Follow
Share

How do you prove this? Mother is discreet about transactions for grandson. Previously provided houses and college tuition (never used for that purpose, it was fraud). Currently pays on cosigned loan for car, cash whenever he calls with weekly emergency medical, electrical, etc. This is only the stuff I know about.


Where to start? Thank you.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Just a thought... perhaps your mom has difficulty saying "No" to her grandson. She may be very happy to say, "talk to your aunt, I put her in charge of my money". And definitely be mindful of the "gifts" going forward. In AZ our state counts ANY donations, to charity, church... anything and there is a 5 year look back period. You would do well to consult an Elder Law Attorney for planning.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mom has dementia and my brother discovered my sister and her husband had taken a huge amount of money from my mom several years ago. We found this out when my mom went into a nursing home, and my brother started taking over her affairs. I truly believe my sister and her husband took advantage of my mom when my mom wasn't thinking clearly. My parents always gave us kids the same no matter what. If one got a bike, we got all did. My parents were always fair. I am really angry that my sister and her husband would have taken such a huge sum. They are adults and should have gone to a bank. The situation has caused a huge rift amongst my siblings. We don't trust my sister or her husband anymore. When we cleaned out my parents house recently, they r always their hands out like two vultures. It's sad that you think it won't happen in your family, but when money and possessions are involved there is a lot of greed. Please get an attorney. My sister was never honest, she should have told myself and my two other siblings,but somehow she feels entitled to everything my parents worked for their entire lives. Your attorney can go back and maybe you will need to take legal action to protect your mom. You'll never get the money back, but maybe legally you can prevent them taking anymore. Hope this helps. hugs and prayers. how sad that money tears family apart, my sister has been mean and defensive ever since we discovered her stealing! She will have to live with herself. I think that will be her punishment!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

JoAnn, what are the plans on selling the home?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Helping each other within a family unit is a very nice thing to do. However,  what the recipient needs to do is to be prepared to either repay the money or set it aside for her when she absolutely needs it and just return it to her. This would be the right thing to do if you're going to except help from your elder. When you're working and running into an opportunity and make the money back, at very least set it aside for the person who gifted you the money if you're in a position to do so. At very least set aside a special account with that person's name on it so that when they run into financial need, the money will be there for them. If they give you cash, set it into that special account with their name on it.  If you must borrow any of the money set aside for that person, at very least put the money back when you get paid. 

One question I have is this. Is she even competent to be shelling out that kind of money? Helping with expenses when you're able and of sound mind is one thing but people taking advantage is another. It sounds like someone may very well be taking advantage of the elder. It sounds like she has very good intentions to see her family get ahead, but does she know the difference between helping and enabling?
It sounds to me like the person milking her for money needs to start taking a little bit of responsibility and stop depending on her as much as he is now. You may want to ask him what he will do when one day she is no longer around and he doesn't inherit anything. This is a tough question I personally would ask him now so that he can hopefully realize and start taking responsibility.
Meanwhile, you may actually want to get her mentally evaluated to check her competency. If she happens to be incompetent, I would go for guardianship and take over all of her financial affairs and stop this other person from getting any more money if she happens to have been incompetent for quite some time. I would also go after the money he wrongfully took, but make him re-pay with interest. You may actually need a lawyer for this if you find out she's been in competent all along. If she's been in competent all along, this may very well be how he's been getting money from her.
However, if she's competent, I'm not sure there's going to be much you can do, but you may actually consider talking to her about becoming her POA. You may want to be in a position where you can somehow take over her financial affairs to some level or another.
You may also want to talk to her about getting her final expenses arranged such as a preneed for her funeral. She's going to need money for her final disposition, and she should take the money she's giving him and pay on a preneed that you make only through the funeral home. If she died today and has no money, she can blame herself if she has nothing to pay for her funeral and disposition. She really needs to start taking some of her own responsibility and she needs to think of her future and start paying on a preneed with the money she's giving him. Instead of giving it to him, put that toward a preneed policy
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Many adult children will have their hands out for their mother's/gma's money. Is it right? No, of course not! I have 2 cousins (1 living and 1 deceased) who accepted their parents' $$$$$$ time after time. Yes, that much! I'm really against it and in this case, the relatives should "no, Gma, I won't take your money."
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I don't care if someone has dementia or not this is financial abuse against an elderly grand mother.See a lawyer and get a POA for her finances.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

How much money does your mother have? Is she very wealthy? What happens when she needs more care? Who is going to pay for it?

Will you be the one who has to take care of your mother because she has no money to take care of herself?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hope I didn't sound too harsh. Didn't mean to. When my Mom took my nephew in she was 80. She gave him a home and fed him I was expected to do the rest. Nephew has physical and neurological problems. I delt with Social Security for his
SSD and other facilities for help. "I" made his major decisions but I was too hard on him when I expected him to do. His disabilities don't keep him from getting a shower daily, which he needs and she says everyother day is OK. He can clean up after himself vacumm and do dishes. But she didn't expect him to do this. Now Mom is in an AL and he is living in her home till its sold...I expect him to do. I could not get thru to her why she had to let him do. Eventually, he will be on his own and will need to know basic skills.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

First, is ur Mom competant? If so, u don't have a leg to stand on. A POA only comes into effect if the person cannot make their own decisions. But, still get one so if ur Mom is declared incompetant u can stop the payments. If you can't stop Mom from paying his bills, maybe u can have her ask him for the bill he needs paid and she can pay it directly. That way u know he isn't pocketing the money. Companies don't care who pays just as long as the bill is paid. And ur sister...no matter how much money she and her husband have they r not responsible for their sons support. The new husband is right in cutting nephew off and really ur Mom isn't helping she is enabling him. He needs to learn how to stand on his own two feet but now she has set up a pattern. She has done him no good. Gmom won't be here forever.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I would suggest researching the laws in your state regarding financial exploitation of the elderly. You may be surprised to find that it takes little to meet the base requirements of breaking the law. For instance, in Virginia the laws are so strict that coercion is sufficient; in other words, simply asking for money in some circumstances is a felonious offense. Once you find the laws, it would be wise to print and make copies and present them to anyone you talk to, including an attorney. Here's a good place to start: http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/financial-crimes-against-the-elderly-2013-legis.aspx

Yes, the grandson is committing financial exploitation, no matter how willing your mother.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Family + one family member who has no morals = what most of us have dealt with at one time or another.

Get that POA signed and notarized and dive in with both feet. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO! Seems like you've been muddling about with "concerns" for far too long. As daddy would say "fish or cut bait". Either (legally) confront this moocher with all the force you can muster or let it go and literally forget about it, and let it continue.

My brother was a huge mooch. He felt 'entitled' and mother just gave and gave. She "gave" herself into losing her home, the respect of the other 5 kids in the family and actually, the respect of the "moocher" who thought it was hilarious that he could just show up, look pathetic and mother was scrabbling for the checkbook.
The other 5 of us (and dad!) talked ourselves blue in the face, begging her to stop enabling him to basically rob her. We all gave up. He died, having taken over $150,000 in home equity (that is from 1985, so I don't even know what it would be in today's $$) Silverware, antiques, coin collections, you name it.
It NEVER stopped. Dad put mom on a cash only basis, but as he was bedbound with Parkinson's--well, that just made it a little harder to give him large sums of money.

This brother is now deceased. We honestly sighed from relief, we were all worried he'd take every single penny from mother. He sure tried.

I wish you luck. I personally didn't get involved when all this was going on---he owed everyone in the family money when he died.

Good Luck--really. This is going to be ugly. (However, if your mother is doing this with a clear mind and without coercion, you probably can't do much. You don't say much about how SHE feels about this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I, too, would be angry and appalled that my nephew was taking advantage of my mother's largesse in this way. However, you will probably not be successful in getting mom to stop. And, as others have pointed out, it is HER MONEY. She can burn it if she wants to. I get the sense that she's pretty well off financially, so (unless she writes him a humongous check) you don't have to be concerned about things like Medicaid's look-back.

What it boils down to is that you feel he is getting way more than his fair share of mom's assets and he is not particularly worthy of them. (He's 'living high' rather than paying for a child's medical treatment or some other reason that you might see as deserving).

There's a whole lot of judging going on here. That's not to say that I wouldn't feel exactly the same way, just that you ought to identify your motives so you can be clear-headed in your planning.

I'd start by telling my nephew directly that I'm worried about Mom's finances and am thinking about calling in an elder law attorney or the county's senior protection office to take a look. I'd have a conversation with my sister about it beforehand. Maybe the two of you could talk to the nephew together.

Be sure get the POA before you do anything like this – you can download one on a site like Legal Zoom and take mom to get it notarized.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Do you have to - report those gifts as income? not sure I knew that; have a similar situation in my family, even as we speak; what is he going to do when granma's gone? that's what's happened here but as far as this situation; I'm getting the idea granma and granpa aren't together?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Is needing Medicaid someday a possibility for your mother, or does she have sufficient financial resources that this won't be an issue? If the latter, is her grandson taking enough of her money that this situation could eventually change? Or is it more of the "principle" involved? If it is simply the latter, perhaps your sister could be made to understand that providing this money is preventing the grandson from maturing and keeping him dependent on her. Does she feel a certain need to spoil him and have him dependent on her? I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but I believe these bases should be covered to help us make appropriate suggestions.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks for those suggestions. Five years ago there were lots of emails back and forth between family members, no resolution or commitment to do anything. Are you thinking along the lines of an intervention ( with or without professional mediator)?I think mom would be hostile to that.

You are right, I shouldn't have to do this alone, that is part of the stress. My dad and two of three sisters who want something done are in different parts of country. I could ask dad to pay for legal consultations, he can certainly afford it (we discussed this when he was here, he talks to mom, gets upset about it, but does nothing). He is ninety with minor heart issues. Thanks again for suggestions.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would certainly consult an attorney. Maybe one option to explore, if your mother agrees to it, is to have your name on your mother's accounts and have it set up in such a way that two signatures are required when a cheque is written and any money transferred.

Also, if the rest of the family is on board that this 'sponging' has to stop, I would call a family meeting and discuss this. You shouldn't have to go this alone.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

hello caring2,

You are right, it is madness. After much research there seems to be more recognition that elder financial exploitation is a huge problem in our society. There is also very little advice on specific steps one can take to stop the abuse. I think that the advice in prior posts to talk to an attorney is good. I hope that others with similar situations will post over time with their experience and suggestions.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This is ridiculous! No other suggestions other than wishing you all the best to put a stop to this madness!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Support has been from about age 21 to today, age 37.
I suppose that complete lack guidance from mostly absent father (out of the picture now); no male authority figure for guidance. Only a guess, of course.

Everyone in my family wants this to stop and I am thinking that it is up to me to address it, to find a solution. It really weighs on me every day.

Thanks.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

How old is this nephew? And - it seems so obvious I didn't think to ask - what's stopping him standing on his own two feet?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Churchmouse,

Thanks for reply,

My sister stopped support (not spoiling) my nephew when she remarried, that is when he turned to my mom.

Five years ago immediately after mom's heart problems started my dad wrote a very specific email instructing grandson to stop relying on mom. Today that dependency is worse than ever.

I think that you are correct that consult with attorney would be first step. Mom has agreed to have me as POA for health care and finances. I believe that is only if she becomes disabled and unable to manage finances. I should get that completed right away.
There is already major tension in family (three sisters and father) over this very issue. Thanks for the advice, POA and attorney consult is first step.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

So his mother is your sister? And she was in the habit of spoiling her son until her new husband put a stop to it?

You might see a lawyer about how to give the grandson formal notice to desist. On the other hand: to the outside observer his behaviour is just disgusting. Sponging off an old lady like this! Are you not able to tell him so, clearly but tactfully?

But if your mother transferred the money to him without asking for documentation and of her own free will, where's the fraud? His excuses and reasons might have been lies, but they don't amount to fraud.

I think you don't have Power of Attorney for your mother, do you? So you have no formal responsibility to protect her interests?

You are clearly concerned about creating tension and conflict in the family.

You have no actionable evidence of fraud or financial abuse.

So essentially, you're just appalled by your nephew's cheerful exploitation of his grandmother. And who wouldn't be?

Is there a family lawyer you might have a constructive conversation with?
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Thank you for your response, it is very much appreciated. With regard to houses, my mother bought houses in her name, in two different cities, and her grandson and family lived there. No slight of hand, just major expenses being financed by Mom.  The tuition money is the one that was likely never used for that purpose, the college has no record of grandsons attendance.

Recent money transfers for medical, etc. are the ones I am not sure about, there is no expense documentation, so I wonder if this could be construed as fraud, and maybe easier to prove than elder abuse.

My mother has indulged her grandchild for 15+ years, ever since his mom remarried to new husband who will not tolerate any assistance. They live large. They turn a blind eye to the situation.

To start I will talk with my mom, and grandson.

Would you recommend law enforcement or elder law attorney, or wait on this. This would be sure to stir things up with whole family, and not sure how to prove elder abuse or fraud.

However I cannot sit idly by and see mom's savings be mishandled. I really appreciate your thoughtful response, glad found this site.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

You can speak to:

your mother
your nephew
your nephew's parents

and explain that payments given to this young man by his grandmother must be accounted for in any case. And, if Medicaid may ultimately come into it too, you could also point out that these sums will then need to be repaid.

You say your mother provided him with "houses." ?! I can understand a person claiming he needed to pay college tuition fees and actually going ski-ing instead, but how could there be a similar sleight of hand over a whole house? Let alone more than one?

Regarding co-signatures on loans, and similar undertakings such as guarantees, you need to tell your nephew to stop asking her. Be blunt about it. You can try telling your mother to stop doing it but the odds are that as soon as nephew wheedles she'll forget everything you've said. So you have to tackle him.

On the abuse question: has it always been your mother's habit to indulge this grandchild in this way? Going all the way back? If so, he's more carrying on a regrettable tradition than abusing her vulnerability in old age. Nevertheless, now that she is older and more frail, it is time to call a halt in any case.

Is there any reason why you can't expect his parents' co-operation?
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

From your profile, it appears that your Mom's health issues are heart/stroke. Is there any Alzheimer's/Dementia involved?   If not, then Mom can spend her money any way she wishes, even if you disapprove.

All you can do is try to advise her that later down the road if she needs Medicaid to help pay for her care and housing, she may not get it right away because Medicaid will consider the loans, tuition, and any money handed over to Grandson as "gifts", which any of this was done within the past 5 years.  This will be complex for an elder to understand.

If Mom is not handling her finances well, see if she will allow you to help her as long as you have financial Power of Attorney.   Hopefully she has all her legal documents in order, POA, Living Will, etc.   I know for my Dad when I asked him if I could help him write out his checks for bills, he was more than happy to hand over the whole responsibility.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter