My mother lives with my sister and she agreed to give my sister 400 a month for rent to live there. My sister recently put herself on our mother’s account while my mother was sick with a UTI. Now my mother has discovered that my sister is also taking another 700 a month for living with her. Combined with the 400 it’s almost half of her social security.

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I'm always a little curious when I see questions like this as to HOW you found this information out? You say your mom had "no knowledge" of your sister adding herself to her account, but you also say your mom "discovered" it after she was in the hospital with a UTI.

So, are you getting this info directly from mom - who, according to your profile has ALZ/dementia? In which case, are you completely sure she is in full understanding of the facts? Could it be, for instance, that your sister, with whom your mom is living, "added" herself to mom's accounts so mom's bills would be paid on time because mom was starting to forget what and when they were due? Or so the bills could be paid while mom was in the hospital, especially if that's a common occurrence?

At the end, I had to take on the paying of my mother's bills, because even without dementia, she was not keeping on top of her payments. Things like her health insurance, her estimated taxes, her utilities and the like. I didn't have to "add" myself to her account, because we did everything through online banking, but there are a lot of people who still want to write old-fashioned checks, perhaps your mom is one of these?

Or is it possible that mom is so deeply into her illness, that she is being paranoid about her money, which is also a symptom of dementia? Like maybe that $700 is an auto payment for something, and your mom can't understand that, so is accusing your sister of stealing it?

And if it does come down to sister "charging" mom $1100 to live with her, I still think that's a bargain. Especially for someone who is receiving caregiving along with the "rent".

Before you start making accusations, I think I would do a little more research as to what, exactly, is going on. Unless you want to create a rift between you and your sibling that might not be fixable when all is said and done.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to notgoodenough
AlvaDeer Apr 30, 2024
Yes. Yes. Yes.
If there is no relationship here between the sisters so that this sister cannot simply ASK, and if she is coming up with accusations when she isn't the caregiver, I think it arouses suspicions.
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So your mom SSA retirement income is rough $2,200 a month? And your Sister - who your mom lives with in Sissy’s home - has your mom’s share of cost to live in Sissys home @ $1,100, correct?

$1,100 all-in to pay for moms room & board with meals, utilities, cable, “chaffeur” service, laundry, maid services, medication management & companionship. What a deal. There’s lots of us on this site who would love LOVE to have a sibling set up to do this and do this for a parent with dementia and has had a UTI and who knows what other infirmities and do it for only 50% of monthy income.

$1100 a month is $275.00 a week; and will suss out to be under whatever your State has as its minimum wage. Even if your in a crappy wage State - like mine or my adjacents (LA, TX, MS) that has $7.25 hr min wage.

The cost for AL abt $4K - $7K and most do medication management and any transportation costs as an added on a la carte cost.

NH run 6K-18K. MC somewhere btw AL and NH.

Your mom is getting a deal. That Sissy even does this and continues to do this is amazeballs.
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Reply to igloo572
AlvaDeer Apr 30, 2024
Boy I could not agree more with this. I say, though, make this a care contract with an attorney, because otherwise this is EXACTLY what we see, a disgruntled sibling coming up with a handful of monkeywrenches to throw.
My opinion:
-If your mom is not of sound mind and now requires someone else to manage her finances, there is no more "discussing things" with your cognitively declined mom. If she could handle it, you and your sister wouldn't be involved
-I don't think this is just "renting your mom a room" for $400 a month. If your mom needs care.....fed, housed, meds given, never left alone, taken to dr appts, grocery shopping, bills managed, taxes files, laundry washed, help with bathing ect.... $400 doesn't touch it and quite frankly neither does $700.
- Do you think your mom drinks and eats $13 worth of food per day (3 meals total)? That alone is $400 a month.
- Call an assisted living facility to see what they charge to let your mom rent an efficiency apartment that includes meals and you will understand what I mean
-Or better yet, take on your moms care and get back with us and let us know if $400 is appropriate compensation for changing your life and taking on the responsibility of another person (.56cents per hr).

I am not trying to be harsh, I just think that the majority of the time when one sibling has taken on the responsibility, the other sibling doesn't have a clue what is involved, how hard it is and what it cost.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Jamesj
Faith51 May 11, 2024
Ty, well said and realistic. Being the full time caregiver, 24/7 parent expects everything free.
No it is not, have mom close the account and open another one, not giving sis the pin # for the debit card. Issue her a monthly check for $400.

Also if mom doesn't have a DPOA, this might be the time to get all her legal documents in place.

Hate to hear this but it can be resolved.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to MeDolly
Geaton777 Apr 29, 2024
The Mom cannot close a joint account without the other account owner's cooperation. We don't know if the sister is the FPoA, or other facts that would be important to know. If the OP is not her Mom's FPoA, then she shouldn't be directing her to be doing anything financial if her Mom has dementia.
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NO ONE can legally put themselves on the account of another in our country.
So something is quite wrong with this story.
Have to spoken with your sister, or is this one of those cases where the siblings cannot get along?

If you mother made your sister POA (which hopefully she did) then the sister would be on the account as the POA for mother, and yes, she would write checks for the rental costs.
It is a shame that someone isn't POA seeing an attorney, because the payment of "rental" is taxable while the payment of "shared living costs" for rent and food and whatever is NOT taxable. And there needs to be a really good paper trail of any payments for anything if mom in future is to qualify for any help from Medicaid should it be needed.
If your mother wishes to make YOU her POA you can address all of this.
You can also take your mother to an elder law attorney because if your sister is STEALING From mother then she can be investigated.

If you have concerns that you sister, who is rendering full time care to your mother (and 700 would be CHEAP for that) is abusive then call APS or see an elder law attorney.

A UTI (in most cases) does not preclude putting someone on your accounts, by the way. Most people do not go dotty with UTI, tho some do suffer some confusion.

This is a LEGAL MATTER. You require EXPERT advice, as those of us on Forum can do little but throw our hands up in the air with chagrin or offer our sympathy.

Check it out and I hope you will come back to update us about what you find after investigation.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Honesty, i think that if your mom is well taken care off. Well fed, clothes, medications and doctors on point, is safe and comfortable and all other needs are met, then let your sister do what she has to do. If you notice strange things like the opposite of the above then question your sis about specific points you see or feel need to be addressed. She's not making herself rich with $1100 hundred a month + she did it the right way by adding herself to the account point period, case closed.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to NJmom201

Response to TouchMatters. First, cool your jets. My answer was in no way sarcastic, it was a simple solution, and realistic reply to see if the $400 is warranted. Second, there is no way legally someone can "put herself on our mother’s account" without the mother's consent. Third, there is not enough info provided in the question to assume fraud as you stated "This appears to clearly be a fraud situation." Fourth, I certainly did not provide enough info for your assumption of "You do not know what you are talking about."

The sister is concerned about the cash, not the mother's living arrangements or medical treatments (UTI.) MY interpretation of the question. And there are several others here who read it the same way I did - those of us with firsthand experience. So before you tell someone "you don't know what you are talking about" reflect. In this instance, ask yourself which sister paid for the UTI treatment/meds, or was that part of the $400 arrangement?

We are all here because of similarly shared experiences and provide answers based on those experiences and opinions. I'm not sure why I received your ire today. Comments like "If you had the ability, you would encourage / recommend this writer contact an attorney. Clearly, you do not." are axiomatic of issues you are facing other than differences of opinion. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to CSorth
BurntCaregiver May 7, 2024

Well said.
I'm PoA for my AUnt in another state. To add myself to her account we both had to go there in person and the banker questioned her closely, I think to determine if she was being fooled or coerced.

My Mom (94) lives in the house next door, which my husband and I own. She pays rent enough to only cover the expenses for the house. This is basically half her SS check (she has other assets as well). I create an invoice every month and she pays me via auto transfer so that it's the same amount, same transaction description and payment happens on the same day of the month. I also buy all the food and do almost all the cooking, so she contributes a token amount for this as well. Even so, the cost of everything is outstripping her SS (and many other seniors as well).

If your Mom has dementia or memory loss, she may not remember agreeing to the financial arrangement. If your sister is your Mom's PoA, this also probably had to be done in person in front of an attorney and notarized by a notary. Usually the attorney privately interview the principle (the person creating the PoA) to determine capacity. It's a low bar, so even if she has a tiny bit of dementia and memory impairment, she probably "passed". But if you think there is financial abuse happening, you will need to take your actual proof to an attorney to sort it out.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Geaton777
acKENmind May 3, 2024
Same, but in addition, our attorney asked that we go to the doctor and get a letter stating that Dad was competent to make the decision in deciding to assign the DPOA as it basically gives full access to his accounts and decision making. The attorney was not willing to make a mistake. Dad had to fully understand what he was doing. Even then, the bank still had their own procedures for approving the joint account and adding me as POA.
Yes, I agree with Isthisreallyreal here. The cost of living today is too high, $400 is not worth much of anything. My rent has gone up from $900 to $1800 in 6 years.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to mstrbill
AlvaDeer Apr 30, 2024
And even at Trader Joe my black olives went from 2.00 to 2.39 and my broth in a box from 1.49 to 1.99 IN ONE WEEK.
Go figure all that. It just keeps going up. Happily so do my interest rates I get on my CDs.
Unhappily so does the interest rate on our national debt!
There we go.
Igloo above says Mom's getting a big bargain, and she IS.
But it would be good to get that in writing to keep the wolf (dressed as little red riding ) from the door.
Have your mom move in with you, you take the $400 a month and you see what 24/7 on call care is worth.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to CSorth
TouchMatters May 3, 2024
Absolutely not. There are legal issues involved.
Please THINK before you sarcastically respond here.
You do not know what you are talking about.
Caregiving is one issue - and not this one.
Stealing from a mother - taking all her income is quite another.
In addition, the writer NEVER indicated anything about caregiving.
And, if that were / is the situation, clear documentation of what daughter is doing, hours etc., payment records need to be upfront.

This appears to clearly be a fraud situation.

If you had the ability, you would encourage / recommend this writer contact an attorney. Clearly, you do not. Your post should not have been allowed to go through.
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