, who really stepped up to the plate and raised him after the death of his parents, lose everything at the hand of some shyster lawyer. Ask yourself this question: if you were old and all alone in the world, with 500K in the bank, would you want to hand over control of your finances and health care decisions to someone who is basically a total stranger, but stands to profit if you die? No, I didn't think so. And yet, that is the situtation that the woman who stepped up to the plate for your husband when he was a child finds herself. I stand by my previous comments. A phone call or letter to your state or local Bar association with your questions and very valid concerns would be a great place to start...that is, if you intend to actually do anything at all.
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Whoa! Whoa! Ladies, let's not get carried away. The attorney is hardly "letting her wallow in filth and starvation." She has only turned over her affairs etc to the attorney in the last 2 weeks. Yes, she was living in unsafe conditions and would be better off not living alone, but we have evidence that the attorney has started paying bills and we will be going there shortly to make sure the house have been cleaned, laundry done, food stocked etc. Yes, our hope is that the attorney does have her best interest at heart, BUT in this day and age, some over sight we think would be in order, particularly with an estate valued at probably over $.5M! We're questioning what are our rights are as a family to ask for receipts, records etc.
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wuvicecream, What are you smoking? Her aunt is basically living in starvation, in filthy, unsanitary Third World conditions, and you say the attorney has her best interest at heart? Are you nuts?

cdeh61, I would recommend reporting the attorney to your local and state Bar association. Some attorneys are good, and some are just criminals with a law license. Sounds like he needs to lose his license and go to jail. After your aunt is rid of him, you all can then get her the help that she needs. She definitely should not be living alone, as she is not able to manage her basic needs on her own. She needs to be in an ALF or a nursing home. Notice how the attorney who is legally responsible for her welfare is letting her wallow in filth and starvation. He is very likely going through all her money, and then not even providing for the most basic needs of her life, since he is a cruel, money-grubbing bastard who exploits elderly people and lets them starve to death and wallow in filthy, unsanitary conditions while he helps himself to their hard earned money. He should be publicly flogged and then thrown in jail. Ask yourself this question: if you were in your aunt's situation, what would you want your family to do? Reporting the attorney to the Bar association costs nothing, and that is a good first step. You should also make an appointment to tour a local ALF or nursing home, and don't be shy about telling the DON or administrator there the problem that you are dealing with. They will know how to help you.
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It sounds like the attorney has things in order with nanas best interest as a priority. Acting as POA is all about best interest, if there is any question about nanas best interest as to funds and health interests in the trust of the attorney I would be concerned. you can possibly report this to adult protective services, The attorney is doing what most children run away from or choose not to deal with. If all is well you should Thank the attorney for doing what is best for nanna,
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Thank you for your comments. The sound mind question is somewhat subjective. She appears pretty competent on a visit, but...She is basically a recluse with no children, friends or neighbors that she speaks to, one surviving sister in another state that she only tolerates & my husband and his brother who also lives in another state. No church or social connections. And quote, doesn't like people. Over the last 18 months or so, we've seen her get more overwhelmed by daily living. Driving on an expired license, utilities turned off for lack of payment, insurance & taxes unpaid, not going to the doctor, etc. House is increasingly cluttered & difficult for her to move around in. Recently, we noticed there was almost no food in her refrigerator and a number of liquor empties. My husband & I have repeatedly offered to help with bill payment, cleaning, chores, shopping etc but she refuses. Finally, we staged a mini intervention, clearing out almost a dumpster load of newspapers and trash, cleaning the kitchen etc. and stocking her refrigerator with a couple weeks worth of food. She was not happy with us and since has not let us come to visit. Then this week we found out she had basically turned her life over to the attorney. Unfortunately we're not in a position to start guardianship proceedings. We'd just like to be that second set of eyes as you said!
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If your aunt is of sound mind and has made this decision there is not much you can do about it except for trying to speak with her again. Tell her about the concerns you mentioned above. Let her know that you respect her choices, but it wouldn't hurt to have another "set of eyes" checking her accounts. You are wise to feel this way....just so many unscrupulous people out there just waiting to clean out a senior's account. If she does not want you to have access to her account information, then she should be getting copies of this information for her own records.
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