What can I do if my grandmothers estate is used for someone elses financial problems? 2 Answers as of May 26, 2011

My grandmother is in a nursing home. She is 91, has Alzheimer’s and other medical problems that include a recent broken hip. Due to her health and condition of bones surgery is not possible. I am on her power of attorney with my aunt & her husband. My grandparents never had a will. My father is deceased and it has always been my understanding that my brother, sister and I take his place so to speak. She has 4 living children of which none go to see her. I take care of all doctors’ visits; stay in the hospital etc.not her children. My aunt is her "representative payee". My aunt has used the $2,000 that was in savings for funeral expenses not covered by pre-paid plan. My grandmother has $60 per month left after the nursing home is paid. That $60 has not been spent on my grandmother in the past 3 years. My aunt & her husband have had serious financial problems and have used this money. It is my understanding this is social security fraud. I have sent my aunt a letter requesting that she use this money for my grandmother, replace the savings and add my sister to the med POA and remove her husband. If she doesn't do this do I have legal recourse?

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
Yes, you do have legal recourse. In New Hampshire, diverting funds that belong to an elderly person may be elder abuse reportable to the Division of Elderly and Adult Services. You also have the right to demand an accounting of all of the funds that your Aunt has used while acting as representative payee.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 5/26/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
About the only recourse you have is to consult with an Estate Attorney to see if you can sue them for the money that's been taken and see if there is further recourse about adding you and your sister's name to the Medical Power of Attorney, however, that is unlikely to be granted at this stage, but you can indeed try if you feel it's that important to you and your sister and Grandmother. Speak to an attorney directly. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/26/2011
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