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JoAnne29
I have 3 children and am disabled myself. My son is in college which we are struggling to pay for ourselves. It IS very right because she would be paying a lot more if she were in AL or had stayed at home paying her own bills. So we, a pay check to pay check family, take her in and our expenses drastically rise and none of the others bother with her but to collect thousands of dollars off the 2 years work WE did on her home to get it in good enough shape to sell and get a good price for, and we are "not quite OK" in taking a small amount to help cover the additional expenses? We are not using money on us. The money IS used for HER needs and what she pays does not cover everything. You said your mother has been there 4 months. I'm on YEAR 8! I don't think doing a good deed or the right thing should put us into bankruptcy. She has a large income and paying $100 for food, electric, cable, insurance, taxes, taxi service, ect. does seem VERY OK.
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As in my own family of five siblings, there were four against me, and I took them to court, however, my one sister who became the remaining POA and trustee of the estate once my brother died (they were co-POAs and trustees) as far as I know did not receive any money for finances. But, in your case, get the court involved and make your sister (POA) prove she deserves that $1000 per month. That's the only way to get to the bottom of it. Your mother must have felt she could handle her affairs correctly, otherwise, she would not have appointed her as POA.
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rosesarered,

It is very commendable what you are doing in taking care of your mother. Spending $40,OOO.OO in 8 months is a lot of money. How old is your mother and how long will this amount of money be sustainable? Pardon my asking, but is that coming out of your own future retirement? How is your and your husband's health holding up under the added stress? What about your marriage since you have no time for yourself. I'm concerned about your well being.
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It is always easy to judge when you are just looking from the outside.
I am POA of my mothers affairs and I can tell you that I have spent over $40,OOO.OO of my own money to take care of my mom and to keep her out of nursing home in 8 months. It would be cheaper to put her there. She has some money coming in but, it is nowhere enough. I do everything long distance. I have spent everyday for the last 8 months on running her health care, bills, property, repairs, health care workers payroll, not to mention protecting her incoming checks and property from being stolen out of her house from the caregivers. That is not to say all caregivers take things that are not theirs but I have had my share. My husband and I own 2 restaurants and since I have taken over her care my husband has had to carry my load because everyday I have no time for even myself. It is even hard for me to believe how much time she takes. I do not pay myself because she is my mother, even if she had it.
but unless you have walked in a caregivers foot steps be careful to judge because you may end up being the one to take care of them, and you too will not have time for yourself or your husband , children and grandchildren.
I am walking the walk of a care giver and truly I would not wish this on anyone. and to add insult to the mix, my mother is a very unhappy person, and does not appreciate anything I do. Also, I am not in the will, so I have no financial gain. She is my mom no matter what. I do keep records and have sent my siblings a record all that I spend. After they see the money fly out my door they are all happy. Not one complaint. Keep your family informed. They will be happy they are not doing the job.
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I don't know if the OP actually has said, yes or no, whether their mom's poa document has a prohibited compensation, or if it says it may be compensated. In any event, if siblings ask questions (politely) they should be provided an accounting. It sounds like the mom is not able to communicate? If so, a new poa is not possible --only guardianship. And no judge is going to award it to any of a gaggle of fighting sisters, they would award to a non-related attorney (who would most definitely be paid)(!!!).
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I am the POA for my mother and co-trustee for her trust. The trust or the POA, one or the other specifically states that I am NOT to be compensated, but can use money for the trust for reasonable expenses. That can be open interpretation, but for the most part, my siblings know exactly what money I use for expenses.
My mother is in her 6th year of dementia. I quit my job and moved across the country to look after her health and financial affairs. I do not have a job other than to care for her. She is in a facility that does a decent job of looking after her, but it is still almost a full time job keeping up with everything. If someone is not the POA or primary care give, I highly doubt they know how much work there is. And if you get no help, it is even worse. Seriously, it is ALOT of work, but it depends on individual situations. We have a lot of moving parts. Just because she is in a facility does not mean you get to walk off into the sunset because she is being taken care of. You need to advocate for them day after day in so many aspect of their care.
If there were to be a salary, the going rate is somewhere between 1% and 2% of the value of the estate, annually. My siblings should thank their lucky stars that the agreement says no compensation, that is all I have to say.
That being said, I do gift out some money to them and myself each year. But part of my job is to manage her money to the extent that it not only covers her expenses, but maintains it's principle. It is in my best interest that I grow that money for when it is passed down to us. We are fortunate to have enough money to cover expenses, and unless the stock market crashes, we still should be ok.
But on to you situation. Your sister is taking money that may be hers once an inheritance is passed down, but certainly is not hers now. The fact that she does not provide any financial accounting and is becoming controlling, is very suspect. I personally give my siblings a full accounting at the end of each year and also update then on any major transactions that effect the trust. They have copies of the trust and POA and can see I am not to get a salary. We also have a financial manager who, while not having any authority over our money, has advised us for many many years and is a friend of the family. She has full access to see our finances and my siblings can speak with her at any time, with me on the line.
Here is my suggestion. Get an attorney. A letter from this attorney to your sister should do the trick. You will have to prove that she took $1000 a month, which should be easy if you also threaten to hire a forensic accountant. Tell her you want to add an addendum to the contract that states all money she has taken will be taken from her portion of any inheritance and that the salary is ceased, effective immediately. A good lawyer can have the POA reversed and give it to someone who will be more responsible with the money. Your sister has a fiduciary duty to spend your mother's money that is only in the best interest of her, according to what the POA says. Anything beyond that is subject an accounting review. You have that right and you should use it.
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Your sister is ripping off your mother. Your mother has been in a nursing home for quite some time, so you sister is not having to provide a bunch of care. I was my father's POA and HCP who single-handedly took care of all of his affairs and nursing home placement. I never took a "salary" for this.

The fact that your sister has not been transparent leads me to believe she is hiding something. Perhaps she is even taking MORE money that she has led you to believe. I think she is a horrible human being in addition to embezzling your mother's money. After all, it is your MOTHER'S money, not your sister's money. I think you need to contact an attorney.
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I don't think having a parent paying to offset her living expenses is quite OK. I use Moms pension for her needs. Right now she is still paying bills on a house I will be putting up for sale. I the 4 months she has been here, we have already seen a rise in water and electric.
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I have POA AND my mother moved in with us 7 years ago. I have been taking care of her while the others barely even visit. I do NOT get paid for any of it. She did insist on paying a small rent to help cover her extra expenses like an extra phone line and more food, electric, ect. But she pays for no living expenses herself so I think that is fair and don't count that as " being paid" for anything.

I agree, you should look into an attorney. Unless there is a caregivers agreement, I think sister is taking advantage.
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Alarmed, what does your mother have to say about the POA being compensated?
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If there is nothing stated in the POA, try to work it out in writing what a fair amount would be between the heirs. If that doesn't work, each state has written laws on fair and equitable compensation for wills, trusts and administers of estates. GA OCGA§ 53-6-60 allows for 2.5% commission on incoming and outgoing expenses paid. So if Mom has monthly bills and income equaling $40,000 then $ 1,000 would be "fair and equitable" under GA law. There are other rules to consider (see below- GA rules). You will need to see what your state laws say and possibly consult an attorney if you cannot resolve.
If she is in nursing home on Medicaid, you will really need to be careful as they would most likely consider this excessive POA fee as ineligible transfer of estate and cease Medicaid benefits.
GA OCGA§ 53-6-60
(b) If the personal representative's compensation is not specified in the will or any separate written agreement, the personal representative for services rendered shall be entitled to compensation equal to:
(1) Two and one-half percent commission on all sums of money received by the personal representative on account of the estate, except on money loaned by and repaid to the personal representative, and 2 1/2 percent commission on all sums paid out by the personal representative, either for debts, legacies, or distributive shares;
(2) Ten percent commission on the amount of interest made if, during the course of administration, the personal representative shall receive interest on money loaned by the personal representative in that capacity and shall include the same on the return to the probate court so as to become chargeable therewith as a part of the corpus of the estate;
(3) Reasonable compensation, as determined in the discretion of the probate court and after such notice, if any, as the court shall direct, for the delivery over of property in kind, not exceeding 3 percent of the appraised value and, in cases where there has been no appraisal, not over 3 percent of the fair value as found by the judge, irrespective of whether delivery over in kind is made pursuant to proceedings for that purpose in the probate court and irrespective of whether the property, except money, is tangible or intangible, personal or real; and
(4) In the discretion of the probate court, compensation for working land for the benefit of the parties in interest in no case exceeding 10 percent of the annual income of the property so managed.
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If this lawyer sending you letters regarding your sister is aware of the original POA and is also the lawyer who will be submitting your mothers Medicaid application then I would assume all monies to youur sister are legal...

But if he is not involved in the medicaid application THEN your sister had some explaining to do about Mom's missing money..

Sister will have to come up with that money BEFORE medicaid is accepted....
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I agree with freqflyer. I don't think siblings really understand how much time and stress it takes to maintain things as POA for an ill parent. In my family, I rarely get offered assistance and if I ask, they all have an excuse as to why they can't help. I think it is well deserved.
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Alarmed, thanks for giving us more information. Would it be possible that your POA sister is still trying to make up money for income lost in the past?

I have read on the forums here where some people had taken so much time off from work to help care for a love one that their job was eliminated. Or that they had used all their vacation days, sick days, etc. that there were no more days left, thus they had to resign from their employment. That happened to me.

It took me quite some time to find something new, and if my parents had paid $1K a month [for example] it would have been a small percentage of what I had lost.... I lost corporate match dollar for dollar for 401(k)... I lost corporate sponsored health insurance [had to find my own which was extremely expensive at my age to help the gap before I was able to get Medicare at 65].... I lost corporate profit share, etc., so it is much more than just a salary.

If one's parent or other siblings offers to pay a monthly amount, I doubt many of us would turn them down.
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alarmed - glad to see you posting clarifications about the POA's responsibilities Thank you, That was my sense from what you first posted.

This is obviously a hot issue with a number of people. I agree that your sister has take steps that make her open to question, like not being transparent with the finances, and I am so glad that you and your other sisters are checking this out with a lawyer. I think it is your responsibility towards your mother so to do.The core issue is the your mother's resources should go towards caring for her, and you don't want that jeopardized by anything or anyone.

I see that some posters have what seems to be a sense of entitlement regarding being paid for their services as POA. Some states allow it. It is an issue that certainly can bear some debate. Where I am, it is not allowed unless specified in the document. It seems to me that respecting what is specified in the document is respecting your parent's wishes and that the time for debate was when the document was being drawn up. It bothers me a bit that a state can overrule the wishes of the person whose money is being spent. That seems to me to be invasive. On the other hand, there is no doubting that the cost of care giving, in all senses including financial, can be crippling.

I am fortunate in that I can afford the $1000's per year that it costs me to care give my mother. I recognize that not all can without a negative effect on their financial futures. Those are the instances, IMO, where, ideally, compensation/adjustments of wills should be dealt with when drawing up the appropriate documents. That requires education of all the participants about the alternatives, and presumes all parties will act with good will which will not always be the case. I trust that in the states where that can be addressed afterwards, the whole picture is taken into account - not just the many hours and work put into caregiving, but the financial security of the care receiver as regards their current and anticipated future needs.

I believe it is a issue which is becoming more important as more and more seniors need care.

jude - I feel it is my responsibility too. I agreed to take it on, I signed on the dotted line. Her lawyer has been very clear as to my responsibilities and the limits of the position, particularly as regards finances. What you wrote I believe to be true about my mother also, " I know despite all the vitriol she spouts she KNOWS deep down I will do right by her." My mother knows that too, which is why she chose me and not my sister. And I intend to use my resources, all of them, to do the best job I can. When she dies, I think I will get half her estate, although my sister has worked for years to get all of it. Whatever! Even if I knew it all would go to my sister, I would still do the best job I could for my mother. Ultimately, it is not about money, but about one human being caring for another.
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If you are unhappy challenge it. You may be surprised you may find out you were right. If I counted all the time I spend caring for MUM as well as POA I would be every so rich and Mum would be in HUUUUUGE debt. I do it and took it on because I love her and she is my mum. I know there will be tough decisions ahead but I am ready for them. I already made the toughest decision of my life when I consented to my father having morphine. I knew he didnt want it, Mum knew he needed it and passed control over to me because she wouldnt make the decision. Payment? get a grip.....yes there is a cost and it it big, but it doesn't compare to those involved in care and Mum doesnt pay me for that either. Many will disagree but I see her as my responsibility and I know despite all the viitriole she spouts she KNOWS deep down I will do right by her.
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I am the one who put up the original post. I appreciate all the comments, but I need to make a few things clear.

There is no large estate to maintain, no buying/selling of stocks, no driving to and from doctor/dentist appointments, no picking up prescriptions, no buying undergarments and other clothing, no elder law attorney visits, etc. The paperwork involved includes paying bills and doing taxes annually. I'm not saying that doesn't take time, but my mom is in a nursing home 24/7 and is not even able to get out of bed.

I would also not describe our family as wealthy. All four of us sisters have struggled financially. Some more than others. My mom had a long term care policy which certainly helped, but she has been on self pay for almost two years. We are now (we hope) down to the last 9 months where we hope she will become Medicaid eligible. My mom’s limited assets have certainly dwindled following her stroke.

All this aside, I believe that is really not the issue.

The issue is that one sister (the one appointed POA) began taking an income, essentially with our (the other sisters) consent, not my moms, and it has been going on a very long time. The whole reason she began taking it, was because she claimed “devastating professional losses”, which as I had mentioned in an earlier post, may or may not be due to my mom’s stroke. Not to mention, she now has a full time job, and has not had professional losses for years. She does not need to go to the nursing home to feed my mom, or frankly at all if she doesn't want. She occasionally attends care meetings because she wants to, not because it is required. The nursing home supports the needs of my mom! Of course we ALL want to visit my mom as often as we can, but it is for my mom's emotional support, not her physical.

I believe we all feel that the POA sister has been handling the medical care to the best of her ability and helping my mom, and we are grateful for all she has done. We are not trying to revoke her ability to care for our mom. We all try to help whenever possible. Since two of us live quite far away, it is hard to come and help or visit more than once or twice a year. We have tried to help as best we can from a distance. Years ago, we even offered to move mom closer to either of us (further away sisters), but the POA sister refused.

We were all together about a month ago, and we were hoping to talk to the POA sister, and come up with a new game plan with regard to her monthly stipend, (especially since my mom’s condition has been fairly stable, and hasn’t changed at all in the last several years). Instead of talking with us, she had a lawyer write us a letter. I guess she felt that her extra $1000 per month was too nice to give up, not to mention the savings of not having car payments. She had given up her own leased car 5 years ago, and began driving my moms. It was because we wanted to discuss making some changes, that this whole thing started. If she had been transparent with the finances, I believe this blog entry would not have been initiated.
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Freqflyer you have hit the nail.right on the head! Or the thumb! Ouch, we do spend an incredible amounts of time, just with the driving and vehicle care. My mom hates my minivan, but I can't afford to buy something she would like....whenever she whines, I just gently remind her what a taxicab smells.like.
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Depending on the size of the estate involved, the POA could be quite time consuming. One could be involved with buying/selling of stocks and other investments to keep the estate growing as money is going out to pay for a nursing home and other health care payments. Plus time spent talking to the stock broker, etc.

If the elder still has a car, such as my parents because my Mom cannot climb up into my vehicle, I have to keep said car maintained... like next month it needs a State inspection which is time consuming... making sure the license plates are up-to-date with yearly decals... yearly payment of property tax and county decal... plus twice a year car insurance payments.... twice a year oil changes and any other mechanical repairs. And an occasional wash and vacuum.

Then there is the driving on one's parent to the doctors, dentists, hearing aid places, eye glass centers, usually it is once or twice a month, thus time off from work, sitting on average in 20 waiting rooms during the year... and stopping by to pick up any new prescriptions, new hearing aid, new glasses.

One's parent needs clothing, from under garments, socks, pjs, and outer wear. That takes time doing the search in stores for such items or ordering them on line. And returning what doesn't fit, too big, too long, too short, wrong color, doesn't have pockets for tissues.

Let's throw in the time spent doing someone else's income taxes... it a royal pain just doing my own... thank goodness my parents have an accountant, but it is lighting a fire under Dad to gather all the paperwork so I can drive the paperwork over to the accountant's office... and there is always a last minute forgotten piece of paper.

Then driving my parents over to see the Elder Law attorney for updating of the legal paperwork, that is usually 2 or 3 one hour visits each.

I feel like I have a part-time job thrown in with my full-time job :P
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Fair is Fair. you take it from there, you decide or already have.
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It's not about the total amount, unless the parent is actually out of money. However, depending on how much the POA does, $1000 might not be out of line. Considering the car is included, it's still hard to say.

My POA does state that I could charge mom a fee, which I don't, but I'm charging her some room and board to live with me. I'm just agreeing with those that say that some pay isn't out of line.

But without knowing how much time the person is spending, and my apologies if I've missed a post that states that, but I don't think we can say that's out of line.

At $12,000/year, that is about at what I found for the poverty guidelines for a single person ($11,700). So, I'm not trying to justify this, just saying that if that person is really spending a lot of time on this, that this would just barely compensate them.
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For those who whipped out their calculators, $30 hour x 7 hours x 4.5 weeks a month, is $945.00. So what.
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JudeAH53, I too keep a running log of everything I do with, and for, my mom. 2 hours a week to update the log (not all in one sitting) is conservative. At current I am doing her taxes, which takes me 2 hours a sitting, several times over, for several weeks.
$1,000 divided by $30/hour (which is a middle income here in the US) is ONLY 7 hours per week. So, doing bookkeeping, plus a doctor visit once a week, and you have the full 7 or so hours. Most weeks in my situation is far, far over 7 hours.
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A POA can be revoked by a court I think you will find. Forgot to add that bit. And in the case of financial abuse the court can delegate the responsibility to someone they choose if a negotiated agreement cannot be reached. I dont know what you call it ion the state but over hre they make the elderly person a ward of court and every major expenditure has to be agreed by them (at a cost of course). it also prevents things being sold at below market value ie I bought Mums car off her for 200$ when in fact you KNOW it was brand new last year
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To be fair to both parties if there is a large estate which requires complex management - ie staff to manage a property etc then the expenses are probably ok. I see a much bigger problem but I dont know whether it means anything in the US. Custom and practice....it could be argued that as you agreed and have nmot to date challenged it as financial abuse then you have accepted it under custom and practice - i.e because it has gone on so long

Depending on your Mum's state of mind at the time she can, as, everyone has said stipulate a payment can be made. You said she has had a stroke but is stable...do you mean she is still competent to make decisions about her POA because if so she is competent to revoke it too. Even though my Mum loses the plot regularly she still has periods of lucidity and when these occur she is really clear about her wishes. At these times I go through the accounts with her. I tell her how much money she had last moonth, how much she had this month and what the money was spent on ie a new washing machine and a new fridge freezer, clothes food etc. I do take money from Mum's account to pay for my car simply because I only have it to run her around to appointments and when we looked at using a cab she said no. I dont go anywhere much so I dont need one at all (small country is the UK no probs re that). if I took money for POA I would have to declare it on my tax return as it is untaxed income.

I keep a solid record on a spreadsheet: In Out Balance
09/01/2015 Credit Card Payment
- Food + washing machine
15/01/2015 Cat Protection charity
15/01/2015 Marie Curie Charity Monthly Payment
15/01/2015 Southern Water
19/01/2015 Southern Garage 50%
MOT and repair costs

If ever I have a court challenge I have every receipt and when I havent been able to get receipts I have a log of what was done who did it and the payment they received, so I can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that no financial abuse has occurred - this however does take me about 2 hours a week. Phone calls can take me a further 2 hours as I go on the merry go round of no you need this number. Hospital visits this week 7 hours but usually that rounds out at about 3 hours a week - we may have a National Health Service but boy is it slow. Explaining it all to mum can take 2-3 hours so if your sister is doing the job thoroughly then 1k is actually about right once you bolt on her travel time etc- hell I thought it was way over the top before I costed it
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A thousand dollars a month to be a POA, doing what ?
Your mom is in a nursing home, what does your sister manage ?
I've been at this for 14 years. With no outside help, I'm the 'all the above' chief bottle washer, etc, So what is this big task your sister does ? paperwork ?
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Doesn't matter that u agreed. The POA was written up between ur Mom and sister. Only your Mom can revolk. You need to talk to a lawyer.
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" but we three sisters agreed to allowing her an income as POA. The problem is that it has gone on way too long and at least two of us want it to stop." OK so you agreed to pay her and now some, but not all of you want to end it. If mom has a large and complex estate, the court will appoint an independent guardian who will bill hourly at $200-$400 per hour, typically 99 hours per year. (see superiorcourt.maricopa.gov) Estimate: $19,800-$39,600 in fees annually. Is that a better solution?
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I agree the $1,000 per month seems excessive, to middle-class folks. But, this may be a very wealthy family--if they've paid nursing home out of pocket for a number of years without needing Medical Assistance they do have lots of money. At the very least, the poa should be providing a breakdown of all the things she is doing for their mom.
NOTE--just because the mom is in a NH facility, does not mean she does not need any care from the poa. The NH does not provide free transportation and aides to bring her to specialist doctor appointments, for example.
And they may not be providing an aide to feed her individually at every meal, if that means she eats better to be spoon fed (many stroke patients can't hold a spoon) then what would you think a reasonable salary to go over to the NH 3x per day, every day, without fail, to feed your mom?
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Just have to say one thing about a POA. It is drawn up as a sort of back up. Ex: My Mom had a POA up for me because she was having problems with check paying. With the POA I was able to be added to her accounts. This way I'm able to pay her bills and withdrawal and deposit. I also have excessto all financial info. This does not mean Mom can't get to her accounts and write checks or withdrawl money. She can revolk the POA anytime and put someone else in charge. The only way someone would have complete control was to get a conservatorship/guardianship. My siblings cannot revolk the POA, only my Mom. Upon my Moms death the POA is revolked and the Executor takes over. These can be two different people.
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