My brother claims our mom signed over POA to him shortly after our father died (2008). I didn't question it until recently. Our mom was diagnosed with early stages of dementia. She was put on Aricept and is doing pretty good. I live in NJ, but my mom and brother live in FL. We have a lot more family in NJ to help out with her and we all agreed we would like to have her up here. I like to have a game plan in place for big events like this, so I asked what her finances looked like so we know what we were working with in case she would need home care or a memory care facility down the road. It's 4 months later and he continues to refuse to let me see them. Over the past 5 years his Parkinson's has caused him to deteriorate physically and mentally and his wife has been handling my moms finances and medical needs, she refuses to give me logins or copies of anything. My questions are:

1. How can I help my mom get a copy of the supposed POA document she signed?

2. How can I help my mom get access to her financials? (Pension, bank accounts, IRA, SS) She's told my brother to show them to me and give me the login information. Everything is electronic (income and bills/debts), and she doesn't even own a computer. She's from Iceland so there's a language barrier and she's hard of hearing, she also had my dad taking care of everything their entire marriage. She can't make the calls and convey what she needs, let alone hear what they're saying.

3. How do I have my brother deemed incompetent of making financial and medical decisions with the supposed POA? I don't think my sister in law has any right to manage my mothers finances or make any medical decisions on her behalf.

4. Can my mom be deemed incompetent because of her early onset dementia? If so what are my options to help her.

Thanks for any help you can give!

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Is mom one of the agreeable ones?

Does she live with your sibling and his spouse?

I ask because if they have had her with them for 10 years, you know that they depend on her income monthly.

That is what happens when you live with someone for any length of time, you make decisions based on the income of all involved parties.

Could your mom be speaking out of both sides of her mouth? My dad is great for telling everyone a different story, so if we don't communicate with one another, then we are all mad because we made the mistake of listening to him. Maybe unintentional on your moms part but maybe she is trying to please everyone and causing upset.

I have to say, you should be thankful that your SIL has been willing to help with her MIL. It is her business if she has had to deal with this for a decade and your attitude would shut me down too. Everything I have done and this is how you decide to treat me, figure it out yourself. I would apologize and send her a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for all she has kept off your plate.

You need to go to Florida and take your mom to the financial institutions, she will be allowed to see her paperwork, also, anything they have been dealing with you should not leap to any conclusions. Their care and assistance has been good enough for 10 years, try to do this graciously and for moms best interests.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Been thinking about this. You may want to consult a lawyer. If money is an issue, call your Office of aging and ask for a referral to a lawyer who helps for free or on scale. The lawyer could write a letter to brother requesting proof of POA. Also, if you want, an accounting on how Moms money was spent. If he gets mad, just tell him if he had been up front you would have had to go this far.

My POA read that it wasn't effective until Mom could no longer make informed decisions. If ur Mom can make informed decisions than brothers POA is not fully in effect. He may help Mom with her finances but he is not in control yet.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Isthisrealyreal Jan 30, 2019
Some state that they are in full effect upon signature.
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I would start by looking at this situation from your brother and your SIL's point of view; and, actually, especially your SIL.

They have been your mother's primary support system for ten years. Does she have any care needs besides the dementia? Does she live with them?

Meanwhile, your brother has Parkinson's Disease and that is becoming a challenge.

When you say, "we all agreed" about the move to NJ from FL, does the "all" include your brother and SIL?

The point is, the history to date includes a heck of a lot of work; and intending to help out with that and take the weight off your brother and SIL (which is great) you are starting with what may be a sizeable accounting project - which they have to do, which may be very difficult.

So from your SIL's point of view, the help you've offered has started out as a huge negative, which is now potentially descending into conflict and confrontation.

And again: you say your SIL has no right to be involved, and then in the same breath you criticise her for not giving you the login details.

Could you lay your hands on a document your spouse's parent signed in 2009?

Hadn't somebody better get down there and lend a hand?

I *agree* with the plan. I think it is very sensible to look ahead to your mother's future needs, and to relieve your brother and SIL, and to get as many people as possible on board. But given the length of time they've been doing the work and the situation they're now in with their own health difficulties, cut them more slack and give them more actual help with what needs to be done.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Countrymouse

If your mother has just been diagnosed and is in early dementia she may still be competent to sign new documents. Please ask you mother to sign a HIPPA authorization for you to discuss her condition with her doctor. If she's still competent, then get the doctor to write a letter stating that - my mother's wrote a brief note on one of prescription pads.

If your mother can hear well enough on the phone to confirm her identity and state she wants her daughter to get some information for her, you can call many businesses over the phone or visit in person and help your mother gain access to her information.

If competent, your mother can sign a new POA. Please do not name only one person; name a primary and a secondary and a method of nominating new POAs if those two cannot serve. The POA may also include a clause requiring the primary to keep the secondary informed within a particular time frame. Your mother's dementia journey may be a long one and after she is declared incompetent the POA path is closed; only an expensive guardianship/conservatorship process will be available.

I notice you state that the family has decided you would like Mom to be in NJ but later ask how you can help your mother access her information. Please be sure you are assisting your mother and acting in your mother's best interests, not just wanting to take control because of your SIL's involvement. Your mother apparently chose to live in FL and most likely chose your brother as POA because he was nearer her chosen location. Your brother's Parkinson's may include cognitive decline and he may not be a good POA over the duration of your mother's dementia. Whatever you choose to do, please try to preserve your relationship with your ill brother. You might even consider naming him as primary in a reworked POA that also requires he personally handle his POA duties. Along with a requirement to keep the secondary POA up to date on your mother's affairs that may address most of your concerns while still allowing your brother to end his duties gracefully sometime in the future.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TNtechie

naida1022 Is your Mom being cared for properly, in the current situation?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Wuvsbears

That's one thing I don't like about POAs, they don't have to be filed anywhere. If Mom can make informed decisions, she can revolk his POA and assign a new one. She should have the original if she didn't give it to brother.

Something you need to consider is Medicaid. It doesn't cross state lines. Mom would need to set up residency.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29

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