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My mother has been in some form of supervised residential living for nearly 10 years. She has Alzheimers' and finally made the transition to skilled nursing in 2015. I am the only one who lives close by. I am her Health Care Proxy, but my oldest sister - who lives overseas - is her Power of Attorney. In 2008, my sister created Revocable and Irrevocable trusts. As PoA, she has sole jurisdiction over the Rev trust; but our other sister and myself are co-trustees with her on the Irrevocable trust. We have been advised that on this particular trust, we three are equal trustees.


For several years, my other sister and I have been unable to get our sister, "Susan," to answer questions we have about our mother's finances, such as "how much is this elder care attorney charging?", questions about how money in the Pooled Disability Trust is being used, etc. She either ignores the questions, gets angry or defensive (and will shut off communication for months as a result), or gives us some non-answer, such as "I don't know." At times, it has been pulling teeth for us to all have shared access to our mother's online bank statements. I am an open book when it comes to our mother's medical issues, keep my sisters apprised of her health status etc. and I'm stymied as to why Susan won't reciprocate. I have tried telling her more assertively that we are ALL EQUAL trustees on this trust and have a right to know these answers. The more defensive and angry she gets, the more I wonder what's going on. I have asked around before whether she can legally be coerced to share the information with us (I live in Massachusetts, as does my mother) but it doesn't seem to be the case (?).


I learned today that a possible recourse is for my other sister and I to request a financial audit after our mother dies. I really would like to avoid having to do this - we've been through enough already over the years - but it seems to be the only recourse if Susan is unwilling to be transparent with us. (I should note that while we don't think she's embezzling funds, that she's using amounts here to subsidize travel expenses, storage space for her furniture, a cellphone for her husband during their visits, etc. and using the PoA mantle as a way to justify it all. It would be one thing if this benefit were open to all of us, but it's not.) Also, our mom is spending down and we need to know how much is left so that we can make informed decisions about what she needs and what we should put aside.


I guess my question is - can my sister be legally pushed to answer our questions pertaining to at least the Irrevocable trust (on which we are all three equal, in the text of the document), or give us access to financial statements? If she continues to refuse to answer, do we have any other options? Thank you. After about 6 years of this, I'm at the end of my patience.

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I am moving this question back to the front page to see if there is anyone who is familiar with this to give an answer :)
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