Follow
Share

I have a situation with mom regarding her care. I have health care power of attorney for mom as specified in her living trust as well as financial Durable Power of Attorney. My sister has placed mom in an Independent Living facility far away from me without my consent or approval and has coerced mom to remove me from the primary designated agent on mom's Advance Health Care directive in her Living Trust. I believe my sister has also removed me as Mom's financial decision maker and has taken over her bank account and is spending money without consideration for mom's best interest. Mom has dementia and I know that she needs at the very least, trained Assisted Living not independent living with a service coming in to help out. I have attempted to settle differences with my sister by both meeting and resolving our differences face-to-face or by mediation, however she refuses to talk directly to me. My sister is planning on returning to her home in Northern California soon, and I am concerned about mom after my sister leaves. I feel that she needs to be closer to me since I live in Irvine (Orange County, CA) and I need to be in charge of her health care and financial decisions since this was mom's original intent prior to being diagnosed with dementia.

I will proceed forward with seeking the assistance of an attorney, and since this is a special circumstance, does anyone have any recommendations for the type of attorney that I will need? Elder Law, Family attorney or something else? Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Megan2014, I am sorry you feel "I am nothing." You are still your mother's child. Nothing will ever change that.
I wonder if your brother felt a need to have the POA since he may be much more involved with your mom, or lives close by. In any event, if your mom is able to make her own decisions, there is nothing wrong with her updating her POA, will, etc.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Some people, perhaps like your mom get persuaded to change POA's without the other sibling knowing it....This is what happened to me. I was both my mom and my dad's POA, dad passed and my brother brought mom to a lawyer and got her to sign all these papers and now I am nothing....The lawyer went along with all of it because he wanted his money. Sad situation...but Karma will do his job when he needs to..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Need a response from the original poster I think... lots of background detail missing so we are all guessing....
No detail as to why your sister was able or would want to swoop in 'out of nowhere' and rehome your mum?

Where was mum before?
Was she unhappy?
How closely were your watching her? (not closely enough if your sister had time to do all this?)
What evidence do you have of her mis-spending mum's money? Or is it an unsubstantiated suspicion? (Need to be very careful there... most of us have experienced jealous or absent siblings making those kind of accusations.... not always based on any fact, usually just paranoia about losing rheir inheritance!!)

Maybe just let your sister bear the responsibility for a while? You now get to just visit your mum without the stress, that's a good thing isn't it?
(You don't mention your relationship with your mum? Had you fallen out? Had she complained about you to your sister? It does happen!)

More to this than meets the eye, and we can't help if we don't know the facts.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Siblings who live far away, and have little contact with their folks, can always use that as an excuse. Doesn't matter whether thr family was dysfunctional or not. It's just easier to only phone, or save your PTO for more desirable locations than your parents or inlaws.
Going no contact, is sort of an excuse. I don't mean to be mean and hurtful. But there are plenty of ways to stay involved, dysfunction makes it an easy way out of fulfilling responsibility.
Even if parents made bad choices, unlese they're in prison for murder, you should sill be involved. Well maybe if they had committed a crime against you or your kids, that might be cause to justify going no contact. But maybe in my faith tradition I have been taught very strongly to honor one's parents, and also we will meet our parents in the hereafter. So I feel a strong duty to stay connected.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What do you all think about the idea of just accepting that your family is dysfunctional, parents have made bad choices and have to live with the consequences, and just going no contact? How much effort is a child supposed to make to save them from themselves?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

all of you who have posted that it is not possible to change POA after someone has been diagnosed with dementia/Alz is WRONG! My mother changed hers twice and I filed for guardianship and was told that the burden of proof that she was not in her right mind when she signed the last one was on me. Her Dr said with Alz they have good days and bad and my moms lawyer said she was having a good day when she signed the 2nd POA and so did the lawyer who drew up the POA and changed will! The 2 are sticking together and backing each other, I'm sure because they don't want to be held responsible for not checking and making sure she was competent at the time. Getting no where with this, so document, document, document, keep a daily journal!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I don't understand how someone who has POA could be so out of touch with their elderly person, that another sibling could take them to an attorney and get everything all changed? I mean for my parents ( I am their POA) I am talking with them at least once a day, usually several times, I am very very involved. I know what is on what shelf in their refrigerator. It just grew to be that way, a very strong connection. If any of the siblings or grandkids tried to take them out of thier house and have them sign papers at some strange lawyer office, I don't think they would do it.
Or maybe I am very naive?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I really don't know what kind of attorney you would need but if you are the POA you need to get a close view of what is going on with mom's money. Its so sad when family members take advantage of their parents, when their sick with demetia and can't remember its sad and it happens more and more. I hope you can find someone and take care of your mom because if your sister spends all the money, then if something happens to mom its all may end up in your lap which isn't fair. praying for you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Adult protective services, certainly, IF Mom is Not being properly cared for.
But not just because a sibling usurped your POA/control of Mom's situation.

It's common to 1st try to get an elder into a facility via the "Assisted Living", then move them to the nursing home portion once a room opens up.
BUT some facilities incorrectly place elders who are too far into dementia, into Assisted Living, just to get the money. They may not have a room in the higher-care unit, or, there's a waiting list, and entering via Assisted Living is the only way to get the elder in the door.

Elder "Ombudsman" is a State office that monitors how elders in facilities are cared for. IF they are improperly placed, and/or, not getting properly cared for, report to the Ombudsman's office, so they can investigate.

"Area Agency on Aging" has offices in about every County in the USA.
They can help you with a free lawyer to consult about this--you must make an appointment, and it's only a half-hour...if this case is going to go anywhere, though, you will need more legal help than that session can offer--they will refer you. This agency helps seniors with many aging issues, from bits of free legal advice, to in-home help contacts and many others.

If you and/or Mom are below income, or borderline, you might check with your "State Attorney General" office for your State, to see if they have a Legal Aid project. In WA, for instance, they have the NW Legal Project, and people can do a screening online to see if they qualify, and it leads the applicant through income qualifiers as well as legal situations to seek help for. One of the categories includes Elder law.

Relatives can totally muck things up sometimes!
About Mom being "of sound mind", becomes a moving target, unless there is actually a Doctor's statement that Mom was diagnosed as mentally incompetent as of a certain date, which predates your sister's new POA for herself.

If Mom was not diagnosed incompetent, and Sister got her to appoint her the new POA to handle her care and money, you are screwed out of that position....Unless and until you can prove she has caused losses to your Mom, or neglect or harm; then it requires tangled legal maneuvers, to get Sister judged as inappropriate for Mom's well-being and care, and get the control restored to you.....OR, the judge could drop all relatives from any control, and put Mom's care and well-being into the hands of a "disinterested 3rd party" as her guardian, who would be paid for that service from your Mom's funds [if she has any left].

It can be very difficult to remove control of an elder's estate from someone who took it away from you, depending on How Many legal things they have executed:
One Gma had her entire estate set up exactly how she wanted it, while she was in very sound mind.
Her brother-in-law hated how she'd set up her estate, wanted it for him and his wife ["Gma's sister, who didn't really care].
That BIL led Gma by the hand once she was feeble-minded, very ill with chronic disease, and took her to a new [crooked] lawyer, and the lawyer's son, also a lawyer, and totally changed everything.
Mind, this BIL was himself dying of cancer, and saw little if any of it! The new lawyer set this BIL up as POA and Executor, AND executed a new will, essentially giving Dad pittance from Gma's rather large estate, tiny token kiss-offs to 4 grandkids, and topped it off by including a threatening codicil stating that if anyone even whispered a question about this new will, no one would get anything [except the BIL], and the larger portion of the estate would go to the Boy Scouts
[Gma never would have done anything like that--she'd wanted Dad to have her home, her furnishings, and made sure he had a nice stipend to live off of]. Instead BIL made sure the entirety of her belongings got auctioned off, the house sold, all to line his pockets. When the end-date of Dad's stipend ran out, the bulk of what was left...went to the Boy Scouts, leaving Dad and Mom barely getting by.
There are far worse stories around, even, than that.

It was not realistic for Dad to contest the will. He died, leaving Mom to deal with it. It took decades to get the CA State Bar Assoc. to examine that lawyer and his son, who took over all the "plum" estates he'd set up to handle [for a nice profit], and divest the surviving son, who'd been badly handling all those estates.
Mom ended up getting installed as Executrix of Gm's estate, but it was too late to do anything but manage it as-is. Only, as Executrix, she got a bit of a stipend for doing the handling.
====KEY: she was only able to do that, when she could prove several years worth of that lawyer failing to handle the IRS and CA State tax aspects of the estate.
But it didn't change the new will at all...that damage had been done and tied up in knots. So to keep the mingy stipend coming until it's end-date, Mom had to handle the new will as-is, or lose her tiny stipend to the Boy Scouts.

You have to decide how badly you want to get things changed.
Are you willing to turn over control of Mom's estate to a 3rd party Executor ordered by the Court?
Are you willing to relinquish any/all contact with your sibling[s]? [because this sounds like war!]
If your sibling got codicils written into paperwork like that BIL got into my Gma's, are you willing to rock that boat, lose it all anyway, just to get your sibling out of the control seat?
Only you can decide, based on what you are able to learn about what your sibling has done.
It's very hard, can be very painful; the consequences can be some you never dreamed could ever happen.
It's so sad that people devolve into this kind of behaviors. I hope this all gets straightened out properly!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ratherbefishing, my mom is doing the same thing! My brother is yet to fully understand the problem. She plays us both like a violin but I have figured her out. He hasn't because she plays to his ego. I am,so disgusted with my mom and my brother is not far behind.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Good point made by stressed. It is the responsibility of the POA to know when it is necessary to step in. POA also has access to financial and medical records so no reason to not know what is occuring with Mom.

Do not make up things to report to APS. False reporting to social services agencies is now considered a crime in many jurisdictions. Had my sibs waited another nine months to make their false allegations against me, they would have found themselves in trouble.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If you had DPOA and your sister got it change AFTER your Mom already had the dementia, it's not legal as your mother is no longer of sound mind to make this type of decision.

It doesn't sound like you are really up on what is currently happening or you would know for sure if your sister was using Mom's money. I had everything you state you have and I held the checkbook and I balanced each statement so I would have known for a fact if said sister was using Mom's money.

Family disputes like this are always bad, everyone wants their own way and it gets nasty. Everyone gave you some great advice and you need to see an Elder Law Attorney. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you!

Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The original POA should still be valid, one person has been diagnosed as having dementia or Alzheimer's that paperwork can't b changed unless the original POA has mismanaged mom finances or neglected her in some fashion. I will be praying God will favor you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

All of you should take your concerns and hard evidence to the nearest Surrogate Court Judge. Subpoena's have a wonderful way of clarifying the intentions of all parties.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you originally worked with an elder lawyer the first time, definitely consult with that one now. Your set of papers were notarized too, right? You need to hold your sister accountable for her actions...Your mother's state of mind will be a very significant factor for an elder law attorney to consider this time around. Good luck. Don't wait.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There is an abundance of good advice on here. I would like to add a twist. This happened to my sister and I. My mother played us both against each other ever since we can remember. She puts on a very sweet act to get what she wants. She had my sister and I at odds constantly telling us how the other was doing "whatever". We avoided speaking to each other thinking the other was trying to take advantage of "poor" mom, which worked out well for Mom's little games. However she pulled a move that totally exposed her, and it opened our eyes to her Dementia and Narcissism. Once we realized what was really going on and pulled together it was quite the eye opener. We are working together now. Be sure to get a full picture and not just a one sided one especially if all the info is coming from Mom with Dementia.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You can change a POA anytime in CA, as long as the attorney thinks your mother is of sound mind! And it doesn't matter if they were diagnosed with dementia, as long as they sound like they know what they're talking about, no one cares. I know, my mom did 2 POA in 2 months. I've been fighting the 2nd one for 2 years and have gotten nowhere, just spent a lot of money, so I've decided to back off and remove myself from the situation. The second one listed a so called friend of my mothers as POA. The system really sucks, sorry APS and elder law lawyers and most of the doctors my mom had been seeing for the past 3 years were no help. Lawyers take your money, APS thinks if you know the day, year and your birthday and can still talk, you're fine, they never investigated anything. Good Luck, document everything and be prepared to spend a lot of money!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Isn't it a condition of being enduring power of attorney to only act in your mothers best interests? I'm guessing your mother was of sound mind when she made the decision for you to take care of things. And if this isn't the case anymore how was this all changed over. Definitely seek legal advice. My father has chosen me as his EPA, he knows I would never do wrong by him. Your sister has no right to be spending your mums money on herself. It's a tough one, good luck and god bless
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This is why when I told the lawyer that I trusted my brother completely when it came to guardianship and both medical and financial issues of our Mom, she almost fell off her chair. I realize most people fight over parents, money etc. and who has the power. Whether is stems from dysfunctional family dynamics (we have ours) or plain greed or false sense of 'what is right'.

At this point get a lawyer who only does elder law. (not the local nice guy who does it all in your neighborhood) They will help you navigate the system and give you sound advice about everything you need to do. Your lawyer will also let you know if they think the court might appoint someone else to handle your Moms affairs - which can happen. But since your Mom has dementia, at this point she needs guardianship.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would make a report right away with Adult Protective Services. Then do a google search for attorneys who specialize in conservatorship litigation in California. They will usually give you a free consultation, so I would call several of them. Then you can decide how you wish to proceed. Unfortunately, it can be a very costly proposition. The system is not fair, but that is the way it is set up. There is a court assisted mediation program that I believe is free, but you can ask the attorneys about that. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Keep records of everything, phone calls, visits, everything. You can consult with Adult Protective Services and/or an attorney. If you mom is not capable of making decisions due to dementia then she would not be able to change the advance directive/health care agent. It's always difficult when siblings disagree what's best for mom, but if mom completed the paperwork for you to be her agent before she became unable to make decisions, then I would think she picked you for a reason. Family conflicts are the worst. You must do what is best for your mom, despite what your sister wants. I wish you good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It's obvious from some of the responses above that there are caregivers who are very angry and resentful at being the one's who are doing most of the caregiving. Remember, you make the choice to do this, whether you realize it or not.

Caregiving does not ever, NOT EVER, give a child to take advantage of their elderly parent. Do NOT assume that all caregiving children do not feel entitled to take advantage. Believe me, it happens ALL the time.

My sisters know exactly what they are doing. And they DO feel entitled to spend my mother's money on themselves, WITHOUT her knowledge. My mother does not want to see any of her children get into trouble. She will say anything to make sure that doesn't happen. She also has been completely groomed over a period of time to believe anything they tell her.

Instead of just immediately assuming that the siblings are doing no wrong, you would be wise to read about Elder Financial Abuse. It is real and it is rampant. And there is VERY little that can be done about it.

Most caregivers are NOT taking advantage of vulnerable elderly adults. To be so quick to judge those of us who are trying to do what is right by our parents, you only make the situation worse, for yourselves. You really do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

An attorney specializing in wills, trusts, etc. would be your best bet since you are the original MPOA and POA for your mother and your sister has usurpted your authority. Move her to an assisted living facility if the current one does not have memory care. Having had(have) three sisters who were as awful as yours, I can only say get this toxic person out of your life and just deal with all the responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one with dementia. You will need all your strength and energies devoted to your mother.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If you are the POA for your mother's finances, you should be able to contact the bank to find out if any money has been taken out of mom's accounts. Your statement of "I believe......." leads me to think that you have no absolute proof about anything & this could be all speculation on your part.

Where was your mother living before this? Was she in her own house? Was she living with you? Perhaps you should take your mother into your own home to take care of her to make sure she is where you want her to be. I don't know what the difference in Independent living with services coming in & out vs. "trained" Assisted Living----wouldn't the "trained assisted living" be a skilled nursing facility, a.k.a., nursing home? If she needed this, why didn't you take care of it before your sister grabbed the reins & took over, especially since your mother has dementia?

There's a lot that we don't know here. You state that you "need to be in charge of her health care and financial decisions"------why? Because this was her "intent" before she got dementia? How bad is the dementia? Your mother can change anything at any time & she doesn't need your consent to do it.

I'd like to know what your sister's side of the story is.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I had a situation with my sisters that I reported to Adult Protective Services. Because my Mom told the investigator that my sisters had her permission to spend her money as they wished (which, of course, is on themselves), that the state investigator didn't do anything about it. According to one of my sisters, Mom's dementia was noted in her medical records, but that probably isn't true, since the case was closed just on my Mom's statement alone. So, nothing happened and my sisters are still going about taking my Mom's money.

I went to an Elder attorney, but the laws are so new in our state regarding Elder Financial Abuse, that he was charging us for doing research. We can do that ourselves.

Be prepared that you can spend literally thousands of dollars bringing charges against your siblings, and nothing will happen. That is just the reality.

I ended up choosing to walk away from my family of origin, am getting extremely helpful counseling to manage it all for myself. It is not worth the heartache or the money.

If your Mother wants your help, your result may be different. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I feel for you. I had to hire an attorney in long beach ca
Paul Velasco
He's excellent
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well, your sister must have been pretty quick off the mark. If you believe your mother has dementia and needs ALF, how come your sister was able to get her admitted to an ILF far away from you? Where were you while all this was going on?

Where, and with what support, was your mother living before sister arranged the midnight flit? Is it possible she felt the need to intervene because she believed you were failing to act on your various powers of attorney? Or, at least, is that what she's planning to tell the judge?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Military made me guardian shipand sponsor over my mother. The system gotmy sister to handle very little money and wouldnot give my mother her money when need. She and youngest brother broke down the family. She did not care about my mother. now she on her death bed. I was the care giver andvery much was disrecptive by all the family. They did not left one hand incare. Come over talking none sense tomy. I use up all resources and plus went school and just graduate this October. Now I will get myself backmy feet. Family member are very messy and unconcern with people been sick. They say ugly things about one doing everything. They pick up about money and boasting what they have. So I been there for two years with messy. I interfere talk down to you badly. Do not know what going on. She now my is leaving us. Get letter from lawyer and doctors. Block this person with a lawyer.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would contact the attorney who did the initial documents and Adult protective services (ADS) where your mom is located. ADS will investigate and as long as you have not received legal notification that the POA's have been rescinded by an attorney you have the right to act in your mom's best interest. If your sister did have your Mom recind the documents your attorney can file for guardianship and you will get your day in court to address this as undue influence. I will pray for your Mom's best interest.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Get adult services in volve since you say your sister is spespending her money
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter