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I am the Successor Trustee and Beneficiary of my brother's Revokable Living Trust. He passed away on November 5th, 2018. His significant other passed away in June, 2018.


While going through my brother's house I found a couple of notes that stated "change successor trustee and beneficiary from me to his caregiver's name. He never did this and he did not sign the notes that were written.


While closing out his bank accounts, one bank informed me that my brother recently signed over his retirement 401K account to his caregiver and the account contained several thousands of dollars.


My brother was 80 years old and the caregiver, is in her 20's. She is well known by law enforcement for petty theft and for crack cocaine.


The local Sheriff department told me that this was fairly common and that they could not do anything about it. This was the Van Buren County, Michigan Sheriff Department.


His Trust mentions the Retirement Account going to myself as the beneficiary, but he signed this in 2012. I was told that this did not matter by the Sheriff and by the bank.


I used to be a caregiver for many years in Ohio and I was strictly prohibited from accepting gifts from ALL patients.


My brother was of sound mind but was suffering from loneliness. He had lost his long time Love of Life just a few months earlier.


I don't know if this could be considered as "elder abuse" or something else.


This SHOULD be against the law. A felony.

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H'm.

How did this young lady come to be employed as your brother's caregiver? To me, the real point for concern is that a woman known to be guilty of serious drugs-related offences is at work in the care profession, in the homes of vulnerable people. I would do what I felt necessary to have this issue looked into; but I also hope I would keep an open mind. You thought she was fine. She was able to get the job. What actual proof is there of her criminal activities?

Then, turning to this bank account business: if your brother's caregiver was employed through an agency then the agency should have rules about accepting gifts from clients and you can refer your complain to them, with supporting evidence.

But if not, and it was a private agreement between two consenting adults... Your brother spoke highly of this woman. She brought comfort to his last months. He gave her money - quite a lot of money, but not so as to affect anyone else's welfare. You may not like what you hear about her methods, I'm quite sure I wouldn't either, but for your own peace of mind can you try to look on it as an expression of his sincere gratitude and refuse to dwell on the details?
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How involved in your brother's life were you? When did you see him last?

The county you are speaking of consists of a bunch of villages, the largest town or city has maybe 4k people. Unless you are at the casino or winery, everyone is in everyone elses business. So how could you possibly not be concerned before his death?

He had every right to change beneficiaries since you stated he was of sound mind. Just because someone is a relative does not mean they are entitled to an inheritence.
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anonymous594015 Jan 1, 2019
I doubt andreakim would be writing to the forum if her brother left his money to some charitable organization he supported. Her brother was manipulated by someone who was supposed to be caring for him. He was a vulnerable adult- someone who needed care. It's lucky he never got around to giving the scam artist the entire trust.
Caregivers should be prevented from abusing their relationship with the patient for personal gain. That would be a good law.
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If he changed the name of the beneficiary to his CG and was in his right mind, he has a right to do that. I don’t think the money is recoverable.

Why was a person who was a known “petty thief & crack cocaine addict” allowed to be your father’s CG?

Maybe she eased some of his loneliness and spent time with him and made him happy. Do you feel he was coerced into changing the beneficiary to her?

How long were they together? Can you say with certainty that he “thought she was going to be his next girlfriend”? That is conjecture & hearsay. Where was the family while this “crack cocaine addict” woman was spending time with him & perhaps filling a void he had?

Had you as the successor trustee not been overseeing him at least from afar? Was there a pattern of him withdrawing excessive amounts of money during that time on your review? Then you may have a basis for concern and maybe reverse it, but if he was deemed mentally competent he could sign over his money to whomever he wanted. You may have to take the loss and move on.
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Signed over? Not possible unless they were married or divorcing. Inheritance is different.

So, did he withdraw funds and give them to her OR name her beneficiary?
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andreakim Dec 30, 2018
He named her as the beneficiary. Go figure.
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I assume she was private pay. Because if she was with an agency, this would be a no no. I would talk to a lawyer. Police don't know all the ins and outs of the law. Maybe she has a record some type. I know I'd make it public what she did to make others aware.
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andreakim Dec 30, 2018
Sounds like a great idea. I will get h her name put out there. She does have a record and I can't figure out why my brother hired her.
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If you could show that your brother was mentally incompetent, you might be able to overturn his gift to the caregiver. Or you might have a case if you can show that she had undue influence over him or was threatening. But practically speaking, that money is not recoverable. She has probably already spent it.

If he was able to make his own decisions and just made a bad decision, there really isn't anything you can do. I can't believe she can get jobs with the background she has. Does no one do a background check before letting people into their home?
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andreakim Dec 30, 2018
Thank you for your input. He made a mistake. He actually believed that this gal was going to be his next girlfriend. That is what his friends told me. I am going to try to get some kind of legislation passed to prevent this kind of stuff from happening to others. Again, thank you.
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