Can a POA withdraw money and open up a bank account in their own name? - AgingCare.com

Can a POA withdraw money and open up a bank account in their own name?

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I accepted that my sister has POA for our 100 year mother, as I live far away and she withdrew a huge sum of money and opened an account in her own name. She refuses to tell me which bank. she insists she has POA and can do what she wants

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You know, you mentioned the POA opening her own account with a huge amount of money. It doesn't really take but a few dollars or maybe in some cases less than a dollar to open a bank account. It sounds like there could be something going on but then again maybe not, but I would just check it out just to be sure because you just never know. If the person is supposed to be the elder's POA, I'm not sure whether or not the POA is supposed to be taking money, I guess you want to check out your state laws to see what they say. Definitely check with an elder care attorney on this one to see what your state laws are on POAs. If the POA did something wrong, then it sounds like you may need to take the situation to the right channels and explore your options and what can be done. I know that when I had a foster grandpa, I'm not aware of him having a POA or anyone over his affairs. I know he had a will set up for the farm to go to his kids, but I'm not aware of him having anyone dealing with his financial affairs or anything else. One thing I am aware of is they got him a hospital bed at some point and had him quit driving. However, beyond that point I don't know what happened until he died, but I know being a World War II vet he would've had a military funeral. He was sharp as a tack for his age, no one took advantage of him, and I mean no one! He was still running a farm well into his golden age and even growing a garden. He did all of his household duties on his own with no problem. He was strong and healthy with no physical issues that I know of.
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My dad passed and my sisters immediately sold everything. Talked my mom into going to assisted living. The bank that they had a safety deposit box read two sisters could sign to change it or just my mother could go into bank and change it. Not even 3 years ago, May 9, 2014, my mom has been turned upside down and around. She lost her husband of 60 years, sister took car, sister put her in assisted living, took about 100,000.00 (mom/dad) had buried! Mom has been put in 2 mental hospitals, on the 3rd nursing home. Had the only thing she felt she had left (her pet- dog). Money that she was allowed in nursing, sister took. Took everything, I mean everything, cars, trucks, tractors, dump trucks, etc. I have had three different lawyers and not been to court yet. I spent 5,000.00 in May ,2016 for this attorney, and as of yet, nothing. Petition this and petition that but nothing has gotten to court. Just know your law. My mom even called the lawyer she/dad had write up the poa and the lawyer called the sister. But has anyone come to see her. I have written the Attorney General, Alzheimers Assn., the ombudsman of the county, nothing, no help. They would talk to you, but could not give any advise. I know for a fact the state I live in the person that had the poa written up can void the poa IF they are competent. My sisters tried real hard to get my mom incompetent and they final did. But after all this, anyone would be. Now she is getting worse, she can still feed herself, dress herself, pick out her clothes. Now I visit one time a week 30 minutes a supervised time and none of my family can visit. Now you tell me, What would my grandchildren do to her that before she was able to see? It's a sad, sad, mean world. My sisters robbed my mother out of her life. She is 87 now and she has given up. She lives in a shared room 5 X 8 with a curtain that splits the room and the curtain lays on half of her chair (not a big chair either) and stays there until lunch and supper. Before all this, she was weed eating her yard the day before my dad passed. Yes, its a mean world. Know your rights, and most of all KNOW YOUR PARENT'S RIGHTS BEFORE you agree to anything. READ between the LINES. Get another attorney to tell you what the papers say. It has been the worst nightmare my mother and I have ever had. And I can't get it to a court to show even the evidence that shows my sisters wrongs..I apologize if you hear hatred in my message. It is disheartening to have my mom have to be put through this. It's not fair, and she never deserved this. God be with you and make no mistakes like I did in the beginning. I kept denying this was really happening. :(
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Is it not true that anything a POA does "in someone's name" either has to be at their request or in their best interests? So if your Mom doesn't know this was done, then right there, red flag. What to do, not sure. It is hard to ask someone what their intentions are when they are ostensibly acting without pay to help someone, you risk alienating or insulting them. I'm in a similar situation, I sympathize. If the amount of money is more than the senior would normally spend in a week, tag the problem to a senior's advocate that you should find in your government, maybe the Aging experts in your county. What state are you in? You might get more targeted advice if we know that.
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Yes she can. However if she pays it back into her mother's account, it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise it is just purely unethical in my opinion.
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Anyway I forgot to mention that since the person on the account with your mom has withdrawn huge amounts from the account in question and put it into her own account, it sounds like a red flag and what you describe sounds like a sign of elder abuse through theft. I don't know if this is the case but this is something that's commonly watched for whether or not it was really a theft or really just a gift through joint ownership of the account, they can look identical. Sometimes elder abuse can be hard to prove. I'm not saying it would be hard in all cases, but some. Sometimes people actually steal large amounts of money from the elderly, but other than that, money can be a gift. This is where the fine line is, and if you have a lawyer investigating, they would know what to look for and how to spot what they are trained to spot.

Special tip:

One thing you may want to watch for is to see if the elderly woman has been complaining about the missing money. If she complains that money is missing from her account, make sure that she didn't actually put the person in question as a joint owner on the account with equal rights with specific rules on what they can have after bills and other expenses are paid. Sometimes people with dementia already have someone on their account for a while before they get bad, and they will have a strong tendency to complain about missing money or what have you. Just because someone complains about money missing from their account doesn't always mean there's been a theft, sometimes when someone is put onto an account, they have equal rights but there are probably rules in place for that privilege. When a demented person starts falsely accusing the co-owner of the same account, theft is not always the case though it may be in some. This is what should be investigated just to be sure either way. If theft really happened, then it would be up to someone in charge to pursue legal action against the person for restoration of the missing funds even if it means putting a lien on the person's assets including home, car, or even their bank account. However, if the person happens to be judgment proof, that money is probably gone and will never be able to be recovered because they have nothing that can be liened and by law, their bank accounts can't even be garnished. Investigations are supposed to be very thorough to find out the truth either way.
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You can also be just a joint owner on a bank account and also be able to do just about anything. I was joint on but an account with my foster dad but not officially a POA, just a joint owner on the account. Jointly owned accounts by two or more parties allow equal rights and privileges. I don't know if your situation is actually an official POA or just a joint ownership where the person in question is concerned.
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How do you know she took a large amount of money from your mother's account & opened another account in her own name with the money? If you aren't POA, you legally do not have any access to your mother's financial information, so how would you find this out?
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Just looked at my POA. It reads that I can do pretty much anything "in my mother's name". So that is the clincher, is this withdrawal for Moms benefit? I don't think a POA in my state/county needs to be filed with the county. There is no stamp showing it was. Just a notary confirming we are who we are. Find out who issued the POA and see them. Maybe sister needs to be explained what her duties are. There really is no reason she needs to transfer money. She can write checks out of Moms account. I was able to cash in CDs but the money went to Mom's account.
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At 100 yrs old is ur Mom living home? If in a nursing facility will her money run out and Medicaid will be needed? If so Medicaid will go back 5 years and ask why the money was withdrawn and set up in another account. This question is asked every year on my nephew's refiling. Has any money been transferred from his account.
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It really depends on the way the POA is worded. Mine allows me to do almost anything, including the re-titling of accounts and gifting to myself or others. I paid an attorney to get this type of POA written and it is 13 pages long. If your sister used the standard POA form for the state your mom resides in, then it is probably around 4-5 pages long and her powers would be limited.
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