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My parents go along with my Sister, who they did name as their POA. However, the law firm is a college friend of my Sis's, and they are not even in Elder Law--they are in Intellectual Property/Copyrights.
Is it legal for my Sister to be in cahouts (sp?) with the lawyer, tell the lawyer what she wants to have happen with my parents, and then the lawyer calls up my parents and says what is going to happen? And then my parents go along with all of this crap?
I am the local 24/7 child, the other siblings are all out of state (very far!) and they are all getting to live their own lives, basically, and do not have the constant caregiving duties that I do. So, yes, I am jealous, but looking at the Big Picture, I feel that my parents are not getting accurate or appropriate legal advice--from someone who is being swayed by the POA.
How can I reverse this situation.

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for myself it is "sort of" good news....for my parents, they still need lots of support--my mom especially needs to be reminded that she herself is The Boss, and not her attorney nor Sis.
That is the crux of this issue---Mom needs to take charge more.
And when I try to encourage her to stand up for herself, Sis interprets that as "me" telling Mom what to do.
It is really like a "bullying" situation, where Sis is calling up mom, or taking a paid vacation (paid by Mom!!) to come and try to sway her opinion into making things financially favorable for Sis.
But really, Sis ought to be doing things that support Mom. Whether that is completing financial matters in a timely fashion (so the estate doesn't lose money, and I'm not talking about the stock market which nobody can forsee), or whether it is not writing checks on Mom's checking account,
ALL the kids needs to be doing things on their own time for Mom & Dad---currently, it is only me (& husband) that are taking 10, 20 hours per week to take parents to church, groceries, doctors, clean house, repair toilets, whatever needs doing.
So yes the work will continue for me, for awhile, maybe Dad will need a move to memory care soon. Maybe at that point, and if their house sells sooner rather than later (it's an unusual property), I will finally get some relief from all the work, and the worry.
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Can you still keep us updated? I'm so curious on the answers that you mentioned that are still pending. Wow.... I agree with you about the 'sort of good news.'
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WOW you did well!!! I hope your story emboldens others who need to make the same moves, and I'm sure it will. THANK YOU for sharing the outcome!
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Thanks for the update, PG - and at the very least you'll get rid of a nuisance object and your parents will net a nice lump of cash for it! So that is definitely good news :)

Hmm. It's hard not to be a teeny bit wary of lawyers who think that the best solution is one that contributes nicely to their own incomes…

Listen, at least everybody is talking and thinking constructively. Hope it continues, best of luck, hugs.
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Sort of good news to report, my $2820 that I myself spent on my Elder Care specialist, who went to meeting with mom, dad, and their IP specialist, did net some positive results. Not everything is exactly as I wish, but for sure, I do not have to be forced by Sis to accept the old motor home as my split of the estate (which is so ridiculous because neither parent is dead yet).
There were some minor fireworks (Sis was on conference call with the meeting) when my mom called her wrong for insisting her travel expenses paid out of mom's checking account. The elder care lawyer suggested that Sis be required to provide quarterly accounting to all involved and this seemed fine with mom/dad's lawyer.
The bigger question over who is the POA, Executor and Trustee has yet to be solved. But being prepared with copies of emails from Sis, showing how she has spent lots of our parents' money on her own travel (while essentially doing nothing that could not have been done over phone/email), and some other items I'll not disclose (where Sis failed to take action in timely fashion, costing parents tens of thousands of dollars). I'm not a financial guru but I do know a thing or two about how to make money last.
My mom still has some decisions to make regarding my Dad, and their own POA's, and one idea floated about (by my Elder Care lawyer) was to have a guardian appointed, which would require lots of hours of his work, but the idea appealed to my Mom, because she doesn't want Sis being in charge of things if something would happen to her (which is what would happen if Mom died tonight).
My elder care lawyer says he is hopeful we can come to a good resolution of the main issues. And I am so relieved I will not have the old motor home cluttering up my yard (we found a dealer who will buy it for about $18K and that solves a lot of problems).
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You really haven't given us specifics we can comment on. Galoshes 59 is right. Just being a friend of the attorney means nothing. Don't quite understand what situation you want to reverse...?
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Being a friend of a lawyer is not the definition of conflict of interest. Friendship has nothing to do with it. Lawyer's can't represent people on different sides of the same issue. Such as both spouses in a divorce. Only one is actually receiving representation and the other is getting nothing.
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countrymouse thanks for your well wishes.
I have gotten all the paperwork in order, and been reading & highliting certain items that I don't understand.
also have started to make a short list of the most pertinent issues--these lawyers are expensive so I want to be Organized!
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PG - wooh! So what happens when the POA needs her POA to act for her…? I should watch that one carefully if I were you, because it could be that the legal instrument giving POA to your mother will fail completely if your mother loses capacity, not only if she (God forbid spit-spit-spit) dies - is there a deputy named? My eyes are crossing!

And my toes are curling at the thought of your homework project. Fixed grin - isn't it just a Dee-Light when they issue instructions like that? Whistle a little tune and go and punch a cushion. Or wring its neck. Whichever relieves more tension. Although with me sometimes only burning in effigy will do…

Good to have the lawyer appointment in the diary, anyway. Hope it proves really helpful, best of luck.
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PG - wooh! So what happens when the POA needs her POA to act for her…? I should watch that one carefully if I were you, because it could be that the legal instrument giving POA to your mother will fail completely if your mother loses capacity, not only if she (God forbid spit-spit-spit) dies - is there a deputy named? My eyes are crossing!

And my toes are curling at the thought of your homework project. Fixed grin - isn't it just a Dee-Light when they issue instructions like that? Whistle a little tune and go and punch a cushion. Or wring its neck. Whichever relieves more tension. Although with me sometimes only burning in effigy will do…

Good to have the lawyer appointment in the diary, anyway. Hope it proves really helpful, best of luck.
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The appointment is not for another week but she has already sent me an "assignment" to gather up all the existing paperwork, which Mom already has organized (thanks to me, keeping it all tidy for her).
There is no problem with Dad's POA since Mom is Dad's POA. So whatever Mom decides will apply to Dad. However if Mom dies before Dad, that is an open question, which I will ask the Elder Care lawyer lady.
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It's not simple if Dad is too "far gone." In fact, it can't be done - but let's hope the Elder Care Attorney has some good, constructive suggestions to make; and meanwhile well done having such an enlightening conversation with your mother. Fingers crossed, keep us updated?
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It's very simple to revoke your sister's POA if your parents agree. A few hundred dollars and it's done. If they don't? Then you can't.-- unless you can prove your sister is not acting in their best interests, and they don't understand what she's doing.. If you think that's the case, by all means report the matter to your local elder abuse council. (Or whatever it may be called in your area.)
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Possibly good news: I had a heart-to-heart with my mom today. I took her out to lunch, as a respite from dad (caregiver was on duty with him).
Since mom has a retail business background, I asked her, "What would you do if one of your employees was skimming money off the store?" And she looked really alarmed and said, "I would fire them outright!". I said, "Well, the way you have set up your POA, is sort of like an employment situation--you have (Sister) running all your financial affairs now and also after you die, yet Sis is regularly writing checks for her airfaire and hotel, and she really doesn't need to do that, she could just as well make phone calls and FAX the paperworks".
My mom was stunned. Once I put it to her in that framework, she got really serious, and asked me for advice. I suggested that we have her will, POA and Trust reviewed by an Elder Care Attorney (after showing her on my Ipad her currnet attorney is an IP/patent law firm). Her wheels were really turning.
I also suggested that it was very "un-equal" (again, the word "equal" has great meaning with her) that Sis could call up the current attorney and ask questions about how to be POA, and yet if I had questions, it would be my responsibility to pay an attorney to answere my questions.
My mom has agreed to meet with an actual ELDER CARE attorney. Perhaps the time is good right now, since Dad is really too far gone to make decisions, maybe Mom feels a certain freedom to act on her own.
I am guarded, but hopeful, that perhaps there can be some restoration of the family here. I do not know for sure, but at least I am hopeful. And that means a lot.
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Loved your comments on the sh*t hot financiers - isn't it the truth! A good friend of mine, a decent, intelligent person, is in constant turmoil because she sees all the financial moves but the rest of the family doesn't get it (in her opinion). I keep trying to tell her to look at things from their perspective, but some people are obsessed with money. Like the relative of mine who was so determined to keep money out of the hands of the IRS, that he made a will that virtually ensured chaos, bad feelings and in the end the lawyers got more than the IRS would ever have.
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Truly, life is not fair. All we can do is play the hand we are dealt.
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PrettyGood, being in the same situation as you are more or less, I'm more sympathetic than this is going to sound; but I doubt if your sister is on much of a guilt trip, if any - she just doesn't trust you (or anyone else for that matter, it's nothing personal!) with the money. "Sisters" who consider themselves sh*t-hot financiers, I've observed, consider all other lesser (aka less mercenary) beings irresponsible financial nitwits who will send their parents into a pauper's grave.

I found that when I refused, internally, to find my sister's opinion of me plain insulting and tried to view the situation as though her assessment of me were hypothetically correct, it made it a lot easier to... 'to get along' is putting it too warmly. A lot easier not to want to spit in her eye the whole time, let's say.

Going to law is going to cost time, money and any possibility of a co-operative relationship with your sister. Neither of you will win, and your parents will most certainly lose.

I'm just trying to think if I can point to any real progress I've made as some kind of consolation. Not. Really. I would still like to replace the carpets in mother's room for something a bit more forgiving ("no, you're selling the house, waste of money" - though God knows how long we'll be living here, and meanwhile mother lands face down about once every three months). I would like to damp proof her rooms (loud laughter). I would like to get her a new lamp, new blinds, new curtains (I'm not even bothering to ask). ALL of this is wrong wrong wrong - as any nice friendly judge would back me up on. But they haven't been the right battles to pick.

I do now have a separate account that I operate that I put mother's spending money in, and specific sums for larger items that POA sister and I have agreed. To be honest I had to do this because the monthly requests for detailed accounts were going to make me stab her; now I can just give her the bank statement and have done. So that's an improvement on six months ago. You CAN get anywhere - you just have to be incredibly selective about what points are really going to make any difference to your parents. And try not to punch your sister. However much she deserves it. And remember that in the fullness of time you will never have to see her superior know-it-all oo get me running the World Bank face again.

AandA - loud raspberries to you!!! LOL (hysterically) Yes I wish I had thought of all this seven years ago too, Miss Smarty Pants!!! Seriously, well done, good move.
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jeannegibbs, yes I should see a lawyer, but, unlike Sis I cannot get somebody else to pay for it..... that's what is so unfair about this whole situ, in order to get any justice I would have to spend a few grand, and more importantly, lots of my own time, to find an Eldercare lawyer, get all the paperwork together, go to appointment, and fight with Sis. I do have another job besides my parents.
I'm about ready to just give up.
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I am soooo glad Mom and I went to an Elder Law Attorney 7 yrs ago!
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Are you planning to see a lawyer yourself, PrettyGood? We can sympathize or criticize or offer support, but to get something done, see a lawyer.
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GardenArtist, I truly have no vendetta against my Sis. There are much older details I can't go into here, relating to sales of 2nd home, vehicles, and other valuable property, that my parents asked ME to help them with (over 10 yrs ago), and I attempted to help them with their requests, but when Sis found out I was helping parents---she called the attorney and she herself told the attorney she didn't want me doing anything financial (we used to be joint POA's).

So then the attorney called my parents and told them to eliminate me as POA, and my parents (stupidly) complied. They left me as the health care POA, but essentially this is worthless, I cannot help them with choice of assisted living or caregivers because I don't have the power to sign a financial contract for my parents, even if THEY want me to do so, it would be illegal because I'm not the POA.

So it becomes very very expensive for my parents to do anything---they have to have Sis come over (at a couple thousand dollars a visit) and make sure everything is OK with her. One time (while I was still POA jointly) they had me help with a vehicle sale, and they had everything chosen as they wished; Sis came along and said "No way" and then went out on her own (!) and chose a vehicle for parents.....it was difficult for them to re-learn that car's dashboard arrangement, they got into several accidents, it was a disaster, so after 18 months they just traded it in on the vehicle they had originally wanted! What a colossal waste of money, and with really bad results, for my parents!

It's important to remember, the "client" in this case (and every case!) is the parents, NOT the POA. The attorney has a solemn duty to represent what is in best interest of the parents, NOT the POA.
If an attorney FIRST listens to the POA (and is also an old friend....) and then instructs the parents "this is what you should do" to me that sounds really fishy.

As others have written elsewhere, I gather it is even illegal in some states to have out of state POA's. I wish that were true in my state, as it would solve a lot of logistical and familial problems.

My Sis is actively trying to eliminate my place in the family---she got me written out of the POA, she is trying to get me to accept an old crappy motor home as my total inheritance, and other ways of throwing me trash, when all I do is provide the best for my parents, and I'll probably be the one to hold them as they die. Sis probably just feels really bad that she can't "be here" for parents and in some twisted way she is trying to elevate herself by reducing me. If that sounds like I have a "vendetta" against my sister, then I guess I do, but it's only because I want the Best for my parents, and clearly that is NOT my sister.
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After having read and responded to your other post, I now see another one asking a slightly different question, one which contains an unfounded accusation, but which still focuses on your dissatisfaction with your sister.

You claim that your sister is in "cahouts" with her attorney. What proof do you have of this allegation? To infer that an attorney is engaged in improprer if not conspiratorial behavior requires some hard, well documented facts. Do you have this? Or is it just your opinion?

This is a serious charge and diminishes the credibility of your queries. It suggests to me that there are ongoing issues between you and your sister and that this disagreement/feud/whatever is at issue, rather than what's best for your parents.

This is the way people work with attorneys: client tells attorney what he/she wants, asks how to accomplish certain things, preserve assets, plan for care and disposition, etc. Attorney tells clients how to accomplish these issues and/or why something can't be done the way it's requested, if it happens to breach a law or be impossible, etc.

Attorneys do not take orders from clients in the sense that the client, especially someone designated as POA recipient, dictates to the attorney what should be done.

Big picture? I'm afraid what I'm seeing as the big picture is the disagreement and even possibly a vendetta against your sister. Whether it's justified or not is beyond the scope of us to determine.
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I agree with Jeanne: it would be better if your mother and sister were being advised by an Elder Law specialist. I can see why your POA sister would favour giving your parents' legal business to her old college friend - it's reassuring to have a personal relationship with someone who's giving you personal advice - but I think the college friend, actually, is acting a little unwisely. It's unusual for a lawyer to be willing to stray so far from his/her own specialist territory, so I'd assume that the c.f. is consulting somebody else in his/her practice about Elder Law, estate planning and areas like that.

I'm still surprised that s/he's prepared to do this though. My cousin's ex-wife is my mother's lawyer, handled her will and - dammit - her Power of Attorney; but when it came to selling her old house and setting up a Deed of Trust for us all to buy this one together - no, she handed that straight to a colleague who specialised in real estate.

So. Do your homework on firms in your local area that specialise in Elder Law, and find one that has a good reputation - word of mouth is usually the best recommendation. Then speak to your mother and your sister together, and suggest that specialist advice from a local firm would be better for your parents. Your sister might not agree, but in that case she ought to explain why. Listen to her before you assume she has an ulterior motive - there could be good reasons for it: for example, if she lives a long way away and regularly needs to sign documents.

If your father's dementia is advanced, he cannot revoke the current POA because he will not have the capacity required to do that: your sister will remain as his POA. That being so, it doesn't make much sense for your mother to change hers either, because their property is likely to be intertwined and you'd end up with too many cooks spoiling the broth (not to mention big fat duplicate fees). I'm sorry, but what this means is that you probably can't "reverse the situation." However, that doesn't mean that you can't do anything about it at all.

Are there any decisions that have been made that you in fact have a problem with? Do you have any reason to question the quality of advice your parents have been given, or do you just have reservations about where it's really coming from?

Or… I wonder if what you're most unhappy about is, perhaps, that you're not being kept informed about your parents' legal and financial affairs? So: what do you want to know? And what's stopping you asking?

As long as everything that is being done is in your parents' best interests, one, and as far as possible is in line with what your parents want to happen, two; then your sister isn't doing anything wrong. But if you've got concerns about the decisions that are being made, please come back and add more details.
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I have known my attorney for 20 years and consider him a good friend. Just because sis knew the attorney in college doesn't make him a bad lawyer. Plus with all your other posts about the situation, it is probably a good thing to have a lawyer in the picture, at least five years before Medicaid would be needed. Everyone in your family seems to be worried about inheritance.
Put that worry aside, because the cost of nursing homes means there won't be anything left to fight over. And forget trying to hide the assets or put them in someone else's name, that would only hurt Mom & Dad. Too many people here have given gifts to children only to find out that Medicaid frowns on early "inheritance", they demand the money be spent for care. " I want to leave the kids something" is foolish when you need 24/7 care. Pay for the Nursing Home first. You won't see me putting my house in a Trust. I expect all my assets to pay for my care. Call me selfish.
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To your question, yes a POA can instruct the lawyer. That is one of the valid roles someone with Power of Attorney can play. If your parents are competent and they don't like this they can change POA.

If the real issue is something else ... not being paid for caregiving, for example, or not having respite care, then address the real issue.

In any case, I suggest seeing an Elder Law attorney.
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PrettyGood, having read your other posts, I feel like you are in a really untenable situation. If I recall, your dad has dementia and your mom enables the non-present siblings by giving them money if they come to visit. Your sis has POA and YOU and your husband do all the caregiving free of charge. What would happen to this fairytale land that your parents live in if you suddenly became unavailable? Like went for an extended vacation, didn't show up or answer your phone or God-forbid, had emergency surgery? I would suggest that you might have to act out one of these scenarios to make the point with your clueless sibs. It sounds hard; it sounds cruel, but it might make YOU feel alot better. And it might, just might get sibs to see that it's time to move on AL placement or paying someone (you or someone else) to do the heavy lifting. As with all scenarios, this can have unintended consequences. Be prepared to take some heat.
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I will never understand how you can be caregiver and NOT POA? get poa OR let your sister look after them. And i think having a "friend" as thier lawyer may be a conflict of interest so i would nip that in the bud asap. Go and see an elder lawyer something "stinks". Tell your parents that if you dont have POA then you cannot care for them. I am the main caregiver here and even my siblings agreed that i should have POA after a fight of course i sitll havnt got mum to get it sorted though but i cannot imagine caring for her and not having poa when my siblings are abroad?
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