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Do I have the right to see my mother’s bank statements to reconcile them and make sure there have been no errors or fraud?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Hi, I have a simple question. Maybe someone can help?…. My 93 year old mother has dementia but is still cognizant part of the time. She has 24 hour care at home. My brother and sister have joint POA. There are seven siblings in our family. Another sister with a drinking problem has been doing the bills and paying the care givers. It was brought to my attention by one honest care giver that she had been mistakenly paid four times for the same week. The care giver was honest enough not to cash the checks. My brother and sister that are the POA’s are very secretive with the money. I want to do an audit of my mother’s check book for the last few years and have asked to see the bank statements. They have hidden the statements. My question is do I have the right to see my mother’s statements to reconcile her checkbook and make sure there have been no errors or fraud? If I do have this right how do I go about getting the bank statements from the POA’S? Thank you for your help,

ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:

As your siblings are not being forthcoming with the information, even though you have brought these problems to their attention, it may be time to get an attorney involved. Sometimes a letter from the attorney can straighten out the situation. Often times, you may be forced into petitioning the court either for production of an accounting for the powers of attorney or for a guardianship to replace those persons who have been named as the powers of attorney but aren’t fulfilling their obligations. On the latter, court oversight will be required.

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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The elder law attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate and asset protection planning. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

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