I've posted recently about my mom who lives next door to me, and my brother (brother #1) lives with her as her caregiver. No one has guardianship. She falls all the time, won't stay off the stairs and battles us on every issue. She is defiant with us, has always been miserable and is just downright mean. We are thrilled that she has decided to move to assisted living, even though she is, not surprisingly, miserable about that, as well.

I can't recall if I've mentioned my OTHER brother at all, brother #2. Brother #1 and I have been estranged from him for years. He is a violent alcoholic, diagnosed bipolar, self-medicating trainwreck. He's a repeat domestic violence offender. This last time, he did enough damage to his wife that he is serving four years in prison. The wife has, of course, forgiven him.

And he is the apple of my mother's eye.

She gave him and his wife her house when she moved away 35 years ago. They never paid the property taxes and ultimately abandoned the property. My mom has always sent him money, and continues to send him commissary money at the prison. I think she feels some sort of guilt related to how he is or something. All three of us siblings each inherited $30K from a distant cousin that we didn't even know. He blew through his in about six weeks: Eating out, shopping, cheating on his wife and buying jewelry for his girlfriend. He used to drunk-call me in the middle of the night, telling me how miserable he was and threatening to jump in his car or get on his motorcycle and ending it all (sounds like mom, don't you think?). When I told him if he ever drunk-called me again telling me he was going to drive, that I was going to call the police, he told me he would kill me.

He has applied for an early release from prison, and he may get it. By the end of the month. He was on disability when he went to prison, and I know he and his wife are flat broke.

My mom hasn't taken care of her own finances for about 40 years. Her partner took care of all of that for her. She's unable to manage the kind of planning and managing that requires. I have been taking care of mom's banking, I maintain contact with her investment advisor. I make sure her bills are paid on time, and that there are no questionable charges on her credit cards. I have her medical POA, and at the same time she had financial POA papers drawn up, but her attorney advised her to have him "hang on to it" until she needs it, whatever that means.

I'm going to call her attorney tomorrow. He is aware of brother #2, and what he does with money. I feel I need to let him know mom is going to AL and that brother #2 may be getting out of prison as part of my due diligence. She needs the money her partner left for her to pay for her AL. I am so afraid that she feels so responsible/bad for brother #2 that she will ruin herself financially for him. Right now, she has enough money for about 12 years in a VERY nice AL residence.

I'm very OCD about taking care of bills and financial matters. My house is paid for, I have a student loan, a car payment and zero credit card debt. All three of my FICO 08 credit scores are over 800. I've done a good job with her bills and banking. Yes, it's a lot of work. Her money needs to last as long as she does, you know?

My mom got mad at me for something a couple of weeks ago (either that I asked her what she had for dinner or that I asked her again to please call me if she needs something and NOT use the stair lift when she's home along) and hasn't talked to me since. She is also not talking to caregiver brother because of some similar offense on his part.

She was on the phone with Prison Brother today, and Caregiver Brother heard part of the conversation when he came in from taking out the trash: "Oh honey, it's going to be ok. No, I am getting an apartment (AL residence). I really can't live with anyone, but I'll come visit you. I am SO GLAD you're getting out of there. That was unfair of ::insert wife's name here:: to let them put you in 'jail' for that. It's going to be ok, honey."

My dad used to beat the crap out of me with the buckle end of his belt, a tennis racquet, a lamp... To the point that I was bleeding through the back of my blouse at school the next day. I still have scars, inside and out. He also hit my mom, but not as often. I do remember him slapping her so hard he knocked her out of her wheelchair.

I really should be more f*cked up. Seriously.

My point here is that my mom would NEVER hold Prison Brother accountable. Surely his wife did something that MADE HIM hurt her. You know the drill. He can do no wrong. Maybe mom dropped him on his head when he was a baby, and she thinks that's what messed him up. Whatever it is, she would give him her last nickel.

Can you think of anything additional I can do to protect my mom's resources from brother #2?

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Sheesh--so MANY of the issues we on this site have include a "rotten apple" sibling, and it seems like it's always a brother. Sigh.
You seem to have a really good rein on things. If you are watching mom's finances that well, and she is moving to an ALF, there is going to be less opportunity for prison brother to "get" to her. Talk to the ALF director, let them know about prison brother. They can't really DO anything, but they can let you know if he's around (and I imagine if there is money there, he'll be there).
Or, you can follow the great advice from the other posters.
Your mother may be limited to the amount of "cash" she has on hand in the ALF. My brother routinely took money from mother, long after daddy had sent him packing. She does a lot of her transactions in cash, and brother knew it, so she'd slip him $100 or so every time she saw him. If mom doesn't have checks on hand, or a CC, he's stuck.
I don't know how you can stop a dynamic as old and ingrained as this one. I'm sure talking to prison brother is worthless--so maybe it IS time to talk to the atty about making you POA of finances too.

Good luck--my heart goes out to you. When my mooching brother died, it was a real shock, but in time, so much "better" all around. I know that's sounds horrible, but, it's true.
Helpful Answer (5)

Jessie - I hear what you are saying and know that is how it is supposed to work, but, in fact my mother has ever been declared incompetent by any doctor and she is nearly bedridden and scored 18/30 on her last mini mental. They seem to be very reluctant to do that. On the other hand, as you quite correctly say, if she is competent she is free to spend her money as she wishes. It is a difficult situation. That is where professionals and non family members can be helpful. Guardianship would seem to be the route to go as she is suffering from some mental impairment.
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tinkster, this is an exasperating situation. What happens depends on if your mother is legally competent or not. If she is considered competent, she is free to do what she chooses with her money, no matter how unwise it is. It can be exasperating to watch our parents throw money into a bottomless pit, but unless they are deemed incompetent they are free to do that. That she is presently holding onto the financial POA until the time it is needed hints to me that she hasn't been deemed incompetent by her doctors.

I know how exasperating this can be. I had an alcoholic brother who got large amounts of money from my mother every year. My father didn't want her to do it and her other children said to stop, that she was hurting instead of helping. But she kept giving him money anytime he would ask. There was nothing anyone could do. She would say, "He's my son," like it explained everything. My parents may have been fortunate when the son died ten years ago. I doubt my mother would have any money left if he hadn't.

If your mother starts giving her money away too freely, you may want to see if the courts will set up a conservatorship to handle her money. The conservator would take care of living expenses and provide her with an ample allowance. The court, however, will have to have proof that she is not competent to handle her money.

I don't envy you this task. It is hard to get them to hold back when it is their son.
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Golden and Babalou's - I beg your pardon, I missed the first response.
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Tinkster, all I can say is that I have every confidence in you. If anyone can get this serious risk under control, it's you with the support of Brother 1 and advice from a capable lawyer. You're calling your mother's attorney to disclose important information; his duty of care is to his client, your mother, who is a vulnerable adult, so he should recognise the necessity to protect her interests - I can't see that you've missed anything.

Brother 2's wife is taking him back, do you think? Wow. What can one say. Except: whatever happens and however you feel about the two of them, don't touch him or his situation with a stick. You've got enough to deal with safeguarding your mother. If he's released early, will he perhaps be supervised by a probation officer? Might be a useful contact for your mother's attorney to have, maybe?

I would heartily second Golden's guardianship suggestion - except that I can't see you considering it, somehow. Wish you would, though!
Helpful Answer (2)

I agree you have to play hardball with people like your mum and your brother. It doesn't matter why she treats him as she does - narcissists often choose a golden child who can do no wrong.

I am surprised to see that you have POA. I didn't realise that from your other post about moving mum to a ALF. She is making decisions that are not for her own welfare and endangering herself and probably her finances. When my mother did that her lawyer urged me to take action saying that was my responsibility as I was named POA. I did and she was OK with some of it and very unhappy with other decisions I made and my sister was very nasty to me as well. What's new? I stuck with doing what I thought was best for her and it was the right decision. She ended up in a geriatric psychiatric hospital where they eventually were able to medicate her appropriately and from there she went to an ALF designated for people with mental illness ad has dine well there.

IMO your mum needs to be under psychiatric care, have a full evaluation and be better medicated. That transition period was very difficult. It was her being suicidal that triggered the professionals into action. Your mum is a danger to herself and those around her.

Considering your state of health and background I do think a guardian is the best route. Managing a woman like your mother is very stressful and will affect your health which s already compromised. You can't afford it. (((((((hugs))))))
Helpful Answer (4)

My brutal answer is that if number 2 brother shows up and mom starts giving him money, you resign your POA with the lawyer's blessing and tell him that mom needs a non family member appointed guardian. I would not "threaten" to do this. I would simply act the first time mom gives him money. Because you know it won't end there. You've done everything you can, and then some. Guardianship with a disspationate stranger maybe the only way you can protect her.
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