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My mother probably has dementia. She was referred to a neurologist but never went for an evaluation. Her medical records state “self neglect” and “cognitive impairment.” She failed her drivers test a couple years ago so no longer drives. She became overwhelmed by doing her own banking and bill paying - was falling behind, losing credit cards, etc so my sister stepped in to help her with her banking. A month after my sister stepped in to help with the finances, my sister convinced my mom to sell a property in her estate/trust and she also convinced my mom to sell a different property to my sister. My mom had no representation in these deals. No appraisals, etc. There are 6 adult children in our family and no one knew about these transactions until after the fact. We have asked my sister to show proof that she actually paid mom a down payment for the property she’s buying from the estate, as well as proof she’s making monthly payments and she won’t comply. When we ask mom how much money she has left from outright selling the first property, she says “I don’t know, I’d have to ask ‘Sally’.” We filed police reports and had APS visit. My mom outright lied to the police and APS to protect my sister. She basically said she wanted to sell the property to them, she sold it at a huge discount because it needed work and she doesn’t need the money. She said she’s completely independent at home (cooks, cleans, handles finances) and this is false. She has help everyday from family members who clean and bring her meals. The police and APS didn’t access her bank statements to see if my sister is embezzling from my mom because my mom convinced them everything is fine and exactly how she wants it. Rewind- my mom has said selling the home to my sister was a mistake on several occasions and she asked my sister to reverse the transaction. Now my sister and her husband are isolating my mom from other family members: they changed the locks on my mom’s door. They bought her a new iPhone and added her line to their wireless account. It’s incredibly frustrating to have a trail of documentation proving my mom was manipulated; only to have the police and APS take her for her word (without even investigating.) I spoke with an attorney and they said guardianship is probably our only option and this sounds like a nightmare to put my mom through. Feeling so discouraged right now. Thanks for reading.

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Why is she isolating mom from other siblings if she has nothing to hide?

Isolation & financial exploitation of the elderly is very common nowadays and is usually done by a trusted family member.

Laws need to change to hold these people accountable!
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Ann’s,
I know exactly how you’re feeling. If your mom included you & other siblings before & is shutting you out now sis & her husband could be lying to her about you & your other siblings.

This is the exact same thing my brother did to myself & my family. They might be telling her lies about you to scare her into not speaking to you. Mine told my mom I was trying to get her money & put her in a nursing home none of which was true. I questioned him as to why he was writing checks to himself to cash every week out of mom’s acct. She had all three of us on the acct

As for protecting them from police & APS, she might be afraid of what will happen to them if she tells the truth or she doesn’t want to appear that she can no longer control her life. My mom lied to APS because brother would yell at her not to speak to any of us. Even with her dementia she protected him because he has no one & she wanted his attention.

With some people their need for control & greed is so powerful they don’t care who they hurt.

I wish you all the best. Let us know how you make out.
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The police are not going to investigate if the alleged victim (your mother) tells them she isn't a victim and that she wanted to sell this property to your sister at a discount.
You're guessing that she probably has dementia and in all likelihood you are probably right. Unfortunately, your opinion doesn't matter with the cops, the APS, or the court if it comes to that.
You say that your mother was getting overwhelmed and could no longer handle her own affairs. There are six adult children, just as you say. Yet only one out of six (the sister you're accusing of embezzlement and fraud) is the only one that stepped up to start helping mom.
Before there was a long trail of documentation proving your mom was is being manipulated, she had some time when she was slipping. Not coping with caring for herself and not being able to manage her financial affairs. You even say that her medical records state that she is 'cognitively impaired' and in a state of 'self-neglect'. There are six adult siblings. Only one noticed and took over?
The sister doing for your mom now will probably get a a larger portion of your mother's estate than the rest of you do. If your mother is willing to lie to the police and the state about being taken advantage of by your sister, then what are they supposed to do?
Unless your mother is declared incompetent and someone gets guardianship or conservatorship over her, she can sell whatever she wants or whoever she wants.
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Anns714 Jun 13, 2021
Actually, all six of us noticed mom was declining in health and needed support. Several of us have been trying to get mom in home care; assisted living; a visit with a social worker. However, no matter who presented these ideas - mom became angry and shut the thought of any form of caregiving right down. It’s beyond frustrating and I would not wish our drama on anyone.
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The isolation should allow you to pursue a different line of enquiry with APS. You describe your mother's previous relationship with her five other children - frequency of visits, range of support offered, regularity of contact with grandchildren, invitations to events and days out etc. - up until 2 years ago, you compare it with the level of contact now, and you explain your concern that there may be an intentional or a consequential strategy of social isolation which is depriving your mother of contact with her children. Particularly in view of your sister's stated opinion that your mother was developing dementia 2 or more years ago - which you can quote from your sister's own lips, so to speak - this is clearly detrimental to your mother's quality of life.

APS is manned by experienced, qualified social workers. You shouldn't need to tell them that they need to interview your mother sensitively and when she is free to express her true meaning without fear of repercussions. You shouldn't need to. But you might want to bring the point meekly to their attention all the same.
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Anns714 Jun 11, 2021
Wonderful advice, thank you. APS did say mom is a “gray area” because of her condition and that I should immediately notify them of any changes so they can reevaluate. I was actually thinking of checking in with them simply because of how they’re isolating her from others. Thank you again.
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If sister just "stepped in" to help and she is not POA then I strongly suggest you contact an Elder care Attorney and begin Guardianship procedures ASAP.
The Elder Care Attorney can also request a detailed report of assets, what was sold to whom and where the money went.
If you want to protect your mom, her assets then those are the steps you will have to take. Good possibility that mom will not have to appear in court so she will be spared that.
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Anns714 Jun 11, 2021
Thank you. Yes, our attorney wants us to pursue guardianship. We were hoping we could avoid this for multiple reasons. It’s a nightmare that we want to move on from.
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If your sis is POA and your mom has denied you access, it is a breach of confidentiality to give you information. They owe you no explainations.

As for the realitor and the low ball offer. I would have done the same thing. I actually do everyday when "charites" call asking for donations.

The only thing you may have is breach of responsibility, conflict of interest and at this point, it is civil not criminal and for probate court.
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Anns714 Jun 11, 2021
Except for the fact that my sister knows mom is vulnerable and cognitively impaired. Her decision to isolate mom is both suspicious and harmful. Simply put, guilty people behave like guilty people. My sister shouldn’t be on both sides of these tasks, either. She shouldn’t be handling the banking and buying property from mom with mom carrying a 30 year contract. Essentially- my sister is a Fox that’s guarding the hen house.
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Anns, I do understand the frustration. The thing is, though, that everything your sister has done could also be construed as legitimate protection of a lady who was seen to be having trouble managing her own affairs with any form of security.

It seems a pity that communication has broken down to this extent, so that no one can talk to the woman enough to reason with her and convince her to set everyone's mind at rest.

Also, yourself excepted, are you sure there was no family monkey business previously? None of the other four accepting gifts or payments that perfect children would have said no to?

Are you all (or any of you) still able to visit to support your mother as previously?
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Anns714 Jun 11, 2021
Unfortunately they’ve isolated mom very well. Mom isn’t answering our calls or returning voice messages. She isn’t responding to text messages. Some of us live far away, some live local. Only my sister has a key to mom’s new door locks.
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Have you accessed your mother's bank statements?

I've just come from a client who stated to me (and I'm sure fully believes) that his son marched into his home the other evening, tipped a glass of red wine over him, and then hit him over the head with his own metal walking stick. He says that he was taken to hospital for scans, and that the police have "spoken to" his son and told him "not to do it again."

I have no way of knowing the truth of what happened. Gentle questioning shed no light on the events, and it is no part of my job to take action (we report risk and reports of abuse, of course, but this report has already been reported).

The point is that it might be, might it, that you just don't know what has been happening?

You say you have "a trail of documentation" - what documents? Your sister's refusal to give you sight of proofs of payment could mean she can't, because she hasn't made any; but it could equally well be that she considers you've no right to demand them.

The police and APS can't investigate your mother's finances if she refuses them permission, especially not if she spins them a plausible yarn. Has either authority spoken to your sister about the allegations of financial abuse, do you know?
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Anns714 Jun 11, 2021
Thank you for responding. My trail of documentation includes text messages from my sister to the other family members, dating back 2 years ago stating, “Mom is showing signs of dementia and we can no longer ignore it…” as well as a third party real estate investor who approached mom with a low ball offer on yet another property. My sister told him to never contact mom again because she has dementia and it’s illegal to take advantage of old people. Fast forward, 2 years later and my sister and her husband are the ones taking advantage of mom. They’re savvy enough to know mom can’t object to their actions or be deemed a vulnerable adult or they’re in big trouble. Regarding her bank records, only my sister has access. We approached mom gently several months ago and asked if we could look at those with her to make sure things are how they should be and mom became angry and combative. My perspective- if someone accused me of stealing from my mom and I wasn’t; you bet I’d show proof of that. They aren’t sharing proof of anything.
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Thanks for your response. Mom is pretty alienated from her family now. She’s controlled by my sister and her husband. We wish the police or APS would investigate the complaint through. Obviously someone is lying - either my mom or her other kids. But to just take mom for her word without investigating is beyond disappointing. Guardianship is not attractive in any way and I can’t say it’s something we’ll pursue. Sadly, my sister and brother-in-law will probably get away without a scratch and rob mom blind, destroy the relationships in our family and our access to our mom in the process.
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rovana Jun 21, 2021
Our legal system very highly values adult autonomy. If your mom goes along saying to cops she is not a victim, then you really can't expect cops to investigate in the absence of real evidence of abuse/neglect. They would have no grounds for intruding into her affairs.
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I have no idea why parents protect their children other than unconditional love. My oldest brother (now deceased) stole from my parents due to addiction. My parents did all they could to help him.

Your case is totally different. Your mom has cognitive issues which complicates the matter further. I’m so sorry that this is happening in your family. I don’t know what you could do to stop this issue.

Best wishes to your family.
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Well, you did talk to an attorney and I think you should take that advice.

Sounds like sister is a real winner--and is going to continue on being who she is and robbing mom as long as mom is not cognizant of what's really going on.

My OB stole from my parents over the years, and they just make excuses one after another to 'protect' him. We gave up.

Sadly, they wound up essentially losing their home and having to move in with YB, where mom is now living alone. She's not happy, but it is what it is.

We never did anything 'legal' against brother. I know a lot of people do. Getting guardianship of mom is going to be painful for her and you and will enrage sister, so be prepared.

You probably can't do much, going forth, but protect mom from the scamming sister. This is almost certain to cause a 'forever' break in the family, but you need to do what needs doing to protect mom.
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