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My poor dad passed away on 2/27, my mother in law, who I also loved, followed him 18 days later. Mom is being fine with me. Big Sis is saying every nasty thing she can possibly say to me close enough to make sure I can hear. I am a well-educated successful woman. She barely made it through high school, and smokes pot and takes god knows what other kind of drugs. I have called Adult Protective Services to check on mom because right after my dad passed, I thought Mom was ok financially with $7100 in the bank, but they went through $6700 in less than 18 days. Everybody I have told this to has gasped at the exploitation. My attorney said because mom put my sister on her account, there's nothing anybody can really do IF mom approved all they spent it on (which she probably did). Now I have to worry every week if Mom has enough money to take care of her, or have they gone out and blown it all again?

It is at least a 2 hour round trip for me to go see Mom. We also run a small riding/boarding stable, I have a full time job and an 11 year old straight A student (at least before all this) daughter and a husband to care for. Not to mention a bunch of rescue animals. From what I've heard over the phone, Sis is not handling Mom well. Another attorney friend of mine (boards her horses with us), said to tell Mom when Sis is not around that she's welcome to come stay with us if needed. Mom is legally blind, and wanders off and gets lost sometimes - not all the time just sometimes. Something tells me Mom is going to end up with us - so be it. My daughter wants me to turn Sis (her aunt) in to the licensure board for smoking dope. Ugh!

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Got it. My husband and I have noticed that she has to call and report her every move. Are they afraid because they think they have no where else to go? We told her she can come visit at our house, and we have been in contact with an excellent facility with experience in this area.
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Financial abuse is a real problem with the elderly. I hope the missing funds were not spent on drugs and needless things. If APS finds a problem they will remove your Mom from the situation.

When you see your Mom talk straight with her. Ask her directly about the money. Ask her directly if she's happy. Talk to her. If she is of reasonable mind, she'll answer you as best she can. Watch for visual clues of coercion. If your Mom wants out... take her out. Immediately.
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Does APS do anything in your neck of the woods? Hard if your mother is still competant, but what your sister & her husband are doing does sound like financial abuse of an elder. With the $6700 spent lickety-split without your Mother being aware of it they might be willing to step in. Might the life insurance co put a "hold" on the second check until APS checks everything out? Don't know if that's possible. Sometimes a bank will be willing to freeze an account on suspicion of fraud, but given that it is an inter-family matter...again, hard to say. In CA you can petition for conservator of the estate if it is shown that your Mom is unable to handle her finances or vulnerable to undue influence (letting your sis spend $6700 thinking it was for rent could prove your Mother's inability to manage finances).
I know it's frustrating you can't make your sis become responsible, but you MAY be protect your Mother's finances. Sure glad you have lawyer friends, otherwise it your Mom's entire estate would be spent on fees.
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They are aware that I'm checking, and I got blasted for doing so on Easter Sunday (god I love my supposed-family). She has my mom scared to go pee without her permission. She also has not told Mom of any of her email messages that have been sent to my mom after dad's death - I know she had at least 6 of them. I flat out told my mom that is very bad. Not much I can do about it Sis just changed her internet service at her house (on mom's dime) so I may not be able to check on the bank account any more. And mom just got her $50,000 life insurance check (the first one). Second one will probably come this week. I had mom interested in talking to one of the best attorneys in the country to set up her life insurance proceeds in an irrevocable trust that only she would have access to and it won't count against her if she has to qualify for Medicaid, but OF COURSE Sis nixed that it upset her so........My husband is figuring out their every move, as is our other attorney and several I know who have alot of experience with this kind of stuff. My husband and I, since mom was the one who brought up about how much I upset my poor sister, confronter her and asked if she knew they had gone through $6700 in less than 30 days - and have nothing to show for it - nothing new for mom except the diapers Sis is making her wear so she doesn't soil anything. My mother had no idea they had spent that much money - she thought she just paid them rent. However, she will back my sister up to the hilt, so no use even reporting that anywhere. Our attorney told us that since she put Sis on her bank account unless we go to court to have her proven incompetent they can do anything they want with the money. I'm about to say screw all this and turn my back on it. Not worth it. My grandparents always treated me better than my parents did anyway, and they have been long gone. My sister is an idiot she quit the one job that kept food on their table (and nobody asked her to), and is totally dependent on my mom's money (which, by the way, $50,000 won't go far if they actually do take care of her), so when mom is gone she's the one that's going to be hurting from all this and my family and I are going to still be in one piece. This kind of stuff just makes death and dying all that much worse. Hope they have fun with it. I've got an 11 year old daughter to protect.
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Doh!!! So sorry -- went back & re-read post. $100k life insurance policy. Never mind my "trust" comment above!
Sounds like with few assets, but enough money to pay bills the thing to do is...exactly what you are doing. Watch, keep your eyes peeled, try not to drive yourself nuts. Maybe don't mention that you are watching the account (they may not be aware). Maybe offer to help your sister/mother with monthly budgeting or bill-paying if they would like the help.
Maybe the three of you talk about what is a fair amount for your Mom to contribute to your sister's household for expenses, how much she needs for spending money, and the rest could go automatically to a rainy-day fund/trust (that you control?). Some elders are wonderfully generous, and can't resist emotional manipulation from strangers/ grand kids or charities.
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Glad the comments you are getting here helped. Iit sounds like you are beginning to recover emotionally. It does sound like you and your sister both have your Mother's best interest in mind, which is fabulous (again, soooo much better than others on this site!!!).

I think the $100k trust and either you or an attorney as trustee is a really good idea, especially if you can approach your sister graciously and it can be done without creating hostility in the family. It could take a lot of pressure off of your sister (and stop people from mooching-- some elders just can't say "no" to kids, grand kids, charities, etc).
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Whoa, Debralee! Jeanne is just the opposite. There are people here who do think we owe our parents no matter what. Jeanne is not one of those people. She is a practical minded person who offers well thought out advice. Sometimes she steps on toes, but many of us do that. She always gives spot-on advice.

Daugher2, I think it was more the way you said things that tweaked some people. I haven't been following your threads closely, mainly because my advice wouldn't have been all that great. It would have been to either get totally involved or totally uninvolved. I don't know what expenses were covered by the money taken from the checking account. I wasn't sure if it had anything to do with the funeral or moving your mother. It isn't difficult to spend $2-5 thousand during such times. That is not much money these days. If it will worry you to see money being spent, then get with your sister to draw up a budget for your mother or don't worry yourself by checking to see if checks have been written.

I like that you are involved in animal rescue. I know you have a good heart. Your way of writing is probably what caused some people pause. It is apparent that you are very upset with your sister.

BTW, I don't smoke marijuana, but I don't mind if someone else does. However, it is illegal in KY, so you may not want to pursue that against your sister. That could end up hurting her and coming back on you, since your mother lives with her.
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Daughter2-I am glad you reported jeannegibbs. She has made a nasty post to my comments also. She is one of those high and mighty know it all who thinks we owe our parents because they changed our diapers and sacrificed their lives raising us. Thankfully the response from others blasted her for her insensitivity. Take care of you and your family first and hopefully you can somehow sort out the concerns for your mom. Good Luck!
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Thank you I will keep that in mind. I doubt she would qualify for nursing home care, and her and dad took such good care of me and my sister I want to give what I can back to her. I doubt if she'd move in with us anyway - too many animals in the house - and she's not that fond of them and I won't kick them out because where we live they'd be eaten in one night.
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Everyone is giving you great advise. I'd add to it think carefully before you begin talking about moving your mother to your house. You already have a lot of responsibilities. It doesn't make you a bad person if your mother, who it sounds like needs a lot of care, were to be in a nursing home. I would work on gathering all the paper work needed for assistance. You, can not, and should not , feel that you have to do everything.
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Yep, I have thought of them doing that to her and/or doing something to hurt her to get at her $100,000 in life insurance. But I really don't have anything to base that on other than I really really hope that's not in store for my mom. She is welcome at our house any time. And NO, I won't charge her rent! That being said, I know my sister has no choice but to charge the rent - she would lose her farm if she didn't. What they spend the money on that we can see - they had a darn good time going out to eat, filling all their cars up with gas, getting their hair done, foolishly went ahead and paid for a year fo storage (it could have been paid for monthly) and, yes, on cigarettes. No explanation on what the cash got spent on but for now, as long as mom looks healthy and happy, I'm going to stay out of it. We are going to see her alone Saturday, and I'm going to let her know if she wants to come spend a weekend here and there with us we will come get her. All we wish for our parents is that they live as independently as close to what they desire for as long as possible. I don't think anybody can berate me for that. Not much I can do about Sis being on drugs - she's in her mid-50s and has done it all her life and at this point she's never going to stop. I think it's totally stupid and I abhore drug abuse, but as has been said the only thing I can control is my own behavior.
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There's no way 1-2 people could spend over $6K on weed. Crack-cocaine is another story altogether; which might be the reason they were so bent on getting Mom to move in. I shudder at the thought of her becoming curious enough to try whatever they're smoking or sniffing.

For the moment, your Mom is their piggy bank and they're going out of their way to keep her happy. But they'll probably kick her to the curb or drop her off at your house when there's no more $.

If Mom starts behaving erratically and seems more temperamental than usual, she's probably addicted. After all, no one who experiments with drugs believes s/he will get hooked. I hope this isn't the case.

It's not my intention to alarm you, but to consider all the possibilities.
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I just reported your post. This is ENTIRELY INAPPROPRIATE. Do NOT post any responses to my comments again. Hope somebody does you the favor of kicking you in the teeth when you are down again. Jerk.
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I am so glad to hear that your father-in-law, who lost his wife several weeks ago, is "worth it" to make a 2-hour round trip to visit for Easter. Do you always tote up the cost and determine whether interaction with family is "worth it"? How dreary.

And I know (because you are quite vocal about it) that you are educated and successful and important, while your sister didn't go to college and has a job "barely giving first aid" and, gasp, smokes pot!! OMG. Does she have an occasional glass of wine with dinner, too?

You sister went behind your back and moved close to your mother?! OMG! How dare she? Certainly that was sneaky plot to ... do what, exactly? And she invited your mother to live with her. And that was behind your back because you were in Outer Mongolia, maybe, and didn't have frequent talks with your recently widowed mother?

Smart and educated as you are, even the mother of a straight-A preteen no less, I'm surprised you couldn't figure out that it might not be good to air your distress over your sister in front of a young girl who has just lost two of her grandparents within a few weeks. But somehow you make this sound like it is your sister's fault.

Many, many caregivers post here about the heartbreaking challenge of getting an elderly parent to give up driving, for the parent's safety and the safety of those who share the road. Your concern? How to avoid riding in a car he is driving.

It is extremely stressful to lose family members you love. I hope what we are seeing in your posts is the stress and anxiety of your present situation, and doesn't reflect on your real values.

(BTW, when I have had to call EMTs for my mother or my husband, I certainly did not consider what they did as a profession to look down my nose at!)
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ok, thank you I'm going to print out your free advice - it is very helpful. That's pretty much what I'm going to do - for whatever reason they have left it so I can view Mom's bank account every day if I want. For everybody's peace of mind, I'm only going to look at it maybe once a week. I did check it at the beginning of this week - they had $1100 left only because I did their tax refunds quickly as soon as I found out they'd not been done yet this year. That gave them some extra money and got her car paid another month and they have slowed way down on their spending either because they had to or because my husband told me to say something. Yes, he's been wonderfully supportive through this whole thing. If it weren't for his intuitiveness, I might have missed catching a disaster getting ready to happen. No, this is not about the money - I truly don't care and if they want to totally blow all her $2500 AFTER bills are paid - then go for it. I really don't care about the $100 K either - except my sister brought it up twice - what did I think they should do with it. My immediate response was put it into an account and use it for her care. And if they blow that too then there's nothing I can do unless, as my attorney suggested, Mom puts it into some sort of account with me as a trustee. I wouldn't even care if they gave it to an attorney to oversee as the trustee. My main concern now is that she is as healthy as possible, happy, well fed and cared for. As long as I see that I think I will calm down too eventually. It's really hard when you lose 2 so close together, but I know I don't hold the market on that one either. And yes, I am totally proud of my daughter I looked today and she's already brought her grades back up with us sheltering her some from all of this. She was getting upset she thought they were going to keep her from being able to see her Nana - I fixed that and will continue to do so as best I can. We're taking her to her other grandfather's for easter this Sunday, and we're all supposed to go to church then out to eat. That's another 2 hour round trip, but my father in law is worth it of course.

Which brings me to the next question - what do you do when you don't want to ride in the car with an 85 year old who might ought to stop driving?? He's had at least on heart attack, and has COPD. Gets around well, doesn't pass out, but he has had a few minor car accidents.....

My sister is a licensed EMT, but I'm not sure if it's just as a first responder (they basically just transport patients - barely more than first aid) or something more. A co-worker who's worked in social services and juvenile justice said if she shows up to work high they will catch and stop it immediately.

Thank you for listening to me and for the great advice. I was just needing to work through this before I go up there Saturday. My motto now I'm going to try to keep at "do no harm"......
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I understand you want your mom's best interest but she made her decision to live with your sister and brother in law. If you can't change anything at the moment, you can change your perspective. Is your mom fed, bathed, and taken care of? If so, then that is what you need to focus on.
Your sister didn't do anything illegal except that she is accountable for her own health. So really you don't have a legal issue here without any evidence. You are free to sue your sister and brother in law but it is hard to "win" a court battle based on emotion the repurcussions is that you'll just end up with expensive legal fees.
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ok, sure - I only mentioned the education because I think my sister is jealous of me and so now with Dad gone - who used to keep her under control - I guess she thinks she has carte blanche opportunity to slam me every chance she gets - which is NOT helpful to the situation at all. My husband and I did call adult protective services after they ran through all of her money so fast - they did accept it for an investigation. However, APS I know is very over-worked and who knows what, if anything, they will do. We also went to talk to an attorney, and he said the same thing as my father-in-law who was a police detective for 35 years and has gone through this himself with 2 family members - they both are predicting that Mom, sis and brother in law are going to run through her $100,000 life insurance policy and then more or less dump her on us. I don't consider it dumping if you are taking care of one or both of your parents, but so be it. We will not turn her away. In fact, my husband wants me to invite her to spend a few weekends with us. No, we are not after her money! I really don't care if my sister, or mother, does use her $2500 per month I think she is going to be bringing in - it's her money - do what she/they want with it, but just don't think I'm going to be there with another $100 K when they run through it all.

I just can't understand her sudden nastiness/attitude we were fine before dad passed away. She was the one who found him in bed with Mom. I'm sorry, but her and dear hubby went behind mine and my family's back when they moved back here from Florida to get them to move close to them. What did they think the end result was going to be??!! We are going Saturday to pick up the last few pieces of furniture that they have all picked through and it's basically what nobody else wanted. I'm still furious my brother in law boxed some of my dad's things - the most valuable - he didn't have that much - and took them out before we could get up there. I wouldn't have caught it if it weren't for my husband and 26 year old son.

I'm just sick of her nastiness, and know I'm going to get more of it from her this Saturday. If she had worked with me from the beginning (and no, I never said a word to them about it), this could have turned out alot better. For right now I'll have to just keep an eye on things, I will continue to just directly call my mother and check on her, and, yes, when I get a chance I'm going to tell her if she's not happy there let me know. There are services, etc. out there I think Mom could really benefit from. I would like to see her get to be around people her own age. May never happen, but while I'm trying to patiently wait, I'm going to check into what's available around my home that she might like.
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So "free" advice may be worth at least half of what it costs, but here goes, OK?

First of all, NO ONE is at their best right after a death (not you, not your Mom, notyour sis). If this behavior is atypical of your sister, ignore it. The personal insults? Her insecurity, not your problem. It sounds like you are going to have to be the "adult" no matter what her (bad) behavior is.

The money? You appropriately called APS (good job!). Report to "licensure board"? What license does your sister have that would be at risk? Attacking your sister will likely backfire, since your Mother probably loves BOTH of you, but if the public is in danger because of your sister's drug use...maybe.

So. What now?

I assume that your mother has enough to live on if the money is spent carefully. Do NOT NOT NOT give your mother any money to help her out. Offer that you are willing to take over organizing the bill paying, that she can come live with you if she's out of money, or whatever, but do NOT bail her out. If this living situation isn't going to work you'd rather it to crash, burn, & sink sooner rather than later. Any cash put in to keep the ship afloat will just go down the drain. That said, your sister IS entitled to some money for helping care for your Mom (groceries, utilities, help with rent, etc.). If the bills are paid (health ins., etc) and your Mom is fed, clothed, has some spending money, and gets medical and dental care don't worry if your sister "takes" the rest of the money to care for her. I don't think it is the issue here, but I've known several families where one sibling was furious that another was "taking advantage" of a parent by living in the family house "for free" for years while being paid several hundred dollars a week for caring full-time for a parent with dementia --puhleese!!! As long as your Mom's assets aren't being (further) raided it's probably OK to let things go as they are (though it may be grating to watch).
Just a suggestion --You can try stepping in now (if your Mom has assets left -- house, ins. policy, etc) or, if there isn't anything you can waid until your Mom "is short on money" (I would expect this to happen in about 3-6 months if your sis is squandering your Mom's $ - that's how long it takes for bills to be overdue & start calling). At that point you offer one-time financial help only...BUT only if you take over as your Mom's financial manager to make sure it doesn't happen again. The bills get paid first, your Mom get's a spending allowance, and the remainder goes to your sis to pay for household expenses to help offset your Mom's living expenses (as long as she gets some $ out of it your sis may go for it). The money gets doled out weekly, and/or a very low-limit credit card for groceries only, or utility bills are paid directly --whatever ensures that your Mom has a safe place to live & enough food. You can expect a temper tantrum from your sis about this if she is spending the $ on drugs, but she won't be in a very good position to argue if the bills are over-due and the money is all MIA.

I'm sure your attorney friends have already adressed it, but If there are significant assets that could be raided (life insurance, house, trust fund, etc) you should probably step in immediately.

OK, now for the immediate family stuff.
Your husband is an adult, and if it were his family you'd be supporting him. I'm assuming he is supporting you as best he can through this. If your daughter's grades are falling because of your issues with your sister you may need to protect her a bit from some of the blow-by-blow detail of what is going on so that she isn't carrying an emotional burden that isn't hers. It is wonderful that she is so caring, but at 11 there is nothing that she can legally do (but let her know how much her emotional support means to you! Sounds like you've raised a great kid). Your Mother's life isn't in danger, so it's more of a grown-ups only battle.

Be prepared in the end for a less-than-ideal situation. Your Mother living with you would cause stress of different sorts (not to say don't do it, but it won't be peaches & cream).

Best of luck, and focus on your Mom rather than fighting with your sister (VERY hard to do, by the way).
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Hi daughter2,
First breath---Things are not too bad. From a previous post from yesterday, I believe, you said you talked to your Mom and she sounded happy. That is very good! Now- I have to ask this- and be honest- are you truly worried about your Mom's welfare right now- are you worried she is in harm's way OR are you more worried that your sister is going to spend all of your Mom's money while she is in her care and then drop her off at your door step? Both instances are worrisome but the first much more so, IMO. If you are truly worried that your Mom is being abused and/or neglected you must call APS. And they will ask your concerns and using drugs (I assume illegally- now of days not sure) should be mentioned. In my opinion if you are more concerned with the financial aspect of this situation than a slower pace can be assumed - talk with an attorney. I do not know much about the legalities of caregiving but hopefully someone who does will chimein.

Can I make a suggestion-this is my opinion. If you start dealing with outsiders to help with your Mom's situation you may want to refrain from mentioning how educated you are etc... this kinda comes off , er, I don't know - just it doesn't seem important. Many people who are not well educated make wonderful caregivers- your sister may not be one of them but her lack of education is not the reason. Just my opinion.

I wish you the best of luck!!!
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