Misuse of Financial Power of Attorney

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by pumpkinpatch, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    Anyone here have this problem in their family?

    My husband's family has been torn apart because of brother's misuse of POA. He won't show bank statements, took all their mother's belongings (furniture, jewellery, clothes etc). we don't have a clue where they are. And to top it off he moved his son (and entourage) into the family homestead and they are living there FREE! Zero bills for them. Now very fare to all the other grandchildren making their way in the world paying bills.

    Oh I forgot to mention my husband's mother is in a nursing home and had a couple strokes.

    The brother (POA) has taken full advantage of the situation and refuses to show any bank statements!!

    Anyone here gone through this nightmare without paying oddles on lawyer fees.


    Not a good situation.

  2. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    You are from Canada, right??? In the US, the laws can vary from state to state. Unless someone responds who also lives in Canada and is familiar with POA, I'm not sure you could follow the advice from someone in the US.
  3. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    Yes Canada. thanks
  4. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    Just because you have POA does NOT mean that you have the right to squander the family inheritance. Canada is NOT a 3rd world country and I would think that they have strong laws about this also.

    I think the brother POA may very well be in deep doo doo with the law, unless mom had intended to leave him everything and it is stated in her will. I would check further into this if I were you. It's just so unfair of the brother.
  5. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    THank you so much. It's very frustrating. The three other siblings hired a lawyer in Oct./07 who drew up a letter asking him about the whereabouts of her belongings, jewellery etc. and that we wanted bank statements. Also what rent and households bills the son is paying. It was a registered letter and the POA (brother) never responded!! SO the lawyer said if we wanted to go further it was cost!! I figure thousands going to court etc.
  6. stick2013

    stick2013 Member


    I am so sorry. He sounds like a real jerk. So have you and the others decided what you are going to do????

    I would think that when the mom passes away, and it's time to divvy up the $$ and there isn't any left, then there will be hell to pay. He may have to answer to the courts as to where the $$ are.

    I'm so sorry, but greed is a powerful motivator for some people. $$$ is another.

  7. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

    I'm going through a similar problem although I can't see

    and don't know for sure weather anything has been stolen yet.

    Elder fiduciary abuse is most often committed by a family

    member or someone in a position of trust! In California,

    one can apply for a Conservatorship but in my case, I'm

    going to have to prove "undue influence" of a cognitively

    impaired elder! The "laws" and society pay lip service to

    protecting the elderly and sick, but not much substance any-

    where in Law! Get on the web and research Governorships or

    Conservatorships and see what Canadian Law covers. Also con-

    tact Legal Aid in your community as they may be of help in

    this direction! Best wishes, I can empathize with you my

    friend! I have ten California Law books sitting right here

    by my chair on the very subject.

    P.S. see the "craigslist.org website (legal forum)

    [This Message was Edited on 02/20/2008]
  8. caffey

    caffey New Member

    I am from Canada and am going through the same situation with my dad.s This is what I understand. His wife has poa over the finances. So she can do what she wants. We never see any statements. She has taken all his belongings and anything that represents him and is/has gotten rid of them. In fairness she asked if there were some things we wanted. Some things have disappeared. It is weird. It is like he died and he hasn't. The other weird thing is ( there are 4 siblings) a poa was set up for health decisions. It takes 3, the wife, his lawyer and my sister to make a decision. I probably am not of any help but you should check and see if it is a blanket poa or divided like my step mom or whoever did. The problem is lawyers are so expensive. Does the lawyer act on behalf of the family? Maybe you could ask him/ her how things are set up? I do have a feeling the stuff that is gone ( which you probably can't do much about) even if it is delegated in a will. I wish I could help you more. But I do know how you feel. All the best.
  9. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    I'm so happy to get a respond to my post as this is really bothersome. We feel like we are fight a dead horse. He committed the perfect crime! He should show his siblings the bank statements but is not forced to. He has been controlling the account for a good 3-4 years but we never suspected anything until he ran the mothers car down (which was suppose to be for visiting relatives) and moved his son into the homestead family home (which was suppose to also be for visiting relatives). Now we don't have a clue where anything is and they are using some of it because the live-in girlfriend has pictures displayed on Facebook!!
    We are at a stand-still. Trying to come up with a plan!!
    He is sole POA and sole executor of Will when she passes away. What a nice older brother! Never would have thought. You are right Mr. Dad. Money too tempting for the wrong person, especially a son.
  10. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

    After my Brother passed away, my Bro. In-Law and my Sister
    managed to get control over my Elder, cognitively disabled
    Sister's affairs. She is a sweet lady with the cog. ability
    of about an 8 y.o. They took her to an Attorney, BIL had
    himself added as POA with the "naughty" Sister! He estab-
    lished a Trust designating his Son (my nephew) as Executor
    of the Trust and Will within. We are talking BIG BUCKS here
    my friend! Tens of thousands! As siblings we knew that the
    Family house in SF was to go to the disabled Sister and read-
    ily agreed.

    They have circumvented the whole process whereby nothing is
    transparent to any of us involved in my Sisters care. I'm
    damn angry! Trying to get an Independent Conservatorship
    of her based on the aspects of "Undue Influence" involving
    their actions. I brought a "criminal case" that was dismissed by the County Dist. Attorney bec. they hadn't
    "stolen" anything! Boy, they sure set themselves up to
    do it though. I have to do this on my own as I'm on disa-
    bility with very limited funds. Apply for an Indep. Conservator means her affairs are turned over to a Court
    Monitored overseer, no family or other influences. This
    is a cheaper and maybe cost-free alternate to a Civil Action
    although it could be thrown into Civil Court! Otherwise,
    her estate could very well disappear "mysteriously".

    Don't know if Nolo.com out of Berkely publishes Canadian
    "self-help" law books but you may wish to look. I've spotted
    similar cases in Canadian Law on web searches. But can't
    at the moment direct you to any off the top of my head, sorry. Google in: "Elder Abuse and/or Undue Influence". You know
    my Canadian friend, we are both out of British Common Law
    and much of are Laws have evolved in a similar way!

    I'm around here everyday, so give me a yell if you wish!
    Best Wishes<

    [This Message was Edited on 02/20/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/20/2008]
  11. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

  12. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    I will do a search. Thank you.
    Hard to believe family members can be so conniving for their own financial gain. And at what cost. Lose the family ties forever!
    Taking advantage of your disabled sister like that is a crying shame.

  13. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Well, I would contact someone regarding financial elder abuse. There are laws now. He should be paying rent that goes toward the nursing home bill, or rent the house for income.

    Living there rent free is stealing from her estate. If they are paying for the nursing home from her assets, eventually when the money runs out, they will want a accounting of everything before she can be on state aid.

    I would contact a attorney specializing is this - there are plenty.
  14. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Just had a light bulb moment. There are all kinds of seniors advocacy groups around. Why don't you check your phone book or the United Way and see if they can direct you. Or your local MPP. Friends of mine contacted theirs years ago when they were being jerked around in a situation re. his mom who was a senior. Long story. Anyways it was resolved the next day and they had been fighting for a couple of years. These are just some thoughts. Oh yeah what about the Ministry of Health?
    Please let us know how you make out. I don't think you have to spend a lot of money which you don't have on this.
  15. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

    At least in California, to apply for a Conservatorship rather

    than take it into Civil Court with a suit. What you want,

    Pumpkin, is accountability, transparency and the safety of

    your mother's affairs. Canadian Law cannot be that different.

    I'm attempting to acquire an Independent Court appointed

    Conservator rather than MYSELF as the Conservator. This way

    the Court realizes that I'm not just out to "butter my own"

    bread but am genuinely concerned for my Sister's well being.

    Civil Court, attempting to "Undue" what has been done thru

    a Civil Action, would cost 14 to 20 thousand bucks with a-

    bout a 50-50 chance of winning the case. A quote by an

    well thought of Elder Attorney here in the Bay Area. I read

    a bit on Canadian Law and don't think things are going to be

    much different for you.

    You might talk to the Canadian version of AARP up there and

    get some feed back from them.

    I'll try to find my Canadian web connection and get back to

    you. Gotta look thru my notes my Friend! (A big hello to

    Sargent Preston and King!)

    Your empathic friend,
  16. Doober

    Doober New Member

    ask that his POA be revoked.

    The purpose of POA is to act in the best interest of the person who has selected you as POA.

    In this case, the only interest he is acting on is his own personal interest. It is evident as the home and car are not being used as intended.

    Hiding or now showing records confirms he may be up to no good.

    This results in his personal financial gains as a result of his duty as POA whether directly or indirectly. What I mean is he is now living in the home, therefore not paying rent or his own mortage.

    Using your mother's funds to keep the home in good shape. Heck, I wouldn't be surprise if he bought a new car to replace the one they ran into the ground with these funds as well.

  17. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    Mean so much to me. So many great ideas I've never thought of. I'm going to show your comments to my husband and sister-in-law tonight.
    I think my mother-in-law is starting to see the light. She asked the POA (son) to see her bank book last week and apparently he brought it in a threw it at her. But because she is in a wheelchair and only 1 arm to move she didn't see it. She told him that she knew what her balance was a few years ago and his response was "Oh you do"!!! Sneaky, snake. Probably wants her to think she's nuts.

    We tried to have the POA changed last summer. Brought her into the lawyer and he took her into his office but she was all mixed up from the strokes and she said she didn't even know him! (her lawyer for years). so he couldn't change anything.

    I'm going to re-read everything you wrote here.

  18. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

    I'm all too happy to "help" anyway I can. In Canadian Law,
    there must be an equivalent to a "Restraining Order" thru
    the Courts. You may be able to approach it from that aspect
    as well. You would be asking the Court to stop any further
    action by the POA for reasons you have just stated! This
    may give you the time to both stop the bleeding and abuse
    of she and her assets and to research and navigate through
    your possible legal actions. You would be "documenting" your
    concerns (on the record) with the Court! Canadian lawyer
    wrote a book on Elder abuse and I'll hunt it down in my notes
    today and get back with you, "K"?

    Google specifically: "Fiduciary Elder Abuse"

    [This Message was Edited on 02/21/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/21/2008]
  19. mrdad

    mrdad New Member

    I was in error about it being a Canadian Lawyer that wrote
    the book. She is from Nevada! But I know I ran across a lot
    of Canadian info. also. I just "Google"--"Canadian Fiduciary
    Elder Abuse Statues" and came up with a bunch of great stuff!

    Hope it helps to get you started my Friends!
    P.S. Oh, if you can actually prove the've taken money etc.
    without her knowledge, you may well have grounds for a
    criminal action which would cost you nothing and would
    surely accomplish your goals![This Message was Edited on 02/21/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/21/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/21/2008]
  20. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    If there was a way to get my mother-in-law into the bank and she updated her OWN bank book that could be the golden ticket!! He would have to justify all withdrawals from the beginning.
    Mr. Dad. You've certainly done your homework.