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

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

Posted

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
him.

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.

I

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Posted

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 it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Dear Mr. Lutzky, Thank you for your reply. You advice is the harshest to read and yet it is exactly the candor I needed to take a step back and re-access my position in my Dads life. I have spoken my concerns and you are correct, " 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." Thank you again for your time. Sincerely, PS

Lawrence A Friedman

Lawrence A Friedman

Posted

True, but the key is whether your father truly WANTS to do what he is doing or whether there is undue influence, duress, or the like. A local elder law attorney consult could be helpful.

Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

Dear Ms. Williams, Thank you for your response. I am pleased to read that there are folks who can assist with mediation. I realize from the advice I received on this site that I must except the facts. My Dad is able to take care of himself and even though I have expressed my deep concerns and sadness that he is allowing biological sister to manipulate him-he is fully aware of who she is and how she behaves and he accepts her and maintains the position of being victim to her manipulations. I will maintain a concerned daughter and do the best that I can in keeping my eyes and ears open in case I see other signs of abuse-if my Dad is no longer able to care for himself, I and my brother will do what ever we can to get Dad help. Again, if he needs due to failing health. I appreciate your time. Sincerely, PS

Posted

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 from the question and does not take into account any facts specific to any person’s particular circumstances. No attorney/client relation is created hereunder and I highly recommend you seek first the counsel and advice of an experienced contested civil litigator prior to taking any actions relating to this matter, as seemingly insignificant actions may have unintended consequences.

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Posted

Mr. Cola, Thank you deeply for your legal and spiritual advice. I appreciate your time and insight. I am extremely blessed to have a Dad who is healthy. I am blessed in general and like the fact that your answer encouraged me to seek the only higher power that will assist all involved. God is an awesome God who consistently provides all the answers-even if I do not like what he tells me. Again, I appreciate your response. Sincerely, PS

Posted

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 educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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