Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

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Trapper
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Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Trapper » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:19 am

How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?

bberris
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby bberris » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:58 am

One way of limiting losses without taking complete control is to have her use a limited debit card.

I'm not sure how you could stop her from giving away "stuff" but I'm guessing the cons are not too interested in old things.
Last edited by bberris on Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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CAsage
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby CAsage » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:11 am

Need expert legal advice from Guru Bruce on this one... Speaking from experience with my parents, having a good estate plan, where everything transfers via POD/TOD or beneficiary, avoids probate and wills. You can do anything you want with the will, if everything passes before it comes into play! But that requires the person be competent to make those changes. A trust might also be good. Elder abuse and fraud is a scary thing.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby munemaker » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:16 am

Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


Unless the parent(s) is (are) legally incompetent, it is their money and unfortunately they can do what they please with it.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Nearly A Moose » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:38 am

munemaker wrote:
Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


Unless the parent(s) is (are) legally incompetent, it is their money and unfortunately they can do what they please with it.


You need to be extremely vigilant and proactive here. Elder abuse is real, fraud is real, and cognitive decline is real. Do you feel your mother is declining mentally to the point that she is not consistently competent to make important financial decisions? If you think you are there or are close, you should strongly consider consulting a good elder law attorney. There are things that can be done proactively to protect her estate. For example, if she could establish an irrevocable trust. She could be declared mentally incompetent. I'm not an elder law attorney but there are probably other strategies too.

This can spiral out of control completely. I've seen a self-made millionaire's very well-though-out charitable trust blown up by an unscrupulous meddler. It's now in litigation, and whatever the outcome is, the charity will have lost out.

Please take this very seriously.

Trapper
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Trapper » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:12 pm

Thank you for the replies posted so far.
Although in my opinion my mom is mentally declining, my mom is certainly not to the point of legal incompentence.
She recognizes the need to have sufficient assets to provide for herself.
There is a will in place.
My more pointed concern is if she renames beneficiaries to her IRA.
My understanding is that her naming the beneficiaries to the investment company that holds her IRA would supersede the provisions in the will.
I think my place in giving her the assistance that she needs may be more nuanced at this point. I am thinking when she brings this up to provide this guidance, " that sounds like something you should think about and run by your attorney before making a formal decision".
Any other ideas or impute?

orca91
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby orca91 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:32 pm

Why is she so easily influenced to give large amounts to distant relatives? Is there some history there that mom feels a need to make up for? She may have a legit reason for making these changes... or, others may be trying to take advantage. Definitely something to watch for, but it is still her choice from the sounds of it.

In my experience from losing both parents, true the named beneficiaries on IRAs and bank accounts and such supersede the will as far as who gets what.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby qwertyjazz » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:35 pm

Not a lawyer - not legal advice

Delamer's comment below mine is far more eloquent and logical (deleted most of mine)

Get a lawyer is my strong advice to understand the issues
Last edited by qwertyjazz on Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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delamer
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby delamer » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:42 pm

I think you are aware, Trapper, that while the POA allows you to act on your mother's behalf, it does not stop her from acting on her own behalf (and maybe not in her own best interests). Some people seem to think that a (durable) POA protects their elder, but it is only a partial step.

In cooperation with my mother, her attorney, and her bank, the vast majority of her assets were in put in trust when it was clear that she was suffering from cognitive decline. The bank took over paying all her bills, which she agreed to as "one less thing to worry about." She only had direct access to a small checking account, so there was limited financial damage that she could do.

However, my mother did not express any interest in changing her will or account beneficiaries and she diagnosed with dementia right after all this was put in place. So all parties involved were willing to cooperate to get the new setup in place, in order to avoid having to declare her legally incompetent and getting the courts involved.

You made a key point that many elders do not know, or don't want to acknowledge, that they can't make good decisions anymore. I would argue that someone who is willing to change her beneficiaries based on the last person seen is past the point of being able to make good decisions. Unless she is simply telling them what they want to hear...

toofache32
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby toofache32 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:43 am

Anyone else have to google "ne er-do-well"? I've never heard this term. I learn something every day on BH.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Nearly A Moose » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:23 am

Here's another way to think of it. So far, she's just come out of these meetings with ne'er do wells wanting to give away a little money. She could come out of the next one having executed an entirely new power of attorney, will, or trust, having signed a quit claim deed, etc. If she has a large enough estate to attract attention, I'd get a more protective plan in place.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby bsteiner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:08 am

CAsage wrote:Need expert legal advice from Guru Bruce on this one... Speaking from experience with my parents, having a good estate plan, where everything transfers via POD/TOD or beneficiary, avoids probate and wills. You can do anything you want with the will, if everything passes before it comes into play! But that requires the person be competent to make those changes. A trust might also be good. Elder abuse and fraud is a scary thing.


Thanks for the kind words. It's actually easier to take advantage of an elderly person with respect to assets passing outside the Will. To get her to change her Will requires that the ne'er do well bring her to a lawyer. That requires some effort, the lawyer might not cooperate, and if the lawyer cooperates, the change will come to light after she dies.

From your handle I'm guessing you're in California, where revocable trusts are typically used in place of Wills. In that case, it will still usually require some effort to change the plan as to assets passing under the revocable trust, and the changes may still come to light.

It's more difficult to avoid abuse for assets passing by beneficiary designation, POD, or TOD.

Nearly A Moose wrote:... Elder abuse is real, fraud is real, and cognitive decline is real. Do you feel your mother is declining mentally to the point that she is not consistently competent to make important financial decisions? If you think you are there or are close, you should strongly consider consulting a good elder law attorney. There are things that can be done proactively to protect her estate. For example, if she could establish an irrevocable trust. ....


That's a good solution, though a trusts and estates lawyer will probably be a better choice so as to deal with any other tax and estate planning issues.

She could create a trust that she can't amend or revoke without the consent of the trustees. However, this requires that she be aware of the problem, and that she be willing to give up control. It also requires an appropriate choice of trustee(s).

That protects not only against the ne'er do well trying to get her to change her estate plan, but also the ne'er do well trying to get her to make gifts to him/her during lifetime.

Trapper wrote:... My more pointed concern is if she renames beneficiaries to her IRA.

My understanding is that her naming the beneficiaries to the investment company that holds her IRA would supersede the provisions in the will.
...


It's harder to protect an IRA. There's no authority that would permit an IRA owner to transfer an IRA during lifetime. The closest you can come is to require that someone receive notice of requested distributions as in PLR 201150037: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/1150037.pdf.

I think "ne'er" is a contraction for "never."

Trapper
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Trapper » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:02 am

Thank you posters for all the thoughtful responses. Many good points being made.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby NotWhoYouThink » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:21 am

Delay and procrastination work well. Don't remind her or offer to help her make changes. She may enjoy promising the world to people, but there's no harm done if she doesn't follow through. Now if they offer to drive her, it may be time to see if she will submit to some cognitive evaluations.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby oldcomputerguy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:23 am

Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


DW went through something similar with her mom before we lost her. She would sit down with her mom, discuss such things on a regular basis, and together they would go over pending monthly bills, investment statements, etc, plus they would talk about people who might have asked for money. Keep the lines of communication open with your mom. Earnest and ongoing discussion will go a long way.
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Doom&Gloom » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:41 pm

DW also had similar concerns about her mother--but in her case the ne'er-do-wells were mostly relatives. MIL is elderly, still mentally about as intact as ever, but can hardly see. DW took her to see her attorney who referred her to an elder law attorney who recommended an irrevocable trust (there were other concerns as well). The elder law attorney strongly advised his meeting with MIL and all three of her adult children to outline the framework of the trust so that everyone understood what was being done and why. After that meeting, the attorney began constructing (?) the trust, and it is now almost completely done.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby KlingKlang » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:20 pm

Good topic. For our entire lives my mother has justified never giving anything to myself, my wife, or our daughter because "we will inherit everything after she dies". I'm sure that she has said the same thing to dozens of other friends and relatives. I am an only child who is co-owner of her checking, CDs, and Vanguard accounts; beneficiary on her IRAs and annuities. That just leaves her house and 30 year old car to be processed through probate when she dies - there are about 5 items in that hoarder's nightmare that I would like and the rest everyone else can fight over.

I check her checking account regularly, the only person that she has ever written a moderate size ($2000) check to is a cousin who actually did help her while I was hospitalized. She still has the same will from when my father was alive, she's too cheap to change it.

Question - Do financial institutions notify you when someone changes your status as a co-owner/beneficiary?

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby McGilicutty » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:44 pm

My dad (65, widowed) went and got himself a 32 year-old girlfriend. He's already bought her a car and he also bought a vacation home in Florida (I haven't asked him who's name it's in). His 'girlfriend' seems to always have some type of new trinket on her hand, wrist, and/or neck.

There's not much I can do about it. Gold diggers gonna' dig and horny old goats gonna' goat.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby neilpilot » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:15 pm

bsteiner wrote: It's actually easier to take advantage of an elderly person with respect to assets passing outside the Will. To get her to change her Will requires that the ne'er do well bring her to a lawyer. That requires some effort, the lawyer might not cooperate, and if the lawyer cooperates, the change will come to light after she dies.


Why do you assume that she can't execute a revised will without a lawyer??

That maybe true where you live, but where I live (which I think is more common) a handwritten will properly witnessed does not require a lawyer. My MIL was influenced, by a distant relative who she really didn't know and who latched onto her in the last year of her life, to write a will that was witnessed by another resident at her assisted living. No attorney was involved.

The probate court was inclined to accept the will, which left the bulk of her assets to this interloper.

Even though she HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN DECLAIRED INCOMPETANT BY THE SAME PROBATE COURT, we had to take the case to the state probate court to have the handwritten will overturned. This came at a cost of many $$.

Not only an example of Elder Abuse, but also of judicial incompetence on the part of the local Probate Court system.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby staythecourse » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:58 pm

Is you mom mentally incompetent? If not did she ask you for your advice after you brought it up with her? If the answer to those two questions are no then thre is no actionable topic here.

Who cares who she gives her money to if she is of sound mind and body. It is HER money and not YOUR money.

If she is not competent then take it to a judge. If she is does ask for your input then direct her to a good estate lawyer.

Good luck.

p.s. The focu should not be making sure mom does not give her future inheritance to others, but making sure she is not getting taken advantage by others without her knowledge That is not always easy to distinguish the difference when one more dollar given to someone else is one less dollar in inheritance to you.
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TSR
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby TSR » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:14 pm

staythecourse wrote:Is you mom mentally incompetent? If not did she ask you for your advice after you brought it up with her? If the answer to those two questions are no then thre is no actionable topic here.

Who cares who she gives her money to if she is of sound mind and body. It is HER money and not YOUR money.

If she is not competent then take it to a judge. If she is does ask for your input then direct her to a good estate lawyer.

Good luck.

p.s. The focu should not be making sure mom does not give her future inheritance to others, but making sure she is not getting taken advantage by others without her knowledge That is not always easy to distinguish the difference when one more dollar given to someone else is one less dollar in inheritance to you.


To be fair, there are different standards involved here. In the elder-law community, they use a deliberately tongue-in-cheek standard of "better than broccoli" to describe the level of competence someone needs to successfully revise their own will -- that is, better than a vegetable. Despite its frequent appearance on television and movies, "sound mind and body" is not really a legal standard. So there is a tremendous amount of daylight between someone who is technically/legally capable of changing a will and someone whom you would describe as truly capable of acting entirely in their own best interests. Someone like OP can rightly be concerned that mom is not doing what she would have wanted before mental decline kicked in, or that she is at the very least MUCH more susceptible now to the suggestion of interlopers than she would have been ten years earlier. You are correct that he may not have the power to make her stop, but it is definitely worth a conversation. You are also right that such a conversation should focus on what mom really wants, not on what OP wants.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby fishmonger » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:34 pm

I dealt with this the last couple of years with my great uncle, who passed away this year at 91. You don't just need to worry about relatives, neighbors, etc, you also need to worry about outside salesmen.

I'm not sure if you live near your mother, or visit her frequently. But in my uncle's case, he lived 2 hours away and we visited him on a monthly basis or so. Towards the end, when he had early onset dementia, it seemed like every visit he had gotten scammed into buying something: a $5,000 mattress, a really expensive riding lawnmower (for his 1/4 acre lot), and worst of all an annuity that he was sold at 89. He also put a new roof on his house when the current one was in great shape.

The annuity was actually illegal, and we fought that during the settlement of the estate. The rest of it was not large in terms of dollar amount, but I swear some of those vultures must keep in contact with each other to prey on people. The problem can be compounded if your Mom is lonely and just wants someone to talk to

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby bsteiner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:58 pm

McGilicutty wrote:My dad (65, widowed) went and got himself a 32 year-old girlfriend. He's already bought her a car and he also bought a vacation home in Florida (I haven't asked him who's name it's in). ....


Real estate records in Florida are available online. Search for Clerk of the Circuit Court [name of county] and [name of county] property appraiser.

neilpilot wrote:
bsteiner wrote: It's actually easier to take advantage of an elderly person with respect to assets passing outside the Will. To get her to change her Will requires that the ne'er do well bring her to a lawyer. That requires some effort, the lawyer might not cooperate, and if the lawyer cooperates, the change will come to light after she dies.


Why do you assume that she can't execute a revised will without a lawyer?

That maybe true where you live, but where I live (which I think is more common) a handwritten will properly witnessed does not require a lawyer. My MIL was influenced, by a distant relative who she really didn't know and who latched onto her in the last year of her life, to write a will that was witnessed by another resident at her assisted living. No attorney was involved.

The probate court was inclined to accept the will, which left the bulk of her assets to this interloper.

Even though she HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN DECLAIRED INCOMPETANT BY THE SAME PROBATE COURT, we had to take the case to the state probate court to have the handwritten will overturned. This came at a cost of many $$.

Not only an example of Elder Abuse, but also of judicial incompetence on the part of the local Probate Court system.


You are correct that you don't need a lawyer to prepare a Will (handwritten or otherwise). However, if a lawyer supervises the execution of the Will,there's a presumption that it was duly executed.

Some states don't require witnesses for Wills in the testator's handwriting (and some states don't require witnesses at all). However, with very few exceptions, New York still requires two witnesses.

TSR wrote:... In the elder-law community, they use a deliberately tongue-in-cheek standard of "better than broccoli" to describe the level of competence someone needs to successfully revise their own will -- that is, better than a vegetable. ....


More important are how the trusts and estates bar and the courts view it. The standard of capacity needed to execute a Will is less than the standard of capacity needed to enter into a contract. At the Seattle estate planning conference where I spoke last month, there was a session on estate litigation, and one of the speakers said that it would be difficult to challenge the capacity of anyone who could make it through a Will signing ceremony.

While challengers usually include lack of capacity as one of the grounds for their objections, the contest usually turns on whether there was undue influence rather than lack of capacity.

fishmonger wrote:I dealt with this the last couple of years with my great uncle, who passed away this year at 91. You don't just need to worry about relatives, neighbors, etc, you also need to worry about outside salesmen.

... he lived 2 hours away and we visited him on a monthly basis or so. Towards the end, when he had early onset dementia, it seemed like every visit he had gotten scammed into buying something: a $5,000 mattress, a really expensive riding lawnmower (for his 1/4 acre lot), and worst of all an annuity that he was sold at 89. He also put a new roof on his house when the current one was in great shape.

The annuity was actually illegal, and we fought that during the settlement of the estate. The rest of it was not large in terms of dollar amount, but I swear some of those vultures must keep in contact with each other to prey on people. ...


Most of that is difficult to overturn, especially if the amount of each item is relatively small.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby LK2012 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:30 pm

KlingKlang wrote:Question - Do financial institutions notify you when someone changes your status as a co-owner/beneficiary?


No, Klingklang. They definitely do not notify you.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Wakefield1 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:32 pm

My mother is 93. Fortunately she doesn't like strangers who call up on the phone-rings up to 10 times a day with various sellers or solicitors or scammers. We usually don't answer the phone if we don't know the # or caller (caller I.D.) but some of them are worse than others (want S.S. number or confirm name,address etc.) Might have been one from the "IRS"
I think the ages of those in the household are available to the public phone listings

delamer
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby delamer » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:30 pm

TSR wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Is you mom mentally incompetent? If not did she ask you for your advice after you brought it up with her? If the answer to those two questions are no then thre is no actionable topic here.

Who cares who she gives her money to if she is of sound mind and body. It is HER money and not YOUR money.

If she is not competent then take it to a judge. If she is does ask for your input then direct her to a good estate lawyer.

Good luck.

p.s. The focu should not be making sure mom does not give her future inheritance to others, but making sure she is not getting taken advantage by others without her knowledge That is not always easy to distinguish the difference when one more dollar given to someone else is one less dollar in inheritance to you.


To be fair, there are different standards involved here. In the elder-law community, they use a deliberately tongue-in-cheek standard of "better than broccoli" to describe the level of competence someone needs to successfully revise their own will -- that is, better than a vegetable. Despite its frequent appearance on television and movies, "sound mind and body" is not really a legal standard. So there is a tremendous amount of daylight between someone who is technically/legally capable of changing a will and someone whom you would describe as truly capable of acting entirely in their own best interests. Someone like OP can rightly be concerned that mom is not doing what she would have wanted before mental decline kicked in, or that she is at the very least MUCH more susceptible now to the suggestion of interlopers than she would have been ten years earlier. You are correct that he may not have the power to make her stop, but it is definitely worth a conversation. You are also right that such a conversation should focus on what mom really wants, not on what OP wants.


Good points immediately above. It is too glib to say that someone who is mentally competent can do whatever they please with their money. Mental competence is not a yes/no situation, but a continuum. My mother was capable of taking care of all her basic physical needs -- eating, medications, laundry, bathing -- while at the same time being very confused about her finances. The social worker at her retirement community told me that financial competence usually is the first cognitive skill to be compromised in the elderly.

Would your mother respond to a suggestion to put procedures in place now to protect her future self? Sometimes people are willing to act on the knowledge that they may eventually lose the ability to make good decisions, but sometimes not.

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby cadreamer2015 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:51 pm

If your Mom or other elderly relative agrees, it might be wise to set up Nomorobo or a similar service on their land line so that they do not get spam telephone calls. We use it and it significantly reduces the number of spam calls we get. The phone rings once and then stops.
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saladdin
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby saladdin » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:35 am

munemaker wrote:
Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


Unless the parent(s) is (are) legally incompetent, it is their money and unfortunately they can do what they please with it.


"Unfortunately"? Why is it unfortunate for a competent adult to do with their money as they wish?

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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby KlingKlang » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:18 am

saladdin wrote:
munemaker wrote:
Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


Unless the parent(s) is (are) legally incompetent, it is their money and unfortunately they can do what they please with it.


"Unfortunately"? Why is it unfortunate for a competent adult to do with their money as they wish?


As several other posters have illustrated, as someone ages there can be a large gap between being financially competent and legally incompetent.

munemaker
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby munemaker » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:39 am

saladdin wrote:
munemaker wrote:
Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


Unless the parent(s) is (are) legally incompetent, it is their money and unfortunately they can do what they please with it.


"Unfortunately"? Why is it unfortunate for a competent adult to do with their money as they wish?


I was saying "unfortunately" from the perspective of the adult child who is trying to hang on to a potential inheritance; this is the position of the OP. From the perspective of the legally competent adult, I agree, it is not unfortunate; it is as it should be.

munemaker
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby munemaker » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:43 am

McGilicutty wrote:My dad (65, widowed) went and got himself a 32 year-old girlfriend. He's already bought her a car and he also bought a vacation home in Florida (I haven't asked him who's name it's in). His 'girlfriend' seems to always have some type of new trinket on her hand, wrist, and/or neck.

There's not much I can do about it. Gold diggers gonna' dig and horny old goats gonna' goat.


As long as they are both getting something out of the relationship, what's the harm?

junior
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby junior » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:15 pm

Trapper wrote:How do adult children handle their elderly parents (Mom) when distant relatives or acquaintances start dropping by their place for a visit and
Mom then decides to leave the visitor a large amount of her estate to them? This has happened twice with my mom that I am aware of, and so far she has not acted on her intentions to change her beneficiaries yet. I have a friend who is in the same position with his Dad, but in his case the adult stopping by is more of grifter than ne er-do-well.
I have the needed power of attorney in place and other legal framework completed with her knowledge. She certainly does not warrant me taking over all her finances at this point, but is not as sharp as she used to be although she thinks she is. Mom can certainly continue her charitable giving and financial assistance with her assets as she pleases, but what strategies can be used when the line is crossed to the point of being taken advantage of?


One thing you could do is talk to her about it, ask her why she did it, and ask her if she'd reconsider. If she is easily influenced then you probably have influence as well.

There does seem to be a certain point where it's probably up to your mom and other than stating your wish it's outside your control, though I think you can at least make a request to her similar to how the so called "distant relative " made a request to her.

If you have children, you could also advocate on their behalf. Asking her to leave it in trust for her grandchildren over a distant relative for example.

Being taken advantage of is in the eye of the beholder, if she doesn't think she is being taken advantage of absent some evidence of incompetence it would appear to be out of your control.

Dulocracy
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Re: Ne er-do-wells coming out of woodwork

Postby Dulocracy » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:54 pm

There have been several suggestions about what to do with the estate or the elder in question. Another idea that may help:

If the activity seems intentional on the part of the ne'er do wells...

Hire an attorney to draft a letter to the individual(s), explaining what protections there are under state law against elder abuse. Invite the individual to continue visiting, but prohibit them from discussing finances.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.


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