I am the grandchild of an elderly women. Is there anything I can do to help her?


My Uncle has POA over my grandmother but she has dementia. Is the POA valid? My uncle has started changing all my grandmother's assets in his name and cashing in her life insurance policy. I feel he is going to sell her house next and put her in a nursing home. Is their anything I can do to help her? She doesn't even know what is happening. When I said something he told me he has POA and I have no authority to say anything or do anything.



LastHope2018, based on what you've said, as freqflyer said, your uncle may be making Medicaid mistakes, but it's also likely that he is committing financial abuse of an elder. In either case, do contact an elder-law attorney ASAP and if you cannot afford to pay for one, then contact your state's Legal Aid office. Regardless of whether his POA is valid, it does not give him authority to steal from your grandmother or have her gift things to himself. There should be an elder-abuse hotline in your state and I suggest calling it in addition to contacting an attorney. POAs can be revoked if the grantor is legally competent (even with some dementia), but if your grandmother is no longer competent, then guardianship and conservatorship may be necessary, as they override all POAs.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bicycler

LastHope2018, oh dear, your Uncle is making a huge mistake by changing over his Mother's assets into his name. That could come back to bite him big time.

Hope your Uncle realizes that nursing homes are expensive, and would his Mom be able to afford to pay around $10k per month? If not, then she would need to apply for what is called Medicaid [which is different from Medicare]. Medicaid would pay for room, board and her care. BUT, if Medicaid sees that Grandmother had "gifted" all of her assets over to her son, Medicaid would not help with the cost for quite some time. Then what will your Uncle do?

Also, if your Uncle had his Mom do what is called a Quit Claim Deed on the house so that the house now belongs to him, then when he does sell the house, he might need to pay an IRS Capital Gains because the bases used for accounting would be the cost of when Grandmother had bought the house. If Uncle doesn't live in the house, the IRS would consider the house to be an "investment" property and taxes are higher.

Any equity your Uncle gets from the house really needs to go to his Mom for her care.

Also, Grandmother could be required to pay an IRS Gift Tax on the items that your Uncle had changed into his name.

What can you do about this? Not much, since Grandmother's son is her Power of Attorney.  You could make an appointment with an "Elder Law Attorney" and see what he/she would recommend.  Wonder if Grandmother had a current Will? It would be interesting if the items your Uncle claim to be his, isn't what your Grandmother wanted to do.
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Reply to freqflyer

It sounds like the POA is valid. How do you know he has started changing her assets into his name, etc.? Is this something that your grandmother told you? If you had proof, then I would talk with a lawyer.

I gather from your profile that you are her caregiver. Has her doctor said she needs to go into a nursing home? You can't just put someone in a nursing home because you want to. If she does need to go to a nursing home then he does have the authority to sell the house to help pay for the cost of the nursing home.

How long have you been taking care of your grandmother? Do you have a job outside of the house or are you there full time?
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Reply to cmagnum