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I am in NH as well. I've got care of my Mom weekdays. My youngest sister was given Power of Attorney because my folks felt she had the most free time. So far my Dad died in June and she has done nothing to get Mom Dad's death benefit, insurance money or look into her Veterans' assistance. She encouraged my younger brother to purchase My folks place. ( It was willed to all of us) after it was obvious that Dad was not going to recover from heart attack and stroke. Therefore stripping the rest of us of our share in what little our folks could have left us. She won't show us the books, income or expenses. She pays some of the RX bills but most everything is covered under Medicare anyway. Now she won't ALLOW Mom to buy Christmas presents for Grands and Great-grands, because it would waste her money.

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I thought that everyone was considering living in Alabama.
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Thank you all for your input. It helps me to know that my mind isn't slipping away like my mother's. I've been doubting myself a lot lately. That is something I've never done before. I am also finding that I am bored to tears. Another new concept. Living in a rented space with nothing to do and no way to go outside for more than a few minutes is frustrating. I hate TV. Mom doesn't want the radio or cd's on, so I play games on my computer. But I am now bored with that too. What do all of you do to keep going?
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Answer to Ferris1
I tried to get Mom to make Salt Dough ornaments with me. She had no interest. I told her that if I did it all for her the gifts would be frm me and not her. She shrugged.
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Thanks for clearing that up for me! I often forget to read profiles.. Funny live in Massachusetts and when I first found this site I thought everyone's parents lived in New Hampshire!!! LOL

Unfortunately your sister is wearing the pants concerning Mom's money.. I think Mom should be able to purchase what she wants it's her money!
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madforlabs: Although I agree with you that transparency is the best way to go, that is NOT what I was told to do. My mother's attorney informed me that wills, trusts and wishes of parents are to be kept quiet until that parent dies and therefore my duties as DPOA was to basically keep my mouth shut and take care of my mother's finances and healthcare in a manner consistent with what she wanted but I was not to share information with anyone, it was confidential.

Because of my older sisters anger and attitude towards me, my mother and the attorney, he finally contacted me and told me that although nothing had to be made known to her, perhaps to keep the family peace it would be best to be transparent in all dealings and let them know what was happening.

DPOA's and POA's many times get their butts kicked by family members on an ongoing basis for no particular reason. They are bitter and resentful, they are afraid that they are being lied to even when you open everything up to them.

I am DPOA, and 24/7 caregiver, when I ask for help, I get nothing....I am being punished for being DPOA and essentially stopping her from paying her bills from my mother's checking account and never repaying a cent!

I will stand behind DPOA's that are doing their job....those that are not should be ashamed of themselves and if they are stealing from the parent, prosecuted....it is theft no matter how you cut it!!!!
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Personally I think your sister may have done the correct and only thing that could be done in your mother's case. We do not have all the facts but my brother in law was one of 9 children and they all married and each family had 3 to 4 children, some of those children have now had 2 children each....when you start counting up all those kids, spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren, the amount of money his mother would have to lay out for gifts would be enormous. Now I do not know how many children you are speaking of, but ultimately caring for your mother IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN GIVING GIFTS TO CHILDREN WHO WILL PROBABLY HAVE PLENTY FROM THEIR OWN PARENTS!!! Honestly, all of you who are her children should buy gifts for your own offspring and say they are coming from Grandma if you want to make sure these children have gifts from her.

I am DPOA for my mother and I am the middle child, my mother has dementia and she no longer shops for anything. For years I made sure that I purchased gifts for her to give to everyone, however for several years I was not repaid and am currently owed over $2,000, not to mention the stress and strain it was putting on me to be her caregiver, DPOA and be responsible for my gifts as well as hers. Last year and this year, I simply had her write out cards to everyone and I enclosed cash in each envelope. I only do this because although she has dementia she realizes it is Christmas and says at least 5 times a day that she hasn't bought any gifts for anyone and she is so very sorry. I remind her that everything has been taken care of and she does have gifts for everyone which satisfies her. Medicaid if needed in the future, may penalize us for these gifts but they are actually small (total under $500), so I do not think it will hurt too much and I am hoping that we will never have to use them (Medicaid) at all.

The thing is when you become DPOA you are basically sworn to handle her financial affairs for HER BENEFIT AND WELFARE, as in paying for her expenses for medical care, living expenses, etc. None of it is to be spent on you the DPOA, or buying a car, sending a child to school, going on vacation, everything is to be spent on YOUR MOTHER.

If this bothers you so much maybe you should have a conversation with your sister and I would suggest forgetting the Christmas gifts but ask her to please explain to you and any other siblings, why she seems to be so concerned about Mom's finances and ask her to please open the books to you and your siblings so you can all understand why she is so concerned about Mom's finances to the point of no Christmas gifts. You need to go with a white flag and have this conversation be quiet and low key with no judgement or bitterness. She may have information that you do not have, such as monetary losses, that no one knew about, perhaps your Mom has much less money than you assume she does. There may have been something that your Mom and Dad did not confide in you about. Ask to please be made aware of what is happening and hopefully there are more than just you two, so other siblings can chime in to.

My older sister has been angry that I was made DPOA and not her, although I have taken care of my parents finances for many, many years. I offered to open all books to both sisters and even showed them where the books are and had them sign on to all the checking accounts with me. There is nothing they can complain about because everything is transparent. My older sister is still mad but I can't help that, she will have to live with it, my allegiance is to my mother and protecting her and her assets.

I hope you can work out your differences with your sister, it would be nice to know that someone out there can!! Best wishes to you and Merry Christmas!
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It seems that the issue here isn't about a kind, caregiver with POA doing the best she can or a parent not being able to afford to give a gift to a grand child. This is about a sibling who has mistaken POA for autocratic rule over the whole situation. A sibling who has POA can choose to be open with all family members, transparent with the finances and non-overpowering over the parent. And that approach is what ultimately helps the family remain intact. Or the sibling can choose to hide everything from family members and overpower the parent, which only leads to suspicion and bad feelings. If the sibling refuses to share any information about the finances then something is wrong, otherwise why not be open about it? I'm kind of tired of hearing people always coming out on the side of the POA, as if having POA absolves the person from having to act with any civility towards the other family members. There are hundreds of ways that a POA can structure an estate and move things around in order to benefit themselves financially, while everyone else sits and watches helplessly. And to say that they are acting out their parent's wishes fails to recognize that the parent may have wished to grant that child POA believing that the child would carry out what they wanted. However, it fails to take into account what that child does after the parent succumbs to dementia. I am truly sorry for your situation. There are so many siblings posting similar situations. It's really sad. And, yes, I empathize because I am experiencing a similar situation.
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Believe me, parents are making a big mistake when they make only 1 child POA. My husband and I found this out the hard way. When my husbands mother died one of his sisters was assigned POA. She took this to mean she got everything. Their dad was moved into an assisted living home for about one year. At that time he had 125 thousand in savings and CDS. In one year she had spent all but one of the CDS. So then she moved him in with her so she could get his SS check. After he died she ran down to the bank and removed what money was left before the bank found out because after his death she no longer has POA and the remaining money would have been split between the 4 children. Then when my mother could no longer live in her home and take care of her my sister had already been taking care of her bills. I discovered later when I demanded to be added to her bank account that my sister had been cleaning out her accounts.. She acted like she knew the laws about all the rules for medicade but she didn't. When we sold her home the money was split up between mom and the 3 of us. Then my sister got cancer and decided we would split up the remaining money so she could leave her part to her grown children. Now I have mom full time because my sisters cancer is terminal. My mom is 87 years old and has no choice but to live with us. She could very well outlive all 3 children. I don't have the money to put her in a nursing home so we will be caring for her from now on. We are not in the best of health and mom acts like we are her slaves and she is a Queen. My sister was always her favorite and my sister took advantage of her. I advise anyone who hasn't done so to talk to your parents about making the POA a joint thing.
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It says right in her profile she is in New Hampshire, not a nursing home...
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I think NH means NURSING HOME. . . However, I, too, am confused about the specifics of your situation. . .
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I am the POA for my mother. Until recently my sister thought that things were questionable until she got a taste of our mother and her Dementia. I have kept records of everything so it can be looked at, but she never asked. Now that we are openly talking since our mother can not make her own decisions, her view is entirely different. I hate the stress of the POA, but my sister is not capable and she is the first to admit it with everything she has on her plate right now. My mother also lives with me so I have that side of things too. We just went through the question of presents. My children do not expect anything for themselves or their little ones. They understand that mom is on a small fixed income. In fact they know we pick up the tab on a lot of her expenses. Christmas is a time of thinking of others yes, but it doesn't have to involve money!
If you have questions about finances, and your mother is unable to make compitent decisions then talk to your sister. Ask the burning questions. You may be surprised that she is doing what needs to be done hopefully.
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My mother and MIL have stopped the Christmas and birthday presents. There just comes a time, when enough is enough. I see my husband sit there and write his mother's checks every week and I am glad that it will be reduced some, next year. So, let the presents problem go. That is one less worry for everyone. And yes, we still buy something for the grandmas. They don't want much.
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She may resent it, but at some point in any case your sister will have to be prepared to disclose all accounts related to your mother's assets. Her sharing this information with you is the tricky bit to negotiate; but as she is obliged as POA to have the information ready, and as the information itself will not empower you to do anything beyond arguing with her… she hasn't any concrete reason to refuse to show you the numbers.

Having said that, I wouldn't enjoy demanding full accounts from my POA sister either, so I sympathise. I've got a similar situation in that my sister has somewhat high-handedly decreed what my mother's Christmas present budget is this year; but she's not hoarding every penny - and, more importantly, she's not flogging assets at a discount to other members of my family. I have to say, that sounds pretty damn dodgy to me.

Hm. I don't suppose you are legally entitled to review your mother's accounts until after her passing; but since others are so entitled it's hard to guess what justification your sister has for refusing to let you see the books - can't be bothered? Doesn't want the hassle of your disagreeing with her? Couldn't care less whether you like it or not? Intentional insult? Who knows.

Very irritating. She's expecting you to trust her and then refusing to reassure you. Grrr, I don't blame you for not wanting to speak to her. Can you do anything about it? Dunno. You could consult a lawyer… but is it worth it?

Actually, you're responsible for your mother's day to day care: that's your Need To Know basis. Yeah. Ask a lawyer how you get access to the accounts which your sister is obliged to have kept.
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You gotta love sister's! Mine was the same way. Put your foot down! And yes the house has to be sold at fair market value unless it is sold at auction.
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AandA, I think NH means New Hampshire, here?
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I, too, am confused by the question. Where do you live and where does your mom live? As far as Christmas presents go, my feeling is that, when an elder can no longer make financial decisions of herself, family should not expect gifts unless the elder understands and wants to keep giving (and can afford it, which is poa's job to help her decide). Gifts are not a priority anymore.

I know you didn't ask this question, but, regarding home and land sold at a deep discount, I thought that assets have to be valued at fair market when determining medicaid eligibility. It may vary by state. This is a question for an elder law attorney. Brother may owe money back to estate if it's during 5 yr look back. If sister doesn't show you the books, are you sure this is what happened?
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Difficult circumstances. I have poa over my siblings but so long as mom is mentally capable she calls the shots. However- and I say this seriously- mom could live 10 yrs or 10 days. Although the government picks up most- I promised mom I would put her in a facility that has private pay options as well bcus the care is quality control- the extras must be paid out of pocket. That isnt your situation so i digress- Mom wanted to gift us kids a substantial amount and I said no... my brother agreed my sister didn't. Having the responsibility of money is huge and causes grief between siblings. Bottom line- so long as mom is alive its hers not ours. And when one child receives and others don't it is reflective of the unfortunate family dynamic of your family so you are beating the door of an empty room. We here can give advice but ultimately i think it is what it is... i often give the answers that most dont wish to hear- hard facts- Personally I would walk away and let the selfish learn their lessons- to each is given what is just - it's universal law of cause and effect.
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When you have your mother, go with her to buy some small gifts, but don't you think the grandkids could buy her presents? Since your sister has POA, you are pretty much going to have to do what she says unless you get an attorney to try and break your parents wishes (really hard to do). So, relax for now, and make cookies or popsicle stick toys, etc. anything that doesn't require much money. There are so many 99 cent stores, you are bound to find something!
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I'm confused? How are you caring for your Mom if you are in a Nh? Where does Mom live?
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My sister did sell the house and 160 acres of land to my youngest brother for $24K. The money is supposed to be put aside for her care. She lives with me and I take care of her needs. My sister voluntarily gave me $150 every couple weeks for 2 months and now says she can't afford it. Until my mother is put into care, there is no reason she can't spend her money how she wants. She is not in the system yet. She is with me.
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Franci, she did what she unfortunately had to do to satisfy Medicaid. No matter what you want to will to your family, every penny willed or given as a gift becomes a dollar-for-dollar penalty against her. When my father died, he left $00 to my sister who is on Medicaid and living in a care facility. He said if her left her anything, the state would take it all. Nor did we apply to increase her SSI, because Medicaid would take every penny. It's not what anyone wanted to do, it's what we were forced to do. Had your sister sold the house and split the money, it would have been big trouble for all involved. Her hands are tied.
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Doubt that we haven't been close in 40 years.
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Fanci,
It is hard to opine on this without knowing the details like you mom’s condition and the size of her estate, and how big and how many presents are you expecting.
If you were expecting nominal gifts for small children, maybe you can continue the illusion by buying the gifts instead. IMO older children and adults should not have expectations of gifts from elders on fixed incomes. Perhaps you can buy coloring books and crayons at the Dollar Store? The limitations of gifts could be a teachable moment for the kids over say 7 years old. I recall a poor aunt wrapping single bars of Dove soap – that is as nominal as it gets, but I was old enough (and coached) to appreciate the gesture.
Your sister’s moral and legal duty is to manage the finances to take care of your mother. A home is often the couple’s largest asset. If sis liquidated it in order to spend the money on mom’s care, that may be the most appropriate thing to do.
Mom’s assets are for her care, if/when she runs out Medicaid steps in. Gifted money creates a penalty period. Imagine if her money is used up and Medicaid freezes her eligibility for a year – will the family pass the hat and cover the costs of the NH? Even well off - upper middle class people often outlive their assets, lifespan and end of life costs keep rising.
The only assets that are up for inheritance are the ones that survive and are not needed for the owner’s care, else the taxpayer (through Medicaid) would be subsidizing your inheritance. Do not count on the inheritance.
Perhaps your sister should be more transparent, but do not assume she is making a grab or that she is a Grinch, she may be trying to do her best in a difficult situation which she may be unfamiliar with.
I hope you will grow closer not further apart as a family.
L
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