Is my brother's concern normal about my 81-year-old mother going to the bank alone? - AgingCare.com

Is my brother's concern normal about my 81-year-old mother going to the bank alone?

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but my brother feels he needs to go along with her when she does this. The bank already put some pressure on her to buy an annuity. She has way too much in this one bank too. I feel that it could be unwise to let her go alone. She is ignorant about alot of things. My brother has offered to be with her but she just ignores him. I respect her independence but she has made other foolish choices in the past. My brother is on her checking account and he can monitor her funds (not sure she knows that). He just wants to protect her. Are his concerns normal?

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His concerns are very wise and normal. She's defensive because she doesn't want to feel incompetent, but if he can approach her saying that since they share an account, it's vital that he be part of what happens with this bank - not stressing that she isn't capable, but that it's for their mutual benefit - it may help a little. It's really hard when elders won't accept any help at this age. Understandable from their viewpoint, but hard. They can be taken advantage of so easily. Good luck,
Carol
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I am going on 85 and I still do my own banking on The Internet as well as at the bank, I do all my own business.....and I have 5 children
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Do to changes in the finance world banks are under pressure to preform and increase revenue. If the bank has approached your mother and is trying to sell her investment products that she doesn't want or need I would have your brother (who is on the account) speak to the branch manager directly and inform them that your mother is off limits to any investments and that if she does get approached again that you will be closing the account and taking your business to another bank. You can also have your attorney write a letter that any bank investments need to be run past them and have it put in her file.
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I think it is all about what the individual's cognitive abilities are and financial savvy is. My mom did all on her own till I put her in IL in '07 - but I have been POD and signature on all of her accounts since the 1980's. On retrospect & based on going through reams of paperwork for her medicaid application this year, she was not capable and spent $$ unwisely from 2004 when she was in her late 80's.

I would recommend having all her accounts with on-line banking with full check display (front & back) with the acct # & password for both you and your brother so can look at it weekly to see where the $$ is going. This will also be great if you ever have to apply for Medicaid as you can start the file for and print out all checks over $ 500.

About the bank pressuring to buy an annuity. Your concern is probably well-founded. IMHO investments are best done by an independent stockbroker and not the ones at the bank. The bank employee is all about selling whatever program they are given by the bank and those are limited, most of them don't even have a series 7 license or insurance license.

If you want to keep this from happening, call and find out who is the compliance officer for investments. This will NOT be someone at a branch or the branch manager. Compliance is it's own division and will have an address probably at the corporate office or a regional office. Send a letter to them with all your mom's account info and that you feel she is being pressured by a bank employee to do an annuity. This will flag any future investment accounts for review by compliance and the employee will get a reprimand letter and probably have to do a compliance course. The banks have been very aggressive in selling so your concerns are well placed.
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First off, to banksia, good for you. I don't believe anyone is type casting any one age group here, and if you are able to handle your financial affairs without any problems, then that is great. You are in the minority. My Dad is 87 and I do all of his banking. I am on his account (as well as one other sibling). If it were up to Dad, he would walk around with hundreds of $$'s in his pocket. Also, as Nataly1 stated some banks have been pressured to increase their productivity and it doesn't matter that the person signing isn't certain if they need what they are selling or not. I don't believe your brother is being 'abnormal' in his concern. In fact, too many parents go without any help until it is too late. I agree with talking to the bank manager. I have a great relationship with the personnel at the bank, and if Dad comes in with a check to be cashed, (since I am his POA), I have them contact me immediately. This goes with any other type of financial transaction as well. He has a nice little nest egg and sometimes the elderly are taken advantage of if the bank knows that they can get away with it. I think it is an excellent idea to have someone either go with your dad or contact him when he goes himself. If it is a neighborhood branch, they will be more than happy to work with you. I always make sure that Dad feels as independent as possible, but I will not allow him to be taken advantage of. It is quite a balancing act, but it works for us. Good luck to all of you seniors who require assistance and to the caregiver who sometimes has to step in to make things right again. Blessings to you all.
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I would say don't let her go alone. Maybe make an excuse of why you need to go along to go shopping or something. I am always concerned that some yokel will try to take Mom's purse and knock her down. Some people are desperate and some older folks cannot say no to nice bank people trying to sell them services. That is my 2 cents.
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Baksia, you are very fortunate and I really appreciate your point of view. I would love your point of view on many things since you are near my Mom's age and sound pretty independent.

I do feel Mom is still competent and clear thinking enough to do her own banking. However, there was a push, as Nataly1 spoke of, to sell her something she didn't need. Made my brother very angry, especially since he personally knew the employee who tried to sell her this product.

My point I think is not that because you are 81 you can not do your banking alone, it is just that you become a target for salespersons who have a commission to make or a quota to meet. I live in Florida and elder financial abuse it sky high. It would be nice for my brother to go along with her to the bank but I can understand her not wanting that. Also, Banksia, do you take care of everything else in your life. Mom doesn't want to pick up the phone and call a plumber, or pay to have her grass cut or have her house painted or do anything she can take care of. She is angry that my brother won't do these things for her. He has a very demanding job and two homes to maintain (one for sale is this awful market). She is financially able to pay for all of the upkeep of her home.

When it comes to taking care of her home, health, and anything she doesn't want to be bothered with she is 81, when it comes to taking care of financial planning, banking, she is 25, at least in her mind.
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Fifthchild, what great comments. I am going to pass this along to my brother. My husband has a long term friend who was in banking. Had an elderly lady come in with a stranger to withdraw a large sum of money. He immediately called her son in California (this was in Florida) and the son told him absolutely not to do this.

Unfortunately, sometimes elderly people don't realize they need help, until they really need help.

Also, my brother has POA for my Mom. I understand the banks can be prickly about honoring these. They want their own POA sign, etc. Is this true? Another thing my brother needs to look into.
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Thanks to all who have answered my question. Mom could never be talked into something by a nice person, she is paranoid. But she may not understand what she is buying.

I would love to know if a Durable Power of Attorney will be all my brother needs to help her with her banking. He wants to be put on her CDs, etc. so he can access the money when needed. But he will inherit all of this money and I think that could be a can of worms.
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Oh my - my mother is 99 and does her own banking - and don't try to slip anything by her. Her memory on some things is not as good as it was, (normal aging I believe -neither in mine at 74) but she has all her papers in order (all her belongings for that matter) and is very sharp as regards dealing with her things. Of course, there are control issues (she has BPD), but I think in this regard that has worked in her favour. I have POA in name only for if/when she becomes unable to look after her finances herself. Heaven forbid that I should make even a suggestion about how to handle anything. Wrath descends upon me, though she may later use the idea I have pased on.
To the question, I think your brother's concerns are normal. I did try to steer mother away from hiring a certain home care agency and gave her my reasons. She went ahead and did it, and regretted it later, though the cost was not large., thankfully. I do think that some try to take advantage of seniors so as family members we are wise to keep an eye on things and intervene if we can.
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