My aunt stole my mom’s social safety and persuaded my older father to signal the authorization

Dear Moneyist,

My mother’s sister uses my mother’s social security number to avoid having to pay the Internal Revenue Service back the taxes she owes. My aunt owes a lot of money to the IRS and believes the IRS would take it if it were on her behalf. She is currently receiving money on my late mother’s social security number.

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My father was very sick recently and in the hospital and he was out of his mind. She somehow persuaded him to sign the authorization while he was in the hospital. He thought it was 2058 and he was in jail. Obviously he had no idea what he was signing.

She then took the document to a friend, who signed and notarized it. Is there anything I can do to prevent them from switching beneficiaries and emptying their bank accounts?

Feeling powerless

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Dear powerless,

There is a lot you can do, and it should be done ASAP. You cannot allow this to continue, and in order to do so you need to get rid of all the feelings associated with the consequences that your aunt will face. What it does is unethical and illegal. She is stealing money from your late mother’s Social Security and likely your father. She is either unwilling or unable to pay her taxes and has no remorse for her own part in it. She just moved on to the next grip.

Your aunt may view this as a series of unfortunate events and believe she is entitled to other people’s money, but this is part of a pattern that won’t end until you contact your father’s bank, Social Security Agency, and the IRS to to submit a money end with it. Hire a family attorney who specializes in conservatory and probate law and challenge her power of attorney. Ask a court to appoint you instead. You need to remove this woman from your life and your family’s finances. Imagine she’s a burglar who snuck into your house in the middle of the night – because that’s exactly what she did through fake paperwork and coercion.

The money is:“I lost my mother 2 months ago and I’m still in the fog”: My brother and his family moved into their house. You want more than half

1 million cases of elderly abuse are reported to the National Adult Protective Services Association each year, a small fraction of the total. Her father was out of his mind when he signed the power of attorney. The law requires your father to have been sane and not under duress, restraint, fraud, or undue influence to sign a power of attorney. The National Center on Elder Abuse, a government agency of the US Administration on Aging, reports that elderly abuse lags behind research into other areas of intimate and domestic abuse for up to “two decades”.

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I’ll tell you what I told the woman whose mother, who spent thousands of dollars on credit cards, opened on her behalf: Someone who indulges in this type of “known scam” wants protection and / or a safety net before these family connections. If you do face her, you will likely be told some sort of sob story and complex list of resentments about your family’s history that are used to justify and pluck your hearts for this behavior. Put an end to this before moving on.

I spoke to six white collar criminals a few years ago and they told me that they committed their crimes because of financial worries or because they followed orders. Others say they were people lovers who tried to help family members or they helped themselves maintain the lifestyle they had become used to. You faced the courage to take your time after seeing Martha Stewart on TV and looking happy and prosperous after her own stint in prison.

Make these calls today.

If someone has misused your Social Security number or other personal information to create credit or other problems for you, Social Security cannot solve those problems. However, you can use to report identity theft and get a recovery plan. It is administered by the Federal Trade Commission. You can also call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). Telecommunication device for the deaf: 1-866-653-4261.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist at q[email protected] with any financial or ethical questions.

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