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Brokerage house dropped my mother

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Nature_Girl posted 10/6/2013 14:40 PM

I have a problem that I don't discuss here because I've been needing to save my emotional & mental energy for the divorce process. However, things have come to a point where I need to get some other points of view.

* My mother is a widow.
* Two of my siblings have been preying on her & taking advantage of her, eg taking vast sums of money, changing the will & POA, and more.
* Two of my other siblings & I have been trying to stop what's happening.

Now, because we finally have the contact information of Mom's brokerage house (Dad did VERY well in the stock market), one of my sisters (one of the good ones) contacted the brokerage & requested they not honor any more checks written by the predatory sister until we get it all sorted out. I'm talking about tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, are gone already. Predatory sister has been very busy helping herself to Mom's money.

Brokerage house now says they're going to stop doing business with Mom.

SO, I am wondering if anyone here has been through this. Is it ethical for the broker to drop Mom like that? The last thing we need right now is to have to deal with a pissy brokerage while we're dealing with sister who is stealing our inheritance.

Too_Trusting posted 10/6/2013 19:10 PM

They may feel that her funds are too much of a risk to maintain, given the involvement of the children. They see "mismanagement of funds" risk and have determined it's a risk they're not willing to take.

If the sister that is bilking your mom out of $$ has her POA, I don't think there is much you can do short of hiring an attorney to try to prove "undue influence" or that your Mother lacked the mental capacity to understand the documents she was signing. You would probably have to have a competency petition filed and make her go through a psychological evaluation. Not a bad thing because the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to oversee her financials until the court makes a determination of her competency and the validity of the documents she signed.

Honestly, if that sister is bilking tens of thousands of dollars from your Mom, you would be remiss NOT to start a competency proceeding.

The depths of human depravity even from a family member still never ceases to amaze me. It's just tragic and I am really sorry you and your family are going through this. But, you've got to stop the bleeding of money, IMO.

stronger08 posted 10/7/2013 08:56 AM

The firm does not want any further involvement with the upcoming legal issues the account is going to generate. If you read the account agreement they can close it at their discretion. I strongly urge you to take immediate legal action on your mothers financial matters. If your sister has POA she can legally clean her out without your consent. Get your ass to court and have her assets frozen ASAP. Ask for a full accounting of what your sister has spent the money on. There are laws on the books to protect the elderly from being financially ripped off. Even if the person doing the misdoings are family. The longer you wait the more damage will happen. Once the money is gone that's it. Your sister might be charged criminally but that wont return the money. You can always open another account elsewhere. That's a very easy thing to do. The issue here is not the brokerage house. Its where the money is being spent.

woundedwidow posted 10/7/2013 09:02 AM

I agree with what stronger08 said. The brokerage house is protecting itself from legal issues. YOU need to protect your mother's remaining funds from the predatory sister with POA. Good luck!

Nature_Girl posted 10/7/2013 10:09 AM

The amount predatory sister has taken, when you combine collectibles, heirlooms and money (cash & other instruments), is approaching seven figures.

Too_Trusting posted 10/7/2013 11:29 AM


Whalers11 posted 10/7/2013 19:19 PM

What you're siblings are doing is considered elder abuse/financial exploitation. I work for a financial institution and have my securities licenses - we receive periodic training in how to spot/handle elder abuse. Quite honestly - it is a nightmare. My guess is the brokerage firm does not want to be entangled in the legal battle they see forthcoming. Most financial institutions can close accounts for any reason. Honesty, I would be less concerned about the brokerage firm wanting to close the account, and more worried about getting your siblings removed from having any power over your mom's matters.

Nature_Girl posted 10/7/2013 20:04 PM

We're in the process of trying to get control of the money. Sister sold Mom's house against Mom's & the rest of the family's wishes. Threw out all household contents, heirlooms, helped herself to other priceless heirlooms & collectibles that have been in the family for 200 years. All gone now, liquidated, gone.

She had Mom declared mentally incompetent, even though Mom is NOT mentally incompetent. We are working to reverse that now. She had herself declared Mom's executor and gave herself POA. Again, against Mom's wishes.

Mom has always been too afraid to stand up to this particular sister. Never wanted to believe this was happening. My other sisters also put their heads in the sand and wouldn't take a stand with me. Much of this could have been prevented if they would have been willing to put up with this sister's temporary wrath with me. As it is I think there's not much I can do now. I have no money to hire a lawyer, and even if I did my sisters & Mom STILL don't want to make the predatory sister mad or hurt her feelings.

Can we say dysfunctional, boys & girls?

I've been giving my sisters copies of the state laws & explanatory websites for over a year, trying to get them to take action. NOW, finally, they're taking action, but it's too late.

StrongerOne posted 10/8/2013 20:50 PM

See if the state your mom lives in (is she also in Hawaii?) has an office of elder abuse financial exploitation. They may be able to investigate and bring charges even if you /your mom cannot afford a lawyer. It's worth a try. You might also try contacting the state's attorney general office, or the local DA's office. Your sister is a criminal, time to stop the crime spree.

[This message edited by StrongerOne at 8:51 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]

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