I am also told I am only a beneficiary and don't have a say. I feel my sister is abusing my mom's bank account. My sister has been living with my mom since June of 2016. My sister put a lock on her bedroom door and has taken anything and everything of importance and hides it. She has rerouted my moms mail to a PO BOX, so now my mom see's nothing. My mom does have dementia, but she can still open mail and read it, she is not bed ridden at all. My mom has no mortgage, car payment, loans or credit cards. In january of 2017 her expenses were almost 3,000. My sister also didn't pay her cable bill and cable was turned off. my sister did finally pay it and then caused my moms bank account to be almost negative $300. With just some of this, should i be concerned and can my sister hold things from me if i want to see them?

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You say that your mom made her neighbor (friend) POA. What happened with that? When did she change it to your sister? If it was changed to both of you, it can only be changed in writing. Have you consulted your own attorney about this? I think that's where I would start. Unless, the POA document waives it, many POA documents require the POA to file annual accountings with the court. I'd ask an attorney about that, as well.
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Hi Jeanne, thank you so much for your response. I cannot see my mom's bank account I can just listen to the automated system. My mom only gets out of the house when she has a dr.'s appt. or if I take her to lunch. I will start at the beginning. My parents never wanted me or my sister to be POA or Executor of their wills. My dad passed in 2010. My mom redid her will and made a friend (neighbor) her POA and executor. I thought finally my sister and I were being sisters, the way sisters should be. We were communicating and doing things together. In 2016 my sister asked me if I would have a problem with her becoming POA, I said no as long as you do not fight me. Look where we are now.

My sister moved in June 2016. She said she was moving in to take care of mom, okay, but she also moved in because she had no job. We started going through mom's office to find all of her stocks, bonds, bank accounts. Trying to get everything in order and have financial advisors come. I was a part of everything, seeing things and so on.

Then when the financial advisors told us what my mom's estate was worth and they put together the portfolio, my sister started changing. I noticed it and I started asking to see the portfolio, bank statements, moms bills, I was told no. My sister is hiding things in my mothers house because she is hiding something. Her actions are showing that she is guilty of something. I contacted my mom's 2 sisters and my cousin who is a Paralegal. The came and talked to both of us. My aunt asked her if she would show my what I am asking for, she said not at this time. Until my behavior changes I will see nothing. My behavior consists of me seeing things in the beginning, to not allowing me to see anything now. I am pushing her and she doesn't like it. She did finally agree to let us see the bank statements after tax season. My sister says now, that none of us will see.

I have asked for a house key and she keeps telling me no. I went to mom's one night and she was not answering the door or the phone. After 7 calls, she finally answers on the 8th. I asked my sister again for a key and she said she was advised not give me one. I told her do you know what would happen if I would have had to call 911, they would have came and busted the door down. didn't phase her.

as for the hiding the stuff, I understand what you are saying. My sister has taken my mom's jewelry box and has hidden it, anything of value my sister has hidden. She put the camera in my mom's bedroom, she told me she was testing it because she can communicate with my mom when she is not there. My cousin told her that was illegal, she has now moved the camera into my mom's office. My mom doesn't even go in there anymore. So, if she really wanted to keep an eye on my mom and communicate with her, then she would put in the living room to where she can see if my mom tries to go outside. As for the mail, my sister rerouted because the mail comes early evening and my sister is not there. When I go to mom's I (used to) get the mail. She does not show my mother anything. My mom has a lock on her mailbox and the key used to stay in this cup on her curio cabinet by the front door. That key has now disappeared within the week. I found a checkbook in my mom's wallet, I wrote the numbers down (that's how I can listen to what's going on), that checkbook has now disappeared. I recently found the savings account number. I found a receipt and my mom had $17,888. July of 2016 my sister told the financial advisors that mom had about 18 to 19 grand in her savings. As of early February 2017 my mom was down to $10,100. I also recently found out that my sisters name is on my mom's bank account. Doing my research being POA does not mean your name goes on a bank account.

I know my sister had some trees cut down, exterminator come (which they come every year) and had the house power washed. Her property taxes are $1750 and is paid every September.

My sister also did not put me on HIPAA papers until recently, because my mom's sisters told her I should not be kept out of the loop. My sister does take my mom to the docs and keeps her meds straight. she also buys the groceries. She does not do anything else with my mother. My mom had a blood transfusion a couple of months ago. She has always had a problem with anemia. You would think that my sister would cook her meals that were high in iron. She does not cook for my mother, it's either Marie Callander frozen meals, lean cuisines, health choice or banquet meals, or they order out, most of the time that is Chinese food. My mom's bedroom was horrible, clothes and all this junk on the floor of my mom's room. You couldn't even see the floor. I told my sister I was coming to clean and she told me no, her and her daughter were going to do it. This was a month in a half ago, it has been cleaned up a little bit, but there is still clothes, hangers, carpet shampooer and vacuum cleaner in the middle of the floor.

Again, I thank you so much for your response and look forward to hearing from you again.
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DML, Jeanne covered your concerns very well. Hope to see a response from you.
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Yes, your sister can withhold information from you. In some situations a POA may have a duty to keep information confidential.

But I sure don't blame you for wondering how she spent $3,000 in a month. Were property taxes due then? Home insurance? Bills coming due from some holiday expenditures?

You evidently have a way of knowing your mother's bank balance. Can you also see the transaction log, and see where the checks are going?

Is your sister charging for her caregiving services? (If she is, I hope she has a contract for it.) That could account for a big chunk of that expenditure. Does she bring in outside help so she can get away a bit?

You don't seem to trust your sister. I have no idea whether she is trustworthy or not. Your mother evidently thought she was when she made her POA. But mother's can often be fooled regarding their children.

Just a few things to consider that MIGHT apply here:

Some people with dementia hide things of importance to keep them safe, and then forget that they hid them (never mind where). A caregiver living with this behavior may want to keep important things away from the person who has dementia.

Many caregivers who live with their parent keep their own doors locked. This preserves their privacy, prevents "borrowing," and gives them a place to store things that might be dangerous -- such as a supply of medications.

Many, many persons with dementia (and even some elders without dementia) like to donate to every solicitation they receive. And once they do this they quickly get on a bazillion solicitation lists. Some caregivers reroute the mail to a PO box or to their own homes so they can screen it first and throw out the "charity" letters. Then they give the "safe" mail to their parent.

Aside from the finances, how do you feel your sister is doing as a caregiver? How is your mother? Does she seem content? Does she get taken out of the house regularly? Does she have some stimulating activities but nothing too stimulating? Does she sundown? Does she hide things? Does she cry every morning? Resist taking a shower? Is she incontinent? I think these are things your sister ought to be sharing with you, or you should be seeing for yourself on visits.

Do you live some distance away, or can you visit regularly?

Ever offer to stay with Mom so Sis can get away for a weekend? Do you bring over a meal once in a while? Or send a giftcard for a nearby restaurant? Do you regularly thank your sister for taking such good care of your mother (if she is)? Ever ask if there is anything you can do to help?

You should definitely be concerned about your mother -- her health, her well-being, and her finances. You should be doing what you can to add to the quality of her life. Whether that puts you in conflict with you sister I have no way of knowing.
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