As a POA, is it absolutely required that I give deadbeat siblings updates on my mother in-law?

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I am in charge of my mother in-law (my husband and I have POA). All 3 siblings have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING or very very little to do with their mother. It's a crazy dysfunctional family and I have some concerns that one of them could accuse us of not updating them about finances and health. Quite honestly, I have absolutely had it with each and every one of them, am burned out, and I have zero desire to even try to update them. They never ask and seem not to care at all when I have informed them of health issues etc. Has anyone else failed or refused to do this had this come back and bite them ? P.S. I manage this from 3 hours away and the 3 of them live in the same town as her. It's beyond pathetic.

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Does the Power of Attorney document include a clause that explains who has the Right to Receive an Accounting? A well drafted POA will include a direction to the agent (attorney-in-fact) that says in plain English who has the right to get information, and how often.

This is another example of why everyone reading this should hire an attorney who knows and understands the client and their family members, when preparing to sign their POA. Form documents simply don’t provide the directions that are needed in many situations, such as difficult family dynamics.

In your case, you could consult an elder law attorney in your state who will review your mother-in-law’s POA, and explain the best practices for accounting for your mother-in-laws funds. If you keep good records, in a format that is easily understood, there is no reason you should be worrying about unreasonable requests from people who are not helping with care.
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If they want to know how there mother is, let them visit. I refused to answer any calls of my siblings who wanted to feel good about themselves by a 5 minute phone call to me, not my Dad, about his health. You owe no updates as POA. Energy is at a premium when care giving is intensive hands on. Save yours. I would ask for help from every sibling. Ask for something specific such as respite care at a specific time every week, or take Mom to Dr's appt. If they want the information let them take some of the burden off you. Document their lack of help. If they ever want to come later and criticize, you are covered.
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Kathy's advice is spot on. The legal arrangement was created by your MIL, for her, to obtain specific financial/legal care by you. The siblings are not party to that legal arrangement.

What you can do is turn the situation around to put the on the offensive. Eg., make it clear that you're not allowed to share personal, private and privileged information. However, if they want to BECOME INVOLVED with her care, they can help take her to doctor visits, emergency visits as well as do grocery shopping, house upkeep, respite care, etc.

Every time they complain, ask when they expect to become involved with hands-on service. It's not a quid pro quo response, but it does shift the onus of response to them.
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superfrustrated, I understand how you feel, and I share many of the same feelings. My husband and I have been looking after my dad for more than two and a half years now (first in our home and now in independent living), and I don't think that our efforts are appreciated very much by anyone, including Dad. My siblings have no real clue how difficult this has been, and one of them (my sister) is actively hostile to me. I'm the oldest of the siblings, and these are supposed to be my retirement years. If there were some way to give up the caregiving duties without causing serious harm to my dad, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
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I have found that updates either produce basically no response or give my sis ammunition for hostility - hence I cut contact with her. I agree if your mil goes into NH at a different address that it would be appropriate to inform family. I have decided that shorter emails and less information is wiser e.g. "The vascular dementia is progressing. Mother is now in late stage but content and well cared for." They really don't need to know details and if they are interested they can ask.

Angie - I am sorry you do not get family support. Mother has not shown much appreciation for my efforts over the years either. Right now I am just gkad to not have hostility and character assassination. I am 78 and my mother is 103 and I will be glad for both of us when this is over. She has been ready to go for some time.
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superfrustrated, Thanks so much! And your mother-in-law is EXTREMELY lucky to have your devoted care. Don't you sometimes feel as though the old expression "doing the impossible for the ungrateful" applies to caregiving?
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I have sent out updates re health and general circumstances and had no replies or follow up inquiries so I don't any more other than change of address or significant change of health/function - as recently when mother has gone from using a walker to needing a wheel chair and sleeping most of the day. I will send out an update after an eval. has been completed.

Mother appointed me POA as she knows my sis is interested in money. I have sent out no information regarding finances. There is nothing in the POA document or the provincial regs that require me to do that and I feel that mother's privacy should be respected. Normally she would not share this info with my sis. If you are unsure of your position, read the POA document and your state description of the duties of a POA. I have had the same fear about my sis but came to terms with it as she has not reached out at all, and legally, if she wants to attack me as POA, she has to go to court with evidence that I am not doing a good job and she will have a hard time finding any. Personal attacks are another thing and I have has plenty of those in my lifetime and have chosen to cut contact with her. I send the updates to my niece who passes the info on to her mother.

I agree with your husband and Kathy. They are very fortunate that you are doing the job at all. If they were more involved they would have an idea what is going on. I am sorry that you are disillusioned with them, but not surprised. When caregiving comes in to the picture, masks fall pretty quickly. (((((hugs))))
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AngieJoy...I feel the same. My MIL "thanks" me but for years before this whole mess she was rotten to me (she has longstanding bipolar disorder). Since you likely WON'T hear it from siblings, here it is from a stranger...THANK YOU for all you do! Your dad is so very lucky to have you. I just conclude that the reason they avoid, are critical, and in your case hostile, is simply because they are GUILTY. Hang in there..you are not alone. I would give it up in a heartbeat too. Would love to have my life back to normal!
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Thank you golden23! I'm not sure which is more difficult, managing her care or managing my feelings toward their lack of concern. One of these siblings is my son's Godfather and I think, "wow...if he can treat his mother this way, what would he do if something profound were to happen to my husband and me?" Needless to say, our son would go to my sister ;). We have been so close to this brother and his wife over the years and the disappointment we feel adds a whole other layer to the caregiving that I could never have anticipated. When you said the masks fall pretty quickly, nothing could be further from the truth. I tried early on to get everyone on the same page and work together but it didn't happen. Now the complete lack of any communication and near avoidance of my husband and I just feels so strange, like in some way WE are the bad guys. I've never had a confrontation with any of them except for the sister who was stealing. She went completely nuts when she found out we added ourselves to the POA and I think she was extremely paranoid that we would go after her for the money she stole. I calmly told her we needed to protect the finances and that we couldn't keep shelling out our own money when there was plenty available, if it was managed correctly. She's been in radio silence ever since, even though I have attempted to reach out to her, simply for her mother's sake as she missed her, etc. YES...this sounds like one giant pity party I am having here, but you know, some days it all just really gets to me! I can hardly stand myself right now! Thanks all, for being an anonymous listening ear. Strange...but it does help!
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You're her POA, not her guardian, therefore your job is to act on HER behalf, when she is unable to do so, and respect HER wishes. I always took this to mean if it's info she would share or want to share, then you should share it, otherwise it's really none of their business. This is especially true for financial info while she's still living. You want to keep really good records of all her finances; in case you need them for Medicaid & for when the vultures decend after she passes away. But for while she's still living it's not their business how much money she has or what she spends, would she tell them how much her income is or what she spends on food or rent?
For medical stuff, I'd inform them of big things - like if she's admitted to the hospital, but that's because you are taking care of her, not because of POA status. But little stuff, they don't really need to know, and apparently they don't care.
POA is the rep for a person, not their kids.
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