I finally made an appointment with a lawyer but my heart is sinking...


Looking over my mom's Trust, it is just a big slap in the face. She sold my brother half her house for $10-- the house he hates but I have loved and cared for my whole life. She gave him sole power to do literally whatever he wants: use her credit cards, make investments, mortgage the house, borrow money, sell tne house.... What on earth would compel someone with two children to do this? Especially when my brother has had a spending addiction his whole life? I also looked over the title succession carefully last night. In 1993, my mom gave my brother power of attorney and mortgaged her house for the equivalent of $120,000. My mom was a retired schoolteacher making 60k in pensions and social security with a huge annuity and less tban 500 dollars in bills each month. She has the same car she bought with cash in 1988. She wears the same clothes from kmart day in and day out. Where is that money? The house was then mortgaged five more times, every four to six years, up to the current $194k mortgage. Where did my mom spend 200,000? Medicare covers all of her medical bills. I should know as I paid them all when she went blind seven years ago. Is it possible that my brothers out of control use of my mom and her assets is all totally legal?

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You have wasted years of your life. That is in the past. Can you stop it going forward, though? Your mother has told you with the trust what she thinks of you.
Why would you want to continue caring for this woman? Change your life going forward.

As BarbBrooklyn wrote, let your brother and mother figure out what comes next.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55

So, as noted above, how the POA is written is the key to whether your brother can charged with wrong doing.

The deeper issue here really seems to have to with your relationship with your parents and your expectations.

Why did you step away from supporting yourself to care for mom? Was this done in an emergency situation? Did you believe that your mother would agree to support you? Did you seek any legal advice?

I'm always grateful that our parents raised us with NO expectation of there being any money left after their deaths. They taught that we needed to make our own way in the world and take responsibility for our financial lives.

You're learning a hard lesson here. The tort, the wrong that your brother perpetrated, if it exists, is against your mother, not against you.

I believe in your shoes I would get out of this abusive caregiving situation as soon as possible and let your mother and brother figure out what comes next.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Mom totally defers to my brother and has clammed up about everything. I have asked what she did with $120,000? And $50,000 to $60,000 every five years since? She once had a couple of screwdrivers and told me she bailed him out. Now she won't talk about it, and he vehemently denies it, saying that "she would be on the street if I didn't help pay her bills." I know for a fact he only has her on his cell phone account and pays the cable bill. Needlessly. Even with the huge mortgage he has run up, she still has enough money to pay her bills.

I feel, too, that the pain is in every word. My stomach ended up in knots a year ago and has not settled down since. My husband and I spend all day every day fuming about this. We have told my brother we are going to court. Told my mom he might lose his job or even go to jail because of his abuse and possible mortgage fraud. I think my Mom is so overwhelmed emotionally and also so self-focused because of her blindness and disabilities that she can't deal with it. Yes, he is the Gold Child and can DO NO WRONG. He is the "smart one" and the "responsible one"--who has over $100,000 in credit card debt in addition to his use of my mom's cards as well--who just bought a house for half a million dollars 60 miles away, and who is still applying for greater lines of credit. I have been caring for my mom to the detriment of my own livelihood and family for almost ten years. I have nothing, and it looks like that is what she will be leaving me when all is said and done.

I told her, "Mom, you mortgaged your house for almost $200,000 for him. You bailed him out of all of his self made financial problems for the past thirty years. He now makes over $200,000 a year, has a five bedroom house, and is still using your credit cards and looking for another mortgage refinance. Now you are going to leave him your house as well? And leave me nothing? " I ask her, "Is this what you really intended?" And she just looks down and says, "Everything was set up the way we felt best." Whatever THAT means.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to ChiGirl68

As long as your mother is competent, she can do whatever she likes with her money - including giving your brother repeated gifts of cash. What your mom did while competent (including the mortgage) is totally legal. How your brother uses the POA is a separate issue, and that depends on how the POA was written too. If the POA didn't require any disability to activate then this might all be legal because he can say he was acting at Mom's direction. If he re-mortgaged the house as POA where disability is required and gave the money to himself then he could be in some trouble.

Many elders from your mom's generation think men "should" be in charge and will give a son living out of state they talk to once a year POAs over daughters living nearby that have actually been visiting and helping them for years, particularly if their deceased husband ever stated he viewed the son as the person who should be in charge. Remember women have only had universal suffrage for 101 years and a lot of our elders were raised in a culture that considered women less capable of decision making and handling "business" than men.
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Reply to TNtechie

You have my sincere sympathy for all this you’re going through. I can feel your heart-pain just by reading your posts. Kudos for making an appointment with an attorney. Facing reality is never easy.

Do you think your brother is intelligent enough (read:conniving) to pull this off? And your mother gullible enough to let him? I ask this because we have someone in our family I feel this way about. My in-laws always believed whatever this child and their spouse said. They were the Golden Children. The in-laws were miserable when this child and spouse moved out of town and actually gave the spouse a job at their family-owned company AND paid for their home to get them to move back. I know of at least one occasion they fronted the money for one of the grandchildren (from this couple) to further their education by paying for classes. Even when they passed, two very expensive pieces of artwork “disappeared” and I heard one of their children has them. Now, this couple lives in a home worth well over $300,000 and is very comfortable financially. We live in a double wide and live from Social Security check to check.

You need to find out out what’s going on. No one in our family ever interfered with the in-laws and their “gifting” to the Golden Children. The GC were smart enough to get away with it. Only an attorney can help you do this and put your mind at ease either way. Put emotions and disbelief aside if you can and work with the attorney to find out what’s going on. Good luck and let us know.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy

What does mom say about all this?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
ChiGirl68 Jul 20, 2018
Zip. Zilch. Nada.