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My dad is 90 and lives in a retirement home, 3 hours away from where I live. I have 2 older sisters, the eldest has Power of Attorney. She has acted in that role for at least 2 years, if not slightly longer. Middle sister and I feel she is secretive. While my dad may still have some level of competence; he shows signs of memory issues. I emailed the eldest sister asking for information about my dad's estate. She (expectedly) accused me of trying to start a fight... That response only leads me to be concerned that there could be some malfeasance. Any advice regarding the best way to proceed? (I am about to respond to her email... but I know she will only fail to give me information which all 3 offspring should have). By the way, I discussed this with my dad and he told me that all 3 of us children are equally entitled to know this information. (However, due to his frailty, I believe that my eldest sister can manipulate him). Any advice? Thanks.

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When I took over my dad's finances in 2013 I sent a copy of the monthly income & bills to both my dad & my brother. After 3 months my brother told me to stop sending them. But yet he is still asking my dad for money! The last time was just this week. I told my dad that he would have to tell my brother that there was no money to send him. So I guess even with 100% transparency people will still believe what they want to believe. :(

Perhaps if you approached it from a different angle, for example,"Hey, Sis, I just wanted to touch bases with you. I wanted to make sure that dad has everything he needs to be comfortable. Does he have enough pocket money? Can I send a gift card for personal items he might need?"

Perhaps that will open the conversation in a more neutral fashion than "I want an accounting."
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When I was DPOA for my mother I handled things with complete transparency. I have two older brothers- one I get along with, the other I have had a poor relationship with most of our lives. In order to care for our parents we had to learn to put our differences aside - even though he rarely was helpful to me, but the few times I really needed help desperately- he was there. In the beginning I notified them of every little thing but soon discovered that wasn't what they wanted and moved on to keeping excellent records and honestly answering questions when asked. I have to admit things went - and continue to go quite smoothly- I am now executor of the will. I would suggest asking your sister what you want to know. But take some time before hand to figure the best way to ask to be non-accusatory and non-threatening. It's sucks to be the person doing the extra work and then have someone question the manner in which you are doing it.
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I'd check the laws in the state where your dad lives. In some jurisdictions, the POA may be required to file annual accoutings with the Clerk of Court. This is to ensure that things are handled properly. You can see if it is a matter of public record. Sometimes this can be waived in the document by the person making the appointment. I'd check it out. If not, good luck.

I might wonder why the sudden interest if I were your sister too. Is there something you particularly are concerned about?
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Does she understand the implications down the road of those gifts if dad needs Medicaid?

I guess i might approach it this way "sis, I've been reading about eldercare on this website. There is all this stuff about Medicaid doing a five year lookback. Are we sure that dad hasnt9been giving money away?".
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Thanks for your response. So... a little additional information... a few years ago my parents wrote a letter to the 3 of us giving all of their information... including access information to an investment account and the expression of belief that nobody's passing should come as a surprise as to where and what things are...

I am guessing that if I ask my sister for a copy of the POA, she will tell me to take a flying leap... but I suspect that though "arguably" she could be looking out for my dad's best interests... she is taking advantage of him by having him sign checks to her family members as gifts... not that I am not opposed to that but I believe that her family members could be getting disproportionate "gifts".
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I'm not sure this will make you happy, but one of the primary responsibilities of a POA is to keep the ward's personal and financial information private. Unless the POA document specifically says that information should be shared, I believe you are fighting a losing battle. Even wills are private, until someone dies. And only then are beneficiaries notified. Legally I'm afraid you have no rights.

Now, having said that...if your family is close, and your father has expressed wishes in the past that everyone should be involved, then your oldest sister certainly can share this information with you...but she is not obligated in any way, and may even be barred from it depending on exactly what the POA document says.

Angel
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