I am the Health Care Surrogate for my 94 yr old mother, my brother is the POA. I'm looking for direction on my bother's position.


I have asked my brother (POA) for details about how he is spending our mother's money and reimbursing himself and our sister for trips to visit her. I live locally and they do not. He told me that it was none of my business and he didn't have to tell me anything. He further stated that my "little Health Care Surrogate" meant nothing. He was the POA and did not have to answer to anyone. But he did say he kept very good records and no-one would have a problem with what he was doing. Is this "non-transparent" and "non-disclosure" a legal position for the POA to take against a sibling? I am beginning to question my brother's mental capacity to hold his position because of some odd behaviors and forgetfulness. Thank you for any direction or information. I just want to know if I have recourse.

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As part of his role as POA he is not required to disclose financial information to you, unless your mother specified that in the document. In fact, he may have obligations to keep certain things confidential.

In functional families, usually the siblings work together and the POA would have no problem sharing information. But that is not a legal requirement, and I am amazed at how many families turn out to be dysfunctional when it comes to things like this.

The Health Care Surrogate has authority to make all decisions about health. This includes where Mom lives, what doctors she sees, what med she takes, and anything else related to her health. (Assuming she is not competent to decide for herself.) Copies of the document that appoints you HCS should be on file at the clinic she uses regularly, and should be brought to a hospital if she visits one. Often the HCS is named in the advance directive. Is that the case with you?

Do you have any specific worries about Brother's actions? Do you have any evidence?
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Reply to jeannegibbs

Yes, you do. Since POA papers are a legal document, you need to find an Elder Law Attorney and consult with them. It’s not for your brother to tell you your HCS is worthless. If your brother is being an honest POA and is keeping records, he should not be averse to showing anyone his records and accountings of where Mom’s money is going. Do you imagine by acting this way he’s hiding something or has lost his way with keeping track of your mom’s finances? This is why you need to consult an attorney.
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Reply to Ahmijoy