What if the family member on POA is neglectful of the responsibilities?

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When my grandma first started showing signs of dementia the neighbors and staff of the retirement community she lived in started contacting my mom to get my grandma some help. My mom, who is on medical disability for bipolar disorder, would consistently divert these calls to me and my adult sisters as she was/is mentally/emotionally incapable of dealing with it. It even got to the point where some of my grandma's doctors and community members were threatening to contact APS as our mom would neglect to take care of things or let us step in where help was needed. The staff and community members eventually learned to contact us directly. Our mom has a husband who has stepped in to help maybe 10% of the time, but most of the care has been done by us granddaughters. Mom and step-dad have control of grandma's money as this has been the case for a few years now, starting from before the beginning of the dementia.

There is a constant concern if my grandma is getting the care she needs from our mom and step-dad as there seem to be multiple things that get neglectfully procrastinated once put in their hands. Because of this, most of the physical care has been done by me and my sisters.

Now the decision has been made to have grandma live in assisted living care and a POA is being established. Grandma, who is mentally capable of making decisions though is also easily won over by our mom/step-dad, doesn't seem to realize how much of the care only gets done once it is brought to the attention of us grandchildren. It looks like there is a decision being made to have step-dad's name as the primary Agent on the POA with an option to have one of us sisters listed as secondary.

Our question is, if we have witnessed neglectful behavior from them in the past, is there anyway we can overrule the decision to have us as secondary? Also, if our mom and step-dad get divorced, will he still have primary rights as the primary Agent on the POA? This man has also has a history of mental illness and in manic stages has run up thousands of dollars of debt of their own money, so we are also concerned about him having sole control of our grandmother's. Is there anyway to present this information to the POA attorney to prove that he should not be primary? Is the only way to do this to enter a legal battle with our own mom? Any advice would be so helpful!

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I was just thinking that if the person with the POA happens to still live in their own residence and has their own bank account, the new elected POA could actually make their job easier if they're actually handling the person's finances. What I was thinking is online banking could be set up to have bills come out automatically. The POA would have to set up online bill pay from their end and not allow any outside establishment to access that bank account. I have auto bill pay set up for myself because I set it up from my end. As a general rule, I don't usually let anyone outside of my bank touch my bank account. The way I have it set up, my bills will still come out should I become incapacitated. This is what I was thinking the new POA could set up to make their job easier with bills.

Now, the other part of making things even easier it is to only pay at the checkout with a debit card but run it as credit. Running debit cards as credit makes your transaction more secure since you don't give out your pin number. Debit cards are actually the same as a regular credit card and the only difference is that it's prepaid from the funds attached to the checking account. One big red flag to avoid is stores that require you to give out your pin number. We have such a store called Aldie's in my town that only lets you pay by cash or debit. I personally won't shop there because credit is the only way I pay, and I don't carry cash. When I found out about this originally, I warned other customers on the way out because I left everything at the checkout. I hope this sends a strong message for that store and others like it to change their ways and allow customers to run their debit card as credit like any other business. Your debit card can also be used at the ATM if you really wanted to carry cash. However, it's much safer not to carry cash and it's so much easier to deal with the check out because all you do is swipe and go. This would actually make the job easier for the next POA who happens to handle someone's finances for them. That way, you don't have to worry about getting someone else's money mixed up with yours, and there's no confusion because there's no hard cash involved since it stays in the bank. When I set up things for myself, I was amazed by how much easier transactions really are. When compared with paying cash, I would choose to pay by credit any day.

Finally, when setting up the person's checking account, you want to speak with the manager who can set up the account in such a way that it cannot be overdrawn at the checkout. If the money's not there, the transaction will not go through, which will also save on overdraft fees.

Another big plus of following all of these tips is by not having cash handy, no one will be quite as easily tempted to steal money. What you can also do is to see if your bank manager can fix it where the card cannot be used to draw out cash from the ATM if your bank has that option. If they do, see if you can set up the card without a pin number. That way, you have no pin to give at the ATM or at the checkout. Not having a pin number if the options available, will direct the person to run the card as credit.

If the person with a POA has a spending problem, you may want to not give them access to the card so that they cannot go online and start shopping. If they do, they'll get a real nice surprise at the checkout because the transaction won't be able to go through.
I have a friend who was POA for his mom, and he handled her money. I don't recall if I ever shared these tips with him, but I do know they had their own way of handling stuff. Any tips that I can share to make someone else's life easier will definitely be a blessing. I hope someone out there can use these tips because they really do work, and they'll definitely come in handy if you're handling someone else's financial affairs.
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I tried the diplomatic approach when it came to POG with my sister. I honestly felt she wouldnt be able to make some of the difficult decisions when required. She stormed out and burst into tears because mum wouldnt hand her car keys over when required (and many other simular instances). She now wont speak to me. Being honest and upfront often doesnt work-particularly if your dear mum has her own mental issues. Deffinately prepare somepeople who care for your nan to provide wittness statements,gather your information and change the POA . If your step dad has squandered money before,chances are it is likely to happen again. Never the less,a stressfull situation for you all. So nice to hear you and your siblings are on the same page though xx
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This is so true. I am the POA for my mother. Since I am a paralegal, this is a simple task for me and I am the only one she can trust not to steal her assets or allow her to be neglected or end up in a nursing home. The home is always the last resort when a human caretaker is willing to learn how to handle a dementia patient.
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One thing to remember is that not everyone is cut out for extra responsibility. If the POA is not doing her job properly, then the best thing to do is to reassign the POA to someone else. In other words, just find another POA. It is a big red flag if the POA in question has neglected their duties before because yes, there's a chance they could do it again by repeating the same mistakes or making new ones. Looking at this as an example, this will explain why there's widespread trust issues among many people because no one wants to be taken advantage of especially where finances and other assets are involved.
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If a lawyer and doctor feel that grandma is competent to decide who she wants to be her DPOA, the best thing to do is convince grandma that you will take better care of her than her bipolar mother. Find out which lawyer is preparing the DPOA. The two of you need to have power over her finances and healthcare decisions as well. You also need a healthcare surrogate form. If the primary caretaker has bipolar disorder and your grandmother's needs are being neglected, you can accuse her of neglect and have her removed as DPOA. If you are prepared to have grandma come live with you and you want to take care of her, fight for the right to do that. I would. Best case scenario is to simply convince grandma to name her grandchildren as both DPOA and HCS. Good luck. Declaring the bipolar woman an incompetent caretaker should be your last resort.
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..stand to see his charges still shivering in November because he had failed to provide them with warm clothes when requested in October (in December he got around to providing one jacket).s
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(sorry - posted too soon)
...where the parent has final say, but the grand-daughters have authority for the day-to-day stuff?
As far as professionals go, I wouldn't let them have CONTROL if there is any way around it. Assistance, yes, control, no. They need to always be "fireable" by the family. Worst mistake I ever made was allowing a friend to be conserved by a professional who had a "great reputation". Turns out the "great reputation" is a result of the ruthless silencing of all opposition (questions about missing assets? Prohibited from visiting your loved one -- legally enforceable by the court. Concerned about the fact that a multi-million-dollar inheritance is being squandered? The speed with which he could spend money with negligible benefit to the conservatee was astonishing. He couldn't wait to sell property for a fraction of it's cost (insider dealing with buddies? hard to tell -- I think he was more about the absolute power trip than the money, all the while his charges are easily identifiable as the ones medicated wearing clothing provided by caregivers who couldn't s
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Hope this is helpful. My Father has dentia. His wife of 6 yrs put him in a nursing home. I took him to an attorney and he signed a new POA for me. His wife had nursing home do a compentancy test. He failed due to a lot of it require drawing skills, which my Dad does not have due to strokes on both sides. Went to an elder laywer for guardianship. Two court appointed laywers were assigned to him(free of charge). Inspite of Dad's demtia, they told the court that he was competent because he knew what he wanted, to come home with me. Won the case and Dad is now home with me. Note to you....Dad could not tell new wife to her face but was able to tell his attorneys
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What a mess! You need an elder-law attorney.
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So, IF the grandaughters are all in agreement, is their a clear leader amongst you who is willing the be the go-to person? It will take a lot of time, but in many families there is the "obvious choice" (ie the daughter who is the accountant, if she is willing, is the obvious choice to handle the money).
It's a bit touchy in that children (ie your Mom) usually feel responsible for parents, and having their kids step around them feels like a slap in the face but maybe there is some way that all of you can present a united front, kindly, and present it as a solution for long-term. Less ideal would be a formal arrangement where they had fin
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