My oldest sister was appointed POA by my mom who barely survived a stroke and has been in a nursing home for 5 years. My mom did the paperwork before the stroke. She has been taking a rather hefty monthly salary ($1000 per month) and has also been driving my mom's (then, fairly new) car for 5 years (saving herself hundreds of $$ in car payments each month), justifying that she deserves it for all she is doing to help care for my mom and deal with the bills. My other sisters and I are worried that this has gone on too long. We want the POA to stop paying herself, but she just thinks that all we care about is the money. We care just as much about my mom as the POA, but feel that this large monthly salary has gone on long enough (actually too long), especially since my mom is fairly stable and in a nursing home. We were all together (4 of us) just a month ago, and tried to talk about this, but the oldest sister is not being transparent with the finances, and decided to have a lawyer write us a letter when we started asking questions rather than answer us herself. Clearly it was an attempt to pacify us. We just want her to stop taking money out of my mom's estate. Two sisters live near to my mom, and two are further away. I'm one of the further away ones. Any suggestions?

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Alarmed, it shouldn't matter how much money your sister makes in her own employment.... she is STILL putting in extra hours handing the medical and financial POA. When you think about it the "hefty" pay of $1k per month comes out to $250 per week before payroll taxes. Now narrow that down by the number of hours that are involved to get her hourly rate.... you'd be surprised how those hours can add up, and how low that hourly rate can be.

Would you or another sister wish to help lessen the load and take over being medical and financial POA? Bet your POA sister would enjoy the break of doing this for five years.
Helpful Answer (15)

Regardless of how much time and effort has been spent by the POA and/or how much money she has or has not earned at her own work, the only, and I stress ONLY way she is entitled to financial compensation is if it is written in the original POA document which represents your mother's wishes. It doesn't matter that you and your sisters have come together and decided that it is alright. Look up the duties of a POA. They are to carry out the wishes and care of the person for whom they are the agent. That is all. No one has any right to make decisions to pay a salary to the POA except your mother.

Jessie and Chicago are right - check the document, If it does not specify that a salary of a certain amount is to be paid to the POA, then, basically, and I hate too say this, the POA is stealing from your mother's estate. You need to see a lawyer - maybe legal aide if you can't afford one - and have this stop. Now as well as the $1000 a month your sis has become secretive about the estate and more controlling about visits to your mum. It all which smells very fishy to me! can the sis's get together and pool resources to have a few sessions with a lawyer? Is there any danger of your mum running out of money so she cannot support herself? This is not good.
Helpful Answer (12)

Alarmed… I am in the position of your sister with the POA responsibilities. My mother is in memory care for severe dementia. To you and anyone not in the POA position, please ask yourself what kind of time and money you devote or have devoted to raising a child. Thes same day-to-day decisions, worries, errands, and financial obligations are similar to what I deal with in taking care of my mother and her affairs.

From the outside, it looks like I just drop by once a week to check on her. Actually, in each visit I am watching for declines in her health or attitude, as well as any signs of mistreatment. Any problem, such as a sudden mood change recently in my mother, requires me to get in touch with both physical and mental specialists to run tests to see what may be causing the problem and how to alleviate it. It means coordinating with the administration of the facility she is living in as well as medical people. Then, I have to do all the phone calling days later to follow up on what has been done, because all these people do not let me know each step taken and the results.

There are so many decisions to make. Last year, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 86. She cannot think straight enough to discuss it. So, I had to decide. Cancer doctors wanted to do all kinds of chemo and radiation, but were unable to give me evidence (studies on aged women) to show me these radical and difficult treatments made sense for a woman of 86 with dementia and other health problems. My four siblings do not care to get involved. It fell on me, giving me weeks of worrying. Did I do the right thing? It still plagues me.

Then, there are all the agencies. Since my mother is on medicaid, I have to report every penny I spend on her to three separate agencies. The paperwork and spreadsheets are more than I do for my own yearly taxes for the IRS. And, if I make a mistake, my mother will lose medicaid.

About twice a year, I get a call, usually late at night, saying my mother is being brought to the hospital by ambulance. Sometimes is is a minor thing. Sometimes not. But, it always means spending the next few afternoons at the hospital, trying to get information about the problem, signing papers, and trying to calm my mother.

THE WORSE PART OF THIS IS THE LONELINESS. My husband is a jewel. Without him, I could not do all this. But, my siblings never ask if they can help. They only criticize and ask questions about money, as if I am getting rich from the POA. Yes, I do take a monthly salary, but it does not cover all the time I actually put into the job. I would gladly give up all the money if someone in the family would help me with this responsibility, without judgment of my decisions. A helping hand, instead of adding to the pain.

Alarmed, be thankful that there is someone in your family willing to do the work of POA. Put aside childhood differences and use your energy to support your sister. The important thing is that your mother is taken care of, is happy and healthy.
Helpful Answer (11)

I've been POA for my father going on 7 years. It has been insanely time consuming.
Even though I live out of state, I talk to him every day, his caregivers at care facility
1x week. Plus coordinating moves, ordering, lost items such as credit cards, botched
orders, problems with care, facility, doctors orders and apps, physical therapy etc etc.

Flying out means the price of plane tix, transport to and from airport, lodging, and food.
Plus pet care costs while I'm gone. It adds up quickly.

That said, I would be able to quickly show someone his expenses and what I've spent my
time on by phone logs and ordering receipts, etc. I have no siblings, but if I were your
sister I would consider part of the duties of being a POA was to account for my time
and expenses. I took compensation initially while he was having to move household
several times and had to go through several major operations and recovery. For the
last four years I have not and I guesstimate that I'm probably $20,000 out of pocket
at this point. Not counting the time Ive spent helping him.

So yes, it does add up and your sister MIGHT need to be compensated, but transparency
should be a given. Hell, I'd love for someone to see all the stuff I've been doing for him.
Always nice to get a little pat on the back and acknowledgement.
Helpful Answer (7)

If your sister is receiving pay, it should be specified in the POA document that your mother signed. Look at the POA form and see what it says about pay.
Helpful Answer (6)

You stated you lived far away. How plugged in are you concerning your mothers needs and care? Is it possible your sister is earning her pay? It does seem suspect if mom is in a care facility. If there is any possible solution via meeting with your sister and family members to settle this, you should exhaust all efforts to do so. If everyone lawyers up and fights it out it will wreck you family and finances. You can explore this site and read endless threads of these epic family battles. The nuclear option my be your only recourse but avoid it if possible. Good luck....
Helpful Answer (6)

I have to agree with freqflyer's posting. I would trade all the money in the world to have my my parents back, but when it came to money, ultimately, in order to keep my house, I ended up having to take some money, in order to keep my own roof over my head. I feel tremendously guilty about that, but I had no choice. I had to take over as POA for my parents, since my sister who was primary said she couldn't do it. You say your mother is fairly stable, yet she's still living in a nursing home. There are specific requirements that need to be met, in order for your mother to continue to live there. You can not imagine how demanding it is, mentally, emotionally, and physically, unless you are in those shoes. My husband and I had to move almost everything from my parents home when it became too dangerous for them to live there. None of my siblings helped. Yes, most lived farther away, but our parents raised us and I can not understand why they didn't believe it wasn't important to alter their lives to even visit on a monthly basis. My parents were hurt and would ask me, why no else visited. It can be a lot more difficult to take care of a parent than you think, even a mobile parent. I started taking care of my parents, almost four years ago, as they started to decline physically and emotionally. Although I did not live the closest to my parents, my husband and I were the ones that did 99% of everything. What would I have loved for my five siblings to do? Make a conscious decision to visit at least once a month. I had a job that I failed miserably at (as an investigator) because I had to constantly communicate with the assisted living facilities we eventually moved into, for the smallest things. Buying her favorite brand of disposable underwear, looking for the t.v. remote, phone, listening to the many real of imagined complaints, or other seemingly small tasks. By the time my mother passed away, we spoke no fewer than four times on the phone daily. I miss our calls. :( I had to fight rush hour, many times, and quit sharing these visits with my siblings, because, it wasn't worth mentioning, and I knew they felt guilty and didn't want to hear. My siblings encouraged me to take money for myself, and during the last year, I did, because I put 200,000 miles on my car in four years, had to take a total of about one year's time off from work, and have mentally and physically declined in health. I was actually told by a sibling's friend that I needed to take better care of myself. Make no mistake, I would do it all again. My mother was my best friend, and she died four months ago. But, I wish she had a car I could drive, because it was easier for her to get into her car, instead of me getting her into mine. My mother was too short to get into my car without assistance. Sadly, now that my parents are both gone, my siblings are bereft and wish they had altered their busy lives. Every time someone asked me about finances I volunteered that they could take my place. I was close to getting a lawyer to answer the questions I fielded that were insulting, because unless you're there all the time, you can not possibly understand.
Helpful Answer (6)

I just spend 153 hours over the last 6 weeks in caring for an old friend who has no wife or children or involved relatives. I am his POA. This started out being a labor or love but has become an exhausting burden. People who have never taken the responsibility of caring for someone whose health is riding a roller coaster can be blind or misguided about what is involved. There were consults with doctors, talks with social workers, investigations into assisted living and visits to make sure they would be ok, handling on ongoing bills, cleaning out the refrigerator of rotting food, delivering clothes to the hospital, picking up the mail and voice messages, etc. etc. thought that someone taking $1000/mo for such responsibility is overpaid and greedy is frankly silly. I have yet to check whether the POA I agreed to will compensate me, but if it doesn't, what a shame. What a martyr I've become. If I burn out, divert all my energy into this one activity and neglect myself, who will take care of my friend?
Helpful Answer (6)

Sometimes the POA document expressly allows the agent to pay themselves. My mom's did. It is a lot of work and should be compensated after all the agent is doing everything while often times other beneficiaries are standing on the sidelines waiting for assets to which they feel entitled.
Helpful Answer (6)

I may be splitting hairs, but I think that even when the POA document restricts you from receiving compensation that only applies to the actual duties of a POA. IMO cleaning out the frig, transport to appointments and the myriad of other tasks many POAs perform are not part of those duties, they are caregiving.
Helpful Answer (6)

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