Sibling is depleting Mom's money and she refuses to do anything about it. Any advice?

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I am sick about it and not sure what steps I should take. I became Durable POA because after a few incidences with him stealing her money now two years later it is starting again. It started years ago talking her into $1000 here and $1000 there. Loans for his kids cars, school etc. I found out two years ago that 8 years ago he opened numerous credit cards in her name charged them up $154,000 then had her go down and declare bankruptcy.
He also has borrowed $45,000 on the only life insurance she had left. This policy had all 3 siblings as beneficiaries. There was $26,000 left which we were going to use for her burial. In the last year her dementia is starting to get worse. She refuses to see that he is stealing her money. It was all brought out in the open and I figured now that he was caught it would stop. Especially since he is publically known and represents himself as a Christ follower. Well two years later now that moms credit is cleared up he took her out and had her lease a vehicle for him (he has horrible credit. A note from the credit report tip us off and sure enough the loan is in her name, her plates and I think she thinks she cosigned for it. This made me look into the insurance policy and he has taken out more and had the beneficiary changed to him. So now there is no burial money. She owns property but has a $31,000 mortgage and an equity loan on that (brother's of course). This property was suppose to go to my other brother but I do not think he will be able to pay off the loans in order to keep it. When I talk to my mom she gets very mad and accuses us of trying to kick him out of the family. She says she spent the money on trips and house improvements. Sorry but there is nothing that shows that and I paid for the last trip she took.
So do I just walk away and tell my brother the funeral is on him? I have talked to my lawyer about all this when the car issue came up. I am very close to outing him but that would sever ties with the family.

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I'm thinking police, jail. No other way.
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Sharon, you need for a moment to put aside the "this and that" actions and focus on the underlying issues. Your brother is apparently a manipulator, irresponsible and convincing your mother to lend him money. He's also a predator and an elder financial abuser.

These are the facts on which you need to focus. The next issue is action, and whether you and your other brother can do what's necessary.

Your mother is displaying poor judgment; if she doesn't have dementia significant enough to affect her thought processes, she's still not exhibiting prudent financial management.

And she still shouldn't be handling her own finances. Read the DPOA and see if it allows you to act now, absent any specific finding of dementia. If it does, step in and take over all her finances, whether she likes it or not.

Change accounts, close accounts, put a security freeze on her credit reports - do everything you have to prevent the thieving brother from accessing her finances. She may be angry at you, but this needs to be done.

Your mother is enabling your brother to exploit her. If you want to change the situation, recognize that her behavior is going to turn her against you. You need to be prepared to accept that if you want to make changes.

I recognize that this is a difficult situation - you will likely alienate your mother by stepping in to protect her finances. You'll have to ask yourself which is the worst situation - alienating her or protecting her financially.

Windy's observations are insightful. Given that assessment, do you want to be a party with knowledge of this financial exploitation? What would you say if a police officer asked you why you didn't step in to take control? That's the way law enforcement would see it - you have the legal authority - use it.

If you don't feel up to the confrontation, hire an attorney to handle the action necessary.
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How is your crooked brother going to pay for a funeral when he has no money? You and your other brother have to choose. Either confront your mother as DPOA and fix this mess or walk away and let the chips fall where they may. Fixing the mess will require playing hardball. Cancel the life insurance policy. Have the car repossessed by calling a towing company and having it hauled back to the lot where your brother leased it. You and your other brother have to decide what is more important - severing ties with a deadbeat or protecting your mother's financial interests for her future care.
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Sharon, what you describe is massive theft and fraud. If you have any proof of any of this your brother should be prosecuted and go to prison. It doesn't matter that mom won't file charges. He is taking advantage of a vulnerable adult. All states have laws on the books to deal with this kind of theft.

The money is probably long gone, but do you not want to see justice done? I'm with your hubby. I'd want to kill this guy.
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Excuse me: your mother did do something about it. She gave you Durable Power of Attorney. Use it.

You need to take legal and/or police advice immediately, for this simple reason: if your mother has dementia sufficiently bad for her to be deemed incompetent, *you* are now responsible for what happens to her money. She cannot act for herself, you have power of attorney, therefore you are obliged to act in her best interests. That's the whole point of it.

You may find that you have more uncomfortable questions to answer about what you have been doing for the last two years than about whether or not your brother will remain in the bosom of the family. Get all the paperwork together and seek advice without delay.
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Thank you all for the information you have provided. I am not going to sit and watch everything go down the tube. I just became the DPOA two months ago when I found out things had started up again. I have been quietly gathering my information and facts together, Quite frankly the only reason I have not pulled the plug on everything is because my mother insists it was her doing (she is aware of everything I have found out), She will protect him until the end. I have talked to a lawyer and have set up credit notifications and been in touch with the insurance company. My other brother is pulling his support back from me, not quite sure what is going on with that, I suspect he wants to inform me but not get him in trouble. I did note that when he told me about the credit card situation it was after the statute of limitations. I have always been the one on the outside and now it looks like I am going to be the one to dirty my hands. Thank you for listening to my story and affirming what I know needs to be done.
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"CLOSE TO OUTING HIM, but..." "taking advantage of her kindness" and "respecting her wishes" ??? Your more accurate assessment is "the monster she created."

Your brother is not being unkind, rude, stealing petty cash, or dipping a hand into the cookie jar - he is a criminal who may make it impossible for your mother to receive care she will need as well as appropriating the inheritances of the entire family. I am not going to apologize for harsh language here. There is no way in hell this is really what your mother wants or needs if she is worthy of being called Mother. Maybe she also had trouble with "confrontation" and standing up for herself and her other kids, or could not admit she was wrong to baby and pity your brother into the irresponsible taker and parasite he has become. If you can't locate your backbone and stop this abuse, it will not stop until every last penny is gone, and if you really are psychologically unable to handle any conflict or confrontation, you need to resign the POA and see that someone else who is less timid takes over while you get some help and learn to stand up for yourself and the people who need you to. And rationalizing that you don't have to get a guardianship unless brother tries to get POA is just that - if it is to his advantage to do that, he will certainly persuade her to change it over. Right now he doesn't need to because he can count on you to keep doing nothing.

Look, you are POA and you are not stepping up to the plate here. Re-read your document. You could be held legally and financially responsible for failing to protect her best interests, as several others have pointed out. Lawyer up and get control, or go to APS and the police, NOW. A decent eldercare attorney can hold your hand through the process and even play bad cop for you to some extent. At the very least get the incapacity letters from the physicians so that your POA is in full effect and her changing it could be more credibly contested.

"All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." Please stop confusing being "good" with being a doormat.
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Sharon, forget about the funeral. Think about who is going to take care of mom with no assets when she becomes more demented, immobile and incontinent. She won't have any funds left to private pay for a facility and she won't be eligible for Medicaid.

Is that when she moves into your living room? You think your husband is angry now? Either call the police or resign your poa and tell mom and brother that they should have fun living together when the time comes.
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Sharon--
You are being far kinder with this brother than I would be. Sounds like you're angry and concerned, but not to the point you're going to actually DO anything. If you are OK with the status quo, then let it go. Bad brother will continue on in his path, and will take from mom everything she has and then some. You probably WILL get stuck with funeral expenses, as there won't be any money for it.
I, too, had a brother who took (stole) from my parents. The rest of us sibs did not know until my parents had to sell their house and we all found out that instead of having $290,000 ( the worth of their home in 1998)--they had less than $120,000. And their silver was gone, as were coin collections worth thousands, and anything and everything of value. He'd simply taken it. You better believe there was confrontation! My dad had let Mother do all this as he was too sick---and then to find their "nest egg" practically gone!
Brother was written out of the trust. Mother still slipped him money every time she saw him, but she was put on a budget with another brother overseeing her. My parents moved into an attached apt at another brother's home and they were supposed to pay off the mortgage in lieu of the caregiving that was going to be required, since brother quit his 2nd job to be home more to care for dad. Ended up they HAD to keep the little money they had left, brother has cared for my parents in his home and they paid nothing but the cable bill since. Dad died 11 years ago, mother is there now. Brother died 3 years ago---still feeling completely entitled to all the money he took. Mother wouldn't pursue legal action, it was her money, so we as kids could do nothing.
I am grateful Mother and Daddy had pre-planned and pre-paid funerals.
If you don't want confrontation, then don't have it. Live with the consequences. I still have some level of anger at the mess "bad brother" left behind, but more of that is emotional stuff--the money wasn't mine, but the repercussions still are there. All 4 of us "stable" sibs have had to step up over the years and help out the brother who has mother living there.
I agree with Windyridge--your brother should be held accountable--but sounds like mom has chosen sides. I'm really sorry for you---I'm not good at confrontation either, I understand, but you have to either confront him, or walk away.
Sorry for the overlong post--this just hit way too close to home!
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There is always ONE sibling. The favorite. A murderer/drug addict/lives-in-the-basement-at-age-30. Possibly disabled in some way, unable to hold a job, but that one sibling is Mommy's Little Baby Boy. (always seems to be a boy. "Congratulations! It's A BOY!") I don't know what to tell you except try to protect her assets as best you can. Even if mom gets furious at your interfering (because Baby Boy is so near and dear to her heart), see what you can do to protect her assets. Please. Even if she gets mad, it really is for her own good.
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