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How to prevent motherwho has dementia from acessing funds

I am an only child and have POA for my mother. We are on each others bank accounts. She is talking about moving and I don't want her to be able to go into the account and get money to do that. She is presently living in a senior apartment complex and has been there for about 10 years. Everyone knows her and we have contacts that keep an eye on her for us. My son is her caregiver and told her that he would not move her and she said she would get movers to move her. She doesn't drive and we have spread that word that no one is to take her anywhere.

Mauvee
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It's never easy when you encounter something like this. I went through a similar situation with my father. Luckily by covering all our bases, he wasn't able to do anything. I wish you all the best! Heart

AARP Expert


@cj8892 wrote:

I am an only child and have POA for my mother. We are on each others bank accounts. She is talking about moving and I don't want her to be able to go into the account and get money to do that. She is presently living in a senior apartment complex and has been there for about 10 years. Everyone knows her and we have contacts that keep an eye on her for us. My son is her caregiver and told her that he would not move her and she said she would get movers to move her. She doesn't drive and we have spread that word that no one is to take her anywhere.


You got a lot of excellent advice here. What do you think?  Where are you in this process?  We are here for you.

 

Jane

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Honored Social Butterfly


@cj8892 wrote:

I am an only child and have POA for my mother. We are on each others bank accounts. She is talking about moving and I don't want her to be able to go into the account and get money to do that. She is presently living in a senior apartment complex and has been there for about 10 years. Everyone knows her and we have contacts that keep an eye on her for us. My son is her caregiver and told her that he would not move her and she said she would get movers to move her. She doesn't drive and we have spread that word that no one is to take her anywhere.


You did not say why she wanted to move.  Did she have some real issues there that need to be addressed or is this part of her illness?  If she is in sound mind she can do what she likes so I am again assuming that her dementia is diagnosed.  If not, there is more than one issue here.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Social Butterfly

@cj8892 All good advice!  I have also been through issues like these as a caregiver several times and there is sound reasoning behind all of the recommendations.  

 

As @ASTRAEA noted, it is important to document your mother's diagnosis of "dementia" and then to get your "ducks in a row" as far as legally assuming responsibility for all her affairs.  If she has dementia, then the matter is not quite as simple as making the necessary decisions and signing the papers.  If she cannot understand what she's signing, then it is of no legal value.  If you have POA for medical decisions, that is not the same as having a general POA.  The "elder" attorney can guide you through this process so that you will be able to move ahead to act in the best interests of your mother.  

 

It's also important to remember that a POA ends with the demise of the individual requiring care.  If you are also to be the executor of her estate, the attorney will then help you through the qualifying and verification process at the courthouse in order to proceed with closing out her estate.  Each state may differ in it's requirements.

 

@GailL1's suggestion to remove your mother from your bank account should be done as soon as possible for the protection of your own financial interests.  In order to be scrupulous in your record-keeping for your mother, especially if there is any size to her estate and you have siblings where there is the possibility that heirs may have differing opinions, you should make the necessary changes to HER account and leave a copy of the paperwork for the POA with the bank.

 

I also agree with @nyadrn's comments.  Your mother may have experienced an issue or incident that caused her discomfort in some way...mental, physical or even a psychological shock...and she is unable to communicate it in the usual manner...ergo, the decision to "move" from her present quarters without any clues or explanations about the "why!"

 

Individuals with dementia cannot be relied upon to make sound decisions minute-to-minute nor day-to-day...about their personal business not their personal care and well-being, so leaving her alone for any period of time is taking a huge risk...and as @GailL1 reminds us, it is the disease doing the damage...she has no control when it comes to making sound decisions if dementia has subsumed her formerly competent mental function.

 

All peace and good wishes to you and your family...

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honored Social Butterfly

While I agree with ASTREA on determining your mother's current condition, if you already have POA, then it just needs to be activated.  I am assuming that it has been legally prepared.  Her doctor should be able to give you his opinion in writing as to her decision making capacity, declaring her incapacitated if that be the case.

 

You said that you and your mother's name is on both her account and your account.  If this means as a joint account, then you need to remove your mother's name as joint holder from your account to prevent any problems down the road.  If this is as joint holders, either of you now have access to the funds in either account.

 

Then you should be able to retitle her accounts with the bank.  They will verify all the documentation and let you proceed.  You can retitle her accounts with your name as POA instead of a joint owner.  Then you will be able to perform all the functions laid out in the POA document on her account.

 

Consulting an eldercare attorney with all documents in hand including the notice from her doctor declaring her incapacitated is also a good idea.  

 

A person with advanced or advancing dementia could be a danger to themselves and perhaps others so make sure you have eyes on her all the time.

 

I was in the process of moving my mother from a senior independent living facility to an assisted living facility, when one night right before the move she woke up and turned on her oven and burners to their highest temp.  After a while, she went to the night guard and told him she could not turn them off.

After that incident, I had someone with her all the time until she went to the assisted living facility.

 

Just remember that she may exhibit behavior and temperment that is normally out of character for her - Remember it is the disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Honored Social Butterfly

@cj8892 - You're in a difficult position! You haven't mentioned your mother's age, or why you think she has dementia. If you believe she's already incapacitated, then she can't just agree to have you control her affairs .. if she would agree in the first place.

 

To become her legal guardian, where you could make sure she doesn't make bad decisions that would harm herself, you should speak to an eldercare attorney. They will probably suggest you speak to someone in your county's Surrogate's office (or whoever handles Guardianships in your area). I believe it requires 2 or 3 doctors to examination a person & testify that they are incapable of managing their own affairs, for a guardian to be appointed.

 

You might find this reading helpful: "What is Guardianship"


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