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I have Power of Attorney for my mom, who has short-term memory loss (probably beginning stages of dementia). I have been doing her finances for a few months. She recently moved back home with my brother, who has more or less been taking care of her. While she was with me, he frequently came by to borrow money from her, which she freely gave. Now that she is home, he has been making way too many ATM withdrawals, and has told me it's none of my business what the money is for - that I am to just pay her bills, not monitor her bank account. I know that this is incorrect. What can I do, as POA, to stop him from fleecing her if she is a willing participant in giving him money?

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You have POA, right? You close her current account and open a new one. You set it up so that only you can make withdrawals. If the bank won't do this, talk to and Eldercare attorney or go to your local Legal Aid. Get your mom to a neurologist for a diagnosis.
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Why does he have an ATM card to her account? I would go to the bank and shut the card down. It would probably be a good idea to see a lawyer about this also.
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I had a similar situation when I was brought in to serve as POA for an aunt I wasn't especially close to. This aunt had been "cared for" by neighbors who were helping themselves to her possessions and money. I couldn't fault these people entirely as they were the ones who kept an eye on her, drove her to the store, to Dr. appointments, etc. I didn't want to disrupt the good relationship they had with her, but I didn't want them to continue to over-compensate themselves either. I set up a meeting with an elder care lawyer and several [distant] family members for the purpose of long term planning. During the meeting it was explained to all (by the lawyer) that my aunt would not qualify for Medicaid down the road if she gave away too many assets, and that from this point on it would be my duty (as POA) to keep meticulous track of things. Should she fail to qualify for Medicaid because she'd been unwise during that lookback period, her care would fall to the family or to neighbors until she could qualify. Once the situation was spelled out that way, and we determined a protocol for tracking expenses, the neighbors backed off. Knowing that their activities need, by law, to be transparent was enough motivation for them to knock off the overspending.
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You call the cops. You file a complaint and you file charges and you as POA, sign the complaint for the police.
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I just thought of something.... get an attorney, a financial advisor, your brother, your mom and a social worker all in one room together. (This might be a tad difficult. In from of all the experts... you and your brother plead your cases and have the attorney, the financial advisor and the social worker decide on how much your brother should be able to withdraw each week. If you mom has dementia and can't put in a clear vote.... and she definitely has NO IDEA what the meeting is about........ have a relative and/or good friend sit in on the meeing with her and share what your mom's views have been your brother's whole life about her son. This may bring some clarity to you about your brother and mother that you never knows about them and THEIR relationship and how he feels "entitled" to mom's ATM access....

Please people on this site.......give some feedback even if you feel it is "stupid" or not related to this question. for some reason everything seems to be related in some way......
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Pita, if your mother's care is not good and the money for it is evaporating, there is a word for what is happening to her and it is EXPLOITED. There is a word for what has happened to you and it is INTIMIDATED. You are possibly currently not doing your job as POA because of this. Not that it is at all an easy thing to do what is needed and what is right while you are being screamed at by someone who wants you to assume what they are doing right and leave them alone to do it as they see fit. If you have ggod reason to think things are not right, then enlist help from your Adult Protective Services or an eldercare attorney so you don't have to face this alone, but honestly, you should either face it or resign as POA and give up on being involved in your mother's last days...that might be a greater heartache in the long run, though less headache in the short run, but only you can decide that. There is no age limit on growing a backbone.
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one more thing..... or maybe several things as they come to me today....;)
Even if THE LAW tells you what you can and can not do ....... dig deep in your heart and soul to see if you have any "funny feelings" about what THE LAW is saying is ok. Think back when you two were siblings and things went on in the family. Try not to stand behind THE LAW with all the decisions you choose to make. Sometimes THE LAW is so unfeeling and insensitive that THE LAW could CARE LESS that two people on the earth (you and your brother) will NEVER speak together again after your mom passes onto a MUCH better place.... or onto H-E....double hockey sticks. whichever the case might be.....;)
Since all this is heading into a crisis and heads up THIS WEEKEND for me.... I know I will have a lot to say on this subject as today goes on. I apologize NOW if I hog this page or whatever you call it when someone types a lot when people have NO INTEREST in what is being typed!!!
kathy from CT
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Is he taking care of her while living there? Do you know if any of this money is going towards her needs? Yes, his history isn't the best. But before you assume all of it is for him alone, you might want to find out answers to those and some other questions. This way when you see lawyer or bank or whoever, it will show you weren't accusing him but trying to truly understand. If Mom has just a little short term memory loss and is aware most of the time, then she is freely giving this money. Perhaps another way to manage it is stop the ATM card and give Mom cash weekly that she can use as she wishes. After all it is her money. If you can't stop the ATM card then set up another account for you and Mom, move the money into that, and set up weekly transfers to the account the ATM card is associated with. No money in the account when he goes there? Then withdrawal will be denied.
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By the time my friend realized that her brother who was supposed to have been "managing her father's money it was nearly all gone! Her sister in law charged her father an extra $500 as payment for doing his grocery shopping, wrote checks to her kids for presents for $100's, and paid for her children's college tuition for college! Her father's house was in deplorable condition, he was dirty, un-shaving, and needed care. Since my friend lived in another state she had no idea that this was going on at this level. She ended up rescuing her father and bringing him to live with her. Only under threats to go to the courts did her brother repay some of the money so that she had means to care for him. Unless you do something soon you may be in the same trouble as my friend was having to care for your mother at your own expense. If you cut off your brother's money he may retaliate by forcing you to care for her or at least arrange for her care. You need to get to a lawyer quickly. Good luck, fighting about money in families is one of the ways families get torn apart. Your mother's best interest should come first!
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As your mother's POA, you are the one who is legally responsible for providing a full accounting of your mother's income and expenses should it ever be asked for by someone with the legal standing to see that information, so this is something you need to get control of immediately!! I've been involved in a lawsuit against my brother based on his use of my mother's money when he was her POA. Until the court revoked his POA (my mother is incompetent and could not revoke it herself) he was using her $$ to pay college tuition for his children, pay his own insurance premiums, redecorate his house. I know just how difficult and painful the dynamics are when your sibling is helping himself to what is not his. It might be a good idea to take just a few minutes and read over the POA document to remind yourself of the authority it gives you.
You are her legal representative and can change her bank account (or accounts) by closing the existing ones and starting over again. I would involve the bank management by explaining the situation and asking for their recommendations as well. Since your brother is living with her he has access to her mail. I would rent a PO Box and have everything related to her finances sent to that address. You really have more authority to do whatever is necessary to protect your mother's interest than you realize. I know how unpleasant it can be when the person who feels 'entitled' is a sibling and how much harder it is to resolve the issue. Any action you take may likely make him angry, but since you have a fiduciary responsibility to make decisions based on your mother's best interest, consulting with an attorney would provide you with some legal support. I have also learned over the last four years how incredibly xpensive attorney fees can be so if their is an ElderLaw Clinic nearby or a Law School in your area that has a clinic I would start there. If your brother continues to put your mother at risk financially (and if he is able to do that without hesitation, I would wonder what kind of care she is getting from him) your last resort may be to apply for guardianship if your mother is incompetent. That is a road you can probably avoid if you switch into pro-active gear and just make it impossible for him to access your mother's money. If she is still making loans to him, you may need to have a serious conversation with her explaining to her that you are responsible for her financial well being and you have determined that she can no longer afford to make those loans. If you have enough information to come up with even an approximate total of her funds that have been used by your brother, she needs to see that if she is still in a place medically that she can understand what you are telling her.
Good luck......you can do this!!!!
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