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Old 05-09-2019, 10:04 PM
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Default Mom=dementia, brother skimming money?



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Advice requested.

My 92 year old mother is in assisted living, with memory issues. She knows who's who and what's what. But at times can't remember what she was just told.

Broke/divorced older brother with no income other than social security, has Power of Attorney for financial matters, recently sold Mom's house and so on. Those funds pay for her care, and if managed safely (not invested) , will last many years.

Broke brother recently installed $25K worth of new windows in his townhome, purchased a $20K used car and took a European vacation. (yes, a liberal)

The optics are not good. However, I don't have POA, am not involved in Mom's finances. Brother will not disclose any information.



Here's the issue:

I have a great job, plenty for retirement, I don't have the $3500/mo for Mom's care. Mom may end up in the "memory unit" which is +$1000/mo.

Requests ignored, red flags raised. I want a basic accounting, if only to protect my interests. What I don't want is to spend tens of thousands in lawyer fees.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:05 PM
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Similar situation happened in my family. The only thing you can really do is get a lawyer. Not what you want to hear but its the way it is.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:09 PM
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Bring this issue to adult protective services. They can get a court ordered accounting and then you may need to assume guardianship
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:16 PM
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Sometimes family thinks they are immune to being punched in the face. That’s normally because they have not been punched in the face.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:52 PM
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cujet,,
You have my sympathy. Through the years I’ve learned that there is one in every family. In my case it was my older sister and her rat bastard husband. If your brother is embezzling, could it be consider “elder abuse”? I’ve heard some counties have agencies to deal with that type of crime.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:05 PM
randolphrowzeebragg randolphrowzeebragg is offline
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Be a man. Tell your brother that you want a thorough accounting or you'll hire a lawyer. If he's such a lowlife, how did he end up controlling your mother's affairs? If you chose to put him in that situation, blame yourself.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:24 PM
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Yep, have an adult sit down with your brother and tell him how it's going to be, whether he wants it or not. He will give you copies of the bank statements, a list of her assets and debits and account for where the money is and has been going or you will take this to court. He's already spent way too much for someone with no income. Any court would insist all interested parties (adult children) get a full report, and you want one. This isn't HIS private business you're sticking your nose into.

If this was to go to a court appointed conservator they would do a forensic account search going back 5 yrs. If he's been cheating they'd make him pay back every penny he can't PROVE was spent on her.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamppapa View Post
Bring this issue to adult protective services. They can get a court ordered accounting and then you may need to assume guardianship
As much as I hate to suggest to anyone that they get "the man" involved in their life.... this is the right answer.

They may be able to bring resources to bare that you could not.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:34 AM
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This sounds like financial exploitation, a form of elder abuse.

National Council on Aging explains various types of abuse
https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-a...r-abuse-facts/

Call your state's elder abuse hotline. You can report anonymously or give them your info. I'd give my info, though. I don't know about all states, but in Missouri, for the kind of situation you describe, they'd have to start a bona-fide investigation within 1 business day.

Definitely go with the state hotline, due to available resources, better trained social workers/investigators, and mandated reporting/investigating/accountability. Local "hotlines" often do not have needed resources and accountability, and/or local law enforcement lacks resources/training, and it's easier for stuff to get ****canned, etc.

BTW, the hotlines can also refer for services, advise about orders of protection, restitution, guardians at litem, etc., or refer you to someone in the courts that can.

Make sure you have pix, copies of paperwork, etc., or stuff will magically disappear Don't tell anyone (including your mother) what you're doing because it's easier to freeze accounts than find and recover stolen funds

Hugs and prayers.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:49 AM
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paper trail.……
and a lawyer...…..
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:46 AM
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Adult Protective Services or the equivalent in your state. A lawyer will cost a fortune and allow things to drag out until the money is gone. APS can act quickly (usually, there are exceptions) and they live for founded cases of physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. They can insert a temporary guardian or POA as needed and sort things out.

I work in the medical field and have seen cases of them pursuing people across state lines when they empty the accounts and try to make themselves scarce.

RR
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:02 AM
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I wished I had words of wisdom but I don't

I hired a lawyer when my SIL did the same thing to my wife

Yes, we got justice but not much after paying the attorney. It definitely left a rift in the family

Good luck to you and hope all works out well or at least to your satisfaction
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:03 AM
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Thank you for the advice, I never considered adult protective services.

He also took all Mom's jewelry. Half of which is willed to me. I don't really care about it, but it shows the direction this goes.

The reason He has POA is that he lives a mile away from Mom and has been helping Mom for years (and in the past, when unemployed, taking large monthly handouts from Mom) . I live hundreds and sometimes a thousand miles away. (depending on which house I'm in at the time)
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:21 AM
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My mom is in assisted living with Alzheimers. I've been handling her finances for several years now. My other siblings are also POA but I'm the only one on her bank accounts. I don't do anything other than pay the bills without consulting with everybody and everybody has access to view any of mom's financial accounts (bank, insurance, investment, etc) We normally get together to review her finances annually though this year my work has kept me too busy to put together an updated financial summary to review and my bil has been having some major health issues so my sister doesn't need any un-needed additional burden. I'm not an accountant by any means but its something that just has to be done. BTW, my sister and older brother live much closer to mom than I do.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:44 AM
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My dad has some assets. He has taken great steps to avoid this happening to him. Unless my stepmother gets him, he should be fine.

My husband, on the other hand, had a hallucination the other day and occasionally does not know place/time until I tell him. I think I have more to worry about with my husband than my Dad. I can handle him for now but a day will come when I can't.

Our only asset is the house so I am not worried about a conservator/whatever "getting" him. I think SS only gives him $100 a month in a nursing home.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:55 AM
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Take your brother on a fishing trip out in the gulf stream.....

I vote for adult protective services.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:40 AM
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A situation like this occurred in the family of one of my friends.

My friend's elderly mother had Alzheimer's and was also nearly deaf and nearly blind. My friend's daughter spent time at the grandmother's house now and again to "help her pay her bills." I can't remember exactly how my friend found out what was really going on, but at some point it became clear that the granddaughter had embezzeled something like $50,000. It pretty much tore the family apart. My friend and her embezzling daughter have not spoken for several years.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:34 AM
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That is a bad optic. Here's a view from the other side of the coin:

We bent over backwards to accommodate my MIL when she widowed with massive debt and a crumbling underwater home. Now she lives with us, debt and worry free, and pocketing 2/3'rds of her SS and pension for play money. It took, and still takes, a massive toll on our family to get her there.

After we remodeled and sold her home, fixed her finances, and moved to a bigger house, a family member (who did nothing to help) inquired about what she pays and for what etc.. It was extremely insulting.

So just know that once you start this it will probably be the end of your relationship with your brother, and possibly damaging to your mother as well.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:48 AM
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If your brother is stealing money from your mother, that's obviously a crime. The Power of Attorney documents won't protect him from that.

However, if your Mom added your brother to her bank accounts, which a lot of older folks do, that money is as much his as hers. It might not be illegal for him to use it for his own purposes. (Still wrong, though.)

I would suggest telling your brother about your concerns and asking to see the bank statements. You might even say you are concerned enough to go to the Attorney General. His reaction may tell you a lot about his position.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:49 AM
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Definitely get adult protective services involved quickly if you can.

My parents had little money, but when I had to take over their finances my siblings were notified about everything -- even every time we went for groceries. They had access to the account statements at will.

What cash Dad had I had my brother count with me and sign a paper stating the amount and date. Tried to be as transparent as possible. To do otherwise is beyond despicable.
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