Two Power of Attorneys

My husband has POA over his mother's affairs. His brother recently became medical POA when their mother was deemed incompetent due to Alzheimer's. So now his brother is responsible for all sitter care (hiring, scheduling, paying, etc.) This has caused a lot of conflict.

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My husband has run the sitting staff for 3 years without problems. Now his brother wants to change things. So now my husband just wants to pay his brother $10,000/month and let him pay the sitters, buy the groceries, pay for medications, etc. I told him I thought he was still responsible for getting receipts and being accountable for money spent and he said that he wasn't worried about it, that as soon as the money ran out, then the sooner his brother would have to take total responsibility for his mother. She would then have to move in with him because he would have to sell the house since there would be no more money left in the checking account to pay bills. Is he right?

Susan from Slidell, LA

July 10, 20080 found this helpful

Your husband is in a difficult situation and it would be in your better interest to consult an attorney for this family matter.

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I have had medical power of attorney and power of attorney for my 79 year old mother for 7 1/2 years, my sisters and brothers will not help with my Mom at all.

But, if she had made the MISTAKE that your husband's mom has now made, I would legally turn over whatever power of attorney she had given to me to the brother that is now (after 3 years) wanting to have a hand in taking care of her. Personally I couldn't handle the stress of "fighting" with one of my siblings because of it. In hind-sight your husband should have gotten the medical power of attorney three years ago too. Anyway, I would consult with a trusted attorney and make sure things were done legally. My Mom should have enough money to take care of her until she dies, but if you think your brother in law is going to spend through his mom's money and she will eventually have to live with one of her sons, then yes, I would take action immediately to see that it's the brother that is spending all of her money that gets the priviledge of caring for her 24/7.

You can bet that I don't ask my siblings their opinion on any matters pertaining to my mother's care; they aren't here, and they aren't breaking their backs taking care of her. Mom has lived with my husband and I for 6 1/2 years.

I hope she is/was a loving and kind mother to your husband.

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with MCW. An attorney is needed to clear this up and inform each what his responsibility is. It would be a shame to have this split a family.

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, an attorney is needed here. Also remember you live in Louisiana where the laws can be very different from other states. Louisiana has Napoleonic Law not Common Law, so many, many things seem 'backwards'. I too live in Lousiiana, Bossier City. Good luck.

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July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I am sorry to hear that your husband and his brother are having such difficulties. I'm sure the last thing their Mom would want was for her "boys" to be arguing over her. I assume that both have their Mom's best interest at heart. This is a time of great stress. I hope things calm down and that they can work together.

That said, I believe that it is unrealistic to think that the money will just run out and Mom will move in with her son. With Alzheimer's Mom may live a long time in a severely impaired state. Does the brother have the money and patients to provide care to a person who is totally incapacitated.

Has anyone thought about eventual nursing home care? As POA, has your husband looked into your state's medical assistance program to pay for Mom's care after her money runs out.

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July 11, 20080 found this helpful

The attorney working with my mother-in-law's estate advised my husband to resign and just give it to my brother-in-law because he felt that it's going to get too nasty. I told my husband that he knows that his brother will not handle the money appropriately and eventually not do the right thing for their mother and then my husband will feel bad in the end because he promised his mother he would take care of her. My husband wants to put her in an Alzheimer's facility, but my brother-in-law is refusing because he said that he promised his parents he would never put them in a nursing home. My husband is trying to convince my brother-in-law that the promise was made before all these circumstances came about and now things are different.

My husband is trying to get her in a nice facility now while they have the money because if they wait until they run out of money and try to put her somewhere she will end up in a state run facility and those aren't usually the nicest places. But does anyone have the answer to my original question: If my husband gives my brother-in-law $10,000/month to run the household, does he have to be responsible for giving my husband receipts for what he spends. Does my husband have to mandate that he be given receipts every month before he gives him more money for the next month? My husband wants to just give him the money and not worry about the receipts and let him spend all the money and the quicker the money is spent, the quicker the brother-in-law has to move their mother out of the house so they can sell the house because the money is gone and the mother is forced to move in with the brother-in-law.

I know that if that happens, by then, the brother-in-law will end up sticking their mother in any nursing home that will take her, she won't qualify for Medicaid and I don't know how they will pay for it. So I just want to make sure that my husband won't get into trouble if he doesn't require his brother to give him receipts every month. Any answers will surely help with this horrible situation. Thanks, Susan

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July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I really sympathize with both brothers. My brother and I shared power of attorney for my mother. We never fought over anything. We sat down together and worked out her needs and what we could afford to pay to meet those needs for as long as possible. It helped that our decisions and an accounting of how her money was spent was reviewed by her attorney's office. My brother ran her general finances and I ran her personal and medical accounts since she lived in my home. Both sets of accounts were submitted in writing to her attorney who in turn submitted periodic reports to our state court system. All any of us wanted was what was best for Mother.

That made it easy to problem solve together. We all discussed how best to utilize her available money in order to ensure the best care for the longest period of time. Fortunately, despite a year in a nursing home and then back to me for the final few months (with the help of hospice) her funds saw her through. It wasn't easy and at times required a real balancing act--and less sleep and more labor than I had ever anticipated. Together we were able to give her the best possible care for the available funds. It has been a great comfort to us now. I would suggest that both sides explore all available legal and counseling help available within your local court and social services systems. Everyone needs to work together for your mother-in-laws best good.

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August 10, 20080 found this helpful

I do not know about Louisiana law, but in NY you would need to document how Mom's money was spent to qualify for Medical Assistance.

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August 23, 20080 found this helpful

With the level of money involved, I think you need to consult an attorney. The added benefit would be that there would be yet another cold, nasty person involved.

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