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I think I am being set up for a charge of elder abuse

Cary, NC |

Sibling demanding I give some of my mother's money, but it's not my money to give. I am a caregiver 24/7 for my mother. I have POA. Isn't this extortion? I have to rely on my mother for food and board, can't hold down job and caregive at same time. Who would come after me? Courts? Protective services? How can I prove I don't rip her off? She says help myself to her money, but I rarely take it. We never buy luxury stuff, I don't have time to enjoy it anyway. I think I should get an attorney, what practice helps caregivers? Also, siblings name is on bank account, I would like to transfer it out in case sibling makes withdrawl. I don't want to spend it, just get it safe until things settle down. Is this ok? BTW, I am a very diligent caregiver. Thanks for any relpys.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

The child who watches a parent in these circumstances is often misunderstood by the other children. Unfortunately, anyone can allege wrongdoing, at anytime.
Your job is to protect your mother and your family from these allegations.
The best way to do that is to hire an attorney.
When the attorney assesses the entire situation advice can be given about the account.

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Posted

Ms David offers sound advice. As POA your job is to protect the money for mom and use it for her exclusive benefit. You are NOT to be paying it to others.
As to the account, the sibling name should not be on the account if you are the POA and it is not intended as a gift to her. Get control of this account and have her name removed if possible.
Get with an estates/elder law attorney immediately to assist you and to give you first hand advice. Do this today.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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Posted

As Cheryl note, this is a common issue with cargiver children. As power of attorney, you have obligations to keep records and show that you are using your mother's money in accordance with her wishes or possibly her wishes before she declined. In any case, you can be held liable by courts, adult protective services, other children, etc. if you don't have records that show you handled your mom's money properly. Since this issue involves your mother, I see no reason you can't use your mother's money to consult an elder law attorney [possibly the lawyer who drafted the POA] for advice on what records you must keep, what you can and can't pay for, and how to deal with the demanding sibling.

Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

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Posted

I agree with my colleagues and would suggest that your mother meet with an elder law lawyer. I write simply to add that if your mother has capacity, she can enter into a caregiver contract with you, whereby you are compensated for your services. That way, you do not need to worry that the money you are using to buy food is going to be used against you by your sibling. This is something that needs to be drawn up by a lawyer, however, to address any possible undue influence argument.

In many ways, you have a thankless task. One thing you CAN do is to get a lawyer who can help protect you.

James Frederick

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