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Sister is joint bank acct holder with mom w/dementia. Sister doesn't want me on as POA. She has and is still positioning herself as the only POA. She was executor for father who passed last year and will be for mother. Because of family dynamics she was able to do get father on board to keep me from being involved these past years. (they wouldn't let me add extra help, put her in nursing home before her time, then when said I was moving back to house to live & help father & mother, sister really revved up animosity against me. Father started saying sister treating their money like her own. When they sold cottage under my mothers name sister convinced him to put in GICs but wouldn't let him have any to fix up house and wouldnt even have place cleaned. So I finally stepped in to start asserting my poa rights. But within a few months father diagnosed with cancer and passes. She wouldn't allow me to come to house. I came eventually and she had husband harass me saying i was squatter. Her main & only concern right now is to sell house. Mother is in final stages of Parkinsons and sister will not let me have any poa duties whatsoever. Her & husband got rid of moms dogs right away because they didnt want any vet care to come out of their future inheritance. I got one dog back (actually i gave to her 10 years ago) and taking him to see mom in nursing home which gives her great joy. Luckily sister lives and works in different province/state and I have moved back into house to be able to see and be and care for mom at nursing home as much as possible. (house is unfit for her to visit) And am funding and paying for as much as possible. she refuses me poa access. a lawyer said would file passing of accounts. sister is now saying why bother cos she will be executor of mom soon. And i dont know how long passing of accounts takes. I may only have 6 months left with mother. sister sold car that i was supposed to have but made sure to get a vintage mercedes car shipped to her before father passed. Dogs condition getting worse (think could be mold in house).Can pursue guardianship but not worth doing. And will maybe prove her breaching executor duties but not now. I just want poa access as soon as possible to help. Bank says they are protecting mother, that money is for her benefit. How is that of any benefit. I dont want money for myself, its for my mother. Because there is a conflict between poas and in a joint account that i cannot access. that i should apply for guardianship. They are merely protecting sisters control over money. Please someone help find fastest way. (im in ontario canada but am sure laws are somewhat similar in states too) Any suggestions or anyone been in same position that knows what best to do.

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I just want to say to all of you having problems of this nature that i am sorry you are having to go through all of this. I can only imagine the sleepless nights you suffer. Money does crazy things to people. Our pwn relatives turn on each other over money. It's such a shame how it tears people apart. I hope you all find answers and can move passed it all someday. My heart goes out to you.
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All, some of the following is repetitive of my prior posts here, but I felt it needed to be expanded. Please excuse the repetitive information. The following is hopefully for everyone’s benefit!!
State bar associations in the USA keep a list of lawyers who perform pro bono (free) work for the elderly with low incomes and for those individuals who can't afford it and/or. In addition, they usually have groups designated for just that purpose. Most law firms (especially the larger firms) also require their attorneys to perform a certain number of pro bono hours per month and the receptionist and/or recruiting manager usually keeps a list of which attorneys are on the “call-in Iist” each month – these are the attorneys who are supposed to make themselves available to help people who cold-call law firms looking for help.
AARP is another good idea. We also have Local Area of Aging groups in each county that will intervene. The counties in each state also have Senior Citizen groups that can also provide references, as do most Home Health Care and Hospice companies. Last but not least, we also have Adult Protective Services (APS) to intervene. We can report anonymously or use our names. Last but not least, there is an ombudsman for nursing homes that can be contacted as well. I think they are more involved in abuse or neglect from the NH itself, but they or their offices could refer you to the appropriate parties to assist you.
For non-USA residents, call your government offices to find out the names of the equivalent of these services in your province/state – they should be able to help you find out what help is available. Then you need to talk to those departments / divisions / groups to determine if you or your LO are eligible financially or circumstantially for their services before you even think of hiring an attorney at an ungodly hourly rate.
In any of these cases, ask for assistance from a lawyer who specializes in elder care. As mentioned elsewhere, some of the things being done are not illegal, but are immoral. However, USA courts (judges) do not look on immoral actions kindly as it is considered elder abuse.
Klassylas, if you and your sister are equal POA, your sister can't keep you from doing anything - equal POA means equal rights to aid your mother. Yes, jointly and severally does mean either or not both. But it is up to you to assert your rights as POA, as you did with your dad. POAs have a duty to do the right thing, legally and morally. An eldercare lawyer can help ensure that is done and can compel the bank to listen to you. Sis may be the executor of mom’s estate, but if mom is alive, that means diddly squat at this point. She cannot prevent you from going to mother’s property or anything else. You can call the police and show them your POA to stop her. You can file a harassment claim against brother-in-law and get an order of protection to keep him away from you. Document everything you possibly can to prove your case. As Learningglass suggested, I would definitely submit a Petition for Citation to Compel Accounting if there is such a thing in your province! That alone might shake her up enough to behave herself. You don’t need a lawyer to do that.
I’m pretty sure sis cannot charge her hotel bills to the estate. Keep all of your receipts as related to mom and her care and caregivers!! You can also petition court to have sister removed as POA and executor if you can prove she is mishandling funds. I understand what you are saying, that sis is selling things off now and not caring for mom – APS can put a stop to that as well. I cannot repeat this enough … document, document, document and keep every little receipt with notes attached to each receipt as to the reason for the expense using the old “Who, What, When, Where, Why” rule. Keep a ledger if possible and keep the receipts organized.
If you are organized, you can do most of this lawyerly or paralegal type work yourself. Your local courthouse likely has a law library where you can research the law on your own. You want to take care of as much of this as possible immediately. If possible, I would also ask for a handwriting analysis to ensure sis has not / is not forging documents. If sis is joint owner of mom’s bank accounts and you are not, yes, all money will pass to sis on mom’s death. However, if sis is on mom’s accounts as POA, she is NOT an owner but merely a custodian of the funds, and that does end at death, and does require an accounting of the funds.
I am POA for my mom and her husband. I am joint owner on their accounts. If I were a dishonest person, I could rob them blind, as my powers are very broad. But I am honest to a fault and have buried myself in paper. That has turned out to be a good thing because my sis is now threatening to charge me with embezzlement, which is a joke. But that is exactly why my sister is not and never will be POA – she would use mom’s funds for her own needs and she would do what she wants, not what mom wants. And, this is why your sis can get away with a lot if you do NOT assert your powers.
The elderly, especially those with dementia are very susceptible to their LO’s suggestions and some people (like my sis and yours) can be quite cunning. However, that is also where APS will step in and put a stop to it because it is their job to do so and to see through their BS.
Unfortunately, I had to call APS on my step-father. The APS representative brought a policewoman with him. She gave me a lot of good info, as did the APS rep. Our Home Health Care Agency’s social worker was a wealth of knowledge too. I would imagine there is a NH social worker where your mom lives. You could start there unless sis has them wrapped around her little finger. If sis does have them snowed, start at the other places suggested above.
Mom’s bank is taking the easy way out by protecting sis. They just don’t want to get involved in anything ugly, but that doesn’t mean they are right in doing so.
POAs are filed in our real estate divisions of the county court house. Do you know if your and your sister’s POA was ever filed with the court? It would be helpful if it was. You can go there and get a certified copy of it, if you don’t already have one, which you should. You will need it to get anything done.
As also suggested by Learninglass, summarize the issues, write down your questions and thoughts before getting in touch with anyone. Also, check the dates of any paperwork signed by mom. If her dementia had progressed to the point that she cannot be accountable for what she signed, or if anything was signed under duress, sis can get in trouble with the court for that as well.
GardenArtist, I agree that we need more info like this available to all members. I’m surprised if there is not a lawyer on the board of directors to advise on such issues.
2Marily4me2, this would be your step-daughter rather than DIL, correct? Call your husband’s doctors and local hospital to find out if there is a POA on record. Go to the real estate division of your courthouse to find out if she filed a POA. It is not required, but is helpful, so she may have done so.
Step-daughter may have pretended to be you or may have had a POA in order to get another credit card on your husband’s account. That is doable. However, since your husband cancelled the card, he should not be liable for the bills that she ran up. Have you heard of Clark Howard in Atlanta? He has a nationally syndicated show on the radio and online. He loves digging into these type situations to help people. Just search him on the Internet. DO NOT PAY ANYTHING ON THE BILLS YOU ARE RECEIVING. When you start making payments, you are admitting liability. If necessary, let husband go into bankruptcy for protection. Put creditors on notice to stop calling. Did husband send POA revocation by certified mail? If not, send another one in that manner. Use Credit Karma to check his credit daily if necessary to find out what she is up to and call each and every creditor and report ID theft. Find the federal website to report it as well. You may never know how she managed to do this, but if it is his daughter, she may likely have his SSN and DOB, which makes it easier.
Ramiller, some people do assign joint POAs. I would never recommend doing so, but some people don’t want to hurt one child over the other and assign both as joint-POAs.
I am willing to talk to anyone who needs more information. Elder abuse is my pet peave!! I am not a lawyer but worked in law firms as a legal secretary for 30 years before leaving because of my health, so I learned how to navigate the legal system – in the USA, anyway. If I don’t know the answer, I can generally help figure out how to get it.

Best of luck to any and all in these situations!!
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Does anyone know how to find out if someone in there family, such as my daughter-in-law (my husbands daughter) How do we find out if she has a POA?
My husband went to visit his daughter & son & grandchildren, he was getting a 2nd opinion from a Cancer doctor & it ended up with Hospice involved, long story....But before this he became very sick one night & rushed to the hospital, he forgot his wallet with his one credit card that he took with him,WITH HIS NAME ONLY ON IT.
Somehow she manage to call this credit card and get a different card number with his name still on the card.....Yet he called this credit card & told them it was stolen or lost and to shut it down. Now we are getting bills 4 months later where it was used and maxed out over the limit, plus the daughter has opened severeral other cards in his name. I have called a few places & they say to report it as Identity Thieft, which I am sure is right, but there is so much paper work...... But what I can't understand is how she has managed to do this? On his credit report she has charged almost $180,000 by applying for several credit cards in his name & has not made any payments. He sent her papers revoking a POA if she ever had one. But she will not answer any calls nothing.He has told the 1 credt card she has done this and gave them her phone number & they already had her address. How can we find out what she told them to get all of these credit cards as they will not tell us....Thank You Kindly in advance. Marilyn
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LookingGlass, your story is intriguing, and insightful, and unsettling. I wasn't aware there was such a Petition as you filed to get documentation on expenditures. Would you mind explaining your situation a bit more? I'm trying to put this all in perspective. There are others here who are acting as proxies for their parents and I think we might all find your experiences helpful in dealing with our own siblings and families.

You wrote that your niece took over as proxy under a POA for your mother, and that your husband wasn't notified. Was the new POA prepared by an attorney? If so, it might have been his or her responsibility to notify your husband of the change in proxy. Or it would have been your mother's, but I'm not sure it was your niece's responsibility.

Did you feel there was duress or trickery or something similar involved in the change? Had your niece been involved with your mother's care all along, or was she an absent relative until late in your mother's life?

Was there a written diagnosis that your mother had dementia and wasn't legally capable of understanding and executing legal documents? That could put a whole different spin on the entire issue.

Was the niece the caregiver for your mother at that time, and if not, who was? Was your mother in a facility, for which some of the $100K might have been expended? Were there other hired caregivers involved?

And how long of a period was covered, during which the $100K disappeared?

I would appreciate any more insight you can offer into this situation, and thanks in advance for sharing your story.
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I live in the U.S. AARP was very helpful to us in a similar situation. AARP has a list of attorneys who offer a 45-minute free phone consultation on legal issues. Summarize the problem beforehand to make best use of your time.

Our niece, Mom's grandchild, took over POA from my husband without telling us. She was 21 at the time. Mom had dementia, but signed the necessary papers. Over $100k disappeared.

Mom has since passed away, but the legal battle continues. On the AARP attorney's advice, I submitted a "Petition for Citation to Compel Accounting" to the Orphan's Court in PA. The petition cost is under $100 and you can represent yourself; we did not hire an attorney. The Petition requires POA to report value of Mom's assets at the time they took over, and give the final value of assets at Principal's death, when POA expires. They are also ordered to submit bank statements and receipts to the court for review. In your case, your sister would have to present her accounting up to the present date. Doing this now may save you a lot of grief and speculation later on.

Mom's POA has not volunteered much information, so it is a slow process without attorney. If you are patient and do your own research, you will save a lot. It's hard to navigate the legal system. Remember just because something may be legal does not make it honorable or right. Mom's POA arranged for her Will to be changed, and took 50% of estate. POA put money from selling her house into a joint bank account with her and then took possession of the account balance after she passed away. This is legal, but despicable. The law does little to prevent people from abusing their POA. I would advise you to take action now, if you plan to do anything. The statute of limitations for POA abuse is one year in most states. If you don't speak up, you lose your rights to object. Good luck, and enjoy time with your Mom while she is with you.
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Unlikely you would have any success in a litigation.
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Marilyn, such kind words. I will never understand greedy people. It breaks my heart to hear your stories. Hugs to u both and anyone else dealing with greedy relatives. It really is sad for them because they dont understand the true meaning of happiness, it does not come from things but from relationships which by their greed the destroy.
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Klassylas,
I just wanted to pass a HUG onto you, , as I really understand what you are going threw. Seems to me, your sister is just greedy & wants things all for herself.
I hate to put it so bluntly but, that is the way I see it, & I have went threw this with my husband & his children. He thinks that his Adult Children just want to be part of the dissension making, & be included in ALL thing.
Even to the point of the daughter opened a credit card in his name and maxed it out & won't pay for it....Husband has Vascular Dementia, & just can not under stand what they are doing. My thoughts & prayers go out to you. You can email me any time if you wish to. At least you know & can say you did your best for your Mother & spent as much time as you could with her. Which will be in your heart always.
Take Care, A Friend, Marilyn
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Sorry for your stress. Please think of yourself if nothing else. If mom has made her choice before she really became sick -Sorry -she made it so. If your Joint on POA -PLEASE ""find out all you can about what happens"" when your mom does die,, who pays for what- POA is just a way of saying who is to pay bills. So let your sister be big and PAY them .NOT YOU IF you can try and get your name off it and make her responsible for it all. That will put her in her place. How much Ins. is on the house and Taxes. She has to pay for them too-Or lose the house for no taxes paid. Sell the house and she'll have to show where it goes at time of will. IF THERE IS ONE .. FIND IT . Just make sure you have a place to live that is yours and not moms.Sister should have to pay for moms funeral too- since she is POA. Make sure your not the Executor on the will Be happy and just check things out. before its to late. Sorry to be abrupt but you asked and I thought you could use a kick in the pants. GET YOUR NAME OFF PAPERS and make her do it. IF you say house isn't worth it. By all means let her have it ...and peace be with you.Your sister may have the will.already.Ask and see it. If she want show it then go see a Lawyer only for advice (No Pay). Have a list when you go to see him. We've been there and as it turned out we had no leg to stand on BUT he paid for funeral and her bills. ..She was in Nursing home. But we know he clean out her bonds and checking before she went in. or Nursing home would of taking it. Here in America that's the law. Social Security has a way of making sure all get paid. Do you have something like that -that your mom is using??
SIBLINGS can be cruel when it comes to sharing . I'm next to the oldest of 12 And mom and dad both had their picks of which kid they liked best.
Take care of your self and START checking things out..
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If your sister is joint bank account holder with your mom as stated in your first sentence, you would also need a POA on your sister to access funds in that account.
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That is wrong. You can be a looker on the bank acct. Talk to bank mgr.
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Yes, you can hold sister accountable when all is said and done.
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Is there an area of aging or bar association that has a pro bono department in the area near your mother's nursing home that you can contact for legal advice? It sounds like that is your best bet at this point. I agree that it sounds like sis is outmaneuvering you and you are right to want to deal with that later rather than now, but I would see to it that she pays for anything she has done incorrectly when the time is right! You are doing the right thing for your mom - spending time with her, bringing her dog to spend time with her. At this point in her disease, I'm not sure there is really much more you can do for her than what you are doing. Unless you are seeking funds to pay for more individualized attention than she is currently getting at the nursing home, there really isn't much more than mom's funds should be paying for. You can get the money you are owed from the estate once she is gone. For now, just forget about sister and spend time with Mom. Make sure you will be able to live with no regrets. Sounds like sister should have plenty to be sorry about. POA expires at death. Executor controls estate upon death. Hope this helps. So sorry Mom created a joint POA - they rarely work out well. My sister is about ready to kill me now because I have POA. If we had to share POA duties, my mom would have never gotten any care at all. Please let us know how things progress.
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It sounds as though your sister has out manoeuvered you by holding mom's money in a joint account, therefore you can not access that money. BTW, it will also belong to your sister when mom passes, it will not be part of the estate. I'm not sure how she could have done that without your mom signing off on it though, I would be asking the bank for proof of that.
Is this the only account or are there others? Once again I ask, have you shown the bank a dated and notarized copy of your poa? Are you sure your sis and mom did not write a more recent one excluding you?
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Sorry not BC but Ontario, Canada.
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Wasn't wise making two people POA just for this reason. Maybe she has to sell the house for Moms care. I think you need to talk to a lawyer, the one who wrote the POA would be where I went first. If you are joint, then he needs to explain this to your sister that you both make decisions. Also, your sister must show that the money is being spent on your Mom. Actually, not much you can do about property that you have been left in a will. It still belongs to ur Mom and needs to be sold to pay for her care. POA is void once the person dies, then executor takes over.
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Klassylas, I am so sorry, it does sound like Mom is near the end of her life. If she is in a nursing home and has late stage Alzheimer's , there is no PT or Speech therapy that will help. If mom's MOLST says no artificial feeding, that won't happen either. Your sister seems to know that mom is terminal while you do not accept that reality. Forget challenging her POA if you live in NY and mom is in BC. The Judge will not take the risk that you would move funds to another country.
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Two people can be named as proxies, with either having the authority to act. That's how my father's and sister's were set up.
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We are Joint & Severally. I am spending every night with her at nursing home until she falls asleep. (final stages parkinson&demetia and gets scared and lonely).And because she is my mother and I love here. I bring her dog to be with her too which gives her comfort & joy. (whereas sister gave dog away cos didnt want estate to pay for any vet bills but i got one dog back and paying for its vet care) The family house is 5 mins away from nursing home which I moved back into so I can see and be with her. I moved here (Ont Canada) from New York (subletted apt out). I want & should have POA access. I buy food to bring in for mother that she will eat, I need to hire extra help (that doctor there agreed) to help her eat, speech & physio and be there when I'm not. Sister did hire one girl after I made it her idea. But doesn't want any more money to be spent on mom saying she is fine at nursing home without me. (she will probably have to pay for extra help I hire) and only to make sure she is the only one with poa rights in order to exclude me. I am taking care of vet bills cos sister says dog isnt of benefit to mom (am getting a letter that it is) And I know that both parents would have wanted to make sure dogs cared for. She gave dogs away which she had no right to. She also sold car I was supposed to have under moms name (there were 4 cars in household) She took one car for herself but made sure I not have one. On purpose cos she knew I would need to have when here. I've had to rent cars (getting expensive). She blocked me from coming to family house right after father died. She wants to sell the house now. Yes I can get a lawyer to do "passing of the accounts" but I just need help NOW cos am running out of money. I am not asking for much and it is all for my mother. She wants control and not a penny to come out of her future inheritance no matter if it is for my mother or not. She closed one bank account and moved out west canada where she lives. She stays at hotels when here instead of house (cos house is in bad shape) and she expenses that to POA. So yes I will contest all that but I need POA rights now. I dont care if she sells the house after mom dies (although I even mentioned I would buy her out and buy house myself). I'm self employed and want to work, not live off estate. (and why pay a lawyer and spend money that i would want to put towards mom instead). Bank here says can't help that she is joint account with sister. Sister is purposedly making sure I am drained financially cos she wants to sell the house. My mother may not be around past a year. PS I can prove that any poa money access I spend is only and all for my moms benefit and what she would want. So please if anyone can help figure out what to do NOW. PS Most families would be grateful that mother not by herself.
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Ra, jointly and severally means either or both, and seems to be the norm in Ontario.
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cwillie, you are correct there can be two in what is called a joint poa, in that case every document signed by a poa has to be signed by both everytime. The second way to set up poa is a primary and successor should primary be unable.Klassy, u should check to see how the poa is set up. If you are equals then sis cannot act without your signature on documents. But like i said mom needs you right now your time is better spent with her than chasing sis around. When mim passes sis will have to account for funds thats when you can fight her if you wish. Just trying to put things in order of importance. I do wish you the best.
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Sorry, bad editing. Plan where you would like to live.
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Klassy, where were you living before you moved into your mom's house? Your post was rather hard to follow, I missed that you have been trying to fix it up. I agree with pam, stop spending money on the house. It will be sold either after your mom is gone or sooner if your sister has her way. It sounds as though it has fallen into disrepair and there is no hope it would ever be fit for your mother to return to even if she wasn't so frail. You might want to consider where you like plan live in the long term and take steps to set yourself up for that future.
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Please do not spend any more money on the house. The Executor has to sell it if the Will says sell. An estate does not settle quickly even in the US. There is a waiting period, in NY, there are no distributions for seven months. Look up probate waiting period for the province in question. It can be more than a year!
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Ramiller, my mom's poa named my sib and I "jointly and severally", so it is possible that Klassylas is correct about that.

Generally banks tend to give a lot of trouble about poa's anyway and often they want you to fill out their own forms. Have you presented the bank with a notarized copy of the poa to prove it is valid and up to date? It sounds as though you are the one who is physically closest to your mom? Is she able to talk to the bank and give them instructions?

Beyond all that, I'm not really sure what it is you want to accomplish by asserting your rights as poa, it sounds as though mom's bills are being paid and she is cared for. Why exactly is it you need access to her accounts?
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With financial matters there is only one primary POA with a successor who steps in only if POA cannot preform duties. It is different then a healthcare POA. What do you need the money for, is sister paying for moms care? If so a power struggle at this point will only bring more anxiety. Why not spend as much time with mom while you can and let things get sorted out in the will. I hear the anxiety in your writing. It is so common when money is involved for people to become grabby grabby and totally ruin family relationships over THINGS. It saddens me when that happens. Maybe others will have more suggestions.
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