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I am interested in an accounting of my mother's financials. My sister is her power of attorney. How do I request this without upsetting her and putting her on the defensive. I just want to ensure that she has fulfilled her obligation without any misconduct.

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Jinglebts, if you click on "show all answers" the posts will show up in chronological order. Otherwise the posts show up in order of helpfulness.

I have been POA for my father since Dec 2013. I sent statements to my dad & my brother every month showing exactly where the money went. Dad is forgetful & brother doesn't care. Of course my father doesn't have any money. So maybe my case is different.

Have you offered to help your sister Or mother?
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Jinglebts, I've noticed that responses are sometimes reordered, not in chronological time order. It can only be the Admins, but I don't know why it's done. So, yes, something is going on behind the scenes.
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I'm confused about the order of the responses to this thread. Is it there a bug in the program or something??
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I will approach this a little different since I was accused of misusing funds. How much do you actually know about your mother or sister's financial circumstances? Also, how much caregiving do you actually provide to your mother compared to your sister? This may or may not apply to you but there are many people who post and make accusations to try to protect their inheritance rather than believing the money was spent on someones care.

In my circumstance, when I took over finances, I discovered a sickening amount of debt and taxes and mortgages not paid. After negotiating debt and payment plans, there was no money left. Every month the people would get a statement of how the money was spent and they signed all checks. Family just would not accept their mother had a gambling problem. After most of the debt was paid off, I made them contribute 200 a month for food and other necessary groceries...and that doesnt go far. The entire reason I was accused was I had my hair done once a month and worked out of the house so I did not have a job to support such lavish expenditures lol. I did refuse to turn over my financials to the person making the accusations because it was none of their business. Anyway, the accusations really took a toll on me and my relationship with the family.

You really need to evaluate if you value your relationship with your sister because if you do make the accusation, the damage you do by accusing may not be repairable. Look inside yourself and decide if it is worth it.
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Woah! I didn't take Biscotti's reply to our first responses to be a criticism - what she meant by "thoughtful" was more in the sense of detailed, than considerate of her feelings, I think.

Biscotti, do you believe your sister to be among those people who believe that they are somehow entitled, using their POA, to help themselves to the money of the person who gave them POA? Have you discussed with her the general principles governing correct use of powers of attorney?

If not, perhaps another approach might be to download some formal guidelines - Google "code of practice for people with POA" in your state, or that kind of topic - print them off, and then take them along and read them with her.

But to repeat, how you approach this must depend on how you got on with her before. If you've generally been on good terms, continue to be basically supportive of her and then, if she does turn out to have got things badly wrong, at least you'll be able to work on putting them right before it all ends in tears.

But if your relationship has always been uneasy and mistrustful, you'd better seek legal advice and see what the professional options are. It's almost impossible to have a constructive discussion with someone you have no faith in.
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Biscotti2, I am sorry that you feel that the responses to your concerns were not "thoughtful". Perhaps you are new to this site. My experience has been the exact opposite. I very aware that many of those responding to a posting, just as I am doing now, are using up precious "me time"--time that could be spent doing something "frivolous" like having a much delayed shower--in order to offer support and the benefit of their personal experiences.

I cannot understand your reluctance to put your sister "on the defensive" since you seen to have no qualms about doing so with the posters on this site. Perhaps you are so skilled at using this tactic that you are unaware that you are actually doing so. Perhaps my perception of your arrogance is misplaced--or perhaps it is the reason you are not your mother's POA.

When you posted the second time there were two responses, both within the same hour of your original post. I do not know anything about Labs4me but I do know that many people who look to this site for help, including me, have been grateful for the support offered by Churchmouse. Both posters asked you questions to clarify the reason for your concern. Poignant? I am not sure how that word fits in with the responses.

I could say more but I do not want to go to a position where it might be perceived as me making a judgement about you but, let's face it, when on the internet, without benefit of using body language and tone of voice, perception is all that we have to work with.

Let me ask you two questions based on the words you have given us to work with. To whom do you think your sister should be held accountable? Do you mistrust your sister based on her taking "numerous international trips" and having a "dead beat" boyfriend or does your mistrust of her have deeper roots?

Having taken some of my "me" time to respond, I am off to have a shower now--a short one.
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"I guess I did not provide enough background information for you to construct a thoughtful response."

This unjustified comment toward those who took time to try to help you provides insight into your attitude. Perhaps that's why your mother didn't request that you act in her behalf.

And FYI, a POA is between the grantor of the rights and the proxy. It's not public information or for relatives.

If you have legitimate cause for concern, beyond just "not trusting her", act on that and apply for guardianship. Or contact the police for investigation under your state's elder law abuse statutes. But you need more than supposition.

Your sister may actually have funds for the expenditures you question. Do you know for certain how much she makes per year, what her other expenses are?
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Legally, you have no right to ask for the information, sorry, but the court does. So you petition the court for a guardian to be appointed.
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biscotti2, I suppose you might ask her how she could afford those trips -- you'd like to travel, too.

But she is under no obligation to disclose your mother's finances to you. If she is fraudulently using Mother's money, she is not likely to agree to show that to you, is she? So I'm not sure what good asking will do, no matter how you go about it.

If you have any evidence (and not just suspicions) you could ask APS to investigate.

Your mother chose your sister to look after her finances. Why do you suppose that was?
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Thank you for your poignant responses. I guess I did not provide enough background information for you to construct a thoughtful response. The short of it is is that I do not trust her. In the past few years, she has taken numerous international trips and taken her dead-beat boyfriend, who can barely hold down a job, so yes, I am suspect. If she has taken money improperly, she should be held accountable. So many people believe that because they are someone's power of attorney, they have the right to dip into the elderly person's funds. Not so. Am I correct?
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I don't think there is any way to say you want to scutinise your sister's management without causing her to be defensive, if you trusted her then it wouldn't even come up, would it?
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Unless your sister has been distrustful in the past, why the need to verify her obligation as your mother's financial POA? Is there any indication of misconduct? Asking someone to show proof of honesty for no apparent reason is tacky no matter how you go about doing it.
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You could ask her if she has everything documented, in case it has to be accounted for in due course e.g. for hypothetical Medicaid applications or in case of dispute with a facility, that kind of thing; and depending on how she reacts to it you could say you'd be interested in seeing what the situation is, purely for peace of mind.

That's assuming that, all things being equal, you and your sister are on good terms. Do you have any reason to be concerned that she might have fouled the job up?
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