After my dad died, my mom decided that having a POA was a good idea, and even though my brother lived at the other end of the country, and I lived with her, she made us both POA. Because she had given him over $100,000 dollars over the years, and I was on Disability, she decided to put my name on the deed of the house, and to set all bank assets joint with "right of survivorship" to me, this saved on probate, and me having to deal with lawyers. Because I was on Disability, the only way for me to be on her accounts was as POA, and she carefully explained to each bank, that she wanted to make sure everything went to me when she died. She also was worried that my brother might contest the Will, and wanted to make sure I would still get the money. So that he wouldn't complain she left him a few thousand, to help pay for his air fare, and time and so he and I could be co-executors of the Will. So the lawyer knew the Will was unevenly divided, heavily in my favor, originally, my brother was to get nothing but at the last minute in the office she decided to leave a few thousand amounting to about 2% of the estate.
Well my mother had emergency surgery, and was given as little as 4 weeks to live. Within 2 days, my brother began removing money and closing out bank accounts, even though he told them my mother was dying. The banks knew the money did NOT go through the Will, nor to my brother, as I had right of survivorship, yet all three banks turned over $100,000 to him, and one made over $30,000 payable to him before she even got out of the hospital, while the other two banks said the bank drafts could only be made payable to my mother, but apparently 'he' was allowed to sign to cash them. The banks never called or contacted me, nor thought it was odd that he was asking to remove my inheritance, the very same day the POA was changed removing me, (big red flag) unless he also convinced them I was mentally disabled. The manager at one bank, stated that as POA my brother could do anything he wanted with my mother's money, which included paying a bank loan and transfering money to his bank account. Then continuing to use the account to pay all his bills, and to accept 3rd party payments into my mother's account.
My brother's wife called and asked my mother did she give him any money (she was told no) because she said "he was spending like he's loaded", he bought two snowmbiles, within 2 weeks of her surgery, even though days before he had no rent money. His wife later tried to convince me that he had just gotten $230,000 in back pay, and had used that money.
Apparently upon discovering that all bank assets were joint with right of survivorship to me, my brother and his daughter took my mother to a Motel after her surgery, (although he could have had a stretcher survice bring her home). While at the Motel, his daughter filled out a new POA, and removed me, and replaced me with herself, using motel employees to witness. (The hand writing was not my mother's on the new POA) My mother was too sick to know what they were doing, but as I was only allowed on the accounts because I was POA my mother would never have changed it, no one ever mentioned that the lawyer had come out to the motel, until I saw the bill from the lawyer, almost a year later. I now realize, the reason my brother wanted me to give him my POA, was because if he convinced the lawyer I was too mentally disabled to own the house, then as my POA, he could sign, for me, turning the house over to his daughter, and I would never know till after my mother died. Their plan was once my mother died, to remove me, or threaten if I didn't leave that I would go to jail, and they could still sell it, but their mistake was that my brother had spent all the money, thinking my mother would soon be dead (but after a year was still alive and kicking, and so needed the house money) Neither my brother nor his daughter ever mentioned anything until, the grand daughter called and threatened to us use "her' POA to have me arrested, if I didn't do exactly as she said, which was not until her dad had removed the last $5,000. She had already gotten the police to threaten that if I tried to contact my brother, or anyone in their family, or friends "I would be arrested, and I would go to jail" and since the grand daughter had removed my mother from the house to her apartment, this included talking to my mother, so I couldn't tell her what was going on, but she figured something, when the grand daughter told her dad she wanted me out of the house as fast as possible. So of course I could not call and ask for the stolen money back, much less the house, or even my mother. When she tried to talk to her nurse, she said the grand son grabed the phone out of her hand to see who she was talking to, so I guess they figured that even if my mother called me, they could tell the police that I called her, and then she could have me arrested, and with my mother out of the house, they could sell it before I was even aware, as the lawyer wrote a contract that said I could stay in the house as long as I was "able", so they tried convincing the police and mental health services that I wasn't able (after living alone for only 3 days) and that I should be permanently removed from the house. My brother said someone reported that I couldn't look after myself and I should be removed from the home (but then how did he find out, much less contact him). But since no one knew I was home, since I never left the house, and I only open the door once a week for mail, most didn't even know I lived there, I figured my brother and his daughter were behind it. I had really bad PTSD (still do - especially if someone starts talking about what happened) and really nasty panic attacks for months on end, everytime the phone rang, or I thought someone was knocking at the door I thought it was the police to take me away. Apparently they needed 7 police to personally threaten me at night, on my brother's and his daughter's behalf, and once my mother saw the police reports, and told them her grand daughter lied, and they did nothing, well I don't trust the police anymore, and realize, they too thought I was the bad guy, so of course they're not going to help me, they even berated me, convinced I had kicked my mother out of the house and threatened the grand daughter, even though the grand daughter removed her when I was not home, and I had not seen or talk to her. But once my mother was in hospital, my brother threatened if I didn't let him and his daughter into the house to go through her room,"well then, she'll just call the police" and have me arrested no doubt. I later figured my brother knew we use to have over $11,000 in the house, and he wanted him and his daughter to get it before I found it, which they didn't, because he had already gotten $8,000 years earlier, which really pissed off his daughter, because that when she left a message, saying she was was POA and threatened to have me arrested, which is why my mother quickly removed them even before she had a replacement, My mother had told me to give her religious items to a friend, as my brother and his daughter convinced my mother, this was it, you're dying, your never coming home, at that point I thought I was still POA. She did come home, practically running up the stairs, that day, lived more than two years, watched mass, hours and hours of news, movies, had friends phone, but had to sell the car for $200 because we couldn't afford 800 for repairs, and couldn't even buy a hospital bed, until just before she died, someone donated one.
Well I finally gathered all the evidence and took it to the Police. They dumped my mother in the hospital. I guess they figured if they separated us my mother would die faster, and apparently she did go down faster, so fast the doctor even remarked about it. When I showed my mother the bank accounts, he had taken the $5,000 she had saved because I had arranged for $500 of my disability to go into the bill paying account every month, My brother even stole money I put into pay the bills, yet later tried to have my mother's lawyer convince her that he was paying the bills. My brother even told my mother that her lawyer was telling him that it was in his best interest NOT to return the money. She had less than $300 in the account. He even threatened to mortage the house to sue her, and the grand daughter even tried to convince her that if she gave back the house I would loose my disability. (a lie - my mother checked before she had my name added to the deed) He told the lawyer that he had paid her hospital bills, and when I called, they said yes it had been paid, but she couldn't tell me how (cash, check or credit) she could only 'tell the police', which I thought was an odd thing to say. I later found out when we saw his credit card statement, it had not been paid when I called, it was not paid till the following month, so I guess he managed to convince the hospital to lie just in case the lawyer called to check. While his daughter was telling the new POA, that the funeral had been paid, my brother had been secretly telling me to pay when my mother died, but had told the funeral company to send him the government check when she died.
The lawyer refused to accept the new POA, and refused to turn over her records so we could give them to the police, even though my mother had written a note. When I complained that the lawyer never talked to me, he said that as I had been to his office before, it was MY FAULT he never talked to me (at this point I still had no idea what my brother was saying about me, but the lawyer sure didn't talk like I was mentally disabled) and the lawyer refused to let my mother make a new Will (my brother had hinted to the new POA there might be a new Will, and the Public Trustee guy said, a new Will would cancel it out, if one of the papers they had her sign was a new Will, because of course if there was a new Will with everything going to him and his family, it would mean he didn't have to return the money). So while I could not convince the lawyer that my mother's (and eventually my inheritance) had been stolen and defrauded by a quarter million dollars, but my brother could convince him that I was trying to cheat him out of a few thousand, go figure, and the lawyer was not going to let that happen. I believe after seeing a letter from another lawyer that he had convinced him that the new POA was only out to steal the money.
Well after nearly 3 months we got my mother out of the hospital by convincing her there was no more money to pay, because the doctor didn't consider sick enough for the hospital, they were charging nursing home fees, even though half the time she couldn't walk, she was so medicated.
Finally my mother got out of the hospital, and the lawyer had no choice but to turn over her records, where she discovered blank spaces where a witness was suppose to sign, and comparing to what she had, even the signatures didn't match. Which could explain why he didn't want me and the new POA seeing there were two different signature pages for the same contract, he had no explaination - but I figured they were going to use the one with no witness signatures to make it look like we had agreed to let the house be sold, (with a yet to be determined witness) the other set, was if my mother died before I signed, or he could get my POA, it would look like I signed, and it would be their word against mine, and 3 to 1 I would lose (them and their witness). The lawyer remindered her that the house had gone to the grand daughter because, I was too mentally incompetent to inherit it (and did she not remember this? My mother does NOT have dementia, just cancer - she thought she was signing because he had pressured her to give him more of her estate, in graditude, that he would soon be providing me with enough income to get off disability, from shares she had in his company - shares which I discovered were worthless as the company had gone under 4 years earlier, and neither his wife or him mentioned it, but when questioned he claimed the company was the parent or holding company and the shares were still vauable, course he was already on company 3, because when the banks stop lending money you start a new company) her friend said it wasn't true, I was "highly intellegent', where upon the lawyer stated how was he to know my brother was lying, that he's NEVER MET ME! So when I'm in his office he has no problem remembering that he's met me before, but now he chooses to LIE and hopes my mother doesn't remember (never mind that we were both at the hospital when he went to see her, some weeks earlier). I had to inform my mother's friend that the lawyer LIED to her. But making those statements also means that he didn't need any proof, and never had to see for himself if I knew what was going on, or that if I was truly mentally disabled I would need my own lawyer to protect my rights, but apparently he thought there was nothing wrong representing the whole family, and didn't need to talk to me. On one document I guess to make it look like I was too retarded to know where to sign, a partial signature had been 'X'ed out, except that I know when you sign a legal document and you put an X you are suppose to inital it, and it wasn't, so I know it wasn't my signature. When we went to sign to get the house back the lawyer told me not to bother reading it as "it's a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, you wouldn't understand it" so it's either the first time a lawyer has told some one not to read a legal document, or he still thinks I'm at least a little mentally disabled. Trust me, I got higher marks in school than my brother, and I figured it all out, but once the money is gone, not much I can do, since the police and lawyer allowed things to drag on, so if there had been any money left he was given time to spent, hide or convert it. Theft of over $50,000 is 10 years, but theft of a testimary instrument is 14 years, they should have told him if he didn't return the money in 3 months he would be looking at a long time in jail, and maybe he would have borrowed the money from one of his rich friends to avoid going to jail. But they thumbed their nose at us, and the legal/justice system, just keep lying to buy time, until the main witness dies.
Well, the lawyer wouldn't help me get the house back, but he did help my mother get it back. He refused to help with the money, saying it would be a conflict of interest. Since she had no money to pay a lawyer (she should leave it in the hands of the police), after trying to get her to drop everything, saying, that my brother would only declare
bankruptcy, and these things happen when Wills are unevenally divided, but if he knew that, he should have been on the look out, he later complained because of all this he had lost thousands helping my mother (we lost more!). The Police while telling me it would take 1 to 2 years, told my mother they considered the theft of over $100,000 a "family matter" that she should really take care of it herself (despite the fact she's dying and has no money). Her friend found a lawyer, who they thought was a miracle from God, agreed to help, except he never told her, that he couldn't get her money back, and she would be best to save what little she could for me (which turned out to be nearly $9,000) plus the thousands my brother was going to agree to pay him or basically almost entire's year pension for my mother, and what would she live on...my disability of course. No, and the first order of business was that her lawyer had done the Will wrong, and the house transfer wrong, and he had to redo it (at a cost of a few thousand dollars), then some emails back and forth trying to get my brother to account for the money, and him coming up with different lies, than he told the POA, the original lawyer, or his secretary. The lawyer didn't want the other lawyer's name mentioned in any document, said it didn't look good (yeah, doesn't look good for the other lawyer) but not sure if he could be completely left out/protected that way. If the lawyer had taken him to court on the lies at least he could have been charged with perjury, once you compared previous emails.
The lawyer said he had made a deal to get over $100,000 back, and for him to pay legal fees, but he needed a few months. (hoping she would die) she didn't , but then now he says he has no money. I was told if my brother didn't pay the lawyer he would go after him, at least for his money, but then someone else said, no the lawyer was going to go after your mother for ther money (which is why he really didn't care if my brother paid or not) but if she dies, where is the money going to come from, sell the house, now that he's had my name removed, I was told it was so that the house could go into trust for me, and to prevent my brother or his family from inheiriting anything even if I died. Or is the lawyer going to go after me, and my disability to pay. Or because he didn't realize that it was just another lie from my brother, and he fell for it, that he's going to let it slide, that would be nice, and difinitely earn him some brownie points as a lawyer, but if he filed garnishment papers, he could have gotten money, because if you claim it's a family obligation (the money was for someone on disability, just like child support payments) you could garnish up to 50% of his wages, which he told my mother was $11,000 a month at one time, or sell his shares, he claimed to own 20 worth $50,000 each.
Seems on the day they changed the POA (and POAs arre not allowed to change POAs, and the second witness came to sign after the first left, so she never witnessed my mother sign anything, so it wasn't even legal, apparently one of my brother's new business partners was there, and told the employee it was okay, that she was late to sign), the lawyer also came out to the motel, when of course I wasn't there, which had been his plan. He convinced the lawyer that I was too mentally disabled (I am not mentally retarded) to inherit the house, and to start procedings to transfer the house to his daughter's name, and that to keep me from stealing my inheritance, he needed to immediately remove the money from the bank. The lawyer didn't need to talk to me, and my brother didn't have to show him medical records or anything, just his 'word'. Within hours (or minutes) of the new POA being made my brother ran to 2 banks and removed the remaining funds. Even though it meant breaking the right of survivorship, not one bank called me, they knew full well if he put it into a new account with him and my mother as joint, and she died, he would now have right of survivorship instead of me. The banks state while the money was insured it was not insured against theft or fraud, but since he told them she was dying and he asking to remove what they knew was not going to him, nor through the Will, they should not have released the funds. (Lawyer 2 said my mother had a case against the banks, they shouldn't have released the money, but it would take years, and money, neither of which she had, not to mention the banks would spend more on lawyers than what was stolen - the same banks who later told my mother that her money was safe, because now it would take a 'court order' to get her money released) You would have thought the one of the 3 banks or the lawyer would have been suspicious about my brother's actions, but the banks knew that they would not have to give the stolen money back, only if he's convicted of theft, and then you still have to sue them, just for the amount, but if convicted, I might have been able to find a lawyer to sue for damages and pain and suffering, because between my brother and his daughter they slandered and libeled me to steal my rightful inheritance, then continued to lie to get away with it. When my mother told the doctor her money had been stolen, the grand daughter told them her grand mother was psychotic, (for thinking that) and not until she was home, did a nurse ask why she was on anti-psychotic medicine, which doped her up so much people who didn't know her thought she had dementia, and she quickly went off it. Much to my brother's and his daughter's dismay and distain, she lived another 2 years after getting out of the hospital, 3 plus years in total, also 3 years after the police said it would only take a year or two, but they claimed they passed it to the Big City Police, but they are busy too. After my brother didn't pay they said he could charge my brother, but now needed a letter from my mother's lawyer, but so far nothing has happened.
To file a single paper to tell the courts that he has not provided his records to prove he has no money, they want me, to pay $2,000 which is more than my food budget for an entire year. Legal aid has refused to help me, (guess it's too complicated for them) and a law firm that could apply to garnish his wages, wants a couple thousand up front, and over $20,000 of the garnishment, course then he'll probably file for bankruptcy, then the debt could be wiped clean, but only if a lawyer could convince the courts that the money amounts to a family obligation, much like child support, since this money was meant to help cover expenses now that my mother's income is not here to help run the house.
Now that my mother's dead I doubt the police will doing anything but wait for the statue of limitations to be up, or for my brother to declare bankruptcy. I was counting on $500 a month to suppliment my disability, and to put towards home repairs, or sell, and move to a nicer neighbourhood, far away from here. But first I would need to fix a leaking roof, a cracked toilet downstairs flooded one corner of the basement, and because they increased the insurance deductible to $1,000 I'd have to pay, and right now I'd rather buy food. I even cut out cable TV the day after my mother died just to save $80 bucks a month, I went from shopping every week (when I could get a ride) to just once a month, so I have to buy enough to last me until next shopping, which could be a month away or a month and a half.
So even if the POA steals the money, and you have the bank records to prove they took it, the police are not likely to do anything, but wait until the person dies, then claim it's too difficult (requesting bank records apparently is really hard) or to protect the lawyers reputation, if he knew anything. If you want to pay a lawyer nearly $20,000 (if you can convince a friend to do a lot for free, the lawyer reads, it then rewrites it in his own words - otherwise it will be a lot more, I've heard up to $50,000, just to ask for a passing of the accounts, don't waste your money).
I think the police and lawyers feel that theft by POA, especially if by a son or daughter, or grand child is in effect "their own fault" , and "they had it coming" because, you didn't raise your child NOT to steal. Given enough time, the banks and other will give the blanket statement "I'm sorry, I don't recall". The people you thought should protect the elderly don't, the people who should know better, either don't or look the other way. My mother choose to forgive, because she believes she'll get into heaven easier, (and even on her death bed said, don't worry money's coming, yeah...only if I win a lottery, or some lawyer wants to make an example and sue 3 banks in exchange for a percentage of a settlement - but when was the last time you heard about that happening) while I was told by a Priest that God would forgive my brother (and his daughter no doubt) on his death bed for what he did, but that God would punish me for not forgiving him (or his daughter) So you try to help or your the victim, you will be slandered and libeled, and not know it unless the person who hears it or reads it tells you. My brother was telling people I chased my mother to the basement with a knife, even that I repeatedly kicked her out of the house, so that if I did call them for money, they would think I was the bad guy and not the victim, even my mother's lawyer said he "heard" it wasn't the son indimidating the mother but the daughter.
Her friends even thought that after what they did, and put me and her through that they were entitled to go to the funeral (so I refused to go) which made it look like they were innocent, (or at least their lies were believed) but it would have been better if they had been refused, so at least then they might have felt a little shame, if not guilt. Other people tell me God has a plan (guess it's to keep me poor, like finding out you'll be on disability forever), all because my mother wouldn't listen to me when I told my mother my brother won't take it well when he finds out I'm basically getting everything, and I even found a way she could have put all the money in a special Disability savings account, up to $200,000 in a single day. She said no he'll understand, two weeks later, she had emergency surgery, 2 weeks after that the money was gone, and the paperwork started, all before the doctor even came over to tell me she had as little as 4 weeks to live. People say it was a miracle she lived so long, I said if she had died during surgery, the house would be in my name, there would be a trust fund in my name, and my reputation would have been intact, that was the miracle I needed, because of all this it distroyed my relationship with my mother, and I found out things about my mother that makes me believe that she never loved me, she just used me to keep her company in her old age, and make sure I had no friends, so the over $100,000 I had given her from my disability pension, was so that she could give my brother money anytime he wanted, and when we said don't talk to him, he'll only lie more, she thought if she talked that he would ask for forgiveness, while lying to the lawyer, when she did call, to say she forgave him, she said he didn't say a word, and just hung up on her.
Her social worker said it was just "revenge" on my part reporting my brother to the police, and wanting him to go to jail, and that as I was over 18, my mother didn't owe me anything! (not the money, not the house, not even my reputation) Even though I gave my mother $6,000 a year to help with expenses, saved and paid $2,500 for a new roof (took a couple years to save that on disability) I even paid nearly $2,000 to upgrade the electrical so she could save her money, and she couldn't spare a $1,000 for a big screen TV for me (I haven't been to see a movie in over 30 years and I have no firends) but my brother who has a big screen, well if he wants $2,000 towards his rent that's okay, but the last $2,000 well se told that was so he could buy his wife a $2,000 diamond ring. So I saved, and when they were on sale, a lady went and picked one up for me, and my mother even tried to stop her saying I didn't need it. (guess she thought I didn't deserve it) But guess who enjoyed watching her daily mass on a big screen tv, and saying Rosary with the people in Lourdes, countless movies, and hours of news, now I don't even have cable.
Only the rich can afford justice, because only the rich can afford a lawyer, unless all their money is stolen too!
I am now literally a POOR ORPHAN.