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Old 08-26-2017, 09:33 PM
Location: South Florida
195 posts, read 106,149 times
Reputation: 1157


Several years ago my aunt died and my mother had to handle the estate. I am the only one in the family who had been through the process before so I came down to FL to help her. It was very disorganized, but we got through it. It had such an effect on my mom that she immediately started putting her affairs in order and is now so organized that when she eventually goes her estate will practically take care of itself.
I think that it is so important to have a talk with your elderly parents about their savings and how they want it disposed of. I am a big believer in leaving your money to do some good where you want it. Just because someone is related to you that doesn't mean they are entitled to any of your money when you die.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:46 PM
3,531 posts, read 1,772,570 times
Reputation: 6232
The sucky thing is that they have to be incompetent to make financial abuse charges stick. Otherwise, you are simply just making bad choices which isn't illegal. The APS investigators or the cops will ask her basic questions and if she can answer them, it's not abuse. I wish they would consider that some people are more prone to being manipulated but nope.
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:32 AM
4,431 posts, read 2,608,360 times
Reputation: 10299
I don't know the financial details of my father's estate yet as he is still living.
But: I have one sib who is my father's favorite. This sib pulled crap like buying a rental house, and after the contract was signed going to Dad and saying sib needed$50k for down payment right away, since didn't have it. Dad obliged, six times over!!!!!

Now that particular sib is in prison with a more than life sentence, which means never seeing the light of day. Dad has spent 6 years paying attorneys for help with sibs case as sib fully "expects to be released for time served" since going to jail for 34 counts( I won't say, doesn't matter), and expects now to get released from maximum security penitentiary.
I finally told sib on a letter that each time sib requested another paper/form/anything from Dad and the 6th attorney dad has now hired, dad pays them.
Sib is under the erroneous idea that Dad only paid the first about$5k and that is all. Dad IS of some what sound mind ( starting to get forgetful), so I can't do much, but sib has been bleeding him Dry for many many years.

I think Dad has stopped as I wrote the above after sib said dad has stopped emailing sib and answering sibs requests for new papers.

Sib also gets the maximum allowed by law put " on sib's books" (commissary) by dad each month.

Except that sibs share of the estate, if there's anything left, that sib will get no help from me! It is not my job to pay that sibs commissary. And when I was homeless living under a RR bridge, none of my family would help ME out. Neither my father, who gave sib the money for a couple of rental properties, nor my sib to allow me to live in a unit unless I could come up with fair market rates rent ( I could not) when I could again afford rentals. Nothing. No "family discount", I lived in a dump that was condemned and torn down after I moved out.
Dad never has given me anything. Dad always complained that that sib "only comes to see me when (sib) needs(ing) money.

I bitter? Not really but am resentful, as GUESS who dad calls when he needs help and EXPECT s to care for him when he's not able????

ME. Not that it should be tied to compensation. But I already know Dad expects his estate to cover that sibs commissary for as long as it will, which means I may only get his house, which isn't worth much. He's already said many times that " you (I) should take care of that sib after the estate is gone". Bah Humbug on That!!!!

IF, by some miracle sib does get released, sib expects to also come live with me as sibs " destination upon release". Pish posh on that! There was no room for me when I was homeless in sibs Rentals so there's " no room in the inn" here for sib at MY house, which I have paid for.
Besides my OH won't allow it either as that sib pulled some crap in my OH my OH didn't like either.

Elder abuse MAY, just like in this (my) case be fully allowed by the elder.

So it may not just be Alzheimer's victims which are victim s. The victim may be a willing participant.

We are trying to get FIL to change to a REVOCABLE living trust, but to no avail, to protect himself and his assets which we should inherit.

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Old 08-27-2017, 05:22 AM
71,505 posts, read 71,674,131 times
Reputation: 49084
there are horror stories with revocable trusts too where the trustee who is family siphons funds out for inappropriate reasons after death and before distribution .

familes have been split up by making one of the kids trustee and the sibling plays dirty .

family abuse internally is so bad new york revised it's entire power of attorney form and now requires all kinds of additional forms to grant more and more ability .

The main thrust of a power of attorney is to appoint an agent to act on an individual’s behalf with respect to financial matters in case such individual becomes incapacitated. Many people innocently refer to this document as one that is “simple” to prepare. This could not be further from the truth. Firstly, New York State passed legislation effective September 2009 in an attempt to create a statutory form that would be uniformly accepted. This legislation was the result of tremendous abuse that was found in this particular area, with some appointed agents taking advantage of the disabled and elderly.

The new power of attorney law results in a much lengthier document, and significantly restricts the actual power given to the agent over financial matters. If transfers are to be made on behalf of the principal, a separate gift rider must be executed. The gift rider must specifically articulate the agent’s power to make gifts to himself/herself or to third parties. Further, any additional powers beyond those enumerated in the statute, must be added to a modification section. Finally, while the law mandates banks, brokerage houses and other financial institutions to recognize the power of attorney, the form utilized must be statutory

Last edited by mathjak107; 08-27-2017 at 05:35 AM..
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:24 AM
13,879 posts, read 7,391,112 times
Reputation: 25356
My girlfriend's father had dementia and sold his house to somebody for cheap money. His savings also got wiped out. His three children had all moved far away and there was really no way to prove that he had dementia when this all happened so there was no criminal prosecution.

My mother and stepfather both had dementia problems. My sister and I both had my mom execute POA and health care POA documents with a nearby attorney. A month or so later, I took her to her retail financial services guy where she had her brokerage account and had myself placed on her individual account with signature authority. About a month later, I get a call from her financial service guy about something funky going on with my stepfather's account. Some garage door guy had charged them over $10K to replace two garage doors that my stepfather had destroyed driving when he wasn't supposed to be driving. The garage door guy vanished to Florida so the local DA couldn't arrest him. I saw a copy of his brokerage account after he had his health event where he died a few weeks later. Over the previous 3 years, $1 million somehow vaporized. Since I wasn't the executor, I couldn't dig into what had happened. I'd guess one of his adult children drained most of it but I'll never know. It could have been anything.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:32 AM
3,604 posts, read 1,641,304 times
Reputation: 13548
As we head into those years we try to keep up with the latest scams directed towards seniors.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:52 AM
Location: SoCal
13,209 posts, read 6,313,926 times
Reputation: 9826
I've tried to establish a habit for both my husband and I. Don't pick up the phone, throw away junk mail to the worms. Don't answer door period. For cell phone, only numbers we have in contact list. Anything else?
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:54 PM
Location: Florida
4,358 posts, read 3,694,371 times
Reputation: 4084
This is a tough problem. We could use computer programs and have financial institutions monitor all of our seniors spending and try and identify problems. I do not think this would gain much acceptance.

With my parents, my mother paid the bills but could not write out checks. So she had a friend write out all the checks and then she signed. The friend could spot payments she should not make so their was a possible safety net.

My mother also had the bank send the monthly bank statement to me to review and reconcile. This might be the best we can do for most seniors. I could also see children offering to handle all the bill payment etc. for the seniors that are having problems. But then maybe a large number of abusers are family members. If possible I would say one child handles the bill paying and the another reconciles and reviews the finances.

Forgetting the potential of fraud, I think a lot of seniors may like not having to deal with the day to day bills and finances and may be agreeable to having their children help out.

Children, one problem is, what is old, if you are 30, 65 might be very old but when your are 65 it could be very young. So tread lightly on pushing the bill paying. We are not really talking age but ability.
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Old 08-27-2017, 01:50 PM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,767 posts, read 4,827,803 times
Reputation: 19395
DH's parents put his name on their accounts years ago. We never thought it would be necessary, but now with Pop gone and MIL in AL, we do all the banking. We had to get her to voluntarily sign POA eventually, but just being an authorized signer on their account allowed us access to view her activity online.

At one point MIL lived in her deceased sister's home and she was bombarded with phone and mail appeals from numerous "charities", some real, some very dubious. At first, she would try to tell them sister was dead, but then they just tried to get her on their list too. Eventually we had the phone number changed and see the attached notice to the post office to stop sister's mail.
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:22 PM
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,096 posts, read 3,457,793 times
Reputation: 10153
My FIL lived alone but was still getting around OK in his late mid 80s. My SIL who lived nearest by (but 100 miles away and with small kids, so she only saw him a few Sundays a month) got a call from him out of the blue saying he didn't understand why his checkbook was so low. This from a guy who NEVER talked money, but we all knew he was financially quite well off. She goes to his house and looks at his checkbook and he's written 25K in checks in 6 months to some guy, who my FIL says is a contractor. My FIL's memory was failing at this point and he couldn't tell my SIL what work had been done. She figured it was a scam, called my husband (a former licensed contractor in that state before we retired and moved away). I was a retired business tax administrator in that state as well. We were scheduled to visit my FIL the next week and looked into it.

Well.....they guy was legit, had a license, bond, etc. He DID do the work, not to a high standard, but nonetheless he did do some work. My husband called him and asked him for a list and he sent it quickly. Was it work that needed to be done....some yes, some not at all. Were the prices fair....on the highest side of fair. Was it legal? Yes.

My husband made it clear to the contractor that any further work needed to be cleared through him or my Dad would not pay for it.

If my FIL had not made that comment about his checkbook balance, my guess is he would have been taken for more and for much longer. The dates on checks showed the contractor was there every week for 6 months. This was in Northern Virginia suburbs, very expensive neighborhood but almost all elders aging in place.
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