A family member is coercing my mother - how do I make her stop?

28 answers | Last updated: Feb 08, 2018
A fellow caregiver asked...

My 83-year-old mother recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She lives with me. She's quite confused and is being unduly influenced by a family member to go to the bank behind my back to take out money from our joint account to give to this family member. When questioned, Mom lies about it and tries to protect this family member. "She's just trying to protect me" -- allegedly from me. This is all coming from family member who, through greed, is looking out for herself. How do I stop this person from getting Mom to do things that aren't good for her? If she gives away all her money, she's in trouble. Family member stopped speaking to me because I obviously know what they're trying to do. HELP!

Expert Answers

Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N. and Attorney is the author of author of The Boomer's Guide to Aging Parents. She has over 40 years of combined experience in her two professions. As a nurse, she has extensive experience with geriatrics, chronic illness, pain management, dementias, disability, family dynamics, and death and dying. As a trial attorney, she advocated for for the rights of injured individuals and neglected elders. She is also co-founder of AgingParents.com.

It sounds as if a family member is coercing your mom with Alzheimer's. Using "undue influence" in some states is a violation of the law. In any location, it is a form of financial elder abuse to take advantage of a person with dementia to manipulate the person into giving away money.

It is important to act promptly to protect your mother. The most important question is whether there is a durable power of attorney appointed. If so, and you are that person, you must immediately take control of mom's checking account and other banking and give her only limited amounts of money to use. You can close the joint account and keep most funds in an new account in your name only. If she is confused, she should not be writing checks or transferring funds anywhere at all. If she has a trust and there is a co-trustee, that person can also put a stop to mom having access to money if mom is determined to be incompetent to make safe financial decisions.

If no one planned ahead and mom does not have a durable power of attorney, it is essential to get her tested by a psychologist or by a neurologist to determine whether she is competent to sign a durable power of attorney. If she is, I recommend that this be done right away and that you be appointed as the agent on that document. You would then have the right to stop her from taking money out of the bank. If you can persuade mom to let you pay the bills and help her, that will be the "excuse" for being appointed as her agent.

Now for the worst case scenario. If mom has no durable power of attorney and is too confused to be competent to sign a durable power of attorney document, what alternatives do you have? First, you can report the financial elder abuse to the adult protective services (social services/law enforcement) in your county. Yes, you do have to name names, dates and where and how the abuse occurred. Some counties are better than others at enforcing the law against elder abuse, so don't expect an immediate and perfect response. Law enforcement begins with an investigation. Your mom's competency to make financial decisions is an issue. That is why testing and a medical examination to document her lack of competency is also very important.

In the meantime, I suggest a family meeting. Gather every person together who is related and who is aware of the abuse. Discuss what to do and how to stop the abuser from getting the rest of mom's money. Confronting the abuser can help, as she at least knows someone is watching and the law may get involved. You may want to have an attorney, social worker or other advisor help you with the family meeting.

I also recommend that you report the apparent abuse, in writing to the bank. You can let the bank manager, and operations officers know that your mother has dementia and is being manipulated into taking money out to give to someone who is financially abusing her. Laws vary from state to state, but it is possible, that the bank may be required to report suspected abuse to law enforcement also.

Finally, as a last resort of all, it is possible to ask the court to appoint a guardian for your mom. This is a rather drastic step, and an expensive one, but it is often the only way to stop a vulnerable elder who can't make safe money decisions from having all her funds depleted by a greedy relative. Seek the advice of an experienced elder law attorney in your area. Find out what is involved and if the attorney has any other suggestions as to how to put a stop to the manipulation short of a guardianship.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

Since you and your mother have a joint checking account, I think you should go to the bank and sit down with an account manager. You should be able to bring this situation to the banks attention and set up some type protection. If you have POA then this can be very easy done at no expence to you or your Mom. Talk to the bank first then with their advice talk to your Mom about what they recommend.

Mom7237 answered...

My mom has also been diagnoised with dementia. She is living in her own home. My brother 62 yrs old, not working, lives with her, has been living there for almost 30 years, free and clear. Both my brother and I have durable POA's. Both the same, signed same day, year, etc.

My mom had sent up joint bank accounts with myself shortly after dad past away. It was her money and never thought of checking into her money until she fell and broke her hip.

Guess what I found? My brother has been transferring funds. The money she had left over from his crusade, I put into CD accounts, with the bank. The CD matured and I was going to make a roll-over, only to my surprise he was at the bank first. The bank released the money over to him, saying he had POA over mom, even though it is and was a joint CD with mom and myself. The bank was able to retrieve the money from my brother, deposited back into the CD for another roll-over. A good thing.
However, the bank has frozen the account. Unless there is a new POA which isn't possible because of mom's dementia, or conservatorship or death certificate, the money will not be released. Mom will probably never see her own money.

Do your homework first with your banking institution, if I would have known about this possible clinch, I would have made other arrangements. The bank says there are conflicting POA's, yes even though it is joint with myself and mom, they will not release the money. The other concerns moving the money into separate accounts, are paying taxes, who is responsible, also depending on the State you are living, check into Medicade laws. Laws concerning transfers of funds, and eligilibity set backs.

I have consulted several lawyers, and there are many pros/cons/. Filing for conservator/ guardan, costly and may or may not turn out in your favor. Then should the parent die while all this court stuff is being handled, it will all go into Probate. I'm still deciding what to do... Good Luck to you, too.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Be very careful & make sure you get things taken care of immed. I intervened when my older sister was doing nothing for my mother. Eventually I found out she had her name as a benefiary on all my mothers accts. (cking,Savings, life ins.) She would get all upset when my mother wanted to use anything from her savings & when my sister did my mothers ck book she constantly made mistakes?? in subtracting by $40-$80 at a time. My mother would ask me to look at her ck book when I came to visit and I would locate the errors and fix the book. I called my sister at one point (we didn't speak for a good 10 yrs) and she told me to bud out and it was none of my business. She filled my mothers head that I was out to get her, I was insane, I probaley break into her home at night when she is alseep and steal (I didn't even have a key to her home). My sister told my mother I probaley go through a certain windown and wear all black so my mother can't see me). SHe told my mother I was seen on a busy intersection in the town standing on a box and yelling "I hate my mother" as the cars swerved around me. My sister is definitely mentally ill. My mother was so attached to my sister and listened to anything she told her. Eventually I decided to take over and took my mother for an evaluation, psychs etc. and had her put on the right meds. I took over care 24/7 which made my sister go bersek. She called the police on me and I WAS TAKEN AWAY for an eval. The police didn't ask me one question just came into the house and I was gone. I was in tears and in total shock!! I called my sister from the facility and she laughed and said I needed to have you removed because she knew I found out to much. NATURALLY! I was released the next day and told to get a lawyer because the piolice were wrong and my sister sounds sick!! I am in the process of a lawsuit 2 1/2 yrs now with the town. They know they are in the wrong but want to save face as my lawyer stated. My sister is no were in sight now since the incident and I pray I NEVER see her again in my life!! The doctors tell me I take care of my mother so well that they have never seen such a cared for alzheimers patient as her. I eventually had my name put on her checks as a joint acct. & also her savings. My aunt told her to have my name put as co-owner on her townhouse also so no one could just barge into the house and takeover again. This was all done while my mother was still able to comprehend a little. Now she is totally to the point that she doesn't realize anything about her bills, house etc. Even though I still try and keep her involved but I know she doesn't understand anymore. I would never take advantage of my mother in a million yrs. I couldn't live with myself. I am going through the motions everyday taking care of her but that incident is on my mone CONSTANTLY. I was so humilated and insulted! I want it over with (lawsuit) so I could sell this twonhouse and my mother and I move to a warm climate and live a life in peace.

Mom7237 answered...

The argument that the bank presents, is that both my brother and I have dual Power of Attorneys, exactly the same. The bank says they are conflicting. The lawyers that I have consulted with, say the Bank is looking after themselves. Afraid of lawsuits from the family. I have tried talking to the bank and they won't budge. I would like to get in touch with a lawyer (Michigan) that would be receptive enough to just help with this particular situation without dealing with all the conservator issue.

Now with my brother living at home, he says this has always been an agreement with mom and has been none of my business. He had a lawyer send me a letter to that affect. My mom has always favored my brother and he could do no wrong. Family dynamics. He does do a few things for mom, such as getting medications filled and trying to make sure the house is maintained. Meaning hiring someone to replace lightbulbs, change locks on doors, from accusing me of stealing, He does cut the grass, though. He has hired home care to help with mom, since he feels he cannot take care of her. Almost 24/7 even though he sits around the house. Goes to his room, when I come to visit. I try to take mom out for the afternoon.

Filing for conservatorship/ guardanship is the next step. However, when the court consults with mom, I know she will defend my brother. I am also excutrix of mom's will, then POA's are void. and should this all get tied up in court, it's just another headache.

Ggirl answered...

wowwwww. i thought i was in a rare situation but all the posts here tell me differently. is there stronger measures that can be taken to protect our elders? my situation is that my mother has not been diagnosed with dementia but has had 3 minor strokes and one more serious, imparing her thinking somewhat and her left side. she also is insulin dependent diabetic (poorly) with high blood pressure, and a husband who has been diagnosed with moderate alzheimers. daily i worry about how they will be able to manage their conditions and expenses in the future.

my sister and i have dual POA for our mother, but recently my sister --who is a temp worker despite having a college and graduate degree--decided she needed a luxury car. she took my mom to the dealership and had her get a car loan, solely in my mother's name for a $35,000 car with payments of nearly 600/month. when i confronted my sister she says i misunderstand (as if i just fell off the turnip truck) and that while the loan is in mom's name, she will be making all the payments.

this comes from a person who has been transferring money from mom's joint account with her to pay her own mortgage and student loans from time to time. mom thinks she is "helping" my "poor" sister and bursts into tears when i tell her we need to cancel the car loan. this car loan situation developed over the last 10 days, and dealership says mom has to come in with me to get the loan canceled, which she refuses to do.

meanwhile mom truly canNOT afford this. she and my dad do have a helper who comes in twice a week whose fees run roughly $600 a month. i suspect they are (mistakenly) thinking that this daughter who has largely been absent from visiting them or helping them will now suddenly step up to the plate due to the new car. help!!!

i want to get this liability off of them without giving mom another stroke (which she has said a couple times this week).

Mom7237 answered...

Because of mom's dementia, the bank manager at her branch, will not cooperate with releasing the joint account, due to the conflicting dual POA's. Most lawyers feel that conservator/ guardanship is the direction I should take, but there are many pros/ cons not to mention costs involved.

Has anyone ever filed a complaint against a bank through the Department of Treasury - OCC? WWW.OCC.treas.gov. Would be interested in feedback... Thanks

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have dual Durable power of atty with my brother over my mother. (I don't think he knows this). I have had to take over her finances as he has spent every last dime she had (over 2 million in 15 years). I consulted with an atty to find out my options as my mom has dementia. He is living in her house which is free and clear (over $400k) and refuses to allow her to sell home since he knows he will get it if she dies. (I was to get one home, and he was to get the one he is in. She had to sell the other home to afford his bills). She has enabled him to abuse her and will defend his actions. She wants her money but also doesn't want to displace him since she knows he doesn't know how to take care of himself. He threatened me with an injunction so she cant sell her house and he wants her bank account (social security check of $1250 a month).

The attorney told me I don't have a leg to stand on and if he was my brothers attorney he would eat me alive for finacial abuse on my end! Even though I am keeping a strict accounting of her money and only spending on her medical, and some new clothes for her (she still wears clothes she had in 1980). He said I would have to have a conservetorship (which I think is what my brother is attempting to get) otherwise I could be found for abuse as I sold her car for her dental bill (her drivers license was taken away for dementia). So, know matter what the lawyers win. Even with conservetorship I will have to hire an attorney again to evict my brother. I see years of being tied up in court and not being able to sell her home for her and at least 10-15k on attorney fees when it's all said and done. She also has about $100k in debt that she stopped paying and is now being sued by credit card companies (his bills as she never bought anything for herself). So much for her living trust.

A fellow caregiver answered...

To respond to the last comment on dual Durable POA, first how could your brother not know that you are also DPOA? I also am dual DPOA with mom. After many free consults with lawyers, not one has told me this was a good idea, and wanted to know the lawyer who set it up this way.

Is your DPOA a separate document than your brother's. Same document with names separate. (Like mine) Signed the same day? Check the dates one might override the other. Or is it the same document with the DPOA recommending one, and only if the one person cannot act, then the other steps up to the plate?

Your comment also reflects as to just one reason why I don't pursue conservator/ guardianship over mom. What a nightmare and I pray your experiences in court have a positive outcome. The lawyers seem to be getting rich on this one. As much as we need lawyers, it is unfortunate they drag out cases that should be a matter of common sense.

However, the lawyer that told you that you don't have a leg to stand one, I also have been told this because of my brother's "established residency" living in the same house with mom for over 30 years. After searching for lawyers, I did find a few that say that doesn't mean scat. Could be interpreted either way. His latest attempts are trying to revoke my DPOA with just his word, to the banks and doctors. The lawyers say he can't do that and needs a conservatorship. But he is mouthing off to these people and just don't know what to do. My lawyers (yes I have two) say they will write letters to the doctors and bank to follow up, but it will cost me. Of course this will come out fo mom's funds. It saddens me that mom's money should be spent on cleaning up after my brother.

I hate to pass blame, but in my case, the sponging and manipulations come from a history of not being held accountable for your actions. My brother "the golden boy" has always done whatever he wanted and seems he is "entitled". He is 62 years old. He hasn't understood it then, and certainly isn't understanding now.

At some point, this will pass. My prayers are with you.

Concernedformom answered...

Regarding the dual dpoa I asked my mom what they were thinking. She says it is an error. I am first successor trustee and he is second. When they typed the dpoa they just listed me first and my brothers name under mine. She said she didn't think anything about that. After digging deeper into the trust I actually found a conservorship clause listing first successor trustee( me)as conservator. Unfortunately it also says if dpoa indicates someone other than first successor then dpoa will supersede. To answer your question,I think he has a copy of the trust it not positive. There used to be two copies and I can only find one so I assume he has it. It's doubtful that he understands it unless he is getting free legal advise. I am sorry to hear that anyone is dealing with the same garbage I am. What state are you in? I'm in California. I'd like to keep in touch. I'm meeting with anotherawyer next week. It was also recommended I do-nothing unless he files first and then just show up to court loaded with all my documentation. Would a judge really block sale of her home so she can live in a nice place? Since he already spent my inheritance and my kids he gets everything that's left based on the "gift" clause in the trust. It turns out my parents used a trust mill unbeknownst to them which is entry's trust has so many loose ends. Oh I alsonotice that the name of the trust is called " the Amendment to the ---- trust" but the house was never recorded with this ammendment. I'm really reaching!!

A fellow caregiver answered...

Your documents are different than mine. My dual Power of Attorney has my name. My brother has his document with his name. He has his, I have mine, exactly same wording, signed same day. There is no Trust, just DPOA's Health Advocate, and the Will, which I am Executor.

I live in Michigan. It seems most States have similar laws. I have just finished discussing my issues with a Medicaid lawyer specialist. At the present time, mom has too many assets to qualify. My question to him was referring pre-planning her funeral, while she still had money left.
I have "earmarked" a CD for her funreal, which protects my brother's access, however, doesn't protect Medicaid eligibility. With the State have a 5-year lookback, with everything my brother has done, he has hurt mom's eligibity.

When it comes to Weddings, Funerals, and Illnesses, it brings out the best and worst in people. I anticipate my brother's next move. Take care...

A fellow caregiver answered...

It does not make much sense to me to have multiple children with POA's for a parent, yet my mother, and her attorney see no problem with it. (my mother watched my sister-in-law's family basically torn apart because one daughter (of three) who was named executrix for the will refused all input from the other two sisters when it came to dividing up the estate). My mom (and her attorney) seem to think that if all four of her kids have POA this would be avoided (I am just envisioning a nightmare of four chiefs and no indians).

A fellow caregiver answered...

Not in Arizona! My brother never left home After Husband died he was able to get away with his verbal abuse. After 1.5 years of her calls of fear and crying i called adult protection ..worst mistake ever.. My brother managed to keep me out of her( OOP on me so I couldn't go in my own mom's home) 6 mo later he still living off her while the court decided to just take her away from both of us. Except she had living will, I was exacter of will I had durable power of attorney..they took everything from me..and all I did was come to her aide when she couldn't take it anymore.He is comfortably selling off her things. Arizona court are one way trip-with no real justice

A fellow caregiver answered...

I want to share with everyone a website called www.Avvo.com. This is a free site to ask a lawyer or doctor anything. Just follow the prompts to sign in to become a member. Since State laws are different, my only advice is make sure you comment which state you are from. I usually receive a comment within 24 hours, if not sooner. And I usually receive at least 3 of opinions. The best part you remain unknown, but you have options to contact the lawyers directly. It's a very good starting point to explore your legal options. It certainly has helped me. Best of luck to all

Momssmom answered...

I, unfortunately, had a similarly disarming situation. MY situation was with family as was the writer, but it actually mushroomed with a bank officer. I went into PNC bank in South Orange, NJ, where my husband and I continue to live after taking custody of my mom who is very young with dementia. I had recently sold her house, and put the majority in an elder fund annuity and kept about $75k on hand for incidentals. I noticed that there were deductions that I did not understand from one of her pension checks. I called the pension office and they said the federal govt was recouping taxes. I called the tax office&they confirmed as much. She had, with her advancing dementia, not paid her taxes in several years. I popped into the tax office(they make you tell them when you will pay or they start full seizure of bank accounts and real property)and paid her back taxes with a citibank check where I have full and verified POA. I held very little funds in CITI, but forgot the other checkbook. I thought nothing of it, went down to PNC, with Mom to get the 10K to transfer CITI to clear her taxes. The branch Manager noticed Mom's dementia and said she was not doing the transaction. Two things are important. Mom had $75k in this bank, but it was not convenient in it's location, I was saving for any emergencies for her, and I NEVER made a withdrawal, for the two years it was open. I left to go grocery shopping for the weekend only to find out...this manager had seized $75k and had not notified us.
I consulted an elder lawyer, Robert Shanahan..out of NJ...the NICEST MAN/LAWYER. He made some very smooth suggestions, that I will not mention, simply because they are really particular to a unique situation. But what was super significant is this: There are very few hard and fast rules. The banks are fickle..one day they do this&the next day they refuse to do that. The real question is weather you come in contact with the right person on the best day.
That being said...I was FURIOUS and began a letter writing campaign and wrote& or called every executive within PNC including the Chairman. One day a district manager called me up and said the funds had been released and that they had decided to honor the original POA on file(there was actually an error on it that was a mistake of the another lawyer&CITI had overlooked the error and fully honored it)

I do not believe it is ever a great idea to go to court. It is another forum where it is really about what the judge feels and who looks most honest on that day. I think it is best to work it out within the family and EDUCATE your friends with older parents about how important it is to have paperwork in order before it is needed.

I started to Guardianship paperwork and the clerk can file against you and appoint a guardian to manage the elders funds...can you imagine? Try to work it out with your family member or you may have to accept it as a lost cause. If you go to court, literally, the probate fund or the two opposing lawyers wind up with your parents money.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Be sure that you are doing the right thing. Perhaps you are upset that your mother is spending her money and not giving it to you. I have been appalled at the false info people give when they are really just control freaks and want it all. Keep it on a level playing field

A fellow caregiver answered...

For anoymous who says to be sure you are doing the right thing, To make long story - short. Mom passed away in June. Yes , she did have a will that had me appointed as her Personal Rep.
1) When she died, My brother was legal Guardian. Refused to provide hospice care for her until the last month of her care. 2) It was the Conservator, who notified me, of her remaining days and made arrangements for me to see her. She made sure I was allowed in the home. A week went by no one called me. A "gut feeling" led me to contact the CA, and was told mom had past away the day before. Both my brother, sister, and two nieces were there when she passed away. No one called me.
My brother is now contesting the Will and my appointment as Personal Rep. It is my duty to sell the home, He continues to live there. I have filed for Eviction and he wants me removed as Personal Rep. He talks of me doing the right thing, He has sponged off mom for over 30 years, and still wants more The audacity of it... I wish I could right a book... it's in the lawyer's hands, My lawyer told me to take some time to grieve, I don't know how to do that. I just get angry.
Just call me Mich

Enaid answered...

My siblings do not help with the care of our parents. Mom has dementia . I am living with our parents and helping with all their needs. They have a caregiver. When the caregiver leaves, my daughter and myself alternate along with some close friends of my parents. We have a good network of relief for each other. My siblings are only interested in what is in the will . They do not spend any time with our parents. They rarely call. My sister has stolen many personal items from Mom saying she does not remember anyway . Caring for a parent with dementia is challenging. I have taken classes and am licensed MA. The classes were directed specially for dementia and Alzheimer's persons and how to care for them . Remember to show kindness to all living beings. As our parents get older they need our help and sometimes they become our children. Remember kindness and compassion and live like this is your last day on earth.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Hi, this is Mich, again, earlier I had wrote in and mentioned that mom had passed away in June 2012. She had a Will and left me as Personal Rep. You would think mom had Millions of dollars the way Brother is acting. Mom left me with a job to do and I am desperately trying to get it done. It is now April 2013 and Brother still living free/ clear in mom's house. I had an Estate Sale, and he continued to bullying me which eventually led to him filing a Police Report against me.

My lawyer started Eviction process against him. Angry that I'm removing him from mom's house, he has filed a Petition to have me Removed as Personal Rep. Wanting a 3rd Court appointed Personal Rep, he thinks he will be able to still remain in the house. As he was determined to remove my authority as having joint owner of mom's bank accounts, and have DPOA, he filed for Guardian and there was a Conservator brought in. He was still held accountable to the Court for expenses, which the CA is still having problems with him, as well.

Enough already, mom has passed, it's time us siblings move on. Sister remains unresponsive to any comments. Angry with me that I just didn't hand over mom's car to her, it was part of Probate, part of the Inventory from the Conservator, and needed to be sold for "fair market value". Both siblings have been a "total" #### not understanding I am held accountable to the Court .
So now I am once again in the middle1) in the thick of Eviction process, and 2) awaiting for the Court Hearing on my Personal Rep removal. I am trying to have "faith" in my lawyer representation, I have done nothing wrong. My lawyer would have advised me otherwise if this is true. Mom's Will is very specific on her last Wishes. It sickens me.
Once again, Brother has made this all about himself, his "self-entitlement" and not honoring mom. How much strength does a Will hold up in Court,? I want to do my job and move one with my life. My Siblings were with mom, at her home, when she passed away. I had to learn of her passing from the Conservator. My siblings never told me of funeral arrangements, and for two days, the funeral home would not tell me any information. There was a time in my life I respected my Siblings, but they are now just someone I used to know. Sorry for the long note, I just needed to vent. Thank you ...

A fellow caregiver answered...

Mich, I just wanted to say I will be praying for you and for your mom. I am in a similar situation but I don't have money for a lawyer. I spent $500 on one about 9 months ago and he tried to get my brother who is in Arizona to send him a copy of the trust and the accounting since he has never shown me either. He, like your brother, did not tell me when my mom died. He was so hateful and jealous of my relationship with her that I did not go see her before she died. He started horrible fights with me and made up lies about my mom and talked constantly about what he wanted when she died. I am disgusted by him. I am very proud of you for standing up to your siblings and doing what is right. You are in the right and have done nothing wrong. It really shakes your view of the world and yourself when you have a sibling who will stoop so low for money. I personally think it is one of the greatest sins a human is capable of. Hang in there and remember your mom and how much you guys loved each other. That is all that matters. Not the money, not the houses, and not what these horrible people think of us when all along,, they know just how wrong it is to be doing what they are doing. It reminds me of Cain and Able. God Bless you and your mom.

A fellow caregiver answered...

My prayers are with you, as with all the heartache Alzheimers causes, the additional hurt from crooked family is so painful. A couple ideas for you: If you are POA, take away the checkbook.. This is hard, but you need to do it to protect her. You may also move the accounts to a different bank--perhaps out of town--and tell one trusted person where that is. Stop getting paper statements at her home, and neither Mom nor the thief will not know where Mom's bank is. Tell your Mom that bills are now paid online. You may also set up her accounts to require two signatures, then the thief cannot take funds out, nor coerce your Mom to. Talk to your bank as sadly they have seen your situation many times and may have ideas for you.

Remember that the family member is not speaking to you because you have shut down "the bank of Mom" You are doing what is right and honoring your Mom and protecting her. Continue to pay all bills by checks, or online and keep receipts for everything. Also, in case you ever lose the checkbook, be sure and keep a typed copy of where all checks went and their receipts, as this thief may try to cause you more grief later. You are in my prayers.

A fellow caregiver answered...

A few years ago, my husband became the caretaker of his parents and the first thing he did was shire a lawyer to have the court appoint him as the conservator and guardian, which gave him the responsibility for their money and they physical well being. In their case, a close friend was imposing herself into their lives and getting his mother to sign check which she claimed were for food but which came back with her name and endorsement. It wasn't the cheapest solution but it solved the problems and allowed us to see that they had adequate care and were protected from being taken advantage of. I would recommend it as the best way to protect them and their interests.

Lorinbreece11 answered...

I had no idea that so many others have "evil family members". Greed will turn people into monsters. I had been taking care of my sick father for over seven years, and he was a full time job. I had to quite my job, and call off a marriage to take care of him. None of my brothers and sister helped... none came by and rarely called. Out of no where, my father fell, and had to be in a recovery center. I was being the good sister by calling them to let them know. Within a day, one sister showed up there, getting him to sign over POA, which I put a stop to, and the other sister drove 21 hours and kidnapped him with an old POA from over 13 years ago, and cleaned out his bank account, using her POA to gain control over all his money and now I'm not even aloud to talk to my own father. She's so afraid of losing his 4300 dollars month that she's banned all of his family from having contact with him. I have POA, but it wasn't notarized due to my expired license, so it's not valid. It's just crazy to me, and unless I spend thousand on a lawyer there's nothing I can do for it. Let me just say that those that talk about their brother or sister living with their parent without working, well taking care of them is work. Unless you do it, you have no idea how much work it really is. To hire someone to live with one's parent 24/7 and cook, clean etc. would cost thousands. In any event, I can relate to every single story above and I pray for each person that has to go through this. I will never see my father alive again and my sister is getting thousands a month for doing absolutely nothing. She found the cheapest dump she could find to put him in... and is pocketing the rest of his money. It makes me sick. he disowned her years ago as well... as she was abusive and on drugs. There must be something I can do.

A fellow caregiver answered...

My parents few resources are being sucked dry by my brother who they have always babied and who has never lived anywhere but with them. They are 86 and he is in his 50's. He does not care for them, pays no rent and no bills except for the cable bill (since he needs it for his fancy computer, cell phone and big television). My parents bring home $24,000 in Social Security a year so they are poverty level yet they give my brother gas money, etc., and help him make payments on his credit cards. My mother is falling all the time and I live in fear she will permanently injure herself. My brother works two jobs (he claims.. how come he never has money tho?) and is never home and my father cannot hear, last week she fell in the backyard and lay there for an hour because she could not get up. I wanted to get mom qualified for Medi-Cal so that mom can get a home health aide to help with the cooking and cleaning and take her to doctor appointments, but my parents chose to spend their last few thousand dollars on a down payment for a house for my brother who told them he will clean up his credit and assume the mortgage this year (yeah.. right) and now they do not qualify because of the rental. My loser brother has rented out the house and is collecting the rent money to pay the mortgage and he keeps the rest "to help pay his bills", but my parents pay the rental house taxes (nice set-up huh?). They do not have dementia or alzheimers so I can't get power of attorney to force my brother out of their home or sell that house they just bought so they can qualify for Medi-Cal. There are no laws to protect elderly from abuse from their kids until the elderly are practically drooling on themselves. Until then, a greedy self absorbed child, like my brother, can drain them dry while the rest of the siblings are forced to stand by and watch. We are heartbroken for my mom, scared she will injure herself fatally from a fall, but she sides with my dad and brother, defends and enables my brother to the bitter end and at the risk of her own health and my parents will not allow any of the rest of us to intervene.

Jcplaty answered...

There is no easy answer to all of the problems listed here, HOWEVER, there are steps you can take. Before parents get to the point where they are not mentally able to take care of themselves, insist on the following: Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, a living will and a Last Will and Testament. Many people feel so scared that if they complete these papers, then it means certain death. Read them the problems listed here. Insist on a family meeting and that your parents/loved ones take responsibility to handle it. If they do not, and I know it sounds harsh, walk away from all things financial and all things health. Let them know that you love them, but you are not willing to deal with the problems that WILL arise. And stay true to that - just leave it alone. If you find your loved one is being abused, then call the authorities: police for physical and mental abuse, Office on the Aged, your parent's church, newspapers, etc. ALL OF THEM. In this way, you'll get someone's attention. Also, although no court fight is ever easy, take the offenders to court. Create a paper trail and continue to do so - make sure you are right though. There is probably nothing you do can do make an offending sibling do better by your parents / loved ones. Take photos wherever possible. Write down dates, times, incidents. If you are a DPOA, let the bank know that YOU are and have information sent to you. If there any abnormalities, contact banks immediately; speak to managers; call the police re: fraud, if necessary, but do not wait to do so. Do it imimediately. Do not talk with the person that you believe is perpetrating the fraud. It will only cause more problems. Have an intermediary take care of everything - attorney, police, etc. You don't have to throw up your hands in disgust, but stop being inactive, stop worrying about that relative and deal with the most important thing - the quality of your relative's life. For those who believe in God, talk to Him and lean on Him, not your own understanding. God bless and good luck to each and every one of you.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have a sister that just slid on in on my dad ... my mom had passed way.... and my dad does not remember all the "HORRIBLE" things this one did to my mother.. Like assault and battery on her ex and kids.... and even her own mother... she it a whack nut... she plays the good girl role with my dad.. but she is a real life version of a Disney Villainess right to core.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Yikes, I thought this stuff was more rare. My mom and I have had a strained relationship. She is very nacissistic and has always spoken poorly of everyone. Somehow my brother thinks her talk only applies to me and not to him. My family was hleping our mom and he just walked through the door one day after having left her to some local vultures who robbed her blind. My mom had not made any arrangements that included her family. She had everything going to the vultures. She got mad at me and my brother took full advantage. Since our falling out, he has changed her will twice, added a trust and changed the deed to her house to him. He also closed her accounts and now has all her money sent to an account in his name. I blame him becasue he took advantage of her upset with me to gain control. All of the changes and arrangements benefit him and his family. Anything that is to benefit me and my family is left in the will that will be eaten up by the IRS. The trust will too. He doesn't seem to know that it's touchable. He has taken her truck, her piano, her jewelry and who knows what else. We had to go speak to our own attorney. It's sickening. In order to try to protect ourselves, we have to rat him out to the IRS when she dies. It's clear that he is attempting to hid assets and it's highly possible that he influenced her during both will arrangements. She had also suffered pain and injuries on both occasions and was on pain medication and strong anti-anxiety meds. I'm not close with my brother so I'm not terribly worried about salvaging the family. He had an opportunity to share and communicate and he chose not to. The end of that. But, now if I don't want to lose all of my family's inheretance, I have to sue him. It's just sick. Because my mom talked so much smack about all of us, it's difficult to really know if she wanted us near her at this time or not. It's hard to know anything for sure. I know what she told us, but I know she probably told others, other things. The whole thing is a sad mess. One more thing, I see a lot of judgement on the part of those who choose to care for their aging parents. There are a lot of reasons why some are there and others aren't. I can't stress enough how important it is to communicate and make the effort to find out. If you are tired, ask for help and reach out. People are different and I have seen so many examples where the more dominant or the closer sibling just steps up or in and moves forward without any real attempt to communicate or make arrangements. Then when they are tired or broke or broken, they are angry and resentful. You'd be surprised how many times the other siblings wanted to help and wished they had known they were needed and wanted but felt intimidated or left out.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I'm curious to know what happens during a prolonged estate case where the fraudster who took advantage of an Alzheimer's patient and committed life insurance fraud may have also coerced the Alzheimer's patient into signing a TOD of his home over to her while he had struggling surviving children barely making it. The fraudster has been in trouble with the IRS and lost a house and the sheriff sale recovered a substantial amount and then she turned around and got the other house also owned by my dad. Worse yet, she was not entitled to nothing and my dad had no guardian, just a POA and now an extension to keep the estate open longer had to be filed. Oddly enough, dad died exactly 3 weeks after the life insurance beneficiary was fraudulently changed by the POA to the POA. She's most likely looking at some legal trouble for this and chances are she may have likely coerced my dad into signing the TOD, his signature is actually his, the fraudster already sold the house and disposed of what should've gone to the estate. The house is up for sale again after the rental post was removed. The house is for sale by owner while all of this is going on and a court case is pending. What is likely to happen and how much longer should I expect to wait? I know I don't have forever to wait and I happened to be the only one left in my family