What to do if my sister had POA of my now deceased mother’s affairs for the last 7 years and took money from her account?

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What to do if my sister had POA of my now deceased mother’s affairs for the last 7 years and took money from her account?

It was set up so my mother’s, sister’s and my name would be on all accounts for transparency. My sister took my name off all the accounts and moved money around and after 7 years, I finally got her to admit she “took” $35K out of my mother’s account. By then my mom was suffering from dementia and had no idea how much money she had in any account. Mom died peacefully kast month. Through my constant urging, my mother had a living Trust and Will. The property was to be split 3 ways between my sister, stepbrother and I. Through rental properties, pensions and Social Security my mother’s income was right at $89,000 per year. This is a serious amount.

Asked on October 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have a couple of different options.  The first is to file a civil suit against your sister for breaching her fiduciarly duty to your mother's estate.  Your second option is to file criminal charges for theft-- since that's basically what she did.  Some agencies don't like criminal cases with civil overtones, but that doesn't mean that they won't at least look at the case.  If you live in a county large enough to have a white collar crime section of the prosecuting attorney's office, then may want to set up an additional meeting with one of the prosecutor from that section to help get your complaint moving forward.


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