Falsely taking financial gifts for kids

romigirlJune 13, 2009

my sister was helping our mom take $30,000. and put it in mine, hers and our other sisters nqame equally, well instead she put the money in her own kids name, my mom didn't realized it until after words since she was put on her check book without any of us knowing anything, can our mom get it back? This was done 5 days after our dad had a massive stroke. What or can she do anything to get her money back into her account to take care of her? When my sister gave us her checking account because she was so busy to do it, her checking has $154.00.

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mary_md7

What account of this does your sister give, if any?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 10:07AM
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susie53_gw

You, your other sister and MOM needs to go to an attorney.. This is stealing....

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 9:15PM
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emilynewhome

I hope your dad is okay! It seems as if your mom was going thru an emotional time.

If your father had passed away, I believe most banks would freeze the accounts until probate was complete, even joint accounts. So your mother may have been anticipating the worse.

Isn't it possible that there was confusion between your mother and sister, as to who whom, where, and why, in regards to $30,000.

Has your mother asked for the money back? What is your sister's explanation?

If your parents wish to have all the daughters names on a separate checking account then they should set that up themselves, but be forewarned that anyone of the daughters can withdraw any or all the money at any time.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 11:24AM
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arizonarose

emilynewhome , I really don't think the banks freeze joint accounts. If the account is set up *either or* the surviving spouse will have access to the money.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 12:28PM
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stargazzer

The bank did not freeze our joint account when my husband died. It think that is an old law that people just keep repeating. I've never heard of it happening to anyone I know.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:09PM
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nancyinmich

Technically, the sister did not do anything wrong IF I am reading right and your sister was "put on" your mom's account. If it is now a joint account, then your sister has just as much right to the money as your mom does. That is the danger in putting someone else's name on your money.

What does your sister say about the money?

Is her name on your mom's checking account now?

I am sorry your mom is down to $154. If the money had gone to all three sisters equally, instead of just to the one sister's kids, would your mom have had more money now, and who would help her if she did not? Those same people probably need to help her now.

It sounds like your mom may have made a bad choice of which daughter to trust.

How is your dad doing? I hope he is okay. If your family decided to try to "hide" your mom's money so that Medicaid would pay for his nursing home care, you will soon find that there is a "look back" period in most states. The state can look back at the account balances for several years and tell your mom that she has to pay a portion of that $3000 for nursing home care, even if she did legally give it away. This was put into effect to keep people from pretending to be poorer than they are, trying to keep from having to pay for their own nursing home care. Medicaid is happy to pay for that care, but not until the person in the nursing home has spent their own money on their care. Spouses at home usually get to stay in the house until they die, get to keep half the savings and their own income. Check with your state to find out the rules, before your sister has a chance to spend the money.

I hope that I am reading this wrong and your family is not going through one of these very difficult situations. I hope you are working it all out with the sister. Best wishes,
Nancy

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:13PM
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gammyt

I can read

Your sister took the money and put it into her kids account instead of the joint account she was suppose to put it into.

Mom can get it back if she can proove the $30,000 wasnt a gift. Are you sure it wasn't?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 5:45PM
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stargazzer

No matter what you do the money is gone. Her name was on it so it is legal. If she had taken it illegally it would still have been gone because usually people don't prosecute family.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:09PM
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azzalea

As far as the situation posted, I'd still consult an attorney, to get the best advice and find out if there is anything that can possibly be done at this point. Maybe there is, maybe not--but the best person to ask is an expert.

Secondly--a general comment about transferring money/giving gifts to reduce ones' estate for various financial reasons (to get on medicare/medicaid, to reduce inheritance taxes). Just this morning on the news, a prominent local attorney was saying the complexion on that has recently changed drastically. There are OLD laws on the books making family members financially responsible for disabled relatives (older people in nursing homes, etc). The laws are archaic and really haven't been used in years. BUT the federal gov't and some states are dusting them off and using them to dump financial responsiblity for the expensive care some elders are recieving in the laps of their children. So transferring those assets early isn't going to help, if that practice becomes widespread. Just be aware, the way the economy is going, I think we're going to be seeing more, rather than less of this sort of thing.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 10:05AM
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gina_in_fl

Ask at the bank.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 3:13AM
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hrajotte

Azzalea-

I'm not aware of any statute or case law "making family members financially responsible for disabled relatives (older people in nursing homes, etc)." Could you provide a source?
Perhaps the attorney was referring to the Medicaid lookback period; if "gifts" were made to family members, or others, during that period, Medicaid will certainly come knocking. The lookback period is (or used to be) 5 years; it may be more now.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:34AM
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gina_in_fl

Gifts of up to $11,000 to any individual are OK according to the IRS. Suck it up and think back to you 'woulda shoulda, coulda" spent more time with your mom so YOU might have had check cashing privilages.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 12:49AM
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duluthinbloomz4

Well, actually, the "annual exclusion" gift amount is $13,000 to any one or number of different individuals.

Dusting off old rules and going after relatives for nursing home care, etc. is a bit off the mark. Unless...

#1. You somehow inadvertantly signed papers indicating you were the responsible party. Always wise to fully read and understand anything you put your signature to.

#2. You didn't adhere to the 5 year lookback period when paring down assets to get your loved one onto the Medicaid system as opposed to being private pay until any assets run out. In other words - don't divvy up all of grandma's money in July and try getting her into a nursing home on Medicaid in August.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:28AM
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jkom51

>>Dusting off old rules and going after relatives for nursing home care, etc. is a bit off the mark. >>

No, actually, there are some states that do have old laws about children being held responsible for the health and well-being of elderly family.

The laws are called Filial Responsibility Laws and exist in 30 states. Jane Gross of the NYTimes, in her invaluable blog "The New Old Age", covered it in a column on November 24, 2008.

The New Old Age
By JANE GROSS
States With Filial Responsibility Laws

States with filial responsibility laws are: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 9:58PM
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