Needing to vent

Avatar for nmillerhhi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Needing to vent
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 6:18am
My Mom is 74 and my sister is 50. My sister moved in with Mom the day my Dad died. Dad had told my other sister and I numerous times that he had set things up to keep this particular sister away from Mom's money because of her history of mishandling money. She and her previous DH had severe financial problems and most were because of her. ie. he would get a second job to pay off bills and she'd quit working. He'd refinance the house to pay off bills and she'd secretly get new credit cards and max them. A week after Dad died, Mom got the idea (hmmm I wonder where) that if the trustee did anything, even sign a form, it would cost her $10,000. Dad didn't leave her well, property, pension and about $150,000 in stocks and insurance. She could live very comfortably though. But $10,000 to sign a form if the bank remained as trustee?

Next, they started spending money. Vacations, new clothes, 3 sets of lawn furniture, etc. Mom pays for everything, including all household expenses.

My sister was working but a couple of months ago, she switched to part time, saying she was going to apply for disability to make up the rest of her normal income. She cashed out her retirement and bought a new wardrobe, a trip to Hawaii, etc.

About 3 years ago, a bf gave my sister a male and 3 female dogs. She's been breedng them regularly and selling them. Mom was cleaning the pens and caring for the puppies but didn't get any of the money. Now, my sister has decided to go into the kennel business. My mom bought at least $10,000 worth of puppies for my sister. It's not my understanding that this was a loan but a gift. Mom converted a building on her property to a kennel, adding chain link fencing, drainage, etc. Since then, they've bought even more dogs but Mom says my sister paid for those. There are about 25 puppies there now, all under 7 months so it will be a year or more before any money is realized.

My other sister and I have tried to talk to Mom when this got started. She would seem to understand our concerns but then would confide in the sister she lives with. That sister would then convince her that we were only concerned that she was spending our "inheritance" so Mom got all upset and borderline hysterical. Mom, btw, is easily led and does what she's told if it's the easiest. Dad knew it as well as how manipulative this sister is and tried to protect Mom. To get the money for the dogs, Mom says she uses money from her business, which should be closed at her age. However, I really don't think she earns enough from there to pay it.

I've also had mom confess to having been paying my sister's bills and loaning her money. I know that some of this is on her credit cards and her home equity loan. My sister isn't known for repaying loans.

My other sister and I are in a quandry. She lives nearby but has kids, including a disabled one. I'm quite a distance away and are looking at moving further for job reasons. A year or so ago, we almost moved near Mom but my sister got upset and we got met with quite a battle. Our plan had been to have me there to take care of mom and my DH would commute on weekends.

There's nothing that I see I can do. Mom is alert enough that I couldn't take it to court to protect her. She's being manipulated and taken advantage of. My sister swears she can get the disability because her meds make her drowsy. I confronted her this weekend that she's taking meds that are not approved for the condition she has (which I also have) and that there are other meds she could take. However, she abuses meds and Mom's had trouble with her getting into Mom's meds if the doc prescribes anything like xanax. She also questioned me VERY closely about symptoms when I was dx'd and then went around to doctors until she found one willing to dx her with it.

I'm just so frustrated. I want to protect my Mom but my sister is with her every night reversing anything I've accomplished with Mom.

Avatar for goldie15
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 11:21am
Unless the laws have changed or your state is different than the one I once lived in (Texas) there is something you can do about your sister and the situation with your mother.

My grandmother always lived with us, my grandfather died before I was born, he left her comfortable but not well of. My uncle (her youngest son) was also very bad with money, as a matter of fact he would lie, steal and cheat is necessary. My mother took care of my grandmother's affairs so that my uncle could not get into her money. He had talked in numerous "investements' that never came thru or were true for that fact.

when my mother died I took over grandmothers affairs, or attempted to. Before I could get to the bank my uncle picked Grandmother up for "lunch" and to get her away from the funeral preparations. Big mistake, he almost emptied one of her accounts in a blink of an eye. Luckily my mom expected this and had warned the bank and moved most of the money to an account that required two of three signatures before money could be removed. He was only able to get a small amount out of her day to day account.

The day after moms funeral, i took grandmother to an attorney. I explained (all the time she was denying it)that her son was a money hunger creep. The attorney was able to get into court and ask that an injunction be put against my uncle. He could visit grandmother, talk to her do whatever he wanted but he could not get a penny out of her without my knowledge or the courts if necessary. If he even attempted to try to cash a check made out to him the bank was ordered to call the police while he was there.

Three months later I went to court and asked that I be made my grandmothers guardian. She just could not take care of her own affairs and my uncle got smart and started using his kids to get the money for him. I was appointed right away. She was not declared

incompetent, we just asked a guardian be appointed. All her accounts were put in a 3 signature status. At least two people had to sign any check before it was good. One was me, one my grandmother and one was the attorney.

In the 3 months before I could get all of this done plus handle all of my own affairs my uncle was able to get close to $100,000 out of her!

Hope this helps. See an attorney. they may have a suggestion or two.