I am executor of my brother's estate, who for the last six years before his death, had assigned his eldest daughter POA over the family home and two rental properties and the management of payments to for all his assisted living and all other financial affairs. Before anyone knew she had squandered all his savings and the proceeds from the sale of two of his rental properties on her gambling addiction and now she has moved into the family residence which was left to two siblings in the will. The siblings are in desperate need of money and want to sell the family house which is now owned by them exclusively (left to them in the will) but the errant ex POA daughter will not move out and the courts are not performing evictions due to covid etc. The siblings cannot obtain access to prepare the house to sell and are having to borrow money to pay the property taxes etc.

The extended family has decided against filing charges of elder abuse as they don't want to see her go to jail even though everyone is highly incensesd.

The errant ex POA daughter has no apparent income or means of support and will likely become homeless as no one in the family will now take her in.

What suggestions or advice can I give to the siblings ?

I think it's incredibly foolish to not pursue legal charges.

She won't necessarily end up incarcerated. Often, in cases such as this, instead of jail, the person is offered a period of probation, and is ordered to make restitution; she will also probably be ordered to go to Gamblers' Anonymous (or some such program), which may or may not help her in the long run. Even if she never has the the ability to pay back in full, the courts can garnish any future earnings she makes to at least give something back to the estate.

I would also think leveling charges will make getting her out of the house much, much easier. Remember, the moratorium against evictions is for non-payment of rent; I believe the courts are (virtually) starting to hear other eviction cases that aren't due to non-payment - as is the case here (owners of the home wanting to sell the property).

That she has behaved in such a manner that "she will become homeless" - as harsh as this may sound, it is on her that she has burned her bridges with her behavior; if her family allow this to continue, they might all end up in serious financial distress, and then they may all find themselves in that situation.

Tell them to call the police and start the process. If she abused her position as POA and stole from the estate, she should be held accountable.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to notgoodenough

I 100% agree with Notgoodenough that criminal charges should be pursued or leveraged.

Also, why can't the new owners of the home move in? If criminal daughter doesn't own the home, and there's no written lease agreement, what's to prevent the new owners from moving in and making her stay there very uncomfortable while fixing up the place and waiting for a court date? This may be a question for an attorney as I'm sure laws on this differ from state to state. If they did move in they'd need to lock up everything of value, especially their IDs.

This woman will go on to victimize others eventually. She needs to feel the full impact of her choices and have a very clear deterrent to reoffending. If there is no justice this sore will continue to fester in the family forever. If you prosecuted her and she were convicted and got some sort of probation but then KNEW that if she reoffended she'd be a full-on felon and THEN go to jail, she might change her trajectory or maybe just prevent someone else from becoming her next victim.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Geaton777
notgoodenough Apr 6, 2021
That's actually a diabolically clever idea -move in anyway! I'm not sure if *I * would be able to actually follow -I can't even imagine how uncomfortable it would likely be - but it might be worth it to consider. I think so long as they don't constructively try to evict her - ie: throw her stuff out, lock her out of the bathroom, etc. - and she's neither on the deed and doesn't have a lease, I don't know why the legal owners wouldn't be able to get access into the home. Maybe start to get rid of the dad's stuff in order to get the house ready for sale!
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I’m going to approach this from a slightly different viewpoint.... If your siblings are now the new recorded owners of the property as per the distribution of assets of your brothers estate & its all be done with probate judge sign off and all recorded in courthouse filings, then, Sissy is not a tenant, she’s trespassing on private property and is a squatter.

It’s a whole different situation than what an eviction would be.

Sissy might have had an agreement with Dad & been a tenant of her Dads but he is deceased so that agreement & relationship doesn’t exist anymore.

This is more, in my experience, sheriffs Dept action than the police. I’d suggest that you approach both sheriffs office AND start to find a very experienced Realtor who is used to dealing with difficult properties. I would not have your sibling try to FSBO the house, they need a Realtor who will deal with the property and the Realtor will know of a no BS property management group that will look after the property & often. Yes it will cost but $ can all be paid from the Act of Sale proceeds. To me, your gonna have to get outsiders involved as y’all were flat not willing to get tough with her in the past & she knows that you have no spine.

I would not hesitate in getting this going cause sounds like she’s a bad addict & if she’s that AND mean spirited, I’d be concerned she can find a shady house flipper & they can craft paperwork to “own” the property via an LLC and then flip it to another scumbag LLC.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to igloo572
NeedHelpWithMom Apr 6, 2021
Interesting post.

I just looked up squatters rights in our state.

This does shed new light on the situation.
This is a criminal offense. POA is a Fiduciary responsibiliity, and what she did is a criminal offense. If you don't want to bring charges or see her in jail then I guess there is not a thing in the world to be done about this. She just defrauded her father and got away with it.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Minnbound Apr 9, 2021
Sounds like great advice, but going through something similar with a personal representative (a fiduciary registered with the probate court) of our mother's estate. He sold the house and kept all the money for himself.
I went to Attorney General, local Police and multiple lawyers and ALL said it is a civil case and that he committed no crime that the government can go after him for. We cannot bring criminal charges against him only the government can do that.
We can sue him in civil court which would cost us thousands with no guarantee that he would pay the judgement anyways.
The system is in the favor of those that commit these obvious criminal acts but leave the victims to fend for themselves.
Tent the house for termites and give her 30 minutes' warning before setting off the bug bombs.

Change the locks when the tent comes off, call the police to meet her when she comes back, and voila -- problem solved.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to MJ1929
IamAmy Apr 7, 2021
Wow! Good one.
My opinion here but as the Executor you could have asked for an accounting of Dads assets. Actually, if people knew this was going on they may have been able to have the POA revoked since she was stealing.

I too think she should be brought up on charges. I would also see what can be done about her being evicted since there are new owners of the house.
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Reply to JoAnn29

If you're not going to press charges, there's no reason to ask for advice.
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Reply to sjplegacy

Find out when she goes out, arrange a lock smith, and move in and change the locks. Pack all her stuff up and leave it on the lawn. It's their house and she is lucky they are not having her prosecuted for defrauding your brother - personally I think they should use the law against her for that, because no punishment is encouraging her addiction, take away the resources and she will have to accept their help with that, or help in prison, or go cold turkey on the streets. Currently she is in the house and I suspect that if she chooses to sell it as the adult in situ then it could cost a great deal to stop her. The two siblings who own the house really MUST seen some legal advice on this one and not try to be understanding of the daughter, it is likely to turn out badly for them all if they try and be reasonable. Tough love - not permission to carry on.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to TaylorUK

It is foolish to not press charges.

If she was a stranger who had robbed your family you would not hesitate to press charges.

It may also help the eviction process to have her in jail.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Tothill
MJ1929 Apr 7, 2021
Not to mention it might help her gambling addiction to go cold turkey for a while.

The money's gone and not recoverable, so the best thing is to prosecute and not spend another dime on her if possible.
Original Poster here - UPDATE. On behalf of the now current owners siblings, I contacted the
local police and detectives dealing with criminal elder abuse in the "special victims unit" and their response is that the errant daughter DID have legal authority to sell properties and access bank funds as POA and though she may have misapproptiated the assets, the owner of the assets is now deceased and they said in order for them to prosecute a crime there must be a victim and the victim is dead so they cannot prosecute. My reason for contacting the police was to set up a pre packaged situation that the owner siblings merely had to agree to in order for prosecution to proceed so the POA thief daughter could be removed from the property by arrest. The silly detectives recommended that
the matter be pursued civilally with a law suite which is just plain stupid.

Apparently it is pretty easy to get away with elder abuse and now the thief daughter in possession of the house without permission of the current owner siblings now wants to challenge the will which left the property to the other siblings. FYI. There have been zero dollars charged or paid for executor fees.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to preventec47
AlvaDeer Apr 7, 2021
It looks like you do have your answer. You will have to move forward under the law to evict. What a mess. I feel so bad for you.
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