What to do if my brother has power of attorney over my mother’s things and is spending a lot of money with new cars, house remodeling, etc?

My mother is still alive at 94. There is only my brother and I and we are both in the Will. My father had a lot of investments,stocks and money saved in bankbooks and a house. Now my brother is telling me that there is no money.

Asked on November 15, 2013 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your mother is mentally competent, there is nothing that you can do. She, as a mentally competent adult, could seek to take legal action against her attorney in fact (the person holding the POA; your brother) if she feels he is violating his duty to her or otherwise defrauding or stealing from her--but another person cannot take action on her behalf in this regard.

If your mother is mentally incompetent, then she may need to have a guardian ad litem (guardian at law) appointed for her, and that person may determine that your brother was taking advantage of her; if so, the guardian may take legal action against him. If you feel that this is the case and your mother was mentally incompetent, speak with an attorney specializing in elder law.

Thee fact that you are in the will, by the way, does not give you any rights--there is no guaranty that there will be money or other assets left to inherit.

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