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Have you heard of caregiver getting POA?

12 years ago

I came here yesterday to post this & got side tracked. My friend's bro. & SIL supposedly had a bank representative out to house as both are quite disabled & they have agency care 7 days a week during day & night care by another lady. That lady is sister or sis-in-law of the main caregiver. These 2 ladies have been buying the 2 housebound folks gifts & suggested that the day worker have power -of -attorney so she could pay bills etc. This bank worker had some papers that they all signed & then the day worker took them with her to go get them notarized (sounds fishy to me,thought notary had to witness them signing). Next day(yesterday) she did not come to work! They have no children. Other relatives are quite worried for them. It sounds like scam to me. I told my friend I would ask if you had heard of this happening. I didn't think a bank worker would come out to house. They can be transported to dr. so should be able to be transported to bank. Are these folks in big trouble or can old folks turn over everything they have to a caregiver. I thought agency people would be licensed & bonded, maybe not?

Comments (24)

  • 12 years ago

    I think that you may have it correct. This happens over and over again. The caregiver is trusted, the POA is given, and the roof falls in!

    First, contact the bank to see if one of their employees did go to the house.

    As far as employees of an agency being bonded and licensed, that's up to the agency. It still wouldn't mean that the employees were 100% trustworthy.

    What is done next depends on what the bank and agency have to say.

    Now, the couple has relatives that are "worried." I don't blame them. I would be too. Maybe it's time that one of them stepped up and took over the bill paying, etc.

  • 12 years ago

    Call the Adult Protective Services ASAP, too. Or start with the police. Make a Federal case of it immediately. Call the bank 24 number put a STOP on that account immediately.

    The account may already be drained.

    In the slim chance that the caregivers are honest (HA!) they need to come up with another solution.

    But for right now, treat this as a strong arm home-invasion robbery. These people need a strong advocate to help press the case in case the police aren't immediately helpful

    Don't wait around.

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  • 12 years ago

    Wish I'd seen this earlier.

    Red flags all over the place.

    Listen to sushipup.

    Act at once.

  • 12 years ago

    The patient has to do it when she is of sound mind or a relative has to get a doctors statement saying the patient is incompetent. No one can just sign papers and get the POA.

  • 12 years ago

    "No one can just sign papers and get the POA."

    That is incorrect. They certainly can. Any competent person can grant POA. And, while still competent, they can rescind it at will. POA's are not all the same, but simply putting the documents into effect is far from a once-and-forever undertaking. And the holder of the power is supposed to be held to high standards, their actions required to be for the grantor's benefit and/or as the grantor would do if competent and if they chose to act themselves.

    "Competency", of course, is the issue. And, in cases of fraud as I suspect this may be, is typically argued after the damage has been done.

  • 12 years ago

    Doctors do not determine competence or incompetence. Doctors give their opinions to the courts. Courts make the determination.

    Back to the issue. From the description, I am fearful of a fraud being committed. If documents were drawn and signed and witnessed and notarized and the bank accepted them.....that's the ball game right there. Discovering the fraud after the money's gone doesn't help.

    I don't know what's happened here. Could be nothing. Could be terrible. I am suspicious. I would be interested in sunnyca's come-back if they're willing.

  • 12 years ago

    Thanks for your messages. I've learned more. GF has AF so this is really hard on her. Don't want her having heart attack! The caregiver is 31 with 6 yr old boy. Recently married the boyfriend.(red flag to me) The lady has MS & is quite disabled she fell & damaged her legs some time ago so is pretty much in bed or easy chair. She has no idea what she signed. GF was going to call bank today. She didn't tell me that she did, I think she was waiting to see what her son found out(their nephew) he visits them quite often as he goes through their town on his way home. MY DD is a notary as her company signs lot of contracts so they put her through the schooling. She says she must always be present when anything is signed like that. Seems like if the bank person was really from a bank she would have said "Do you understand what you are signing? Do you have any questions?" My mom recently took my bro. who is her POA in their trust, when she is unable to make decisions & she wanted his name added to her checking account & they said. NO. She is fine now & can make her own transactions, that doesn't take effect until she can no longer do things herself. So if a bank person actually did make a house call I would have thought it would have been handled very differently than caregiver running off with the papers. I haven't found out if she has come back to work either. May know more tomorrow. My folks have an agency that comes in with couple of girls,so far, I hoped for same person daily. 4 hr in morning to help with my 95 yr old dad. He needs help with walker & my shoulder was bad from heavy purse straps & just got too hard trying to walk him, help him in shower, dressing. So now we hope that by me dropping in whenever, that nothing like this happens. My bro & DD also pop in & everything of value was locked up or moved to where they can't get it. I'm not comfortable leaving dad alone with anyone yet(maybe never), either mom or I are in the house. Agency claims they are bonded & background checks but anybody can say that. Will let you know if I get any more info. Thanks I will pass on all you've said!

  • 12 years ago

    Strange things described. Hope you get it to a more comfortable place.

  • 12 years ago

    I said the person can do it when he is well. I have been there done that. I worked with an estate lawyer. A care giver cannot get power of a person without going through the legal steps. Even my son cannot get power of attorney over me unless my doctor said I am not able to make decisions anymore. I live in Kansas it may be different in other states.

    The term "care giver" covers a lot of territory. If I hired someone to take care of my Mom, that person cannot step in and get power of attorney over her.

    Heaven help us all if one of our kids can step in and get a power of attorney over us without our doctors agreement.

  • 12 years ago

    vala55....Sir or Madam, you have entirely the wrong idea of this.

    "Even my son cannot get power of attorney over me unless my doctor said I am not able to make decisions anymore."

    Of course he can...if you choose to grant it. This is true in all states. In any event, the web is filled with references if you want to study further. I believe you have misunderstood what your attorney told you. I am not an attorney but I have been granted this power myself on three different occasions by competent people who desired that I take over their affairs for them. No doctors were involved. In no state do doctors have power to grant powers of attorney. That is a legal -- not a medical -- matter. Their opinions certainly can be taken into consideration by the adjudicating authority.

    Voluntarily granting the power does require the grantor to be "competent". In other cases, upon application, a court may rule a person "incompetent" and grant the power to another family member or other court-appointed representative. It is here that doctors' opinions are considered.

    "Heaven help us all if one of our kids can step in and get a power of attorney over us without our doctors agreement."

    Neither your son nor anyone else can "step in and get a power" over you....unless you competently and voluntarily grant it or unless the court mandates it.

    "A care giver cannot get power of a person without going through the legal steps."

    That part, at least, you have correct.

  • 12 years ago

    That is what I have been saying....You have to voluntarily give it but if you have a stroke and did not do this before, a legal procedure has to be followed for any one to get the POA.

  • 12 years ago

    Sir or Madame, with respect, that is not at all what you've been saying. Re-read your own posts.

    If you now understand it, that's fine.

    In any event, my fear for the OP is that a fraud may have been committed. A fraud would be outside of the topic of our exchange.

  • 12 years ago

    GF talked to SIL this morning after she had talked to the bank. They did send out bank person & she was a notary(yet the SIL didn't even understand that) & papers were signed & the disabled couple are "fine with it". But this is just the start. Police came calling last night. Disabled couple were not happy that someone called(apparently niece in San Diego) but that is 2nd time!!!! Seems that the very old car in the garage called a "Metro" has disappeared!! Woman came to house few weeks ago & was "just taking it to mechanic to check it out" the disabled couple called police when it was not brought back. It's still missing(probably out of this country by now) We are wondering how the woman knew they had the car. So police(last night) saw that they were OK & left. Said nothing they could do as they signed papers & are not being held hostage or anything. The caregiver is working but we are wondering what will disappear next. So not much protection for seniors that aren't "quite all there" in CA. I imagine the caregiver & her helpers will clean this couple out. GF thinks she will get hands on house & move in with them as she is paying lot of money for apt.($2000 mo)lot for caregiver not making over $12-15 an hour) Don't think this is going to turn out well.

  • 12 years ago

    The niece in San Diego or other family need to rescind that POA immediately and get someone honest to watch their assets. Yeah, it's fraud and they will lose everything.

  • 12 years ago

    What is the matter with this family? Doesn't anybody have grit enough to act?

  • 12 years ago

    I agree. these people need to be a nursing home, and a responsible relative ( or more) must be in charge. They are going to loose everything. I use to work for a bank and we NEVER went to a persons home. Please get some legal advice and have a family conference NOW.

  • 12 years ago

    sunnyca....there shouldn't be any problem with your mother putting your brother on her checking account. I have my brother(who is also my POA) on my checking and saving accounts. His name isn't on the checks but if I was in the hospital, etc. he could draw out money or write a check to pay a bill for me. And YES...I trust him completely! :) We were also on my mothers checking account before she passed away.

  • 12 years ago

    Mary, Wells Fargo said no to bro. being on parents account. They have a Living Trust, that might make a difference. So far the POA has not taken off with anything that my friends know of. Their only close relative is GF's hubby, he has dementia, the nephew & niece aren't that close to them. They seem to be pretty much alone as GF has had to go & take them to surgeries & dr. appts. Mrs. has MS & several other problems & poor eyesight. It is cheaper to be cared for at home then the $10,000-12,000 a month in nursing home. Interesting article on this in a newspaper for seniors from Orange County that we get at park each month called "Not Born Yesterday" " Can Relatives Take Away Your Rights? written by Margaret Heine Mrs. Bosley fell & broke her hip &arm. Niece saw her every week & in rehab Mrs. B. asked niece to be POA & drs. agreed, niece got caregivers for her, took care of the bills, really did a great job with helping her have as good a life as possible. Mrs. B. decides 1 day that she doesn't like not having control of her own life, thought that niece was a crook & stole from her. Another relative took Mrs. B. to a lawyer who fired niece & changed the will.Niece responded with drs. letters. Lawyer concluded that even if drs were right he believed she still had testamentary capacity. Mrs. B just needs to know what she is doing. So lawyer can ask her questions based of a 1948 case law The Estate of Selb that even if you are old,feeble,forgetful,have filthy personal habits, have mental confusion, delusions, hallucinations doesn't mean they lack testamentary capacity. The lawyer is the 1 who decides & if Mrs. B can say, I want my money to go to______ that is where it will go, even tho she can't balance a check book & might not know much, a lawyer can change her future so if you get the wrong lawyer you are in trouble or 1 that can be "bought" by relatives.

  • 12 years ago

    @sunnyca.........I understand your relationship with this couple is too far removed for you to have any legal standing so you're powerless except for whatever influence you may have conversationally with friends' brother and SIL. However, from what you've written I can tell you your own understanding of these matters is very deficient. And I suspect that much of what you've been told is incomplete or misunderstood by the teller.

    I hope somebody in that family has sense enough to get up to speed on the subject matter and protect these folks. If they don't know what they're doing, they should hire somebody who does to advise them. From what you've written, confusion and misunderstanding are the order of the day.

  • 12 years ago

    A normal checking account should not be included in a trust. Generally, any assets under $10,000 need not be in the trust. Open a new checking account for less than $10K in all names, not part of the trust.

  • 12 years ago

    The family also needs to know that not all POAs are the same. A lot will depend on the State and/or the individual bank.

    For example: I had POA over a relative's legal and financial affairs. However, her bank required a separate POA just for that bank and her accounts that were in THAT bank. They would not accept the general POA. By that time that I needed it, she was too far gone with dementia and in a nursing home to give consent. We were lucky in that the bank manager and I were friends and had known each other for a good while. He by-passed the usual restrictions. Otherwise, we would probably have had to gone to court and have her declared incompetent in order to access her funds to help pay for her care.

    You just never know when or what is going to happen.

  • 12 years ago

    I hope the OP did something because this situation sends up HUGE red flags everywhere. My folks are getting older and we have had some conversations about how they want things handled when they are too old to make decisions for themselves. I am grateful that they are willing to discuss this beforehand.

    I have read everything I can in order to acquaint myself with giving them suggestions about the best/worst ways they could go about this. Here is a good book I found at the library:

    "The Retirement nightmare-How to save yourself from your heirs and protectors".

    I am posting just one example of how you can have your life turned upside down if you don't make arrangements for a trustworthy family member (or friend) to be able to care for you before something happens.

    "In the first chapter of THE RETIREMENT NIGHTMARE, I give an example
    of this egregious fact drawn from the pages of The Los Angeles Times
    (November 1997). Glen Hawkins, 89, had bicycled two miles from his Orange
    County home in Leisure World, California, to confer with his investment
    counselor. Once there, he was told that the $380,000 in his account was no
    longer his to control. A professional conservator had been assigned to
    manage his financial and personal affairs. As Mr. Hawkins soon learned, he
    already owed almost $1,200 in conservator and attorney fees. How could
    this be? A social worker at Glen Hawkins' retirement community had filed a
    petition for an emergency conservatorship over Mr. Hawkins, claiming that
    he was too ill to attend the required hearing and too addled to understand
    the legal proceeding.

    Glen Hawkins had harmed no one, and he clearly was not a danger to
    himself. He had planned to live out the rest of his golden years in his
    Leisure World condominium. Unfortunately, his wish to be left alone had
    led him into dangerous new territory--territory that is made unsafe by the
    legal reality that each state in America feels free to intrude into the
    lives of its elderly in ways that would be unthinkable if the objects of
    its intrusion were young."

    Read the section titled "Freedom lost" as well.

    A link that might be useful:

  • 12 years ago

    Update on the couple that gave caregiver POA. Man fell during night & got tangled up by walker where he was "hanging part on bed & part in walker. Wife is now bedridden(MS & other problems & caregiver won't help her get up since she became POA) Anyway wife called 911. The paramedics took him to hospital because he had several problems, BP high, dehydration etc. so hopefully they will do blood tests & find he is suffering from malnutrition & do something. Wife called caregiver after she had called 911 & she had a fit! GF thinks caregiver is wanting the house for herself & just letting them go downhill. Maybe this will bring action! Hope so!

  • 12 years ago

    The money is probably already gone, and the house in her name, too.

    It's probably too late, but your friends have been the victims of crimes. If you were witness to a bank robbery, would you refuse to help the police?

    Hopefully the hospital will alert the Adult Protective Services and someone will figure it out. It's criminal, and I think it's equally criminal to stand by and do nothing and allow it to happen.

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