Can any one help me please? My father has late stage Alzheimers and is in a private care home. I am one of four children (2 boys / 2 girls) - I'm the eldest boy. My eldest sister and younger brother both have powers of attorney (they are the wealthy 2 in the family) and believe these were done before dad was admitted to the home. Although very close to dad, staying with him for 1 week in 4 before becoming really poorly - I never questioned being given power of attorney as I was not living close and my brother lived round the corner. However I'm not close to either my eldest sister or brother as indeed is my other sister. I had no say in putting dad into the home/location. I was told by Dad 2 years ago and by my brother that I was executor in his will and that his property/assets were to be divided equally 4 ways. There is now no communication between my eldest sister/brother and me despite my efforts to text/phone. The only good thing is that I have a good relationship with the Care manager so I can arrange specific dates to take dad out. I am semi disabled myself with an underlying chronic health condition and am concerned about my inheritance (Want dad to live for as long as possible but dont want the other two to misuse/take everything) and am worried for the following reasons: My eldest sister has dad's credit card/bank card and has with made excessive withdrawals in past (prior to dads incapacity). The House although not up for sale (I believe dads income covers the costs of the home but not certain) has been left now for 14 months and is looking terrible - cobwebs/damp/grounds full of weeds (generally unkept). I just dont know what to do and have limited funds myself. I dont want the situation to arise that Dad leaves us and both my middle sister and I discover that the other two have misappropriated dad's money /assets when we could have stopped it by intervening earlier. Can any one please help or at least point me in the right direction so it can put mine and my middle sister's mind at rest." David

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Thank you for your comments and advice. Alot to think about here. I do accept that there may be no money let at the end of the day and provided it has all been spent on dads welfare then I will be happy with that. The thing that makes it worse is the 'no communication' element to all of this. The only reason I want to interact with this is to put my brother and sister on notice that they have a legal obligation to act appropriately in their capacity as Attorneys and that they will be accountable if there has been any inappropriate financial activity in respect of themselves.
Your comments around the trust issue with my sister stem from her writing a cheque for £25000 on dads bank account 4 months before going into the care home payable to her daughter for deposit on a house. Dad was ill at the time and she took him to the bank without any other family member knowing. She also moved to America 5 yrs ago to marry a wealthy businessman but before she left got dad to sign a standing order for 600 pounds per month payable to her bank account. I was told all this 2 years ago by my brother who found out on applying for POA. We were talking at the time. Our contact stopped when my sister returned 2 years ago following her divorce. (Shes now back with him - married twice to him). At which time she also aquired POA. Since this time my self and my middle sister have been left out. You may have deduced that Sister 1 was dads favourite - I have no issue with that but believe me shes miked the situation.
In terms of money Dad has enough pension income to cover home expenses - thats why I am worried about his home.
Not sure what Im going to do - guess I might have to let it drop.... Ill have to think about it more.
Thank you once again for your thoughts/advice.
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Resents you "for some reason"..?

Is it really that much of a mystery?

The perfect upstanding citizen and guardian of an elder would, like the prodigal son's brother was expected to, welcome the reconciliation between you and your father.

The reality, alas, we all being only human and born to frailty, is that when you have been a saint to a parent and that parent is then jubilant at the return of a child who hasn't lifted a finger for many years...

You see where I'm going with this.

Look. If your father is comfortable and well looked after, if you have a good relationship with the care home, and if as far as you can easily tell there are no financial concerns related to his welfare, then I should just let it ride. Continue to make overtures to the two POA siblings and aim to improve communication there.

You could ask the care home manager about the LPA status. Your father's records ought to state which sibling(s) has what responsibility, or if she can't tell you because of resident confidentiality you can check with the OPG (Office of the Public Guardian) - they provide a free search service, it takes a few days, you just fill in a form saying who you're asking about and what's it to you.

You say your sister used your father's credit card prior to his incapacity for "excessive withdrawals." Oh? 1. How do you know? 2. How do you know it was a) excessive and b) inappropriate?

You also don't know what the status of the house is. Do you know how your father's care is funded? Again, it may be that the care home manager (they're not all as discreet as they strictly ought to be) will be able to tell you whether he is self-pay/privately insured, or funded by the local authority. If it's the latter, then the local authority will be claiming back the costs from the sale of the house after your father passes away; which might explain why the siblings have allowed it to fall into disrepair, if they think none of you will be getting much out of it anyway.

Or it might not - it might be that they haven't been able to face the "you're not going home" conversation with your father, or it might be that they just haven't tackled it because they're busy.

Again, look. What you want to avoid is starting out from the point of view of someone who suspects his probably blameless and filial siblings of hiving off assets for their own gain, doing down their hard-up brother and sister while rubbing their hands and going "heh heh heh..."

Are they con-artists and thieves, to your knowledge? Because that's essentially how you're picturing them.

You should have time in hand to work on communication. This is tricky, I know - my brother and sister were joint EPAs (as it was then) while I was mother's primary carer, and I have the scars to prove it. But you don't have any automatic right to know your father's financial business, so although you naturally and factually have an interest in how well his affairs have been handled you also can't insist that they tell you. It can be both frustrating and offensive, and I sympathise.

But if you can build trust, you will be able to get a clearer picture of the financial history. Then you will know whether your father is running a surplus or building up debt; you will be able to suggest constructive things to do about the house; and you will have some idea of what sort of estate you will be splitting four ways, in the fullness of time.

On that last point - if you don't expect anything you won't be disappointed. Attend to your own plan assuming it will be zero, and then if it isn't zero it'll be a nice surprise. But don't count on it because that is how things get hairy.
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David, I hope things work out for you.
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Thank you for all your comments Im very greatful
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Yes in Uk - I feel really bad putting this on here but Im a person that has no regrets and loves life so i try and do things so I can say I did that and if it didnt work then at least I tried. The sad part in all of this is that my brother has been a saint to dad but resented me for some reason. I was estranged from family due to work and personal reasons (Mum left us all when I was 10 and the others too with my dad - She followed a glamourous life in Spain minus all the kids) I reunited with Dad in 2008 following a cancer diagnosis - He saved me!Im no 3 child my brother was 4th
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Those with financial POA are responsible for managing the resources in the principal's best interest. Human nature being what it is, sometimes they are not very responsible about that. Sometimes they even spend the principal's money on themselves (which is against the law.) Mostly they do the best they can with what they have to work with.

How do you know that POA Sister's withdrawals were excessive? The important thing is what she used the money for. A comfortable chair that Dad could get out of easily? A new television for her own home? The first one is reasonable; the second is illegal (unless he approved it.) You say this was prior to Dad's incapacity. Why wouldn't have he objected if she was spending it on herself?

Perhaps letting the house deteriorate is not in Dad's best interest. I doubt that would be considered malfeasance, though. And perhaps they have plans to sell the lot to someone who will demolish the house. Who knows? Meanwhile, they have to pay for insurance and property taxes out of Dad's funds. The unfortunate part here is not communicating with you. They don't have to ask your opinion, but it certainly would contribute to family harmony if they would at least talk to you about this.

The person(s) who have the responsibility of deciding where a principal should reside is the healthcare POA (often established in an advance directive). Again, talking to family members is a courteous gesture, but not required.

Do you know approximately what your dad's resources are worth, or were a couple of years ago? Do you know what his private care home costs? (Ask the care manager you are on good terms with -- maybe not Dad's cost specifically, but in general what the costs are for that home.) The typical range for assisted living in the US is $3,200 to $5,500 per month, depending on location and services needed. The national average is $4,300. The financial POA must pay this amount and also costs for the vacant home and health insurance and supplies and clothing and haircuts and clothes and any other recurring debts your father has out of his funds. With this information you can figure approximately how long Dad's money will last for his care.

I hate to say this, but except for very wealthy parents, most who have expensive chronic conditions (dementia is very expensive) use up all their own money, and are seldom able to leave a financial legacy. This is a sad new reality for society.

I wonder if the poor maintenance of your father's house is a sign the POAs are concerned about how long Dad's funds will last for his care?

Here's what I suggest:

Figure out how much of Dad's resources are likely to be left when he dies, assuming he lives 6 more months, 1 year, 18 months, etc. Is one-quarter of this amount worth a major family fight?

If a substantial amount is potentially at stake and if you have some concrete evidence that Dad's funds are being misappropriated, ask Adult Protective Services (APS) to investigate.
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If in the U.S., if you are executor, then part of your job will be to provide financial reports. To do that effectively you will have to review expenditures for a period of time prior to death. If there is family dysfunction get an elder law attorney to help negotiate the system. Keep everything honest, attorney can help with that. That attorney will be paid with estate funds.
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I'll assume you are. It sounds like it, and I need to go out - back later.

Sibling order is 1 girl, 2 boy, 3 girl, 4 boy. You are #2, and the people with LPA are #1 and #4, yes?

Do they have joint LPA? Joint and several LPA? Or does one have LPA for finance, the other for health and welfare? You need to find out what their authority is.

Were you and #3 sister listed as "people to be told" when the LPA(s) was/were registered?

It is important to note that all powers of attorney cease on the death of the principal.
At that point you, as an executor of your father's estate, will become responsible for dealing with his affairs and for implementing his will. I think it unlikely your father would have made you sole executor, though - isn't it more probable that you are jointly appointed with one or more siblings?

But in any case, you can legitimately ask for information about your father's assets because in due course you will be responsible for their administration; so on a simple need to know basis, you do need to. Or you will need to. The rub is that you don't right now.

Was there an identifiable falling-out occasion with your sister and/or brother? Or have communications just deteriorated and petered out without any overt declaration of hostilities?
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Are you in the UK, David?
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