My husband has been primary caregiver for both his parents for many years. He lives nearby and buys them groceries, brings them to doctor's visits and takes care of any needs they have, including lawnwork, fixing things, etc. His brother lives about a half hour away and visits a few times a month and is not as involved as my husband. For years he never did anything for them, never even showed up for their birthdays, or any special event, while my husband has been to every one. Both his parents are in their nineties and have health problems, but are still fairly sharp, although his mother is getting frailer and has moments of confusion.
His parents have always told my husband that he would be POA when the time came. However, his brother went behind his back and persuaded their mother to give him POA about a year ago. He also got the credit card and the check book, and is in charge of all their financial affairs. My husband was upset at being excluded but said nothing, and respected his mother's wishes.
Not long after my BIL got POA, my MIL started complaining that she had no money for things, and would sometimes get upset. She also started criticizing my husband for things that he hadn't done, and started calling him 'sneaky', out of the blue. My husband got suspicious, sat down and told her how upset he was that she apparently not happy with him. She apologized, told him she didn't know why she had been angry with him and agreed to make him co-POA. She asked him to make arrangements with his brother. She also told him he could have access to all the bank and credit card statements to see where the money was going.
My husband contacted his brother who agreed to do this, but the next time he talked to his mother she had changed her mind, and told him to mind his own business and leave his brother alone. He now knew that his brother has been influencing his mother behind the scenes and working against him. Eventually my mother told my husband to just call the lawyer himself and make the POA arrangements. This was three months AFTER he told his brother to do it. My BIL finally gave him the bank and credit card statements, at their mother's insistence, and my husband was shocked at how much money his brother was spending, up to $2000, sometimes more, a month on himself and his wife. One credit card statement was over $3000. When he told his mother, she was shocked and upset, but the next time she saw him she said that his brother 'needed it'. Of course he doesn't need it, he is comfortably off, has expensive cars and goes on vacation twice a year. Unfortunately, he's playing on his mother's good nature and guilting her into allowing him to spend freely.
At this point, my husband is waiting for the lawyer to prepare the POA paperwork, but has found out that his brother is still trying to talk his mother out of the co-POA arrangement. On top of this, my father-in-law knows nothing about his son spending thousands of dollars every month. My MIL insists that he shouldn't be told because he would be furious, and would put a stop to it immediately. Most of the money comes from my FIL's pension. Isn't this abuse of POA if my BIL is spending his father's money without his consent? Even if my MIL gives consent, is my BIL violating the POA agreement? My husband is still worried that his brother with talk their mother out of the POA, even though the paperwork is almost ready. What can he do, if anything, to protect his parents from his greedy brother and his wife?
My husband has high blood pressure and other ailments, and the stress of this is really getting to him. He genuinely loves and cares for his parents, while his brother is just using them for what he can get.