My sister is POA of my mother. My father is deceased. My father’s Will states that she and I receive an even split of the money from the sale of my parents' home. My mom is in a nursing home. She has dementia. My sister gutted my parents' house down to the bone and spent $200k on luxurious renovations. She told me it would only be maximum of $45k for little fix-its to put it up for sale. She never disclosed the large-scaled expensive renovations to me. She showed me once it was all done. Now she said that once the house sells, she’s going to instantly take $100k from my inheritance portion to pay for half of these highly expensive renovation costs. Does she have the legal right to give me “what she sees fit” for my inheritance monies???? Can she legally do this????? Help!

Id get a lawyer. Because she could sell the house as is. She can keep you in the dark and tell you nothing is left. She does not get to decide what you get and what she will take. Do not put it off because she could take everything and tell you it was never there to begin with.

I had to do that, and lawyer said why didn't you come to me sooner? Don't put it off.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Jasmina

Your mom - a well off widow of many years - is private pay in a NH, she has Medicare. Medicaid is not involved at all & TY for posting that as it’s important. 15+ years ago while dad was alive, he & mom did a major reno on their old house which they had the $ to do in full. Since then dad has passed & mom has entered a NH; home is vacant & Sissy as POA has had upgrades done - that she (Sissy) has fronted the $ costs of & spent the time to oversee - obstensibly to have the home more market ready & it is going up for sale &/or rented. This is it in a nutshell, right?

It sounds like, Your dads will left everything to his wife (it was a “pour over” will) and only upon mom’s death will there ever be any distribution of assets of her estate to her beneficiaries, which are you and your Sister. You really should not count on an inheritance ahead of time; there could not actually be anything substantial left.

So NOT until mom dies and probate runs it’s course, will there ever be an inheritance. Sissy is POA so Sissy in charge of any decisions regarding moms care, how it paid for or what happens with moms assets while alive. There is no requirement to have mom die and actually leave an inheritance…. If $ needs to be spent by the POA on moving mom to a way more expensive place or hiring extra aides for mom or doing maintenance or reno to moms property, it can be done by the POA.

If in fact Sissy has fronted the $$$ to do the most recent repairs / renovations, I’d guess that in fact there really isn’t much money liquid (like in savings or sitting in a bank account) as moms cash is all dedicated to paying for her care. I imagine that’s Sissy is spending her own $ to get a better price on moms place and plans to be fully reimbursed from the Act of Sale $. Sounds like your BIL has his staff keep precise records so all this can be verified and to the penny paid to Sis & beyond ok for any legal challenges or future probate filings.

Your Sister as POA has a fiduciary duty to your mom as to how $ is spent and how moms assets are managed. For you to challenge her as POA, you have to, HAVE TO, have an attorney, take her to court and show via forensic accounting of moms finances for past 2-3 years that Sissy is not doing her fiduciary duty and a guardian needs to be named. Your attorneys could file to have it be you, but if you have your own financial issues, iffy credit reports, no secure income, the court isn’t going to appoint you….. either court determines you have no reason to challenge Sissy as POA or an outside guardian is named & they get total control of mom, her health care and her home & her $; plus an outside guardian can bill professional hourly rates to administer moms affairs. Watch what you wish for…….

I’m not trying to be harsh but it comes across as you are… in the words of an Aunt of mine…. “1 will reading from being able to buy a used car”. Should you challenge your Sister, all the negative decisions you have made will be brought out & in detail by her attorney to the court. For your own sake, don’t go there. Let Sissy get moms house sold, get reimbursed for her costs, pay for whatever great care mom needs and hopefully when mom finally dies there actually is $ left that can be distributed to you & Sissy as per moms will.
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Reply to igloo572

POA ends at death. The executor of the estate takes care of carrying out the will. If she is executor of the estate, she may try to take the money from your share of the total estate. If she does, file an appeal to the probate court. I hope you didn't sign anything agreeing to pay of the renovations. Probable scenario is she sells the house, cost of renovations for which she has receipts are deducted from sale price with half of the cost coming from your share and the other half coming from her half of proceeds.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Becky04469

Elder Law Attorney...........get everything in writing and let your sister know what you know.
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker

She can't reallocate portions established in a Will. Most terminal documents I've seen though do require payment of all expenses before disposition of assets to the heirs.

Do you have anything in writing from your sister of her intent to take funds off your inheritance? What documentation exists to prove the accuracy and validity of her expenditures?
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Reply to GardenArtist
igloo572 Oct 2, 2022
I don’t think Sissy is doing anything that would be considered reallocating. If Sissy is herself fronting the $ for whatever new work Sissy is getting done on her moms house, it isn’t touching moms $. It’s Sissys $. The mom isn’t doing work that places the house subject to any type of workmans lein as it’s Sissy who is having work done not the mom. I bet Sissy makes sure that there is no crossing of liability if something is unpaid. I bet she’s been pretty savvy so far in her real estate projects.

The current downturn of stocks and house sales probably will cost her in making a heftier profit. But as house is owned outright she just has to sell it for more than its renovations and property tax & insurance costs to be good. I’ll bet you a case of Prosecco that Sissy hubs is beyond glad she has his Mil house to deal with otherwise Sissy would be riding his butt on their doing flips.
Your dad's will expresses his intent that you and your sister share equally in the money that remains. I presume he gave all of his assets to your mother, initially. While her will might also contain this instruction, an inheritance does not actually exist until your mother dies.
Then, there are numerous steps to settle the estate - if she has had to go on Medicaid due to lack of her own funds (because they were spent to renovate her house and then sell it), Medicaid. has the right to recover the cost of all the care that she received. They can put a lien on the house so that a sale makes them the first creditor.
If your mother lives for 5 full years past the date of the last bill for the renovation, then Medicaid may not go after the house.
Medicaid is the payer of last resort and is required to ensure that all other resources have been used for the elder's benefit.
As Geaton states, I hope she is keeping very good records.
Please don't count on receiving any inheritance - while it was your Dad's wish, the reality is more complex. I'm sorry your sister has done this, causing distress for you.
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Reply to Clairesmum

My sincere apologies. Mis-information on my part. My mother does not receive Medicaid.
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Reply to Lovella

You don't say how old your Mom is. The only reason it may matter is that even with dementia she can live many more years in the NH, which will be very expensive. If your Mom ever needs Medicaid there will be a lien on the house after she passes which will need to be satisfied.

Sometimes in order to get top dollar from a home sale, many updates and renovations need to happen. I see it all the time here where I live. If she is the only PoA she is under no obligation to disclose anything about your Mom's affairs to you now or ever. If you think fraud or financial abuse is being committed, you will need to take hard evidence to an attorney to fight it on your Mother's behalf.

As PoA, I hope your sister is keeping very detailed record of what she was and is spending for your Mom.
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Reply to Geaton777

Lovella, the first mistake your sister did was to over-remodel a house in a neighborhood that will not gain the value.

To put into a house $200k in renovation costs, your sister is forgetting that the neighborhood sets the price, not the over-the-top renovations. I've been in real estate for over 30 years, and have seen this mistake over and over.

You mentioned that your sister is married to a multi-millionaire. Don't forget that even multi-millionaires can be up to their eyeballs in debt. Those who brag and show off shiny new objects aren't as wealthy as they say.

You are NOT responsible for any of her remodeling. It was her choice. I would speak to an Elder Law Attorney to get his/her ideas on how to handle this matter.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer
igloo572 Oct 2, 2022
So right that it’s often illusionary. They have the ability to take on debt, but actually have very little on hand liquid. We’re going to see this in a lot of the tales of woe from Hurricane Ian. Lots of those big expensive & expansive waterfront homes were “self insured”. Especially in Naples area. The owners won’t actually have the $ to be fully self insured to rebuild and do replacement costs.
All money from her accts must be strictly for her benefit I just successfully sued my sister and got it revoked for self dealing and taking money from her accts when she died I had her removed as executrix depending on what state u in the laws are clear on what she cannot do
If she could afford that kind of money then she should have spent it on her medical expenses and care she cannot spend it to renovate a house that is part of estate
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DRJJ56TTAXI
igloo572 Oct 3, 2022
Probate rules on administration on an estate and how Executor must act/file are way different than what a POA does. Probate has a judge, attorneys, set filings, docket reports, hearings, asset/debt list, time constraints etc. All this allows someone who wants to challenge Executors actions, eg self dealing, to be able to do so as documents available to review easily.

POA way different. If a POA pretty much shows reasonable good intent on use of the elders $ & assets, their good. OPs Sister has shown her costs on the reno, Sissys not hiding costs. If OP wants to challenge POA, she needs to either get mom to change her POA to her or file for guardianship. The parents chose Sissy decades ago, complaining on $ dad spent years ago as “She coaxed dad to do this” or on current costs the POA Sister is fronting from her own wallet, is imo a waste of time and energy.

There is no self dealing. It’s not the moms $ being used on reno’s.

Sis apparently views use of her $$$$ to do work on 50+ yr old house owned by her mom as a sensible. Even if Sissy has a Fton of $, sinking 100K plus having to be around to make sure work is done correctly, isn’t ever taken lightly in my experience. Sissy may be over investing in the house based on comps when it eventually sells. But maybe not. As long as it sells and makes a profit payable to the mom, the intention of Sissys actions as the chosen POA can be viewed as in the moms interest.

Sissy has NOT told the OP she needs to pay 50% of the reno.
Sissy is fronting the costs according to OP.
OP is not out any $ for anything done with the house.
She has no harm at present in my not an attorney opinion. OP is fixated on her supposed inheritance. She fails to realize there may be no inheritance as mom just might outlive her current investment portfolio and need to draw on house sale $ to continue to private pay for that NH plus pay for regular property costs, like taxes & insurance. If mom is paying $ 15,800 a mo NH and $10K a yr on the house in her name, that’s almost $ 200K a year. We have another month like the last week, moms $ might be on fumes by EOY& needs house sale $.
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