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My aunt aged 97 is in a nursing home. She has been amazingly good mentally until the last couple of years. She gave POA to her "friend" who I'll call Cathy. (If you look back, I posted about this a year or so ago).

Despite best efforts of family and friends, the POA has taken advantage of my aunt (Social services and the police investigated and found no problems. My aunt "Hilda" had told me that POA had taken all her money and would not even give her a key to her own house. I found bank records from a joint account showing that Cathy had been paying her own bills from this account. And that she had cancelled a check that would have pre-paid Hilda's funeral.

But that's a whole other story. I've visited my aunt and just try not to think about the finances, to be supportive although I live 1.5 hours away. Since Hilda is on Medicare there is nothing left to rip off from her so the POA hasn't been around much.

I got a letter from Cathy's attorney, which was a report on her spending as POA. It included $300 for boarding up the house. The house is in the now infamous city of Flint, MI so not worth much- less than $10K.

I went by the house the other day, found it was not boarded up and it has been broken into. There is a busted window and then I discovered that the DOOR TO THE HOUSE IS WIDE OPEN!! Needless to say I got the heck out of there; there could be squatters or drug users, the house has no doubt been vandalized and trashed.

So, obviously Cathy has not been doing her job! Then I learned by calling the funeral home that the funeral is only partially paid for. So my aunt is feeling secure that the whole thing is arranged for, paid for when in fact there is over $5K left to pay.

At this point I don't have any recourse. The nursing home social worker, the police and the court were totally convinced that the POA was not doing anything wrong. I don't know what to do. Sure, the house is no longer any good to my aunt, but finding out even the funeral money is gone, that's the last straw.

Any suggestions? As much as I'd love to have Cathy tarred and feathered, I just want to know how I can help my aunt just get her funeral funded! She (nor does anyone else) doesn't deserve this!

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Update: I talked to a close friend of my aunt's and there is an insurance policy that is being held at her church that pays for the funeral. Apparently it was put there to cover the costs, fortunately a place where the POA can't get her hands on it.

The friend is supposed to send me a copy; once she does that I'll feel secure that things are going to work out.
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This is why one needs to be very careful who they give POA to. Even family could turn against you, it is very sad. And scary. Good luck dealing with your Aunt.
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Igloo, thanks for raising that point - I had forgotten that the house has nominal value. Chem also indicated the taxes are delinquent, so that would further reduce the value as any purchaser would have to bring those current.

Any potential purchaser would probably look to the land for more value, but that also depends on its location as well as the demolition cost.
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Everbody keep in mind that Aunties house - according to Chem - has a value of 10k. The house was pretty much worthless then and even more now.

About FEMA.....well as one who has gone through the aftermath of hurricane Katrina & Deepwater Horizon, there will be nothing or almost nothing gotten out of a property like this. It has no value. Auntie does & has not even lived in it, so no homelessness or displacement involved. There will be some sort of bioremediation happening but all that is tied into verifiable property values & income of the residents. Her health care is already bring paid for by the Feds as she is on Medicare & the state by her being on Medicaid.
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Lassie, Chemkrd doesn't have legal authority to sell the house; her aunt's friend does, and this 'friend" seems to have abandoned her responsibilities.

At this point, Flint is in the process of remediating the lead damage; any house sales would probably be fire sale disasters, yielding little money to the homeowners. Given that the Feds are now involved, remediation is going to be underway (or may have started already), blame is being assessed liberally and denied equally as liberally, and politicians are jumping on the bandwagon, the Flint housing market is going to be either in a state of flux or ripe for contemporary carpetbaggers looking to snatch up property cheaply.

Even if Chemkrd had authority to sell, she'd have a difficult time or would just as likely have to unload the house to someone who's going to pay for it cheaply just to take it off a homeowner's hands, hold it until the lead remediation is completed, then sell it for a profit.
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Can you at least go into the house and remove some things? I am so sorry, but try to sell it if you can, or just let it go. Things don't work out the way we think they will, we never anticipated mom's dementia and going into a nursing home, using all her money over the last few years to keep her in her home. The house and furnishings, paying the taxes, fixing the heater, were another tremendous burden to worry about. Can you sell your aunt's house? Can it be fixed up and rented? Not sure how that thief Cathy figures into something like that. Maybe if they can prove she was using the funds for herself, they can nail her, I see articles like that in the newspaper every year, someone ripping off the elderly. Good luck, this is a sad situation.
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Wow, lots of comments and suggestions! One note: at the time that my aunt gave POA to this POS, she was being declared incompetent at the nursing home she entered. No, I‘m sure not a coincidence. NH filed in probate court since POA did not file for Medicaid until the bill had gotten huge. I went to court because we were afraid she would end up in some really nasty NH.

But the judge didn’t bother to even listen to family members. In fact, Cathy came out smelling like a rose. I don't see any point in again going to the police or APS.
My sisters and I even hired an attorney who didn't say a word at the hearing.
Pretty sickening and that’s the state of justice in the country if you ask me.

The house is no longer an issue. I think once the POA realized she couldn’t make a buck from it, she just let it go to hell. Since the taxes haven’t been paid for quite a while, it will go to the Land Bank of Genessee County, which tries to reduce blight, rehab homes and sell them to new owners. I did send them a request to board up the house.

My aunt is getting hospice care and really cannot make a decision any longer.
It’s more of an emotional issue for me, seeing the house, which was fully paid for and still filled with some of my aunt’s things, just go to waste. She wanted to donate it to the church.

I may try the Ombudsman or some other agency. To me, making the funeral arrangements is the most important issue. Going directly to the funeral home is a really good idea. She has a grave purchased, but maybe she will have to be cremated and her ashes taken over there to be near my uncle.

I think the lesson here is to be careful who you trust. This woman had been ripping my aunt off for years and her other friends told her repeatedly. The POA accused other friends of my aunt's of stealing from her; you know the best defense is a good offense!
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Keep tooting your horn! Call APS, call the police. This is NOT a CIVIL matter, this is FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE! APS is limited in what they are able to do and the police often don't know how to write the report for these matters so they shrug their shoulders and say it's a civil matter (not my problem). Get them to write a police report that can be taken to the DA. The DA won't take a case without it starting at the PD level. In the mean time--regardless of what PD and APS do, contact an ELDER LAW ATTORNEY who handles CONSERVATORSHIPS. Discuss the idea of having her conserved which will get the court involved. IT's a process, it's frustrating, but you will prevail with the right support.
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David, good suggestions. BTW, I love the cats in your avatar - the black and white one has such unique coloring.
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If the city of Flint is a Federal disaster area, then perhaps you can get your Aunt's home on the FEMA list for some form of reimbursement. Let them know the home was a big part of her total assets available for her care. Who knows, you may be able to get enough to pay off her discounted funeral costs. It can't hurt to check with them. Also, check with any home owner's insurance she may still have---they may cover some damage costs too.
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Sorry, forgot to post the link for the article on the EM intervention.

freep/story/news/politics/2015/10/24/emergency-manager-law-blame-flint-water-crisis/74048854/

When the filters delete the ".com", pick up the remainder of the URL and google it.
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Just to clarify:

The decision to pump water, w/o proper treatment of the water before distribution to homes as would be the proper action, was made while an emergency manager was running the city of Flint.

And guess who appointed that EM?

Read this article for more background on the state manipulation under guess who as the governor:

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2016/03/02/documents-michigan-blocked-flint-from-switching-to-clean-water-under-emergency-manager-law/

And this is an even better article on history of the EM intervention and its use by Snyder.

The timeline is a bit difficult to follow, but this isn't the first article implicating the governor in manipulation in Flint's management.

If you really want to gasp, google Detroit, EM, hourly rates, or similar topics. Be sure to sit down before you read what the EM billed Detroit.
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To all: Real Estate in the entire city of Flint MI is now zero value. The city is a federal disaster area due to high levels of lead in tapwater. This is a direct result of the city pumping acidic water from the Flint river into the water supply.
Chemkrd: Forget the house, it is worthless. Stay out of Flint, it is a very desperate area. The POA was already investigated and cleared, which tells us your aunt Hilda is delusional. For example, no key to her house. She is not going back to the house, ever. What you might want to ask is how much lead has poisoned your aunt. If her lead levels are high, then she should be added to the class action lawsuit against the state of Michigan.
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Addressing only the issue of contacting authorities in Michigan, these are two legal sources that I know of:

1. Elder Law of Michigan provides various referral services as well as free legal advice to income qualified Michigan residents. One call initiates contact by staff of an attorney with experience in the specified area. The attorney returns the call in the next day or so with advice and/or suggestions.

2. The Michigan Attorney General's office purportedly has an interest in elder protection. The AG's office used to, and may still, publish a brief, nominally helpful elder law newsletter. Regardless, I believe that the AG is still charged with jurisdiction over some elder abuse issues.

The issue of law enforcement failing to find fault could problematic, though. Be prepared to address this issue when you contact either or both of the above.

3. Also, contact Flint code enforcement or building inspection department and notify them of the house's situation, explaining your aunt's required absence as well. They may board up the house themselves.

4. If you have knowledge as to who the homeowner's underwriter is, I would contact them as well. They'll want to be aware of a house they insure that hasn't been properly cared for.
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You say you have proof that POA was paying her own personal bills from Aunt's bank records. If those bills were actually POAs and not reimbursement for anything, then that alone is enough to create a problem for her. Contact everyone noted in comments above, not just one of them. Wishing you the best of luck.
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I'm going to approach this somewhat from a different perspective....if Aunties DPOA was investigated a year or so ago and there was no finding of fault (as you wrote is what happened), asking for this to be done again will be a non-starter. It's the same person filing a compliant (you) against the same person (nonfamily DPOA).

$ 300 for boarding up an entire house is pretty low cost, so whatever was done was as cheap & minimal as possible. $ 300 probably wouldn't even start to cover the costs of plywood much less time & labor. if there were concerns about what was done, why wasn't family or you there to oversee the boarding up or checked on it immediately afterwards? DPOA did what she could with limited funds. It's like houses in my area (New Orleans) that got secured after hurricane Katrina, those in recovering areas (Lakeview, Gentilly) stayed secured but those in marginal areas (7th ward) before the flooding were broken into & are blighted with remnants of shredded faded blue tarps still on roofs.

Auntie is, I would imagine on Medicaid (Medicaid not Medicare) to pay her room & board costs of the NH. She has no $, & as such there is no funds to pay on any house costs from her monthly income as it must be paid to the NH as her co pay of SOC ( share of cost) under medicaid rules except for a small personal needs allowance (her PNA ) held at the NH. The DPOA walked on dealing with house as there are no funds to do anything. If DPOA as not the heir of aunties estate as per a valid will done by auntie, the DPOA really has to do anything on the house anymore. And at an tax assessor value of 10k, its probably a waste of time to do anything on or for this house. Since auntie is on medicaid, any assets she has upon her death -like ownership of the house- are subject to a claim or lein by the state MERP or MERS program to recoup all that Medicaid paid on aunties care.

As an aside on this, this type of house situation will be a long term issue with MERP as more & more family start to understand that keeping up mom, dads, aunties house once they go into NH on medicaid could be a totally losing proposition. MERP has a ability to place a claim or lien & is required to make an attempt to do so. Unless family keeps extensive records and has feasible exemptions & exclusions to MERP, its a loosing proposition, so family just walks away from anything house.

Here's my suggestion, go to the FH to see what can be done to convert the existing policy - which inwould think has some value -to be changed to a much lower cost burial or a cremation with a visitation. The paperwork on this will have to be done with aunties signature, so you need to get on this now while she is capable of doing a signature. The FH will work with you as they want to keep the business. You may need to speak with the director of the FH rather than a salesperson. If they balk, you may need to contact whatever division in your state handles consumer affairs for funeral homes.

Now about the PNA. Ask the business office of the NH what the balance is on aunties account. The amount builds each month by whatever your state has as its PNA amont. Like for TX it's $ 60 a mo but for Minnesota it's $ 105. It could be quite a bit of $. Auntie may have a weekly draw on it to pay beauty shop or cable. But those can be suspended with the PNA going to pay for other things. So if auntie needs another few hundred to totally pay for her funeral /cremation, she could have you get the monthly PNA and you pay it to the FH. Understand?

Based on many posts on this site, family & residents on Medicaid are totally unaware of the PNA. NH often - magically !!! - have a phone & cable monthly bill that is the exact amount of the PNA. If the resident, their DPOA or their family want to use the PNA $ to pay for an insurance premium, a magazine subscription, even a bottle of Brittany Spears Circus eau du parfum.......they can. It does not have to go towards cable or to pay for beauty salon. It's their personal allowance to spend as need be. Find out as it may solve some of the funeral funding.

Auntie may need to go with you to the business office to withdraw the $ from her PNA account. Biz office may ask you to provide receipt afterwards but most won't.

My point in this is to pick your battles. There is only so much time & energy & goodwill. Going after " Cathy " maybe a waste of time. But going after PNA $ and getting aunties funeral back on track and paid for is a good use of time. Spending time & going into debt on a blighted house in a marginal neighborhood probably not a good idea or business model but spending time and $ to spruce up aunties room at the NH a good idea.
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Sorry to hear this. This is a pet peeve of mine. I HATE it when people take advantage of the elderly. Anyway, you may want to involved APS (Adult Protective Services). They have an obligation to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Also, her POA is no doubt revocable. If your aunt is of sound mind she can revoke her friend's POA. She merely needs to write a letter stating as much and effective date. Then make sure the bank and all concerned parties get a copy of the revocation. Of course send one to Cathy as well. I know the damage has been done, but at least she can be stopped from any future exploitation. Good luck!
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Editorial correction to my post: The charge was "misappropriation of fiduciary property."
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Why did your aunt give POA to a friend and not a family member?

It is so sad when an elderly person is taken advantage of for their money.
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call your Senator or Legislator's office and they will mount an inquiry. Believe me when they do, People will jump. You must have hard proof that the POA has been mishandling funds.
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Talk to a lawyer about filing suit against Cathy. I was once on a grand jury and charges were brought against an uncle who had used some children's insurance money for his own benefit. The charge was "inappropriate use of fiduciary property."
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Call the Michigan Department of Aging and ask if they have an Ombudsman to help you with your Aunt's situation. In most states, it is against the law for anyone, especially a POA to live off the needed assets of a vulnerable Senior Citizen, so if you can prove "the friend" is paying her own bills with your Aunt's money, then you have legal recourse. Is this person financial POA and Medical POA, or both? A medical POA does not have any authority over your Aunt's money or assets. Are you the only relative of your Aunt? If not, talk with other family members and get them involved. Also, talk to the funeral home to see what your Aunt has been paying for---what kind of plan? They may work with you to bring some of the costs down, arrange for a less costly plan, and bring the total costs down. An Ombudsman will be able to help with all this, or know of the right agencies to go to for help.

Good Luck!
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GOOGLE "Department of Elder Affairs" and call their toll free hotline. If you already did this, there is nothing else you can do. You can get affordable cremations, which are often on discount, so I wouldn't worry too much about funeral expenses. As for the house, can't you sell it? If it's not sold the tax man will eventually confiscate it or the city will write citations for lack of care. Sell it to help pay for miscellaneous nursing home expenses (e.g., transportation) and to pay off the pre-paid funeral. That's what I would do.
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