My brothers want to take me to court for stealing from mom who offered to help pay bills. Do they have a leg to stand on? - AgingCare.com

My brothers want to take me to court for stealing from mom who offered to help pay bills. Do they have a leg to stand on?

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She has lived with me for almost 4 years....I have been care giver for her and dad who passed in 2006 for almost 8 years.... I stayed with them for a couple of months at a time when needed to care for one or the other. When my mother fell and was told she couldn't live alone in Feb. 2009 we moved her in with us. My mother has insisted on paying for a few different things that we purchased over the last several years, we didn't ask, she insisted and said it was for all that we have done for her. Now all of a sudden my brothers are accusing me of stealing her money without her knowledge....this isn't true and they say they have gotten a lawyer.. I have never spent Mom's money without her knowing it. I am POA and my name is on all of her accounts. In 1994 my Parents put me on their deed as survivors right and my Dad told me the house was mine because my brothers never bother to come around but maybe once or twice a year. They are demanding to know how much money Mom was left by Dad and how much has been spent. She told them it was none of their business and that it was her money but they say this isn't the end of it and they will see me in court for stealing moms money....Do they have a leg to stand on? They don't realize how much they have hurt her and it really upsets me...they have never offered to take her and blame me because I have never asked... PLEASE HELP ME

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Was your mom competent when she insisted you take things or money? Does she have enough to pay for her care for the five year medicaid lookback? If not, no you can't take it, incompetent people, cannot give their money away. And medicaid will want someone in the family to pay for any missing money. Since you evidently, don't have any to spare, your siblings are concerned that you will expect them to pony up after using mom's money as your own for years. All her money should be kept separate so these accusations have no foundation.

Supposedly, my mom 'insisted' she pay for a few things for my sister and her children. Three trucks, two cars, computers, and clothing later and she's 10's of 1,000's in the hole. But they claim she 'wanted' to.
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Emilie I love your comments, my Mom was the same way. She used to fold laundry for me, unload groceries, fill bowls with candy for halloween, or anything just to feel useful. She can no longer do anything either but I agree with your philosophies. Now that my Moms in late stage dementia/alz I can thank her for doing the laundry and she give me a huge smile, no she didnt do it, but she thinks she did. After I bathe her and put her in her wheelchair to sit beside the shower while I shower, I put my towel on her lap. When I am done I say "Thanks So Much for holding my Towel". omg she loves it! haha Gotta love them!
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I like Jessebelle's comments. That said, where do you start with this. There is much miscommunication, non-cooperation, parental favoritism, one child shouldering all the burden, on and on and on.

Do your brothers have any idea what a nursing home or assisted living would have cost. Do they understand you have saved them much by shouldering this burden for 8 years? Have they done anything to help you at all and why didn't you ask?

I hope you have kept good records of your spending. I wouldn't worry too much about them hiring a lawyer. What are they hiring one for? If your mother is competent and wants to give you something, she can.

Maybe a heart to heart talk with them would be the best thing. Why can't they appreciate what you have done and have they been made to feel left out for some reason. Why did they never come around?

I have found, after reading many posts on this site, that much of this discord comes from childhood. Ask yourself if that could be true. And remember, when mom is gone your brothers will be too if something isn't worked out.

I have cut ties with my mother. She has been terrible to me. But my brother can say, "well Madge1 gets nothing, she never was around and didn't help." What is not being said is I was being abused and had to cut ties.

I hope you can work this out, look at all angles and don't worry too much about the lawyer stuff, I think they are bluffing.
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The human side to this for me is that Your Mother needs to be needed. My mother I know for a fact has to feel needed and feel like she is not a burden to us. She can not do her housework, cook her meals, do he laundry, bath herself ect. She is of sound mind and it is a great burden to her to think that she is not able to do the smallest things for herself. Sometimes she will tell me, Emilie go to the bank get 100 dollars and take your family out to dinner. I always respond with a big smile and a big OH thank you Mom, how did you know I did not feel like cooking tonight. She laughs and say's well you just made a dinner here I knew you did not feel like going home and cooking one there :) She is not rich and neither am I, and she has helped her with many other things financially. When ever she gives me money she looks happier than I am about getting it. She always say's, it's not time for me to go home yet I'm still needed. When she broke her hip this last time in the hospital, she said to me. I am worried about you being left alone because your husband has cancer and dementia. I said to her, then you had better get better cause I do not want to be left alone here in Chilliwack. My siblings all live thousands of miles away. She got better and now although she is not very strong she is alive and she can eat by herself, she is starting to dress by herself and she can watch tv, and she can walk with her walker. What a woman :)
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who has reciepts? see, the basic way it works, is if you have done nothing wrong, then dont worry. anything they can show a court would have to be a fake document, right? if you have taken money and they somehow got the records, then fess up and make a payment plan real quick.
sounds like your brother wants some cash, and he hasnt worked for it, hes trying to scare you with court. if youve done nothing wrong, he has nothing to show a court. simple. talk to a lawyer, start gathering your papers, anything and everything regarding reciepts for the house care,( lawn care, repairs,etc) gather reciepts for food,hygiene, all bank records, yours and your folks, the more paperwork you have the better your chance in court. a court doesnt know you,the judge looks at papers you give him. what paperwork could your brother possibly have that makes you look bad? you need papers that show you have spent money out of your pocket.
keep in mind, if yor folks are signing their house, money, accounts, etc over to someone else, they are saying in a sense,' here, i cant manage money anymore, you do it'.this as already very hard for them because nobody wants to be old nobody want to be in the hands of others, so dont ask them to decide things, they already did when they let someone else take over. balls in your court, step up , gather your papers, and get ready to look brother in the eye and say 'lets go.im ready for court'. good luck. people get real greedy when it comes to other folks money..
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I am caring for my mom with Thank God, the help of wonderful HHA's. One of my brothers, who of course does not help or wants to care for mom has contacted 2 atty's against me and he has been told I am only caring for mom and have not stolen her money. Family can be wonderful but at times it can be the worst. He has not spoken to mom since Dec 18th. Isn't love just grand, the best thing I did besides take care of my parents was to get an Elder Atty. Good luck everyone.
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There is a lot of good advice offered above. One thing that has not been mentioned is the possibility of having your Mother create a trust and name you as trustee. You can serve as co-trustee with her. There are guidelines in the trust of how to have her step down or be removed if that becomes necessary. When my Father created a revocable trust many years ago, it seemed sort of a waste of money because he doesn't have millions to protect from estate tax. Now, that he is showing signs of dementia, I am so grateful to have this in place. The trust includes a will, it includes legal protection of your mother's assets and yet she (and you if you are trustee) have full access. I have also found the elder advocate system to be helpful. On the sibling side of things, I know it can be difficult, but once you have the legal protections you need in place, I would try to do what you can to have them understand how much you do for your Mother and how hurtful it is to HER that they do not spend time with her. Some days it's very hard, but I try to be compassionate when thinking of my sibling who does not help and is quick to criticize. The compassion is really for me so I can let go of anger and be positive.
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Of course, being an only isn't so great when you want someone to share in the burden. But the more I read here, the more I realize I do have it somewhat good - no dealing with disinterested sibs, no dealing with money-grubbing sibs, no disagreements with other sibs over care.

That said...I do wish for a caring, interested sibling from time to time. :-(
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Oh this sounds so familiar, isnt it incredible!! Jeannes right thou, this could have all been avoided with a caregivers contract. Because your Mom is of sound mind, get her to a lawyer right away and stop the court business. Being a caretaker fulltime since 2009 would mean you are entitled to about $900 a week for all of those years. Call a lawyer now, dont wait. Good Luck!
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Being an only child would be awesome for those of us that have siblings. At least you know where you stand and don't have greedy people waiting with hands open for your parent to pass away so they can be first in line.....
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