Biological sister lives with our 89 years old very healthy, sharp, independent Father she abusing him financially-what can I do?

Asked over 1 year ago - Syracuse, NY

3 yrs now sister living with completely ambulatory, of sharp mind and able bodied Dad in his home, Dad pays all bills, she pays nothing + he is giving her $. She has job, her own house & $, yet lives w/him due to emotional drama she has with her two daughters that are living in her home. I have caught her lying about what $ Dad spends on her behalf.
Not sure what to do. Any suggestions of an arbitration service for such "family" dispute? Do I have any rights to help my Dad even though he lies to me and my brother about what he does for her financially.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. 3

    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . This is a tough position for you to be in. You say your dad is sharp and
    healthy for his age. Essentially, he doesn't really need your sister's
    "help", but is involved in this arrangement voluntarily. He is an adult and
    cannot be forced to do something he doesn't want to do.

    I am not aware of any "arbitration" service for families. You probably mean
    mediation, which is voluntary. It is doubtful that you could get his and
    your sister's agreement to mediate, or even get family counseling.

    Aside from somehow trying to wean them off of the current situation, your
    only other alternatives are bold steps:

    1. Adult Protective Services, generally provided by the county or
    other municipality and/or

    2. Bringing a proceeding in court to have a guardian appointed for

    I strongly doubt that either of those alternatives would be successful or
    wise to attempt. Based on what you say, the result likely would be that your
    father and sister would sever their relationships with you.


    Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq.

    Joseph A. Bollhofer, P.C.

    291 Lake Ave.

    St. James, NY 11780


    fax (631)584-2304

    Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)

    This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are
    not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return
    e-mail and delete this e-mail and all copies and attachments. If you are not
    the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering
    the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any
    dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly

    Unless specifically stated otherwise, this communication shall not be deemed
    to be legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to
    have been created.

    IRS Circular 230 Notice: No tax advice is contained in this communication
    (including any attachments); information contained herein is not intended or
    written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding
    penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or
    recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

    Unless specifically stated otherwise, this communication shall not be deemed to be legal or tax advice, and no... more
  2. 5

    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If you fsther is mentally competent, then he can spend his money as he wants to. If he wants to spend it on your sister, then it is his choice.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more
  3. 5

    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Hi, You can put your mind to ease as you have answered your own question without involving others and ruining your relationship with your father. You are blessed to have a father who is "completely ambulatory, of sharp mind and [is an] able bodied Dad." As such, there is by definition no abuse or exploitation occurring and you can avoid causing him unnecessary hassles and potentially alienating yourself from him by not causing the chaos an unwarranted report to a third party agency. If you are concerned about your Dad's choices, perhaps you should talk to him about your concerns. If after talking to him one on one you still have concerns, then and only then speak with his Pastor to see if he will go with you to talk to your Dad. Abide by your Dad’s Pastor’s decision. Be encouraged.

    Of course, as always this answer is general in nature, applies only to Illinois law, assumes certain facts omitted... more
  4. 3

    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If you believe that financial abuse is occurring, you can contact Adult Protective Services in your area to report it. There are also a number of elder law attorneys who also provide mediation in matters such as the one you describe. Contact your local bar association for a referral.

  5. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It seems a stretch to characterize the situation as "abuse" as it seems at most to be possibly undue influence, but under the circumstances, he wants to do this, and absent coercion of some sort, he can spend his money on a daughter he apparently loves more than the money. Have a heart to heart with dad to share with him why you feel the way you do, and why he feels it is necessary to lie to you about his helping your sister. It may not be all his fault.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for... more

Related Topics

Elder law

Elder law refers to the legal framework for dealing with issues related to the elderly, like long term care, nursing home issues, retirement planning and more.

Elder abuse

Elder abuse is causing or risking serious harm to an elderly person. It can be intentional or due to neglect, and may be physical, emotional, or financial.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

33,142 answers this week

3,686 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

33,142 answers this week

3,686 attorneys answering