What do I do when I suspect fiancial exploitation of an elderly parent?

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My stepmother, 82, has dementia. Her daughter (mystepsister) has power of attorney. POA has numerous unpaid bills for which she is responsible, in the tens of thousands of dollars. I live in a different state than they. I suspect that my stepmother is being financially exploited by her daughter and see a need to step in, but do not know what to do or how to proceed. I have limited income and cannot afford expensive legal assistance. What else can I do to ensure that my stepmother is not financially exploited?

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I take it he was executor as well. (POA actually ends at death.) If there was a Will and he did not follow it there might be some recourse also.
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Heartbroken, so sorry to hear about your mother's death and her POA's exploitation of the situation both before and after her death. It sounds so familiar to me, I almost thought it was my sister-in-law writing about my husband's mother's death. In their case, their controlling brother was sole beneficiary, so he did pretty much everything you described, but it was his mother's wishes he was carrying out. He threw away boxes of family photos, took her new car, etc. My sister-in-law had to dumpster dive in the rented trash bin (while the house was being worked on to put on the market), and retrieve what she could. She found photos that we had never seen before, and is sorting and sending them out to us and her two other siblings. She also found newspaper articles from when my husband played football in high school that his mother had saved. In your case, it sounds like your mother intended you to have the funds in the account the POA (your brother?) siphoned off into his own account. You could consult an elder law attorney and see if you have any recourse. But from what I understand, the POA has total control over financial matters both before and after death of the elder person. Your mother essentially gave him the power to act as if she herself were making the decisions. Not sure if anything can be done, but it's worth a try to run it by a lawyer and see what he/she thinks. Best of luck to you - seems a lot of us are in the same boat.
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What type of attorney do you see if you KNOW through financial records $ has been stolen/transferred to a POAs account? I was a beneficiary on one of my mother's accounts, but the POA transferred over $180,000 from it in less than 6 months (and almost $85,000 less than 2 weeks before her death) - not to mention all the money he transferred withing the last 4 years. Please note, he put my mother in a "hell hole of an assisted living facility" to basically die - which she did do! This makes me sick. And to top everything off, he has her ashes & won't bury her...just found that out today! Do I even have a chance at recovering any of this money? I want to do this solely out of principle. No one should be allowed to get away with this. He has even sold ALL of her personal belongings, including an expensive vehicle and has pocketed that as well. Doesn't he have to have some accountability for all the wrongs committed. And I hate to mention it, but he was also trying to get his hands on medication to kill her a few weeks before she died. He is a sicko!!!!!...always has been & always will be.
Do you think I even stand a chance on doing something? DCF and Adult Protective Services are USELESS. The sheriff's department has been no help either. Why is this so rampant? What is wrong with our system for protecting the elderly.
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No one in a position of real authority ("no one") cares about the financial abuse of ordinary people.

No one cares when the Prince of Nigeria gets money.

No one cares when someone scams the deed to a house.

No one cares when someone gets an elder loved one to pay fake debts.

No one cares when older people lose their money to telemarketing scams.

No one cares when older people end up in the poor house because of fake investment schemes.

No one cares when older people get ripped off by fake sweepstakes and lottery scams.

There are hotlines and websites that purport to care but I have yet to encounter a single person who had any success recouping any money.

The only people who get back any money are the wealthy who get scammed by someone like Bernie Madoff. He had hundreds of victims. But when you're just another ordinary person, no one cares.

If you had the resources to fight the daughter I would suggest taking her to court. But you don't so, sadly, my suggestion to you is let it go.
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My Aunt is being taken advantage of financially by my half-sister and her son (that is a whole different story).
How can I report this without them knowing it was me? My half-sister hates all of us and will retaliate in ways you have no idea about. Help!!
Oh yes... my Aunt has been diagnosed with dementia.
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APS is always going to do two things that we may find frustrating. They will focus on the physical well-being and safety of the person needing care, and financial exploitation they will tend to leave to law enforcement and guardianship/conservatorship proceedings. They will also give the benefit of ANY doubt in competence to the person, as they cannot legally override the autonomy of a legally competent adult and will not try to. I would stop short of calling them "a joke" because they have a very hard job and not enough staff to do everything that needs done, and have to cope with decisions from judges who may not understand or agree with their point of view...more often than not they do protect vulnerable people from real abuse, and may even help a family function better if they get any cooperation at all.
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caregivertwo...your brother sounds so much like my sister. She did exactly the same type of thing by getting her name on my mom's checking account after our dad died. She then wanted me to sign up to be the limited agent on my mom's investment account at a brokerage firm. So I did, but soon noticed the bank account linked to the brokerage account was their joint account. I smelled a rat and removed myself as limited agent. My feeling was that my sister wanted me to be duped into helping her funnel my mom's brokerage funds held in a Trust, about $600k at the time, into their joint account, making that money my mom's and my sister's. That way my sister could claim innocence if charged with anything illegal, claiming that I was the one that did the transfers. But a smarter move on my part would have been to remain the limited agent, but insist that the account linked to the brokerage account be an account solely owned by my mom without my sister's name on it. That way, I would still have access to the account to monitor it. So when that ploy of my sister's didn't work, her next move was to coerce my mom into dissolving the Trust that my dad had set up, close the brokerage account and have all the funds transferred to a bank account (not sure if their joint account or not). My brother and I voiced strong opposition to my sister having her name on our mom's bank account, but my sister defended it by telling our mom that if she died, someone would need access to her money to pay for funeral expenses. She uses fear as a way to manipulate our mom into doing whatever she wants, and it works.

You are so right about family crime like this being ignored by law enforcement. I would get APS involved, but our mother is my sister's enabler and would defend her no matter what she does, so I feel it's futile to even try to correct the situation. It would cause our mother a lot of trauma and in the end I would be blamed for it all. So I sit back and let it all play out. I think at the age of 87 she has enough money to see her through the remaining years of her life, and as for me and my 2 brothers, we may very well get the short end of the stick when it comes to inheritance. It has been a hard thing to accept but I feel like my hands are tied. My parents put by far the most dishonest, parasitic and controlling sibling in charge of everything.
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My brother who had POA for my mom and a joint bank account for years used the joint account to divert large sums of money from my mother's financial accounts to him. He would deposit draws from her financial accounts into the joint banking account and then transfer most of the funds to his personal account, leaving my mother with only a pittance to live on. He also transferred Social Security payments made to the joint account to himself. He took advantage of her childhood poverty to make her think she was poor again- under hushed breath she explained to me several times that she had "financial problems" even though she was rich! I didn't hear the warning signs.....
My brother(s) (both were addicted to the money) stole several hundred thousand dollars from her, the theft continued even to the point of denying her money for her nursing care (they needed their early "inheritance" more, she was going to die anyways) It took me a long time before I finally caught on.
My mom's story is a warning to all to be vigilant! Don't look the other way or think that signs or your gut intuition of financial abuse shouldn't be investigated today! Family "white-collar crime" like this is 99% ignored by law enforcement, usually you are left paying exhorbitant legal bills for a civil case but the perpetrator has already spent the money so there is nothing left to recover. Because I delayed, my mom risks facing running out of money for her care in her final days.
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My brother who had POA for my mom and a joint bank account for years used the joint account to divert large sums of money from my mother's financial accounts to him. He would deposit draws from her financial accounts into the joint banking account and then transfer most of the funds to his personal account, leaving my mother with only a pittance to live on. He also transferred Social Security payments made to the joint account to himself. He took advantage of her childhood poverty to make her think she was poor again- under hushed breath she explained to me several times that she had "financial problems" even though she was rich! I didn't hear the warning signs.....
My brother(s) (both were addicted to the money) stole several hundred thousand dollars from her, the theft continued even to the point of denying her money for her nursing care (they needed their early "inheritance" more, she was going to die anyways) It took me a long time before I finally caught on.
My mom's story is a warning to all to be vigilant! Don't look the other way or think that signs or your gut intuition of financial abuse shouldn't be investigated today! Family "white-collar crime" like this is 99% ignored by law enforcement, usually you are left paying exhorbitant legal bills for a civil case but the perpetrator has already spent the money so there is nothing left to recover. Because I delayed, my mom risks facing running out of money for her care in her final days.
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Can a nursing home discus selling my mothers house with her after I told them we are not going to at this time without me as an only child being around?
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