I am my 83YO moms main care taker, I was told by my older brother that since I’m the only daughter in the family, mom is my “cross to bear”. I have POA and am health care proxy, my younger brother will only help when it benefits him, for example, he did her grocery shopping for her with her food stamp card and bank card. So far he’s helped himself to $1,700 of her money, guess who goes to the bank and straightens out these messes, me! My daughter and I do all of moms appointments, cooking, cleaning, ER visits, phones calls to docs, insurance. It’s gotten to the point where I have no life, hubby and I retired 4 years ago. Her lawyer told me to take over her finances, well, mom has dementia and doesn’t remember why I took over the finances, so she gets angry with me, brother opened up an account with mom and had her SS rerouted to that account. I had it closed but I did not know her SS was rerouted, now her SS is froze because brother messed with her account and I have to fix it, this is never ending. I’ve called the police, APS and they seem to think because I have POA and control of her finances, she’s protected. But my brother calls her and badgers her about getting her cards back, then she calls me and she’s angry. It goes on all day long sometimes. I can’t sleep, I have headaches, depression, I’m in a bad place mentally and physically. I’m constantly am trying to stay 2 steps ahead of my greedy brother. And to add insult to injury, he’s revered and I’m just the medical/grunt person, it blows my mind but it’s always been like that. Today she called and demanded her bank card back again, my husband, who is supportive, told me to give them back, take myself off POA, the stress isn’t worth it. I’ll be dead long before my mother. Should I wash my hands for my own sake?

The police and APS seem to have missed the point, which in turn makes me suspect that perhaps they didn't get the full story.

Your brother has stolen from your mother. $1700, apparently. He has acted fraudulently in diverting her social security income. He may be doing these things - bear with me - in good faith, believing that he is supporting your mother in her wish to support him and to evade your control; but she has dementia, she is incompetent to do such things as open a bank account and give financial directions, and he is therefore acting without legal authority and benefiting financially from it. This is financial abuse of an elder, plain as the nose on your face.

Go back to the police and make a formal complaint. Somebody he'll listen to needs to explain the rules to him.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Countrymouse

Get yourself to an elder lawyer ASAP , protect yourself first. It will be worth whatever it cost. Take all steps necessary. Turn in brother for elder abuse and fraud. Lawyer will be able to direct you on all the steps you need to take. And in my opinion, do it to protect yourself first, your mother second.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to babsjvd

Thank GOODNESS the Federal Government has Frozen your Mom's Social Security, because it sounds as if NO ONE has the slightest idea what is happening to these monies and accounts, nor what to do about criminal behavior.
Social Security doesn't use a POA. They require a representative payee.
If your brother made himself the representative payee on Social Security and added himself to her accounts then you are in some serious trouble if in fact YOU are the financial POA. You need a Lawyer. Your mother's accounts need to be in only YOU control and there needs to be no cards involved whatsoever. NONE. Cancel them at once. You need also to go to Social Security and file fraud charges against your brother if you are her POA.
Moreover, if you are in care of your mother you should likely now have her placed. Her Social Security will then go to pay for her care. This money she is paying out will be considered gifting. You say you are losing everything because of assuming care of her with no thanks from anyone and only stealing by the brother.
I question actually whether or not you feel you are capable of assuming POA for your mother, because this has got into a dreadful mess that no POA would have allowed to happen, and certainly no bank. I can't know what is happening, has happened, but yes, you need a lawyer, and your Mom's funds CAN pay for that IF you are financial POA.
Meticulous records need to be kept by a POA regarding ALL money paid out to anyone or taken in from anyone. This is no easy job. Please seek help now, get this ironed out, have Mom placed in care and resume a somewhat normal life.
These sibling wars, especially when it involves criminal behavior cannot be won. Consider contact APS and having them open a case to examine what is happening with your Mom's social security payments.
In all truth I thank goodness that the Social Security is FROZEN. You will need the help of a Lawyer now. And in all truth frozen is what it should be before it gets ripped right off and then the Government refuses medicaid help because of "gifting" of monies to your brother. This money will be returned when this is ironed out, but it needs to be done legally and without putting your mother's money in jeopardy.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to AlvaDeer
disgustedtoo Dec 31, 2020
I concur with the need for SS rep payee account to manage OP's mom's funds, but this seems a bit harsh and possibly wrong:

"If your brother made himself the representative payee on Social Security and added himself to her accounts then you are in some serious trouble if in fact YOU are the financial POA."

WHY would she be in trouble for something he did? She wouldn't have known until after the fact, so it isn't her fault. POA just means you have the power to oversee her finances, manage things, sign paperwork. It doesn't give her ultimate power over everything! Conservatorship yes, POA not really. But, she tried to correct it by closing the account, which means SS had no place to deposit the funds. That probably led to freezing the account.

It doesn't sound like he did the rep payee. She said he took her mom to the bank, opened an acct and had her SS redirected there. Banks can do this, it's how I changed mom's direct deposit from a bank to the primary CU (before I ever heard of rep payee!) Then he had her add him to the account. HE is the one doing nefarious things and should be charged. HE should be reported to SS, not APS. It would be a federal crime to mess with SS!

Someone else suggested going to APS. I wouldn't waste my time there. Make appt with SS, to straighten this mess out AND sign up as rep payee. OP shouldn't need a lawyer to do this. I signed up to be rep payee for my mother, alone. I didn't even bring her with me and though I brought a lot of paperwork to show I'd been managing her affairs, they didn't look at one scrap of paper I brought! They ask their Qs and file the request.

If that's her only income, that would shut him out as OP and ONLY OP can access the special rep payee account that will need to be set up. If she has a savings acct associated with the card, find a way to lock access to most of it, get rid of that card and get a refillable debit card with a minimal amount for her to use, if she really needs one. Otherwise, it is easy pickings for brother.

Does she even need a card? If it's just a want, give her a cancelled one. She may never even use it (he might), but just having it would be good enough (my mother thought she lost her D card, and asked me to cancel it - why she didn't call them, I don't know, I wasn't stepping in as POA yet. So I did, but to order a replacement, the call had to be from her phone and she had to agree for me to talk to them. When I got there, lo and behold, there's the "lost" card! She just didn't put it back into her wallet when done with it. I used it to call them, wrangled through the "okay" process - fun with her bad hearing! - and tried to "palm" the cancelled card. She got angry and wanted it back, it's HER card you know! I had already partially bent it, because it was no good, but tossed it onto the table. Have fun trying to use it mom, you had me cancel it!!!
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I suspect that since this 83 year old lady is living at home on her own, both APS and the local police are making this out to be a "family dispute" and are not willing to get involved.

I think, Owlady, that you need to go back to mom's lawyer (and you pay for that visit with Mom's money, not yours) and ask her/his advice about how to stop your brother from absconding with your mother's funds.

And since you seem to say that your mother has NEVER treated you well, you need to ask yourself why you are killing yourself to take care of her.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

It's a tragedy when family members try to fleece the elderly, especially those who are not mentally competent. Cut your brother out of your mother's life. It may also mean cutting him out of your life as well. Get a restraining order from the police. Let him know that he is not welcome and that there is a restraining order. You may also have to take mom's phone away and only let her use your phone when you are present.

Please consider adding additional helpers for your mom: reliable family members, long time friends, members of faith community, and paid help. The goal is to create balance between caring for your mom and caring for yourself and your marriage. You'll know the balance is pretty good when you have time to sleep 7-9 hours, eat regular meals, get exercise, and have time to nurture your marriage, other relationships and your favorite hobbies/activities. Make sure everybody abides by CDC or WHO protocols for COVID until CDC or WHO tells you it is ok to loosen restrictions.
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Reply to Taarna

Another vote agreeing with your H. Resign your POA and health care proxy, and let her become the responsibility of your brothers. If one was raised to think daughters are less and another one was raised to steal, then your mother didn't do such a great job with them, did she? And she favors the younger one over you.

She doesn't deserve your help. You've put in enough of the caregiving -- time for the boys to step up the plate!

It's just going to get worse and worse. What is the current plan for when your mother can no longer live alone (she is probably already to that point). Will the boys insist that dear mama can't be put in a facility? And then what? Do you move in with her, or does she move to your house?

If you are not willing for this to happen, step out of this muck NOW.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to CTTN55
missingjim Dec 29, 2020
Her mother has dementia. She should be protected because she is not thinking right.
A lot of times the advice in situations like is to walk away but I can foresee a future where your brother cleans out your mother's bank accounts and as a consequence she can't afford a memory care/nursing home and because of the financial shenanigans doesn't qualify for medicaid, unless you are willing to allow her to end her life alone and indigent that will all hit Your fan some day. I think you need to find a middle ground where you protect your mother yet are not at her constant beck and call: hire a geriatric care manager or simply limit the amount of interaction you have with her, and begin to make plans for a move to a more supportive living facility.
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Reply to cwillie

I'm with your husband.

Since you clearly come from a dysfunctional family in which greed is rewarded and your hard work is both expected and despised, I would resign POA and let your mother be brother's responsibility.

If brother cleans mother out and attempts to dump the responsibility back on you, allow the state to take guardianship of her.

It is pretty clear from your post that mom should not be living alone, unsupervised. Are there Assisted Living or Memory Care facilities in her state that accept Medicaid?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Maybe look into a fiduciary as well for your mom’s financial affairs? I don’t have any more details on this front as I’m going this route in 2121 so have no extra info yet.

In my case it was suggested to me by a financial advisor due to greedy relatives poking their heads out of the woodwork and asking around, my sibling in particular is really bad. It’s not that I can’t or won’t do mom’s financial stuff ( honestly it’s the ‘easiest’ of the tasks ) but I need a firewall between myself and these people. This whole dynamic makes me sick. Maybe you need a firewall of this sort between you and your brother? Just another idea for ways to extricate yourself from this situation...

I really feel for ya. My mom actually thanks me SOMETIMES, but my sister & hubby call ONCE in several months and my goodness they are the most fantastic people in the world. Meanwhile guess who does virtually all the grunt work. We’re not Cinderellas and deserve better treatment than this!

Truly wishing you a way up and out into a better place!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Madisoncuckoo7

POA is not same as guardianship/conservatorship. Has your mom been declared iincompetent? If not, then I would resign my POA and I would make it very clear and blunt to mom what is going to happen if your brother controls her money. Also, who is Rep Payee for her Social Security? This is an SSA requirement and they do not honor POAs. If he is stealing her social security monies than report him to APS for financial abuse. The way they see it is that you are in charge, which factually you are not, because your mother does not cooperate with your requests and attempts to protect her. Make if clear that you do not have the authority to act as guardian/conservator. If you resign POA that might make it clear to them. There is no one to protect a vulnerable senior from your predator brothers. But mom needs an honest, blunt warning about what is going to happen and that you will not rescue her. It is not your lot in life to care for an ungrateful, uncooperative parent. And you should not accept responsibility without the accompanying power.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to rovana
disgustedtoo Dec 31, 2020
"Also, who is Rep Payee for her Social Security? This is an SSA requirement and they do not honor POAs."

So many don't understand this. By SS rules NO ONE is allowed to "manage" any one else's SS funds unless they become rep payee. I wasn't aware of that when I took over mom's finances. I was able to have hers redirected to her primary CU account through the bank (she had opened an acct in a local bank and had her SS sent there, for easier cash access, but all bills were paid with the CU acct,) I unknowingly just used the SS and pension funds (federal, so another goodie to fix!) from that CU acct, until we were going to sell the condo. The only way to do the address change was to sign up for rep payee - all the paperwork says it is NOT legal to manage the SS funds unless you become the payee!

"If he is stealing her social security monies than report him to APS for financial abuse."

I wouldn't waste time with APS - report him to SS along with signing up for rep payee!!!
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