My mother recently moved into an assisted living.

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Brother is threatening to sue. She told me I could take whatever I wanted. I didn't take much. but brother had sent me an email saying "you cannot take anything or sell or give away anything". He lives out of state and has been an absent son for 30 years. anyway.. my mom has the right to let me take what ever I want , right? She had made a list years ago of things she wanted to give us. but her verbal permission has more weight than that list since she is alive , right? My brother is POA. He doesn't communicate with me.. Does he have to share any financial reports?

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Sounds like you guys aren't on the best of terms. I would let your mother deal with him. She can give her things to whoever she chooses. He is POA, but as long as she is mentally competent what she says goes. POA gives someone the authority to do things that are the wishes of the grantor. A POA does not give anyone the power to be boss. If your mother tells you that you can have something, she should also let your brother know. I wouldn't count on verbal permission, since your brother can say that never happened. I would get it in writing, since it looks like it may get nasty.

Since you don't have POA, it may be best not to sell anything unless the money goes directly to your mother.
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Why on earth is he POA? He has been absent for 30 years? Really? Why doesn't Mother simply make you the POA?

Has your mother been judged to be incompetent by a court?
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If you were given things that have monetary value it could become a problem for mom if she needs medicaid within the next 5 years, as POA perhaps bossy brother is looking out for mom's financial security.
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If your mother is competent, I understand she is free to give her property to whomever she wants to, even a total stranger she might meet on the street. Did your brother say why he would sue? His having POA allows him to act in your mothers interest, not override her choices. The biggest problem I see is the waste of time and money dealing with a lawsuit that the brother is sure to lose. I agree with the folks who said that your mother should talk to your brother. She should politely tell him to shut up.
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DavidW63, excuse me, but you are wrong, the current POA most definitely does not have to agree, in order for mom to change POA. All mom has to do is revoke her former POA document and send a copy to him. And that information is widely available on nearly every state goverment website-- no need for a lawyer visit to revoke a POA, however a good idea to name a new POA at the same time you revoke the old one. A lawyer visit to do this could cost $400 or more, in most states you only need a notary seal / signature (get at least 3 copies made). Last time my dad did this it was a whopping $12.00. Put one copy in your safe deposit box, one copy in your home safe, and some people file another copy with their county courthouse (or keep it in another location).
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Hang on: your profile says that you and brother have joint financial and healthcare POA. Is that correct? (You still can't just help yourself to your mother's property, but it does make a difference.)
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I have the same question as Jeanne. Why in the world is he POA if he has been absent for thirty years?! How does he even know what was there? How long ago was POA signed? If mom is competent, maybe she would update her documents.
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As for your question regarding brother having to share financial information with you - no, he doesn't unless it is a stipulation written into the POA agreement - which rarely seems to be the case in most POA agreements. As far as the stuff goes - did you take something that had been previously promised to your brother - even though you had your mothers permission? If so, I would urge you to return the item. It might have meant something to him and if he's doing the POA responsiblities - something he feels he deserved. Regardless of the right or wrong of your brothers thinking regarding the item - is it worth the bad feeling that will come between you and him? I imagine things will become increasingly difficult with your mother as she declines physically and mentally with age - being on decent terms with your brother will only benefit you both as you continue down this bumpy road.
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He can have you arrested. I suggest putting it all back. It is his duty to keep all the finances confidential and to secure the property, including changing the locks.
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If your mother wants you to have something, she needs to tell your brother so and leave it to your brother to decide whether you can be given items without creating problematic financial considerations further down the line.

It isn't enough for her to have said to you that you can take anything you like; and if you just think this through you'll see why. Anybody can say "oh but mother said I could", can't they? And who's to know whether mother did or not, and whether mother understood all the implications of what she said or not?

Your brother will be held accountable for what happens to your mother's money and property. Send him a list of every single item that you have removed from your mother's house, and if he still wants you to give them back then do so. You may find that if they genuinely have no significant monetary value he will decide not to bother.
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