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mother in law confused over power of attorney

NickP

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
32
0
Hello,
I use this forum as my dad has Alzheimer's; however, I hope its ok to ask a question about my mother-in-law. Sadly, she has recently also become ncreasingly confused and we are recognising similar behaviours to my dad.
She arranged Power of Attorney several years ago, when her husband died and on the advice of her solicitor; this has me named as the only Attorney - she didn't want her sons as they are direct benefactors of her will. A few months ago she asked me to help her to action it as she was finding that she needed more help organising finances, accounts etc. This was all done and it has now been in place for a couple of months.
Today she has sent me several unpleasant messages saying she has no idea why I am accessing her bank, why I have taken documents from her house to make this possible (of course I haven't) and that she is frightened of "what else I am going to do to her"
I am beyond hurt and have no idea what to do. I know it is her confusion and probably dementia that is talking, but what are you meant to do in this situation?
I also have Power of Attorney, alongside my mum, for my dad. He is grateful that we do things and now is unaware of the situation, so we have never had an issue.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this, where the person you are trying to help turns on you in this way? How can I be attorney if she doesn't trust me? Any advice gratefully received.
 

thistlejak

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
275
0
Do you know what is the trigger for her saying you are accessing her bank? Is the when the bank statements arrive?
If so you can use the POA to get the bank to send them to you.
You are never going to convince her that you are honest and doing things in her best interests and with her permission so you need to get a bit creative
We found with MIL 'out of sight out of mind' worked best with most things.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
6,344
0
Chester
How can I be attorney if she doesn't trust me?
She trusted you when she was of sound mind and appointed you attorney and that's what counts.
I am beyond hurt and have no idea what to do. I know it is her confusion and probably dementia that is talking, but what are you meant to do in this situation?
You've rightly commented it is the dementia talking, it is understandable to be hurt but this is the dementia talking, logic flies out the window once dementia comes calling.

I think you've been lucky with your dad, this situation with your MIL is common.

When I started with mum I tried to explain financial things to her, but it just made her confused and anxious, which was a shock when her retirement hobby was playing the stock market. I realised at that point that as little as possible to keep her happy and out of sight and out of mind.

I removed everything from mum's access as otherwise she randomly sorted through it trying to work out what it was.

You have to act in her 'best interests' as her attorney and avoiding anxiety and upset by dealing with matters she no longer understands is doing this.
 

NickP

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
32
0
Thank you. Out of sight, out of mind sounds like very helpful advice. I'm not entirely sure what triggered this, although she says the bank rang her - I'm not sure why this would be? I have paperwork sent to me and they have my phone number, so nothing should be coming her way now.
We have talked about spending recently... and I think she is very muddled about this, why we said it etc. She is very sure she knows all about her income, outgoings and savings, but she really doesn't.
It is also really helpful to hear that this is quite usual. It's been so difficult to be on the receiving end of, that it feels so personal and horrible to hear her say she is scared of what I might do... but reassuring to read here that is common and it is the dementia talking.
Keeping "her best interests" in mind and really considering what those are is such a helpful prompt too. Thank you.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,748
0
My mother in law often used to tell me she was looking for a new attorney. I just ignored it and told her to let me know when she had sorted it out . Of course she never sorted it out because she was incapable of sorting out anything
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,026
0
65
London
As others have said this is dementia-speak so try not to be offended. I have not had this particular problem but I have made a deliberate effort to divert all financial paperwork to my own home and my dad has never noticed that he isn't getting things himself. Your mother on law will most probably forget everything she has said.
It is unlikely the bank rang her so quite possibly the call was an attempted scam. My dad had one of these and gave some details to the scammers. Do ensure that she doesn't have the opportunity to divulge anything
 

NickP

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
32
0
My mother in law often used to tell me she was looking for a new attorney. I just ignored it and told her to let me know when she had sorted it out . Of course she never sorted it out because she was incapable of sorting out anything
I think I take things too personally - I really panicked today, feeling that if she didn't trust me and was going to accuse me of stuff, who would be able to help... but I realise now that I need to ignore more stuff... by tomorrow she'll probably have forgotten and as you say, nothing will change because she is no longer able to change things.
 

NickP

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
32
0
As others have said this is dementia-speak so try not to be offended. I have not had this particular problem but I have made a deliberate effort to divert all financial paperwork to my own home and my dad has never noticed that he isn't getting things himself. Your mother on law will most probably forget everything she has said.
It is unlikely the bank rang her so quite possibly the call was an attempted scam. My dad had one of these and gave some details to the scammers. Do ensure that she doesn't have the opportunity to divulge anything
Thanks for scam thought - my dad gave his bank details to a scammer in the early days of his Alzheimer's. He can't do that now and doesn't answer the phone anyway. But my MIL could do something. I will call the bank and ask if they called and what it was for.
 

Canna

Registered User
Jan 24, 2022
24
0
We reported a scam call to our local Trading Standards, and they sent someone out to install a call blocker for mum. The caller is asked to press a certain number before the call can be connected, and apparently this weeds out most scam calls. I think my MIL, who is in a different part of the country, was also able to request one.
 

try again

Registered User
Jun 21, 2018
514
0
I have financial power of attorney for my mother. She has constantly accused me of stealing her money, trying to steal her house etc
It hurts like mad but seems to be common in dementia.
I'm not sure if my sister had any doubts about me, I think she now accepts it is the disease

If you are on talking terms, speak to the sons and see if they want any transparency with what you are doing.

It's a case of do as I say, not as I do when I advise you to grow a hard skin. 🤗
 

Christina2

New member
Dec 20, 2019
1
0
I have had this problem with my dad who has Alzheimers- my dad has said some awful things and has told others that I am stealing from him.
It's complicated by the fact that he remarried in his late 70s (2 years before his official diagnosis) and has 'given' almost $1m to his wife, leaving him with just enough to cover the cost of his fulltime care (which he now needs). My sister and I have blocked her gravy train but she has sought revenge by spreading terrible lies about us.
Its very tough, but I know that dad trusted us when he was well, and I know that we are best placed to make sure he is properly looked after.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,026
0
65
London
If you are on talking terms, speak to the sons and see if they want any transparency with what you are doing.
This is a good idea, offering to supply a quarterly statement of income and expenditure would potentially prevent any dispute before it starts. There is nothing to fear from transparency.
 

gdi

New member
Apr 9, 2020
1
0
I’ve been through this with my Mum. I was terribly hurt in the beginning as she would tell neighbours and relatives that I was taking her money when in reality I gave up my career and moved house to keep her safe ! I dealt with it by keeping detailed records of everything as if I was constantly reporting to her eg. I printed out and annotated bank statements to make any outgoings very clear. I also sent my brother a report every 3 months so that he could see exactly what her financial status was and what things I had actioned. He said he didn’t need me to do that as he trusted me and I knew Mum would never read my file but it made me feel better when I was worried about a neighbour taking Mum’s accusations seriously. I used to imagine myself explaining myself to the police or a judge. A bit extreme but it worked for me as I knew I had my file to back me up. Good Luck.
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
12,993
0
Merseyside
I’ve been through this with my Mum. I was terribly hurt in the beginning as she would tell neighbours and relatives that I was taking her money when in reality I gave up my career and moved house to keep her safe ! I dealt with it by keeping detailed records of everything as if I was constantly reporting to her eg. I printed out and annotated bank statements to make any outgoings very clear. I also sent my brother a report every 3 months so that he could see exactly what her financial status was and what things I had actioned. He said he didn’t need me to do that as he trusted me and I knew Mum would never read my file but it made me feel better when I was worried about a neighbour taking Mum’s accusations seriously. I used to imagine myself explaining myself to the police or a judge. A bit extreme but it worked for me as I knew I had my file to back me up. Good Luck.
Welcome to TP @gdi
 

NickP

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
32
0
Thank you all so much.
I have taken a back seat in terms of direct contact, although still overseeing finances as PoA. Emotionally this has helped a lot. Her sons (my husband & brother in law) are very supportive as are my husbands grown up children.
Don't ask why none of them have PoA... we have no idea... my MIL is quite odd!
I have taken your advice and keeping detailed notes about any conversations, accounts etc. Thank you so much.