What Can I Do if I Suspect That Someone Given Power of Attorney Is Acting Fraudulently?

26 answers | Last updated: Mar 03, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What can I do if I suspect that someone given power of attorney is acting fraudulently?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

A person named as an agent in a power of attorney has the legal duty to act in "the best interests" of the principal -- that is, the person who made the document. While that's a little fuzzy as a legal standard, the greater practical truth is that you know fraud when you see it: for example, money being siphoned from a bank account instead of being used to provide for the principal's health and safety.

An outsider trying to detect such fraud, however, is pinned in a difficult spot, since it may be tough to find out exactly what the agent is doing. In most states, the agent will not automatically be required to account or report to a court or to family members or other concerned individuals.

Your first step will be to get specific about your concerns about exactly what makes you suspect fraud is occurring. Then try to have an honest talk with the agent. Don't be accusatory; simply emphasize that you're interested in knowing what's going on. Also let him or her know you're available to help or that you support the idea of hiring someone else to lend some assistance -- perhaps a bookkeeper to do some basic accounting -- if that will relieve the burden of acting as agent. In a surprising number of cases, that show of care and concern clears up the matter.

If that step isn't possible or successful, you might ask a court to review the agent's acts to make sure they're on the up-and-up, and possibly to require an accounting so that the finances can be more directly monitored. To start this procedure, check the requirements of the nearest probate court. You should be able to find it by searching for probate court and the name of the city or county.

Defrauding an older person may be a form of financial abuse, which is strictly prohibited by the elder abuse laws in effect in every state. If you're fairly certain that some financial abuse is occurring and have good evidence to prove it, such as past-due bills that should have been paid for the principal, or receipts showing the agent used the principal's money for his or her own gain, consider consulting the office of adult protective services nearest to where the older person lives. You can find contact information by doing an Internet search of adult protective services along with the name of the state. Most of these agencies operate confidential hotlines to help callers define and direct their complaints, can provide referrals to local sources for more help, and sometimes undertake investigations on their own.

Finally -- again, if you're fairly certain that financial abuse has occurred and have some solid evidence to prove it -- consider hiring an elder law attorney for help in filing a claim against the agent. Before making any decision to hire, make sure the lawyer is experienced in seeking compensation from people who have abused and misused powers of attorney by intentionally stealing property or negligently handling someone else's property.

Community Answers

Blanche katz answered...

Here's a hint! When and if reporting to the local police departments, it is advised to have contacted the local Adult Protective Services first. APS wil do an investigation which the local police may not have the time to do right away. Many times the local police have more pressing crimes to contend with and not being funded to provide the proper personnel, the status of the elderly gets put "on the back burner". With the APS report, they will be able to begin to focus their limited resources towards gathering the necessary evidence and the chances for the conviction will be enhanced.

Blanche Katz, MSN, RN, GNP The ElderCare Educator

A fellow caregiver answered...

Please listen ! A lot of time when you give Power of Attorney to someone,they will turn into a monster.You think you know them ,but you don't.You will be made a big mistake. I know of a case where the Mother gave a her own daughter POA,and the Mother was just fine living alone and taking care of herself and the daughter put her in a nursing home,and the other daughter had to really fight a battle to get her out of the hursing home.The daughter who had the POA even stopped the other daughter from visting her Mom in the nursing home.PLEASE LISTEN TO ME,THEIR IS A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD THE SAME TROUBLE FROM GIVING THE POA TO SOMEONE.PLEASE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHEN YOU SIGN YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY OVER TO ANYONE.IT SHOULD BE NAMED ( POWER OF MY LIFE ).THE PERSON YOU SIGN THE POA OVER TO RUNS YOUR LIFE ,AND DOES WHATEVER THEY WANT TOO, THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE TO ASK YOU BEFORE THEY DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TOO TO YOU ! .I PRAY THIS WILL OPEN YOUR EYES.DON'T EVER SIGN A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY OVER TO ANYBODY PLEASE. IF THIS HASN'T CHANGED YOUR MIND IF YOU WAS GOING TO SIGN ONE OVER ,AT LEAST PLEASE LOOK IT UP ON YOUR COMPUTER ,OR GO TO A NURSING HOME AND SEE ALL OF THE PEOPLE (MOTHERS AND FATHERS ) THAT CRY DAY AND NIGHT THAT HAVE SIGNED THEIRS OVER TO SOMEONE THEY TRUSTED AND LOVED.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I had a similar problem with a sibling who had POA and then I discovered that she was committing fraud. I collected all the evidence and documentation and then went to my father's lawyer who helped me get her POA revoked. The Adult Protective Services may be able to help as well, but it would take longer, especially if the parent is not able to participate fully in the process. It is very sad when this situation occurs. Because of the POA revocation, my sibling has spread vicious rumors to extended family that I am keeping her from her father, yadda, yadda, yadda. To anyone who finds themselves in this situation I have but one word of advice: documentation. With clear documentation of the fraudulant activity, you can live with all the naysayers knowing that you did the right thing to care for your parent. Good luck!

The caregiver's voice answered...


As a caregiver, initially with a POA, I made sure to keep track of every single detail. My sister, brother, and I didn't get along and when my husband and I moved my father from his Wisconsin home of 45 years into our California home, I didn't want to be charged with kidnapping.

Although, neither my sister or brother (who lived in our father's home) seemed to "notice" my father was gone.

Still, I didn't know what to expect and made sure to keep records of everything.

So, when the time came for them to accuse me of not being a good fiduciary (because I went after my brother for funds he was not entitled to), I was able to stand upright in court and defend my actions without any hesitation.

Sadly, his high-powered (high cost) attorney LOST and was disappointed that his client (my brother) didn't paint the full picture for him while my small neighborhood attorney felt vindicated--despite her initial fears of standing against a large law firm with oodles of staff.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I agree with the above response. Transparency is of utmost importance. I, too, have kept records of every single penny spent and have every receipt for every purchase. I have also made it clear to my siblings that if they have any questions about what I have done, I would be happy to sit down with them to go over everything. Like the previous responder, when the time comes to go in front of a judge to recover monies taken prior to my taking over, I will be able to stand tall knowing I did everything possible to keep everything above board and did what I needed to do to be able to care for my father.

0abuse answered...

My sister once borrowed $40,000 from my mom. I was in the bank when she was mouthing off and making sure everyone heard. "Oh, I'm paying back my mother the forty thousand dollars I borrowed." The phony only did that to make herself feel better. Later on down the road she would wind up embezzling all my mothers money, over $190,000 to divy out how she wanted. My sister's daughter who had nothing to do with my mother. Didn't visit in the hospital, didn't visit in the nursing home , didn't go to my moms funeral, got more money than me, the real daughter. My x-sister needs to dig a hole in her front yard and bury her crooked HEAD. I'm going to write a book and name names. There are alot of culprits in my story. I don't know how she sleeps at night. I have kept alot of records and she left alot of evidence.

A fellow caregiver answered...


Gybo answered...

I feel for all of the people who have had issues. Be aware that a well devised plan of POA, trust etc are key tools to help someone when they are having challanges doing it them selves. It was not the plan that created monsters. It was the desicions of individuals. My grandparents would be in a world of trouble and their lives would be controlled by strangers who saw them as a case if I had no authority. Be wise and use the tools but do think about who, why and when they should be used. Have an attorney incorporate these desires into the plan.

Be careful on your approach of acaregiver. The task is far more stressfull, demanding and even costly than even the care giverexpects. Being challanged by someone who doesn't participate is likely to test the relationship you have with them. Many caregivers feel no one cares about the person(s) like they do. Sometimes they are given strict guidelines to not discuss money with anyone else. This was my case.

A fellow caregiver answered...

My father made my younger sister POA. None of the rest of the family knew about it. My eldest sister and her husband did most of the care giving for our father.

Although my father's will had designated that all of his 5 children were to share his property equally, after he died we soon found out that our youngest sister had tricked him into making everything payable directly to her upon death (POD). When he changed his CD's to PODs payable to her, he was in his late 80s, and could barely see and hear. She had had his mail directed to her home and kept all records hidden from the rest of the family. She stole the complete inheritance.

You might wonder why we do not hire a lawyer and sue the sister who got hundreds of thousands of dollars when we got nothing. She can now afford a very good attorney. Attorneys are expensive and the rest of us are barely getting by in this economy. I just lost my home to foreclosure.

All of us were very close to our father and the younger sister. We could not believe how she could do this to us. She was the one who did the least for him and avoided spending time with him personally or on the phone.

A fellow caregiver answered...

my thoughts of your fathers reasoning was he felt at peace with his "fatherhood" with all of u, but the youngest; therefore, he did what he had to, to show her he loves her too..

A fellow caregiver answered...

I am the attorney on my Aunt's EPOA and was also her caregiver but after so much harassment from family, I got her into a Alzheimer's Disease home. It has been 2 years since she moved there and the harassment continues. Family presume I am stealing her money. Now, a woman who was raised in another Aunt's foster home, decides she wants to know where my Aunt's money is going so she hired a lawyer to have me show her the books. I have kept track of everything I spent money on and also kept a journal from day 1 of her being declared incompetent. Court date is set for Aug. 1st. She is not a family member so I don't see why I'd have to show her anything.

A fellow caregiver answered...

While Adult Protective Services does great work, unfortunately they have limited resources. When I called them to try to get help with my situation (fraud, abuse of POA) I was told that they would only get involved if there was direct harm to the victim i.e. had my dad ended up homeless or admitted to the hospital as a result of physical abuse. Gives you a good idea how much financial and other abuse of our seniors is going on.

A fellow caregiver answered...

To everyone that has had assisted facilities, nursing home care and part time caregiving experience, I have some food for thought! Did u ever consider that some of these old people were stingy, power hungry, waited too long to make plans for their own aging care even when advised that they needed to, waited and then when 1 was too sick with alzheimers to know who he was decided that he would then let his only child that had two small children of her own be a poa and then wanted to put everything in her name to avoid inheritance tax, still not wanting to get or allow any care for his wife until he got dementia. 3 years later...... Still not eligible for medicaid , that daughter has had to move them in, lose her job that she had to feed her own children and barely makes ends meet, and her check pays for them to live in her house while their check gets used on their private nurse, their home to be maintained just like they still live in it and that only child has had her life threatened by the same ole man that wouldn't help his own wife , her mother, now she has to pay for them and although they have perfect insurance to cover their every little need their grandchildren don't . But yeah, You're right why shouldn't they get to keep all their assets for THEIR USE, they might as well they already ruined their daughter's chance of getting a full time job so she might leave something to her own children, that would be the job that carried a 401k for my retirement. Wow, they have state health insurance, retirement and their poor planning resulted in their needful private nurse gets paid from their daughters part time paycheck too. Remember folks, the caregivers that fall into poverty caring for old parents aren't the the ones that don't qualify for medicaid, it's the old parents that have to qualify for it. Oh and just in case most of you aren't aware of it, some states differ from others with caregiver funds, assistance, pay or allowable gifts. Shocked? Yes it's true, some of these old people are the wild ones and not the poa's and caregivers. Don't assume and advise people that they should never never never allow some one else to be a durable poa. For those caregivers out there that given up so much of your life, time and your future financial well being, absolutely u should get your parents assets. They want you to give up your whole life to give them care they should want you to have their assets instead of the state. To those of you that stereotype the "bad caregivers" and then"wild child" sweet dreams to u all that have not known full blown 24/7 parent - caregiving responsibilities for years and years where ur parents become the kids and if you already have children well good look squeezing a minute in for them. Why am u saying all this? Simple... It's my children that I have lost so much time away from, and because of my parents greediness they didn't want to make any long term care plans at all they thought they would never get old and actually said that. Well that's just stupid .... Including the medicaid office they would have to hand everything over to to get help. My parents actually advised me before they ever got alzheimers that they had me so they would have someone to care for them when they were old that they wouldn't dare be put in a nursing home. I'm honestly tired in every way possible of taking care of them. They shoved their own parents in a nursing home but they were too good for one.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Please be careful. I have cared for dad for 7 years, his money is gone, I had to build him a room and fix the house in order for the state to approve my home for him to live here, it cost me money but he has been here, still laughs, talks and walks after 7 years of Alz. Had he gone into a home that money would have disappeared. Now with his SS and mine we barely make enough money to live from day to day, but I give up my money to care for him in a 24/7 manner. And while it is said, gee you get his SS this is a joke, since half of mine and all my food stamps go to him. I would not put him in a home, he is only alive from the miracle of love (words the doctors have used not my words). When he goes I will most likely lose the house that I got when mom died, because I cannot afford the bills here. I have asked for nothing, my family does not really help at all, other than one brother who buys the gloves for my aides. I ask them all to stop giving me opinions of where he belongs because no one even comes to see him here much less in a nursing home. And no one has lived the last 7 years here with dad and me. Quite frankly I have told friends and relatives that if they want to help stop telling me to put him in a home, come to see him, and support me with your friendship.

As for money, please understand I am allowed with a 7% co pay, 6 hours of aides a day, that leaves me with 18 hours a day with dad in a wheel chair and needing to be fed, washed, turned, walked, etc. It costs me everything from diapers, to cleaners and disinfectants to two or more loads of laundry per day, to vitamins, over the counter meds, meds not covered by insurance, supplements like elderberry and other things I give him to keep him healthy, and monthly payments on everything from his burial trust to his many medical bills. His food alone is 20 or more dollars a day!

You might think an elderly person has loads of money, but in fact, if you put them in a home the money is taken and if you care for them at home the money goes away faster than you can imagine.

The animosity some of you have I understand completely but not all of us are evil greedy money thieves. I have given 7 years of my life to my dad and will do so until he dies here, that is my choice, it would not have been the choice of the rest of my family, who believe wholeheartedly he "belongs" in a home. It is hard enough for me, with only 3 hour increments of sleep and barely enough money to feed myself much less the disrespect my family so easily dishes out.

Care giving like I do, one on one for years on end is not easy, does not allow me to go out or away at all and is just plain emotionally draining, but I am going on adrenaline at this point now he is near the end,

AS an old g/f showed up and convinced him to move in with her when he was first diagnosed, and because her intent WAS To get his money, I understand the other side, but try and see how hard it is to do what I have done for 7 years now, be supportive, not critical, and be wise about choosing to go against someone like me who has given so much of my life to my dad with no other family to help.

There are two sides to every story, I happen to know both sides of this one.

And the right thing is not to put one in a nursing home if there is somewhere that person can go and be loved and well cared for. In therapy in homes, he sits alone in the hallway, he stops talking, he sits in urine, he begins to give up hope until I show up day after day and he smiles cause he knows he will be coming home soon. He may not remember much but he is certainly in tune with his feelings and mine. Sometimes, when a patient is violent, or there is no one who can take that person yes find a GOOD home, and believe me they are few and far between.

And if you have POA then spend all their money on them, believe me people with ALZ do not die rich, unless of course someone has hired a good lawyer to hide all the money somehow, the facts remain it costs a fortune to care for them at home, but is worth it to me, because dad was a good man and a good father to us all.

I hope this helps to put out some of the fires out there, realize how hard it is to care for someone at home and realize how expensive and lonely a job it is before you jump down someone's throat, please.

thank you for listening, a loving daughter.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I too am the power of attorney for my mother. I came home from work one day and found her in the floor, she had no idea how long she had been there or how she got there. I called an ambulance because I was afraid to move her and took her to the hospital. When she was ready for discharge I was told that unless I could be with her 24 hours a day, I could not take her home. My only option was a nursing home since I had a full time job and was also carrying my family's health insurance. It is unreal to me how many people from neighbors, the neighbors family (who by the way does not even live in the state we live) and her own family had an opinion on how I should take care of her. Did anyone of them offer to help when she was home, Well NO. I had a neighbor's daughter threaten me with legal action and threaten to throw me out of my home and take care of my mother herself (this would be the one who lived out of state and had seen my mother on MAYBE 2 occasions in the 11 years I had lived there with her). I was told by her family that I didn't love my mother, that I only wanted her money and that I was an awful daughter. While this was happening, my mother was so mad at me she resorted to asking people to kill me for money. The nursing home would not allow me to visit her by myself, because they were afraid she would hurt me. All this while I was grieving the fact that I had to put her in a nursing home. No one, unless they have been in this situation has any idea what a person who is the primary caregiver and power of attorney holder is going through or for that matter what they have gone through with the person before we were forced to put them in the nursing home. Please people show us a little compassion. My mother who was a pretty savvy business woman made all the preparations for this very thing before she become ill with vascular dementia. She did her power of attorney, she did her living will, and actually made and paid for her own funeral, things I really didn't understand until now. I am now so grateful she did that, wanting to spare me all the hard things to do. She has since calmed down and is the loving mother that I need. No she can't remember that my Dad has passed away and keeps asking why her daddy hasn't been to see her and he has been gone for over 50 years, but that is okay, I have no problem answering her questions over and over if that is what helps her. Please remember that being made a Power of Attorney for someone is not all fun and games, it is an awesome responsibility and sometimes you have to make decisions that you would never want to make.

A fellow caregiver answered...

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.

Hate cheaters answered...

"POOR ORPHAN" edit your letter, and send it to the Bar association. Also ask for a reference for a 'Malpractice Attorney.' Your mother's lawyer has committed malpractice. Talk to this lawyer about your mother's bank issue etc. Your new lawyer may be able to force a settlement.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I'm pissed off. How can I keep records when the person in control has access to my whole life and possession's. I have tried my best to keep records of what I have been allowed to see which is not much. I have had to put a lock on a closet and lock my papers up every time I walk out the door. I have been trying to prove finantial abuse for 4 years. I have owned the trust for 13 years. Now I am in court. I am going to see (mabie) income on a 5 unit rental property I own 1/2 of, that was put 100% in a trust I am 100% benificary of. The executrix was 1/2 owner and did not put 1/2 in her name. She refuses to show me income statements. I am in court now and am going to ask for a court order to have her pony up the statements. I was given spread sheets. The bank statements better for her sake match. I spoke with tenants and they told me there rent was more than she was claiming and utilities where paid by the tenant. The point I am writing about is privacy. People who have power of attorney or someone in control of there lives have very little power over there environment (speeking personally) and can not just throw there proof in a drawer or a box. The victom is venerable to theft. I am constantly being robbed. I can not always remember to lock my one million papers of evidence when I am constantly working on trying to get legal representation. It is so frustrating.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Dear POOR ORPHAN I live in Melbourne Australia - your story took much courage to write and resonates of similar abuse firstly to a single vulnerable elderly parent and equally abuse of single sibling living daily supporting her mother. It has and is becoming an epidemic scenario world wide of the ganging up of another siblings who have greedy children only after all the inheritance. What happens to the single sibling left on their own - a devastating navigation for justice. I provided a wonderfully elegant lifestyle for my mother who experienced going to theatre, ballet, etc dressed in personally designer garments made by my business and all the while my sister let me do everything for mum for decades ....But behind our backs sister and her adult children secretly planned how to "isolate" mum from her friends, take her money, blame me for everything and are after my assets. after abducting my mother whilst I was attending an interstate business the nursing home where mum was hidden I learnt I was where mum was coerced to revoke me as an EPOA and sister signed the sale of mums home. It has taken 4 years to gather information, loss of millions of dollars, study neurological disorders, study legislation, see 4 lawyers - many who appear to lack understanding of mental disorders and covert behaviour by all who are stealing from our elderly mothers or fathers. My mum almost died with being miss medicated by the nursing home, sister and doctor to hide mum has dementia and had I not after 12 months found mums new doctor she wouldn't be here ... To have been rushed to ER. Then was blamed by the facility manager and my sister. Perhaps somehow worldwide, those of us who have been provided support for our dear parent, then isolated and vulnerable for our safety could influence politicians of your story and the difficulty for our safety
I have been verbally & silently abused, mail stolen, October items stolen from my home , window smashed and other punishments when I have outsmarted my sister with knowledge.

It is a nightmare when one is being victimised for no reason but for inheritance - combine aged care or disability facilities, think twice !! Reference link : www.agedcarecrisis.com.au

Agree with "think twice" report to your Bar Association" and local politician

A fellow caregiver answered...

My parents were married 53 years.so after my mother's sudden death, needless to say my father was devastated. My father had cancer 22 yrs. It took his bladder, kidneys and finally his lungs. My mother did what any loving wife would do in addition to being a wonderful wife i.e. changing bags, bandages, and meds. My father became worse and needed 24/7 caregiving. At the time, I couldnt get time off for family caregiving, so I resigned from my job to care for him for the next 5 years. Later i became disabled but still provided 24/7 care. When he was given 3 months to live i informed my brother who waited until a month before he died to see Dad. My Dad was on dialysis taking 30 different meds. A day. My brother who lived across the country and was trustee he was named first successor i was named second sucessor trustee of a trust to be divided 50-50. In 12 days my father was dead. My dad had a infected catheter(which had happened often) so my brother took dad off dialysis to die in hospital. My Dad continued to live so hosputal said either take him home or put in nursing home. Since it would be too expensive my brother said my sister has been his caregiver for the past five years let her take care of dad till he dies.Dad came home I had to administer meds. While he was dying, turn him, clean him. After 5 days i left for an appointment. Kissed dad and he died alone while my brother and his son got drunk. Family arrived AFTER Dad died to take what they wanted. I paid for church funeral out of our trust bank account. My brother his wife and son left me behind in the limo to bury my Dad while i was making out checks to the church. After everyone left, i never heard from anyone again. Only from attorneys who eventually changed documents. I was to remain in the family home. I ended up being disinherited, had to get a loan paying full price for the house, Attorneys set up a loan with 12 7/5% due in 9 months $200,000 based on what i was SUPPOSED to get from my distributibe share of Dads IRAs life insurance, etc. I didnt receive one dime. Took losses over $300,000. Had to file backruptcy. I have tried to get in touch with my brother to help me when i was homeless. I now live below poverty level and am going blind. Ive again asked for help with additional costs for surgery not covered by insurance, but no response. I found out he used my portion to buy a new home for himself and one for his son. Im devastated.

Mcrlopez answered...

My dad became disabled sept 14" it's been a year now. Well he gave poa to his money thirsty girlfriend and she took care of him for 6 months and drove him to NYC and dropped him off there saying she was through with him because he wasn't getting checks! Well I took him into my place back in Florida for about 7 months now and I just found an envelope with tons of copies of things and money he owes her since 2011 and a promissory note of him owes her 12000 $ how is this even able to happen! He doesn't even know how to defrost a pack of meat or when to take his meds, he is willingly giving her this money now that he gets his check! How evil can people really be? I need help! I have no money I work too hard for no pay I have no family I'm in this blindly.

Brandielynnecm answered...

My sister is taking our alcoholic father for all he is worth.. of course not until he began being unable to take care of our beautiful home. Then she sold it for him and pocketed who knows how much. She is so manipulative. my brother and I can only stand by and watch because my father believes her manipulative lies. For at least five years his cell phone bills each month are over $400, and he barely knows how to use a cell phone. He doesn't even know how much money he is giving her. She has him convinced that his other two children (myself and my older brother) are like scurvy. A disease. A drunk in his highness would not even understand what he is doing. She is evil, I cannot even understand how we are possibly related. She pits him against his own children. And she has no remorse. She is an evil woman. She is unaware of the hurt she places on the ones she should love, is supposed to love. I do not know what has ever hurt her so badly to cause her to be so horrible. I live three hours away, and I do not drive but I asked her if she could let me know of any emergency with my father. She said she would not let me know. Simply that. My father is about to have his legs chopped off any day now so her insensitiveness was quite alarming, and distressing. And I am sorry but led me to the conclusion that my sister is a complete bitch out for only my fathers money. Which isn't even much. So I will choose to mourn his death. And all the good he had done. The light he has been in my younger years. I will choose to not dwell because there is no law that can help me un hurt what she is doing. I love him. And GOD bless his soul.

A fellow caregiver answered...

In Washington State if you have POA over an individual you CANNOT just "place" them into a home or anywhere else for that matter just because you say so. That individual has to be agreeable and do so under their free will. The only way you can do such a thing is to become one's Guardian and that in itself is a very long process. A guardian ad litem is appointed and you must go through a very tight screening process such as federal, criminal and DSHS background. Prove that you are financially secure due to they want you to prove that you won't be taking the vulnerable person's funds for your own needs. And the individual must be completely without sound and mind. It's almost harder to become someone's guardian than to adopt a child. I have been going the process for almost a year & half. POA is very limited here and is null in void upon death.

Debann answered...

I have been hearing for a few months now that my Dad is sick. Since I have suddenly over the last few years become the "outcast" for some unknown reason, I decided to get to the bottom of the situation. It took many emails and phones calls. Many times being told I was no longer part of the family by people that are distant relatives of the my Dad. My parents had 2 children, myself and my brother, so it perplexed me why cousins are determined to keep me away. It determined me more to get to the bottom of what was up and made me more determined that something was amiss. FINALLY, I was able to get through to my brother. He claimed to know nothing about all the relatives' goings on, which I find surprising since they all live relatively close and I live 1500 miles away. Upon talking to my brother, 1st thing out of his mouth was "You are still in the Will but it is screwed up and worthless".. Hmmm, told him I was not calling about the will, was calling because I was hearing things and did not appreciate the behaviour of the relatives and wanted to know what was going on. Since he and I were the only siblings, it was between us NOT the cousins and other relatives. He said it has been going on 9 months now and Dad has totally no short term memory, but long term is ok. He (brother) does not have time to take care of it, so Dad's 85 yo girlfriend is taking care of him. I asked about getting him to a dr. and said an appt was scheduled for March, grrr. Brother said he had the attorney appt. him Power of Attorney. Originally, I had a Power of Attorney when the original Will drawn up. I asked him when it was changed to him, he said last month, then laughed and said Dad could not answer the questions to prove he was of sound mind to sign the documents, but the lawyer just chuckled and let him sign it anyway. THAT POA IS INVALID AND FRAUDULENT!!! Now my brother hits me with there is a reverse mortgage on the house that no one knew about. I asked for a copy and he said no. Asked why and he said I had no legal right to see. Since I originally had POA and his is clearly fraudulent, I am about to scream. He is leaving my Dad in the house by himself with just periodic checks by his elderly girlfriend. I am not in a position financially to go up there and dear old brother says he doesn't have time to deal with it. Told him to take time off! This is important. This is why I was being kept of the loop!

A fellow caregiver answered...

some of the rules of p o a I believe need changed, that there should be a overseer to all documents in which the p o a is involved with so that no monies or acts are being taking advantage of by said p o a .by doing this no one will have thoughts if the p o a is hiding information or using monies for there own benefit .if a will to trust is made how does the sibling that isn't the p o a know that the amount they end up with is the correct amount that should be split if information isn't given during the time the parents are alive. my sister is p o a, she doesn't feel she needs to inform my parents or me as to what is going out of the accounts , where it is going to, Dad's attorney has told her that she is to be in constant communication with me, and to show dad the monthly statements, which I am told she has not and she has called me 2 times in the last 6 months, I have had to call her, and upon one of the calls her husband was heard in backround telling her he does not want her talking to me, his influence on her I believe is partly why she is acting the way she is. my parents want to sell their home to my son , who has a good job, Dad himself said I helped your sister with a start on a home I helped her son with a home why cant I help yours, both my parents would like to keep the home within the family. the last time I called her , her husband said while giving her the phone 'I don't want you talking to her'..... when the lawyer has stated she is to be in constant contact with me. dad has said that 'they ' are not cooperating with him and his wishes.' and has told me several times that her husband does not have a say in our family business, yet he feels that he is my sisters ' representive' and speaks for her, this is not in any documents that the lawyer has written up, he has no say , only within his home. at Christmas he said that my son could rent the home until they decided to sell, I am co trustee on the home, he has no say in this matter. and my son does not want 'pay rent ' just so that' they' can benefit from him.now dad is afraid that if he decides to sell to my son that it will make my sister angry and she will no longer do extras for , which I am more then willing to do, as a mature p o a no actions a parent decides to do should reflect on how the said p o a continues their service as p o a if they truly love their parents they should abide by their wishes, not force them into doing something that will only benefit the p o a, which seems to be her agenda , the gifts that are to given before our parents pass away she has taken into her possession so that she can ' have them appraise' that is not the what a gift is , it is something that a parent wants given to a member of the family as a keepsake not becuz of what the money value is on that item, but the items that her kids were gifted they have and what the value on those items doesn't matter , ( she will not inform us as to the value) and we all know that the what they have received is worth more then what was to be given to my side, but we don't care of the value , its the fact that she will not give those items to whom they are meant to be given... she is not the executor.some may say having two people as p o a isn't a good idea, I believe it is, that way everyone is kept honest and information is not hidden.

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