My mother lived with me and my husband last year. During that time I got POA for her and we put her assets into a trust with me as trustee.
My sister convinced mother that I had stolen her money and took her to live with her ... about 2 hours away. She cut off communication- me and other members of the family- and isolated my mother. Apparently she also told mother that my brother was dead and wouldn't let him talk to her either.
Sister shopped for a lawyer who would take her word for everything and not do any investigation (one lawyer did investigate and would not file a lawsuit)... and last April I got papers saying I was being sued. Not just me, but the bank where the trust account was held, the broker and brokerage house, and the lawyer and law firm where the trust was written. All being sued.. out of the blue.. for a half a million dollars each. Believe me, on my best day I am worth no where near a tenth of that!
I didn't know it at the time, but Sister had told mothers doctors that she was allergic to her aricept and namenda and had her taken off those medications. Mother had deteriorated to the point where she could no longer dial a phone (I felt really bad when I discovered this cause I had thought all along that if she wanted to talk to me she could call).. she couldn't make coffee.. nor could she work the remote on her television.
Sister moved mother to a senior apartment (not quite assisted living.. not much assistance) where mother continued to deteriorate. She couldn't order from a menu and lost weight- I'm guessing down to about 90 pounds.
When I called sisters house to tell her our new phone number sister told me mother had moved to assisted living and didn't want to hear from me.
I found mother and went to visit that first weekend. She was pitiful. Had trouble speaking... couldn't get her words out. She was delighted to see me and even happier to hear that my brother was not dead as my sister had told her!
After two weeks of visiting her I asked if she wanted to come back home with us.. she did. We moved her back in with us.
The week we moved her my sister used her POA to empty out her bank accounts and sell her car. She also has some valuable personal property that mother wants returned.
Knowing my sister, the money is gone and the valuables sold. I doubt there is anything left to get back... maybe a little satisfaction. This took place in another county two hours away. We would have to file criminal charges there and go to court there. I'd have to miss work to take care of it. We are talking about $20,000 or so in cash and about $15,000 or so in personal property.
Mother and I went to the lawyer who had drawn up the POA I had from last year today and had a new one drawn up. Mother revoked sisters POA a month ago. The lawyer told mother that sister had made several inquiries into the POA mother had given me, questioning mothers competency to do so and asking whether mothers signature was notarized or could it have been forged~!
Mother also drew up a new will today. She wants to cut sister completely out of any inheritance. I think what she ended up doing was writing it up that sister inherits the things that she stole and the money she stole and nothing else. I was out of the room when they did the will. The lawyers wanted to make sure I was not influencing her. Unlike the lawyer that filed the suit against me, by the way. Mother says that sister always talked to that lawyer and the lawyer didn't listen to her at all. In fact, the POA that lawyer wrote for sister gave her the authority to testify in court for mother, without mother even taking part!
I called elder abuse hotline, but they have done nothing so far. The county attorney isn't interested in prosecuting because sister had poa when she took the stuff and transferred mothers money out of her accounts and sold her highlander for an unknown amount of cash (or maybe traded it for a new car- the dealership where we found the highlander wouldn't tell us if it was a trade-in)...
So.. how do I proceed. My desire is to be done with lawyers for a while and hopefully never speak to sister again. If we find a way to prosecute her I will have to deal with lawyers and probably be in the same room with her again.. and it will continue to cause mother grief.
From my perspective, dear sister cut off communication with family, isolating mother. Took her off her medications and caused her to mentally deteriorate, then put her in a position where she could not function (a senior apartment where she was expected to care for herself and order food from a menu) which caused her continued physical decline. She got POA, filed suit to get hold of the money in the trust. The lawyer conspired to help her do this by giving her a POA that included being able to testify and give a deposition.
I would love to go after the lawyer, but I hate legal stuff.. court. etc.