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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!

Get a local lawyer to look into this for you. Laws differ from state to state and locally as well.
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Reply to Taarna
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No as custodian she has the duty to only spend money on care and a small stipend. If she is spending frivolously on herself sue her.
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Reply to Sample
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POA ends at death so she won't dish out anything in the way of after death inheritance. If she is executor of will she has to follow what is written in the will.
Did she use mom's money to pay for repairs? Or her own? If her own money, she probably can't tie that back to moms finances.
You need to see atty to ask these questions.
Another thing, any proceeds from house in mom's name can't be used as inheritance while she's alive. Inheritance is what's left over after death
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Reply to my2cents
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Lovella: I am not clear on how your mother met the Medicaid qualification since your father paid for the nursing home through his good stock valuations. Also, that is a lot of money being spent on a home whose market value is typically determined by locality/homes in the area; the sums of $100,000, $200,000 and $45,000 are mentioned.
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igloo572 Oct 3, 2022
Llama, the Mom is not on Medicaid. OP did an update regarding this.
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I think your best option is to talk to your sister. Ask her to explain what she's doing and why and how it benefits the family. Because I don't think you have much if any legal recourse against what is happening, so getting adversarial isn't likely to turn out well.

If your parents made your sister POA and executor, they gave her the legal right to maintain their property as she thinks best. If she's putting her own money into the renovations, she must have some basis to think there will be a benefit/a higher sale price for the property. Yes, the amount sounds like a lot--but, have you bought or sold property lately? I can't believe how much prices have risen. Our house was built in the early 70s, and I can affirm that a house that age is likely to need work. We've remodeled twice and spent well into six figures, and my husband is talking about doing more soon. And I live in Iowa where home prices are not too outrageous (yet). Our home is pretty average, not some extravagant mansion.

It's possible that your sister is trying to maximize the sale price so that there are more resources for mom's care, or even that when the time comes, you are able to inherit more. If she is already wealthy it doesn't seem like she has a particular need to go to the trouble or spend the money to benefit herself.

I can see where being told that she will reimburse herself from the estate (half from your portion), then presented with a spreadsheet of the costs, would be a little overwhelming and scary. It sounds like it's not the decision you would have made. Perhaps a conversation, rather than all the accounting detail would be a better way to go. Hopefully she will be understanding and willing to share her thought process with you.
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Reply to iameli
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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
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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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This is confusing …was mom part owner of the home? Even if she was no longer living there , this may be considered the case legally , in which case fathers will leaving it to daughters does not apply ..at least to moms half. If mother is not in any way considered as owner of that home and it was only fathers property ( for example if he was legally divorced and sole owner) then his will does prevail. As such , the sister does not have control unless she is his executor. As executor she can , however, spend as she decides for renovation and then deduct from sale of home decreasing your inheritance possibly ( unless renovations increase sale price proportionately ). If she is not executor than she has no right to recoup her spending and you should not be responsible at all. This might take legal action ..since it seems you can’t afford it this might be difficult . You can ask questions of the estate lawyer to clarify and I think that cost will be passed to the estate. Also, sometimes you can find low cost legal aide ..especially if you live near a university with a law school. These also have programs for students to do this without fees. If mother is in any ownership of home or heir to dads estate than her incompetence would mean sister being poa does mean she can spend as she wishes . She can also sell and distribute as she wants in moms best interest. If home is considered half yours and sisters and other half moms - you would get a quarter of home sale price after costs. On your mothers passing the other half might come to you depending on moms will.
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Reply to Mymomsthebest
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In my opinion, your sister appears to have no respect for you and believes that she's smarter/better than you and is a know it all. This is more of an emotional/psychological battle that seems to have been ongoing between you and your sister. She also seems self absorbed. For her to not keep you in the loop from the get go comes across as being sneaky which in turns seems sketchy. I know how you are feeling! My cousin is experiencing a similar situation and it's heart wrenching to not be a part of the decision making, especially when it's your sibling. Some people believe they know what's best and don't even consider the other person's feelings. Remember that money is the root of all evil. I hope you can resolve this without an attorney, because they will end up with the majority of the money in the end.
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Reply to RST888
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Elder Law Attorney...........get everything in writing and let your sister know what you know.
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker
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Once your mother is deceased the POA ends and has no control whatsoever over your mother’s estate. At that point her will, if she has one, will dictate where and how her estate proceeds are distributed. Whoever is named as the “executor” of the will will oversee that process, but the will itself provides the road map. If there is no will, or even if there is, get a lawyer to represent your interest. If there is no will, the court will appoint an executor. You and your sibling may be appointed as co-executors.
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Reply to jemfleming
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As POA for financial matters for your Mom, I think your sister is within her rights to renovate the house if she thinks it will bring a better sale price. It would have been nice if she had discussed it with you and had been more forthcoming about the actual expenses. She should show you the receipts for the house renovation, if they come to $200K, then it would be fair to deduct half from your portion. You may want to consult an attorney, if you think you are not being treated fairly. Check the will also to make sure that the money is not supposed to first be used for your mother's care, and if anything is left over, to be distributed to you and your sister.
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freqflyer Oct 2, 2022
Except the writer's sister went overboard with the renovations. I don't think many of us here would want to pay mega bucks for a house in a neighborhood where the average price is $200k less then the asking price. Mortgage appraisers would have a difficult time trying to find comparable sales.
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Get a lawyer
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Reply to Lizhappens
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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
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One possibility is that she is enhancing its sale value. That's a common move before a sale. Sad to say it works, because most people are unable to envision a property's potential or don't wish to have to make any changes...
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igloo572 Oct 2, 2022
You are on so right. Ime selling a house “as is” and getting a decent price is hard to do, as the comparables will be nearby sales that have been renovated. Realtors imo kinda hate dealing with “as is” as it requires more work….. it may not pass inspection needed by a mortgage company, so deal falls through; a lender may require it to be a conventional mortgage w/20-30% down as too much risk on a “as is” not at current code house, so deal falls through; or it’s crappy condition and someone actually falls through the floor.

Where I am an “as is” tends to be assessed value of the land as per tax collector data plus 30% at best. Our housing stock is way older, some still with tube / cloth wiring & it’s a fortune to get that changed up as just a few electrical co that will do these; lots of walls are lathe & plaster, $$$ to fix.
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There really isn't an "inheritence" until your mom passes away.

Insofar as your dad's excellent stocks, well, I know MY portfolio is down about 20% since we have entered into a bear market. The value of those stocks might not outlive your mom; you might need all the value of that house to continue to pay for mom's care.

In other words, I think this "worry" over your share of an inheritence is somewhat pre-mature. When the time comes, if there is still a question as to your share, you can probably challenge that when the estate comes into probate.
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Reply to notgoodenough
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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.
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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.
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Time to see the lawyer..I know that scares you as it’s sounds like you have limited resources. I’d work that out ….

your mom is on Medicaid ? Does the home belong to your mom ? Medicaid will probably claw back after her death.
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Reply to babsjvd
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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.
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My sincere apologies. Mis-information on my part. My mother does not receive Medicaid.
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Reply to Lovella
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This is a difficult situation. Is your sister also executor of mom's will? Is mom on Medicaid? Hopefully the market where this house is is selling well and for good money. If it is, it's possible that she will get the money back that she spent on it and if the value is much more than it would have been without upgrades, you'll have to do the math and see how much this $100K is going the hurt your bottom line.

You mention your dad's will. Was the house in his name only? Did he not leave everything to your mother? Including the house? If he left her the house or she was already on the house as an equal owner, it might not really matter what dad's will say. What does mom's say?

Kind of seems like a mess. I hope it's better than I'm thinking, but maybe you'll just have to accept this none sense or waste a lot of time and energy (and maybe money) fighting it.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100
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Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of you replying! After reading all your responses, I realized I left out some very important/key facts. My mother is 98. She's had this disease for 12 years. My sister is POA and in charge to divide up my father's assets (equally to both myself and my sister) once my mother passes. Their house is paid off. No debts and my mother's nursing home care is paid by the principle of my father's good fortune in stocks along with Medicaid.
My sister is married to a multi-millionaire. They are extremely wealthy. My sister paid for these renovations up-front with their own money. My parents home was built in 1970 and in 2006, my sister coaxed my father to spend up to $100k to completely renovate the house - both outside/inside and landscaping so their home was in upgraded beautiful condition prior to my sister's (hobby) of changing things out (just for the thrill of it all), tearing down walls, chandelier's, a wine frig, gigantic oversized marble kitchen island, change in garage doors/front doors (they were beautiful and upgraded to begin with). This is not a wealthy neighborhood by no means. I did not ever sign anything agreeing to this massive expensive renovations. My sister's husband has a secretary that keeps all the expenses accurate and detailed about everything pertaining to my mother. Every year, my sister makes grand-scaled renovation/changes to her own 2 homes (both worth over 8 million). She knows I am a single divorced mom, working entry level job (it's all I can get), living in an affordable low-income one bedroom apartment. My daughter has the bedroom and I sleep on the couch. I can't afford the cost of rent where I live for a 2 bedroom apartment. She knows I've moved 6 times in 8 years due to financial crippling from a under-handed crooked ex-husband. He works for his family's highly successful company and they hide his large sums of income from me and the court. I have worked at very successful companies and "in-the-day" I was able to climb the corporate ladder without a 4 year degree. Those days are over in this society! When I first me my ex-husband, I had my beautiful townhome in a wealthy area, my BMW sports car, and a great career. Fast forward, I am now 58 and my ex-husband wiped me out so it is a sensitive subject about my wealthy sister spending part of my inheritance frivolously when I am financially crippled. In all, after reading your feedback, it appears there is nothing I can do but again, I am most appreciative of your feedback. I am also not interested in a drag-out ugly fight over money either. I just wanted my sister to be reasonable and courteous in consulting me before bulldozing over me and always making sure I somehow suffer and I didn't know people can make these type of decisions when it relates directly to other people's inheritance shares. My sister handed me the spreadsheet of all the renovation costs last night, has put my parent's home on the market at an unbelievable inflatable price and said if it doesn't sell, then she's renting it (my childhood home) to her girlfriend for the time being.
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lealonnie1 Sep 28, 2022
You say, "No debts and my mother's nursing home care is paid by the principle of my father's good fortune in stocks along with Medicaid."

How is it that Medicaid is footing the bill along with your 'father's good fortune in stocks'?? How does a wealthy woman qualify for Medicaid in the first place, while her multi millionaire daughter is out there spending this 'inheritance' she isn't even entitled to spend yet?
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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
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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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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.
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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
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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.
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