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Just a question because I am totally clueless when it comes to law. I’m not even really sure what my question is here, but for any of you who have knowledge of this sort of thing, any comments would be appreciated.
My wife’s mother has been in a nursing home since the day I met her – since she was roughly 49 years old. She has MS, Alzheimer’s and has had multiple strokes. She is also legally blind. Needless to say, since I met my wife, her mother’s conditions have gotten considerably worse.
My wife’s grandmother was in a nursing home years ago, and had a caregiver because she needed full time attention. Well, grandmother’s caregiver was the power of attorney over her. My wife’s mom eventually moved into the same nursing home with her mother, my wife’s grandmother. Over time, especially with my wife being out of town with me while on work assignments, and her mom needing full time attention, this same lady was asked to become the POA over my wife’s mom as well. My wife did not like this at all, but she couldn’t do anything about it. She basically didn’t like it because A. it’s her mother. B. Her mom couldn’t even make that decision for herself. C. She never trusted this lady. Anyways, my wife’s grandmother basically really liked this caregiver woman and insisted that my wife’s mom give her the POA. So that happened.
Fast forward 2 years to roughly 2009. My wife’s grandmother passes away. This caregiver lady who has the POA over my wife’s mom also sells the house that my wife grew up in, for around 200k. Wife is obviously very upset at this time.
Fast forward to now/this week, my wife got a letter in the mail from this caregiver lady’s attorney saying that she was next in line to become power of attorney over her mom if she wanted that responsibility. She went down the Spartanburg yesterday to sign the paper. Thats all she would sign...While there, she learns that this lady has spent all of her mom’s money from the house she sold. Her mom now has no money and the lady has decided that she now no longer wants the responsibility as the POA.
The lady told my wife that all of the money is gone, and she cannot provide a history or receipts for where the money went, but that it’s just gone.
I know that this lady was the POA for the past 5 years when all of this transpired, BUT, is there a law or something about this sort of thing? Taking advantage of someone while you are their POA, exhausting all of their monies, and then simply dumping them when you have no more use for them? My wife’s mom cannot even get out of a bed. She cannot walk. The state paid for her to love in the nursing home. Zero of that 200k was used for her.
Sorry if this is tough to read and understand. Just curious if anyone knows anything about stuff like this. Thanks
Roll Tide Roll
I'm not a lawyer so I can't say for sure what the law can or can't do, but I'm pretty sure your wife does have some legal recourse in this case. Even with this woman having POA she would be held to doing what's in the best interest of the person she's caring for and would be held accountable for any money she spent for her own personal use/gain. There are lawyers out there that will give free consulations. My advice would be to contact one to get a full understanding of what your options are.
Unfortunately, this is an all too common situation, and i've seen it happen at least 3 times.
And, also unfortunately, there was no really good ending legally for anyone in recouping monies. In fact, be careful, because the IRS can hold any new POA's liable for back taxes, as was done in a close friends' situation, and they go after them hard and aggressively...
I'm not a lawyer, but I've seen these horrible situations unfold again and again from a closeup view...
hopefully you have better luck...
This post was edited by crimsonbleeder 2 years ago
1960 Les Paul
Shoot me an email at email@example.com. I have someone in Augusta I can send you to see.
Bad but not uncommon; may be some criminal liablity here too, but don't do anything until you speak with an expert in the field. The state bar association in the state where this took place most likely has a referral service and can point you in the right direction, so give them a call. It's free, it's unbiased and it can't hurt anything.
Look into Tuscaloosa News archives for a woman named "Zondra/Xondra Hutto." She was charged for several cases similar to yours.
OP: Check your personal messages; I just sent you one.
Not an attorney, but I thought if someone had money to pay for the nursing home (in this case the sell of your wife's grandmother's home) that that money had to be used to pay for care. I didn't think the state would pay...that's why parents normally sign their homes over to their kids before they enter a nursing home. They won't to have as few assests as possible to go after. I could be way off base here because I have no experience with it, but I find it hard to believe the state would pay for care when someone has $200,000.
Edit: Good luck with everything. It sounds like a huge headache that I hope gets resolved in your wife's favor. I don't understand how people can do things like the caregiver did and live with themselves.
This post was edited by dshelbyjr 2 years ago
Call the Sheriff or Soliciter's office for Spartanburg. They call DA's Soliciter Generals in SC. I represent some people in NC on a similar issue and we found that their best course of action was to pursue criminal charges and hope for restitution as part of a sentence. Unfortunately the person who abuses their duties rarely has much left to recover in a judgment. If you would like to speak to a civil attorney about it as well I recommend William Rhodes. He prosecuted with my wife there a few years ago. Good luck.
Call the bar for your state.
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