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Don’t Steal you Mom’s/Love ones money

Don’t Steal you Mom’s/Love ones money

My book was recognized in the ITRS, Identity Theft Resource Center.  “Elder care – Don’t Steal Mom’s Identity” that was published on April 9th !  The article is about financial resources, belongings and cash — ALL — belonging to the families loved one.

When I wrote my book, It was important for me to explain, fully, the meaning of DPOA (Durable Power of Attorney) and the responsibility it carries.  Which include: not allowing a friend, neighbor, son or daughter or relative to move into your loved ones house FREE of charge, simply because the loved one may have transferred to an assisted living facility.  It also means that the same – are unable to simply hand over the keys to a neighbors child, their own children or anyone other adult for that matter to use the loved one’s (parked) car for joy riding, trips to school, weekend outings or a Friday night date.

These are a No No.  I used to cringe years ago when I heard the stories of DPOA or caregivers allowing such to happen.  Oh well, they would say – Mom doesn’t live there anymore.  Does that make it right, and legal?  NO it doesn’t.  To no avail, I would let them know that they are not allowed to simply offer their loved ones car, home, money, clothes, jewelry – etc. to anyone.  This property belongs to their LOVED ONE – NOT them.

The caregiver and/or DPOA must account for every cent that they spend of their loved ones money.  A pair of socks, shampoo and soap at the drugstore, new clothes, a good pair of walking shoes, Christmas presents (from the loved one)  – to larger items such as selling their house, selling their car – all must be documented and meticulously logged.  Profits from said sales go into the account of the loved one, and request a receipt from the institution in the name of your loved one.  File this receipt with all other’s.

I had to have many repairs done to Mom’s house before it was up to code to put on the market.  Each job was listed on the invoice along with the price it cost to fix it.  The yard also needed a good up to code job done, Mom’s house needed to be painted, floors refinished, minor items as well.  I had receipts, documented date and each charge listed.  (Also with a reputable licensed company) The check to pay the vendors came out of Mom’s checking account, but not ONE penny had anything to do with me or my family.

I sold Mom’s car after she was no longer able to drive.  It was Mom’s car, not mine.  My husband and I had to invest $800 of our money into Mom’s car to get it running properly–and in good shape to sell.  I handed Mom the cash we received from the sale – and took out the $800 we had paid our of our pocket.  I should have deposited the entire amount into HER account, obtained a receipt for every penny, and written myself a check out of Mom’s account for our $800.00-therefore attaching the receipt we received for the work done.  We could not afford the $800 – but I knew when Mom’s car sold, we would get our money returned.  And we did.

This information was included in my book, “Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes”.  It was very important that this information be supplied caregivers and DPOA’s. 

Much appreciation extended to ITRC – for bringing this issue to the front of their internet site.  I am honored to be part of the article.

Suzette Brown