How do I enforce my power of attorney responsibilities?...

7 answers | Last updated: Feb 06, 2018
A fellow caregiver asked...

I have caregiver, POA and sole trustee responsibilities for my 83-year-old mother with Alzheimer's, who lives with me. My adult daughter is exerting undue influence, encouraging my mother to do things -- mostly banking -- behind my back. How can I prevent things from being done without my knowledge and protect my mother from being influenced to give away money that is not in her best interests?

Expert Answers

You have full legal authority over your mother's finances. The question is, how do you enforce the POA in the real world, against a daughter who seems intent on subverting the POA? That is not an easy question to answer. In theory, you could take your daughter to court, and seek an order prohibiting her from interfering with your legal responsibility under the POA. But that would be, at best, a cumbersome and expensive process. And even you obtained an court order, it would not be self-enforcing. If your daughter violated the order, you'd have t return to court yet again.So, in my opinion, court proceeding are out.

So you need to find practical, real-world remedies. I do not know how your daughter manages to get your mother (her grandmother) to give away money that are not in her best interest. Is it sensible to prohibit your daughter from seeing your mother? Another possibility is to use your POA power to transfer your mother's money into accounts you alone control. Of course, you would have the legal responsibility to use these funds only in your mother's best interest. There may well be other practical steps you can take to protect your mother's interest. Unfortunately, those steps are not ones a lawyer can help you with.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

so what can be done if not by a lawyer? my nephew is going to get a lawyer and take over my mothers life and fix it so he has POA he has already gone to the the bank and changed everything behind my back . he thinks he can get total control of my mom because my mom is 87 years old, but she is of sound mind and is letting him take total control. my nephew is a control freak!!!!!!my mom has no clue . he can't control me so he isgoing through my mom to get to me. he is also not letting me see my mom. how can he get away with this? i always did everything for my mom I am lost and don't know what to do. this is really a long story i just hope you get the idea what is going on here.

Cadofe answered...

i am having a similar problem. but in this case i am not related to the man i am caring for. i was asked to care for him by his youngest son. the oldest son just came into town from out of state this past week and said he was taking his dad to dinner and i was to stay at home for a "break" he instead took his dad to the bank and had his name added to all the bank accounts. i found out fast enough to get to the bank and have the account blocked from any access. the youngest son is named in the last will as sole heir to the estate. the oldest son does not know that yet but thinks he is getting all of the savings account and half of the house.

the younger son and i have durable POA and have hired an attorney to file the necessary papers for being appointed guardians. after reading on here that the oldest son needs to be notified we may be in trouble because the oldest son wants zero court "interference".

A fellow caregiver answered...

As POA you have the ability, with your mom having Alzheimers, of safely storing away all ckecks and money for safe keeping to prevent others from taking advantage of her. An inexpensive safe with a code to unlock it. The heavy metal ones, run a hundred or so but are well worth it as to keep all paper work and such as well. Don't buy the cheaper ones as they can easily be opened. Notify the bank of your mother's condition and not allow any new ckecks to be printed without your permission. Keep her credit cards as well, and tell her it's for safety. Only take out what she would need when going with you or fill in the check prior to her signature. I think this might help. Explain to your mom that it is a safety issue regarding fire and theft. Hope it works.

Barbara kate repa answered...

If your POA and trustee powers have been activated because of your mother's condition"”this generally takes the written opinion of one or more doctors"”then you do have the legal right and responsibility to manage your mother's money and property in her best interests.

If your daughter is getting in the way of you exercising this responsibility, make it very clear to her that she is in the wrong"”and that there are now legal controls on who controls her grandmother's funds.

If your daughter is coercing your mother to give her money and your mother "cooperates" in moments of seeming lucidity"”a sadly common occurrence"”then you might also do well to stop the leaking funds at their sources. Contact representatives at the bank, savings and loan, credit company, and all other financial institutions and emphasize that your mother's financial transactions need your approval.

If your mother has access to her own financial accounts but is being pressured to dip into them, consider curtailing her access to those accounts and monitoring them closely through online access.

Finally, if your daughter is truly exerting undue influence on your mother, this could actually amount to the serious charge of elder abuse. Consider contacting the local Area Agency on Aging, which you can find through the national group's website at Helpline counselors there should be able to discuss your situation confidentially"”and make referrals to local resources for help or intercession where necessary.

Beenthere! answered...

Here is what my family did in a similar circumstance. All was not done at a single time. - Stay close and involved in her life - Closed existing financial accounts - Transfer monies and stocks into new accounts - Had one small balance small transaction bank account for Mom - Keep the largest balances at a separate institution - Allowed only electronic communication of account information to only the right people - no hard-copy mail - Replaced hard-copy statements with a monthly spreadsheet that contained balances for Mom's monthly review.
- Never speak badly of your misbehaving daughter to your Mom - If resources are significant, create and transfer assets to a Trust - Remove Mom from any and all trustee or executor privileges

Note, your daughter is not the only predator; others exist and will try and find her and drain the bank. Putting all assets into a Trust was a god-send in our real-life case where a predator couple targeted our Mom.

A fellow caregiver answered...

The daughter is trying to be a nurse for the Grandmother. If she is interested in the field why not enroll her in nursing school and allow her professional education. If you are a nurse, why would you expect your daughter to not be one?