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First thing first . Are your the legal durable power of attonery and in charge of all your mom's health care and concerns. If you are, and your mom has Altzheimers/dementia she may not be able to make good decesions. That is why you need to get with a legal person/ first call elder care. If your mom is not in a nursing home you may be able to get things corrected. If a person has funds and if there is no will or legal papers it can become a problem. You can also be appointed legal rep and have her social security deposit into a account you have set up. However legal papers are also needed for that. My mom made me durable powers of attorney many years before she came done with Altzheimers/dementia and was unable to even open mail or pay bills. We had that done in New York through my job in Florida (employees assistance help) A lawyer from New York did all the paper work, I also did not know elected me at the times until after the meeting. I took care of her many years. the one thing that mom did not do, of which the lawyer addvised her because she was in her later 70's to write in the will house was a gift to me, and also place me on the title. All the money from the sale of the house went to pay off a lein that the nursing home upnorth placed, plus all her medical bills through out the years. Get with elder care they are very helpful, and also speak to her docotor and sit down and speak to your sisiter. Find out if there is a legal papers that state your sisiter is in full charge. take care and I hope every thing works out for you. Some states have a five year wait and also some states look into insurance polices and safe deposit. If there are any paid up insurance polices see who is the beneficary. I was able to set up a pre paid funeral plan and also paid other outstanding bills. I know it sounds like a lot to work on but it has to be done for your mom and your own well being.
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Are you the primary caregiver to your mother and if so have you got power of attorney over your mom? This will give you clout with all legal matters conccerning your mom. Not to mention her finaincial protection as well.
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There are look back periods on the books in most states that go back 5 years. That means that the state will look into all your mothers assets and transactions for the past 5 years. It is very important that you seek the advice of an elder law attorney in the state where your mom resides.
This will give you a clear picture of what her legal and financial responsibilities will be as far as care if she would need nursing home care and Medicaid qualification.
You need to become familiar with the term spending down and what that entails. Your sister needs to be aware of that term as well.

Where money is involved, this gets ugly. Families become more dysfunctional than they were before. Hang in there.This may not be a pleasant topic but it is one that needs to be addressed. This should be by the financial power of attorney. Or addressed on by estate planning or in a will. Good luck.

Diane Carbo
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All great ideas. All have serious on-the-record legal consequences for all concerned.

One key issue is what exactly did your mom do and why? If
she wanted to gift it to Sissy (& that is Sissy's story), then it's
a she said/you said problem. If she was coerced into doing it,
then that's different, but can be hard to prove if mom is not
capable and cognizant and will file a complaint on Sissy.

If you are uncomfortable doing the suggestions but still want to make Sis return the money you might send her a note, telling her that mom actually needs the $$ that she gave her on
/about a specific date; that the money was not a gift
and needs to be returned as just so we're transparent on this via a check deposited into mom's account and provide the
deposit slip; again mention that mom needs the money for her day to day care; also mention that if that if she (Sissy) has a different understanding of mom intentions please provide that information to your mom in writing as the government will be asking for that information; and finally that she will be getting a 1099 for 2010 taxes and enclose a W-2 for her to fill out and return & enclose a stamped envelope to your mom. Maybe include an I-9. Xerox everything. Send it all certified, RRM. Usually runs $ 6.00 to do at USPO.

The IRS threat really can work wonders. If she won't repay or
return the W-2 & an I-9, you can right after Jan 1, 2011 send
a SS# refusal letter to the IRS with her contact information.
They will send her a letter.

None of this is pretty. If you don't have the stomach for it, please see a certified elder care attorney in the state in which
your mother has legal residence. Good luck!
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Call your local county's Office of Aging (sometimes referred to as Area Agency on Aging). They will have an ombudsman, or someone similar, who will be an independent advocate for your mother. The facts as presented sound absolutely like elder abuse and the authorities will take over and handle accordingly.
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i believe this sort of gift has to be done years before qualification can kick in...obviously, if not, then the situation would create just what happened, a run on the senior's bank account.
A guardianship is both time consuming and costly. Been there done that...still I am a prisoner of the consqeuences.

you could threaten your sister that this is financial elder abuse and you WILL call the police. This is a ten years in prison offense...who do you have to back you up...someone nice and tall and means business. Try to get money back from her willingly before you go to lawyers. Should only take a day or so for you to know if she will be willing. Say you will call the cops, then do it if she doesn't cooperate. If she has already spent the money, get her to sell what she spent it on and then to create a quick repayment plant.

The police will call the Public Guardian probably...states differ how they handle this. Good luck and get moving. That money is being spent...also in some states ok for a relative to sue in small claims court on behalf of another. I could to this on behalf of mom, for isntance, as the public guardian has refused to go after my sister's thefts.
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Call an elder law attorney right away!!! Your sister could have done that just to get her hands on moms money. Been through something similar, I take care of my husbands 98 yr. old grandmother. And she also as dementia, one of her granddaughter got her to give her just about all her saving knowing if she was in her right mind she never would have. Some people just get greedy at this time and need to be but in there place. Call a lawyer and get this taken care of fast!! I took guardianship of grandma so the granddaughter can not touch anything of hers. And she was made to pay back all the money she took. Good luck to you and please call a lawyer to help you and mom
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