My mom is in a memory care facility. My brother, who calls my mom about two times a year and visits once but lives 20 miles away, suddenly contacts my mom and wants to see her. In the years past, after my dad passed away he has "asked/begged/lied" to get my mom to loan him over $40,000 which has not been paid back and that was all her savings. He also ramped up the begging on property tax time. T'is the season again.
Upon his arrival to the facility he immediately asked the concierge where the closest bank was. The concierge, knowing the past history of his financially abusing my mom of $, avoided the question and he stated he would just look it up. He then took my mom to the bank and asked the banker to remove me as POA and put him on the account. He also suggested to my mom, then my mom expressed to the banker on his urging, to remove my contact information from the account all together. The banker then printed out all account statements and gave them to him!
There was an active alert on the account at the time to contact me if he were to accompany her into the bank and they failed to do so. I received an alert when the info was changed after they were on their way out of the bank.
So, now since he has all her account information and account numbers what are my options? He "forgot" to give my mom her account paperwork.
I called the bank immediately and spoke to the banker who dealt with them who said I don't have to worry unless he was good at making fake checks. I could also call the police if it made me sleep better. I was very shocked and got her name for her lovely demeanor. I think she realized she messed up and I will be making a complaint because of it.
Anyways, I went into my local branch and spoke to the banker and was told I would have to bring in my mom to change the account because she was the one who opened the account back 20 years ago.
So, as the POA I am confused. I spoke to a friend in Adult Protective Services and was given some advice but I was wondering if anyone else has run into similar issues in having to close and open a new account at the same bank for security reasons or if it will mess up the POA status. She is sole owner on one account but I am joint on the others but wouldn't POA cover all accounts?
I do not nor would I violate the trust in the POA status and everything is on paper on the bank statements. So I am not worried on what he would see there, but I am worried that it does have all the account numbers, contact info, etc.
He was removed as co-agent POA in 2014 because he was violating the POA status and taking financial advantage of my mom.
Thank you for any suggestions, ideas, or humor on this one :0)

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Report the bank's error to the state banking authority or state attorney general. Force them to change the accounts and provide identity theft protection. Take no nonsense.
Helpful Answer (1)

Thank you SO MUCH for the advice from all for answers. I am always anxious about my brother's next move and it shouldn't be but this advice helps me to step forward and not just wait for something bad to GardenArtist, I can't tell you how much your answers helped me as well!!!
I doubt my every move because after all that we've gone through already, I just don't feel I have the energy to "fight", if you will. My brother tries to play head games with me and if I may add, he had called me about a month ago to tell me my dad had told him he thought I was a disappointment, my mom was a "lunatic because she can't remember s***". He's really out of control. I am documenting everything.
As far as filing for the prior financial elder abuse in 2012, the DA closed the case and said she wouldn't reopen it because they won't file unless the loss was $500,000 or more and the detective that was supposed to file the bank statements didn't do so at the time of filing?!? Needless to say, she has since been removed from Elder Abuse cases. Adult Protectice Services has stated they have a hard time with this particular end of our county filing elder abuse cases because the police department passes most of them off as civil issues.
As far as this case, I will be talking to a new attorney today. Her attorney doesn't call back and he one time I did get ahold of him he stated to me that he is my mom's attorney, not mine. Although I am POA. He doesn't even want her new address, new doctors reports, or other new information regarding having to sell her home per the reverse mortgage. He says, "No, I don't need it". But he did say that I am responsible for all aspects of my mom's estate and if my brother has any issues with it have my brother call him.
So back on the topic, I have made copies of all past documentation to back up my need to close her accounts and either reopen a new one or go to another bank. I also have my mom's most recent doctor's letter and a kind, yet "I am my mom's only advocate" firm attitude.
Thank you, too, for the advice about the wording in the DPOA. I will show the bank that as well.
I am hoping I will be able to change attorneys? Since her attorney stated he's not mine as the sole DPOA.
Sorry I am all over the place. This whole thing devastates me. I was hoping my brother would just spend quality time with our mom instead of messing with her head and trying his old tricks.
Since his visit she has been in a tail spin and making calls to me frantically asking where the baby was and telling me that someone has written checks to buy magazines. Arg!
My poor mom. It's hard to control the anger for my brother but I can't dwell on that.
Thank you all again and letting me vent in this post.
Helpful Answer (2)

Yes you can.. Close those accounts asap
Helpful Answer (0)

As the POA, you should have social security and pension info. Open a new account in Mom's name and have those deposits made to the new account. AND keep that info to your self, with dementia, your Mom should NOT have access to ANY financial paperwork. You should hold th echecks and the statements and all bills should come to your home.
Helpful Answer (1)

I agree with Windy; you need some legal advice and possibly immediate injunctive relief against your brother. I'm not sure what the answers are to some of your questions but I'll give it a try to at least sort it out, for my own benefit in answering as well as yours.

1. Your profile is very helpful; your brother appears to be a schemer, and based on what you've written, has displayed a pattern of elder financial abuse. Has he ever been charged with that as a crime, or has he ever been reported to the police before? If so, what, if any action was taken? Was injunctive relief ever provided to prevent him from harassing your mother? Does he have any criminal history?

2. Is your brother 65 or over? If so, then he might have gotten a deferral on his property taxes. If not, they're probably already delinquent. It might be interesting to see if you can determine how far behind he is. Some cities/townships have online tax information reflecting delinquencies, amounts, etc. For purposes of documentation and providing information to law enforcement on intent, it might not be a bad idea to gather this kind of information on his debts.

3. No banker can "remove" someone as proxy under a POA. Only the person who executed it can do that. What might have happened is that your brother convinced your mother to ask that signatories on the account be changed.

4. I would go higher than personal banker level at the specific branch where this occurred and complain that the alert notice wasn't activated timely. Raise this issue with your elder law attorney also to see if the bank is liable for the banker, or whoever was responsible for checking the alert, ignoring it. I would consider this irresponsible, if not negligent. You might be able to get the bank involved in recovering the assets, if they're not already spent.

4. The advice that you needn't worry unless your brother is a good forger seems to be to be frivolous and irresponsible. Signatures aren't that easy to forge, especially with computerized technology.

5. Is the local banker with whom you spoke aware that your mother has advanced dementia? Do you have medical documentation of that? If so, I would take that as well as a conformed copy of the DPOA back to this bank and inform them that your mother has dementia, and if she's not capable of making legal or financial decisions advise them of that as well. Be insistent but delicate (after speaking with an attorney) that you believe elder financial abuse may have or has been committed and the bank didn't live up to its fiduciary role in protecting your mother's assets.

If you could get an attorney to write a letter to this effect, it would buttress your position.

6. I have had one experience in closing a checking account, but my father and I did it jointly. I don't recall the specifics but it was a fraud issue. Someone had gotten the account number, or one of his checks disappeared. I don't recall which.

7. Whether the DPOA covers all accounts depends on the wording.

8. How was your brother removed as co-proxy in 2014? Did your mother execute a new DPOA? If she had dementia then and didn't understand the consequences of her actions, he might argue that she wasn't cognizant of what she was doing and really didn't want to remove him.

9. If there are any accouns you can still access, I would take the DPOA to the bank, along with any documentation from the 2014 change attesting to his financial abuse, and close as many accounts as you can and reopen them, perhaps at a different bank. If there are any accounts already at a different bank, you could transfer from the old bank to this other bank.

10. Sorry; wish I could think of something humorous but I'm just getting angry as I read what your brother has done!

11. I do think a PPO to prevent him from contacting your mother would be appropriate. Take all the documentation you have of his manipulating thievery and go to the county PPO office, with your DPOA, to get one on behalf of your mother.

12. Ask your attorney about further injunctive relief (such as a Temporary Restraining Order) to prevent him from accessing or dipping into your mother's accounts. A PPO as I recall will prevent him from contacting or harassing her but without checking the statute I don't believe it prevents him from using her funds. It might for CA though.

13. This is a really drastic and probably not feasible suggestion, but you might turn the tables on him and ask your attorney, pursuant to the power you have under a DPOA, to threaten him with suit for at least the $40K. If he has assets he might start to get worried and realize you're "not messing around".

And good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)

You need to talk to an elder care attorney asap. Her remaining assets need to be secured and that may well mean opening new accounts. I would also go the the police or district attorney and see about a protective order against the thieving brother. Have the attorney review your POA and determine exactly what power you have to get control of the funds.
Helpful Answer (1)

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