She put his name on everything. I was estranged from the family. Can I sue him if money is gone at time of death?

As others noted, anyone can sue another person for whatever reason they want, but they should have reasonable cause to do so. If you have no proof that your brother was abusing his POA, then you may end up spending money on an attorney and court costs for nothing (and if they can show it is a frivolous case, they could ask to have the court award damages, aka you end up paying your brother's legal bills as well.)

If there were only the 2 of you and you've been estranged, what is your question really about? Do you feel that you are owed something, if your mother leaves behind assets? Inheritance is never guaranteed. Even if you were all one big happy family, she can leave her assets to whoever she wants.

As JoAnn29 pointed out, a month before this question, you posted one stating YOU were added to your mother's account and appointed POA. So, which is it?

The difference is:

1) Being joint on another person's account means whatever is in the account is, legally, yours as well as the principal owner.
2) POA means you can access finances and manage them in the person's name.

Legally, being joint on an account can be dangerous if the joint owner is not trustworthy, but it can also allow access when the principal is not capable and there is no POA in place. Additionally, at TOD, any remaining assets in that account become owned by the joint owner, no need for probate.

POA allows one to manage finances (and medical) decisions, sign documents, etc as if you WERE that person - decisions should be made in accordance with what the person would have done, to the best of one's ability. Good records should be kept, in the event that any questions arise. Can a POA abuse this trust? Absolutely, however the difference is they could face legal issues if they abuse their "power" and are taken to task.

That said, if your mother is being/was cared for and has all she needs, what is your issue? A person can leave ALL their assets to whoever they want. There is no law that says something must be left to all offspring or other close relatives. IF I want to leave all my assets to Bozo the Clown, that is MY prerogative! So, if your mother has put him on all accounts and left everything to him, so be it. IF there was enough proof that he coerced her into doing this, then you might have a reason to complain. But, since you have been estranged and he's been there (assumption there are no other siblings), then it seems quite reasonable that she would assign/leave everything to him.
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Reply to disgustedtoo

You can sue, and perhaps be assessed for the defendant's costs based on a frivolous and unfounded lawsuit.

You have to have grounds for a suit.  What are yours?   You're anticipating that funds might be unavailable after your mother dies; on what basis is this assumption based?    What proof do you have or expect to have?
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Reply to GardenArtist

If your brother has POA, yes he has a fiduciary responsibility. He is obligated to act in your mother's best interest.

Can you sue your brother if there is no money left at your mother's death? Well, yes you can - anyone can sue anyone for anything. The better question is Should you sue. It's very expensive to grow old - what makes you think there should be anything left at your mother's death. If your mother put your bother's name on everything - then her decision was to leave it to him. Unless your brother defrauded your mother there is no reason to sue him.
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Reply to cweissp

You can sue anyone for anything. Lawyers are like prostitutes, you pay them to tell you what you want to hear.

Does that mean you will win? No.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Stacy0122

Your brother as POA, if he is handling all financial matters, has a fiduciary responsibilty to YOUR parent, not to you. He has to keep meticulous records as to expenditure and should have files and receipts to account for expenditure. It is very poor practice to put his name on accounts as anything POA, which he has. This can co-mingle assets and become very confusing. If indeed he is confused by his duties he should go to an elder care attorney (your Mom's assets pay for this for her fiduciary) to find out how this is done.
If you believe you brother is behaving in a fraudulent manner, and you wish to assume guardianship of your mother, assume her care and do the onerous keeping of records yourself you can see a lawyer and file for guardianship. Your brother is not answerable to you in any way. He is answerable to his mother. If you feel he is acting with fraud file a case with APS.
You get more bees with honey. Why not offer your help to your brother, who, it seems is currently responsible for all care. Often in a fight over guardianship the person who is caring for the elder wins. Also, often it happens that the judge, tired of both, and expected to make decisions, takes guardianship from both siblings and appoints a court-appointed fiduciary. At that point both you and your brother will have no say in placement and expenditures.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

I find a contradiction here:

In your last post you gave the impression you were the POA and wanted to spend her money, which we answered No. Now its your brother who is POA and on her accts?

First, has Mom passed? Because if so, POA stops at death. But if brother on her bank accounts he may now own them all depending on how the acct is worded and State laws. If she has passed, did she have a Will, is he Executor? If so, he will need to carry out the wishes of your Mom stated in the Will. Beneficiaries and interested parties need to be notified that the Will is in probate. All bills have to be paid. An accting is sent to the beneficiaries and they sign off. If you have any questions at the time, then u can contest the accting.

If Mom has no Will, brother can become Administrator carrying out the duties of the Executor the difference being, the State determines who inherits. It starts with children, then grandchildren, etc.

POA means he now has fiduciary responsibilities if Mom is incompetent to make informed decisions. He makes decisions based on what is written in the POA. He pays bills, handles her banking, maybe able to sell the house and car. He cannot use her money on himself or others. He needs to keep good records.

If there is no money, it may have been spent on Mom. Its not cheap hiring aides for homecare. Assisted Livings cost 5k a month and upwards. Nursing homes 10k or more a month and upward. Until you request an accting of Moms accounts, not much you can do.

Just curious, you have been estranged and you feel you are due something? Parents are not obligated to leave anything to their children. There was mention that a State did have a law saying you can't keep children out of a Will but that is being revolked. Our parents owe us nothing. Their money they can spend however they want. Mom may leave everything to brother.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29
Isthisrealyreal May 12, 2021
Good catch. Something is very wrong in this situation.
See 1 more reply
You would have to somehow get proof he defrauded or mismanaged your mother's money (no, not a feeling or opinion based on disappointment). You'd need to take solid proof to an attorney who would tell you if you have a winnable case. Then you'd have to pay the attorney whether you won or lost.

Also, if the money's gone then even if you won a case how would you be able to collect money that no longer exists?
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Reply to Geaton777

Since you are estranged from the family, none of the money is any of your business. Yes, he has fiduciary responsibility but, he is the legal owner of the account, so it doesn't apply to any assets in his name.

If your mom put everything in his name, it is legally his and you don't have a leg to stand on.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

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